12 Unforgettable 30th Birthday Party Ideas

12 Unforgettable 30th Birthday Party Ideas

Perhaps it’s the day you’ve been looking forward to since you were a teenager; or more likely it’s the day you’ve been dreading ever since you turned 29. Your 30th birthday is fast approaching, and it’s time for you to get serious about some 30th birthday party ideas. We’ve scoured the internet to bring to you an eclectic mix of party ideas for the big 3-0, no matter how you’re feeling about the day. Whether you think that turning 30 completely sucks or turning 30 totally rocks – or whether you’d like to forget about the number altogether and just spend a fun evening with your family and friends – we’ve got a party idea for you.

1. 30 Sucks!

Birthday Party Ideas - 30s Sucks

Ok, let’s get this one out of the way at the beginning. You see, there are those among us who like to complain about getting older, as if they are the only ones for whom time does not stand still. Milestone birthdays (especially ones that end in a zero) are particularly difficult for these complaining-type people, and if you identify with this sentiment, realize that sometimes it’s better to be open about your feelings and let everyone know that you think turning 30 completely sucks! There will be those who will argue with you, claiming that the 30s will be the best decade of your life; and there will be those people still in their 20s who will commiserate and agree that you are indeed very old. Then there will be those people will want to know if they can please have a lollipop.

2. Dirty 30

Birthday Party Ideas - Dirty Thirty

You know what rhymes really well with 30? Dirty. While researching this article we were surprised to find that Dirty 30 parties are becoming more and more popular. Of course, there are two ways of interpreting the word ‘dirty’; you could go with the soil connotation and make cupcakes with gummy worms or lolly snakes, and edible dirt deserts. Or you could go with a debauchery type theme, but we’ll leave that to your imagination.

3. 80 Theme

Birthday Party Ideas - Roaring 80s Party

People who are turning 30 these days were, by definition, born in the 80s, and presumably spent at least part of their childhood growing up in that wonderful neon decade. So what better way to celebrate a 30th birthday then with an 80s themed party? This 30th birthday theme is perfect for someone who has maintained a collection of 80s memorabilia from their own childhoods, although it would also be possible to recreate an entire collection by scouring op shops and keeping an eye on eBay. Think VHS tapes of unforgettable 80s movies, typical 80s candy, plus stereotypical 80s tech like brick sized mobile phones, cassette tapes, 3 1/2 inch floppy disks, joysticks, Walkmans, and greyscale Nintendo Gameboys.

4. For the Jet Setter

Birthday Party Ideas - Baggage Claim

If you’ve spent most of your 20s jetsetting around the globe and are looking forward to even more travel in your 30s, these ultra cute suitcase themed party favors will be the perfect accompaniment to your 30th birthday party.

5. Balloon Chandelier


Who doesn’t love balloons? Sure, people with globophobia don’t, but for everyone else, we would wager that at least a dozen evenings in your youth were spent sucking helium with your friends and giggling uncontrollably. This DIY balloon chandelier idea is a fantastic way of displaying photos from your past in the ultimate helium balloon chandelier. Click here for the complete tutorial from Wedding Chicks.

6. Cassette Tapes

Birthday Party Ideas - Cassette Tape Theme

If you were music lover in your youth, you probably had a fair collection of cassettes tapes. There were the tapes that you were given as birthday and Christmas gifts, tapes that you copied off your friends originals, plus the classic mixtapes that you received from a crush. With it being almost impossible to prevent people from breaching the copyright on cassettes tapes back in the day, much of your pocket money was probably spent on buying a 10 pack of blank tapes and borrowing your friends albums. If cassette tapes were a big part of your youth, consider a cassette tape themed birthday party. Click here for a very elaborate example.

7. DIY Photo Collage

Birthday Party Ideas - Collage

If you’re happy to stick your hardcopy photos directly on the wall, consider displaying them by spelling out the number 30. This is an effective 30th birthday party decoration from a distance, and pouring over your old photos will give your guests something to do and an opportunity to strike up a conversation with a stranger.

8. Professional Photo Collage

Professional Photo Collage

For an infinitely more professional photo collage without the price tag (and if you’re not that keen on sticking your original hardcopy photos directly on your wall) order a professional themed photo collage from Canvas Factory. Simply upload your photos and we’ll take care of the rest, guaranteeing you the perfect wall decoration for your 30th birthday party.

9. Giant Jenga

Birthday Party Ideas – Jenga

Giant Jenga! The name itself even sounds like fun. A DIY giant Jenga game is easy and inexpensive to make, and is sure to be a hit at your party.

10. Grumpy Old Men

Birthday Party Ideas – Grumpy Old Men

Some people breeze through the transition from 20 to 30 effortlessly. For other people, it’s the start of nasal hair, complaining about the youth of today, and taking several attempts to get up out of a comfortable chair. A ‘Grumpy Old Men’ party theme is a bit of fun, really, and can go down incredibly well if everyone is on board and willing to stay in character. Click here for an in-depth example of a ‘Grumpy Old Men’ 30th birthday party that went swimmingly (pun intended, because someone actually did put their shoulder out while swimming!).

11. Retro Games Party

Birthday Party Ideas – Twister

If you ask someone their favorite retro game, you’ll probably hear Twister, Monopoly, Scrabble, and some variation of those board games with the plastic dome in the middle that contained the dice. A Twister style game can be easily created for an outdoor party by spray-painting different colored circles directly on the grass. Create your own spinner, or use a spinner from an old original Twister game, and you’ve got an outdoor party game to keep guests happy and having fun.

12. Classic Pink and Gold Theme

Birthday Party Ideas – Pink And Gold Theme

We’ll round out this list of 30th birthday party ideas with something a little more stylish and elegant – and that doesn’t involve your guests contorting their bodies on an outdoor home-made oversized version of Twister. This pink and gold themed 30th birthday party is the epitome of style and class. Create this look with as much metallic gold as you can find, combined with tea light candles and sparkling wine. A related idea is to set up black posterboard with gold metallic permanent markers for people to write their birthday wishes.

Hopefully one of these 30th party ideas will be exactly what you’ve been looking for. And once the big event is over and you’re well and truly in your 30s, click here to upload your favorite photos from the big event and we’ll turn them into stunning canvas wall art for your home.


Eli is Canvas Factory's resident blogger and social media buff. She has a passion for art, craft, design, fashion and photography. She loves to explore the joys and challenges of family life, relationships, motherhood and pet ownership. Eli finds it's more funny to poke fun at herself than others. She's travelled extensively and considers herself a citizen of the world.

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