30 Fun Ways to Celebrate Your 30th Birthday

Updated on February 18, 2017

What do you do when you find yourself nearing your 30th birthday? Cry about it? Deny it? Wallow in self pity? You could, but it would serve as much purpose as watching grass grow. Besides, turning 30 is a great milestone. As a matter of fact it’s one thing I can now cross off my bucket list of things to do before turning 50.

Turning 30 means you’re entering a phase in life where you’re wiser, more comfortable in your own skin, and can finally apply for jobs that aren’t simply entry level. In other words, your brain, your confidence, and your paycheck are getting bigger and better. It would seem then, that turning 30 is more of a celebratory occasion than a reason to fall into depression.

If you’re like my sister, you might celebrate by doing “30 for 30” – running 30 miles (in one day) that is. If that sounds more like torture than fun (believe me you wouldn’t be alone in thinking that), there are plenty of other things you could do. Here – in no particular order – are 30 different “30 for 30”ways to celebrate your 30th birthday. Some ideas are big, some are small, but all are fun ways to commemorate the big day. Don’t forget to bring your friends along.

A quick note – these ideas are not given as advice on what you should do, but are merely some suggestions of what you could do. Always use your own judgment and discretion.

  1. Sample all 31 flavors of Baskin Robbins ice cream (consider the 31st flavor one for good luck)
  2. Play your hand at 30 different one-dollar scratch-off tickets (be a little frivolous without going penniless)
  3. Go for a 30-minute pampering session – massage, facial, mani/pedi (yes even straight men can benefit from this)
  4. Head to a park and see if you can get 30 people to play a giant game of red rover (come on, release your inner-child)
  5. Head to an amusement park and hit 30 different whirlwind rides (bring a barf bag)
  6. Find a fountain and toss 30 shiny pennies in (one of those wishes is bound to come true)
  7. Plan to devote 30 hours over the next year to a good cause – volunteer at your local library, a soup kitchen, etc. (giving to others is one of the best gifts to give yourself)
  8. Make a list of 30 books you want to finish within the next year and crack open the first one (now that you’re older and wiser, you’ll need something legitimate to talk about at parties)
  9. Write down 30 things that make you a rock star (if you actually sing in a band, consider yourself bona fide)
  10. Walk or run one mile every day for 30 days (much more manageable than doing it all at once like my sister, and a great way to kick start a healthy lifestyle)
  11. Head to your favorite swanky restaurant and order that $30 steak entrée (savor every last succulent bite)
  12. Take a 30-minute, high-flying, afternoon adventure in a hot air balloon – NY is one place that offers this (you might want to skip lunch)
  13. Host a birthday bash with 30 of your friends (if you don’t have 30 friends, borrow some of your friends’ friends)
  14. Just this once go for the 30oz coffee (hey, you have a big day to celebrate – you need all the caffeine you can get)
  15. Upgrade to the 30in HDTV – or one that’s 30 inches bigger than the one you have (at this point, the only thing you should still have from when you were in college is your diploma)
  16. Set aside your Saturday to hit up 30 different garage sales within a 30-mile radius (you might be surprised at the gems you can find)
  17. Start or end your day with 30 minutes of soul-healing meditation or yoga (“ohm”-ing is optional)
  18. Dole out 30 compliments to 30 strangers throughout the day (if it comes back to you 10-fold, you’ve got 300 compliments coming your way)
  19. Bowl 30 frames (that’s three games) at your favorite alley (bring on the high-fives – it’s the only place where it’s still okay to do that)
  20. Kick back and watch 30 back-to-back episodes of your favorite TV series (make sure they’re half hour shows – any more time on your couch and you might actually turn into a potato)
  21. Make a list of 30 restaurants you’ve always wanted to try to over the next year visit each one with a different friend (at the end of it you may just be able to call yourself a foodie)
  22. Treat yourself to 30 carats worth of some bling bling (just make sure it doesn’t cost too much cha-ching ching)
  23. Take advantage of a 30-day trial at your local gym if they offer it (aside from getting a hard body, you might just meet one)
  24. Sign up to take 30 classes to develop a skill you always wish you had – maybe ballroom dancing or karate (come on, how many times have you watched Dirty Dancing or Karate Kid and tried to mimic some of the moves)
  25. Take a 30-day retreat to your dream destination (start saving your vacation days now)
  26. Turn off your electronics and relax for 30 minutes in a nice hot bath (bubbles are optional)
  27. Give your health a boost and challenge yourself to start drinking 30oz of water a day (that’s actually only about half the oft-touted 8 glasses a day, but no one wants to have to visit the restroom that often)
  28. See if you can get 30 hugs during the course of the day (you probably wouldn’t want to ask strangers though – after all, you wouldn’t take candy from them now would you)
  29. Make a list of 30 different day trips you can take over the next year (then you’ll actually legitimately be able to use the phrase “let me check my calendar”)
  30. Make a 30-item bucket list to fulfill over the next 30 years (three items to include should be turning 40, turning 50, and turning 60 – these milestones are just as worth celebrating as turning 30)

Whether you try these ideas or not, just make sure to greet your 30th year with enthusiasm and have a Happy Birthday!

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Pinar 12 months ago

        Thank you for these awesome ideas! Really needed

      • profile image

        Danielle 3 years ago

        I have been searching for a good list, and finally hit it! Great ideas!

      • GiblinGirl profile image

        GiblinGirl 3 years ago from New Jersey

        Sounds pretty cool Wayne :)

      • profile image

        wayne 3 years ago

        I don't have too many friends so I'm just having a small garden party with 30 guests. Hope they all show up as I have paid for a cartoonist to make funny portraits and a steel drum band to add some entertainment and make it a bit classy. It's my first real party since I left home.

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        Chris 4 years ago

        Great list, but in your closing sentence you say, "greet your 30th year with enthusiasm"... You don't begin that number year - you are celebrating completing it! (easier to realize when our baby's first birthday is after one year of their life)

      • profile image

        Alyric 5 years ago

        i love this! thankx for the idea... i am also turning 30 on may 30th @vivi and i love the idea of starting at the beginning of may up until my birthday so i gotta get started woth my list of 30 30's too:-)

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        Vivi 5 years ago

        Hey! This is really cool! I've had a similar idea for my 30th since it's on May 30, and I've decided to something new and/or exciting to do every day up to my birthday. So far I have 18 things, so I still need 22 more. I'm definitely picking the things I like from your list to add to it!!! Thanks!! ;)

      • creativegiftideas profile image

        creativegiftideas 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NM

        Ha! That's a hoot! I am sending the link to my daughter who turns 30 next year! She will love it! I bet you are some kind of fireball! Great Hub, Girl!

      • GiblinGirl profile image

        GiblinGirl 5 years ago from New Jersey

        Thanks theobsessionboxco!

      • profile image

        theobsessionboxco 5 years ago

        Really good things to celebrate that kind of day and 10th tip i am going to try..:)

      • GiblinGirl profile image

        GiblinGirl 5 years ago from New Jersey

        Thanks GoForTheJuggler. Hey it's never too late - you can modify them and do 32 for 32 on your next birthday :)

      • GoForTheJuggler profile image

        Joshua Patrick 5 years ago from Texas

        I wish I had read this last year, as I am 31 now. Great ideas - voted up and across!

      • GiblinGirl profile image

        GiblinGirl 5 years ago from New Jersey

        Happy early birthday! I hope you do try out some of the ideas :)

      • jpcmc profile image

        JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

        Nice suggestions! I love your 1st one and it's my favorite. :) I'm going to be 36 in just a few days and perhaps I'll try some but with a 36 modification.