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21 Fun Ways to Celebrate Your 21st Birthday Without Alcohol

GiblinGirl is a Texas transplant who enjoys writing about a variety of topics.

There's a lot to do for your 21st birthday besides drink.

There's a lot to do for your 21st birthday besides drink.

Things to Do on Your 21st Besides Drink

In a recent study of college students, 83% of the respondents said they drank on their 21st birthday. I guess the other 17% just didn’t celebrate. I mean, what’s your 21st birthday without a drink or two, right?

Actually, contrary to popular belief, it is absolutely possible to celebrate your 21st (and have fun) without a single drop of alcohol. After all, what if you are celebrating with friends who are not of legal age? Or perhaps you’re simply not interested in drinking. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of non-alcoholic ways you can commemorate this milestone. The best part is that you’ll not only wake up the next morning without a hangover, but you’ll remember every minute of the fun you did have.

21 of the Best Ways to Celebrate

1. Take a road trip across the country and back. Since you won’t be drinking, you’re free to drive as much as you want. See if you can hit up 21 states (10 one way and 11 the other) during your journey!

2. Indulge your inner child and have a good old-fashioned sleepover, complete with Ouija boards, junk food, and a stock of scary movies.

3. Learn to DJ. Some states actually offer lessons in the art of being a master music mixer.

Take a roadtrip with friends!

Take a roadtrip with friends!

4. Engage your competitive side and take your friends on a paintball adventure.

5. Go to a different restaurant every day during the week of your birthday and see how many free desserts you can score—just be sure to share them with your friends (everything in moderation!).

6. Throw caution to the wind (sort of) and try indoor skydiving. Way less expensive than regular skydiving, not to mention safer. California, Florida, and Arizona are some states that offer this.

7. Recreate your favorite birthday party from when you were a kid. Think “pin the tail on the donkey,” musical chairs, and piñatas!

8. Organize your own powder puff game where the girls play, and the guys cheer. Make sure someone has a camera to capture the fun.

9. Host a costume party where everyone dresses up as the thing they always wanted to be when they grew up.

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10. Experience a night of intrigue and excitement at a murder mystery dinner. Or host your own murder mystery party.

11. Bring Atlantic City to your house, apartment, or dorm, and host your own poker tournament—no ID or alcohol required. If you need something to “chug a lug,” try some root beer (or better yet, a root beer float).

12. Give up the ramen noodles and try your hand in a cooking class—whether it’s ice cream making, pizza making, or gourmet cooking. After all, you’re an adult now, with sophisticated taste buds.

13. Pay it forward and see if you can get 21 of your friends to volunteer with you for one day at an event of your choosing.

14. Set up an obstacle course in a local park and compete against your friends to see who can get through it the quickest. This one probably warrants taking some video as opposed to just pictures.

Can you go on 21 rides in one day at the amusement park?

Can you go on 21 rides in one day at the amusement park?

15. Head to your favorite amusement park and see if you can hit 21 rides before the day is through.

16. Spend a quiet evening with family looking through old photos and home videos—sometimes, the quiet, intimate moments are the most memorable.

17. Get in touch with nature and take a camping trip with some close friends. Don’t forget the marshmallows and the ghost stories!

18. Have a high seas adventure and go white water rafting with a group of friends—preferably friends who don’t get seasick.

19. Take the day off (if you can) and do absolutely nothing—don’t even get dressed in real clothes. Turn off your phone, grab some snacks, pop in your favorite movies, and call it a day. Sometimes doing nothing is the best something you can do.

20. Enjoy an evening of culture and sophistication at a Broadway show, a ballet, a local theater, etc.

21. Treat yourself like a queen or a king, and get a head-to-toe massage or other spa treatment. After all, it’s your birthday, and you deserve the royal treatment.

Happy birthday to anyone reading this who’s turning 21!

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