Most people think of clowns and balloons when they hear about a birthday party, especially for kids. But birthday parties aren’t only for kids. There are plenty of adults who like to have fun and make their birthday memorable. The main difference between kid’s parties and adult’s parties is that kids parties focus on the gifts and food, while adult parties focus more on bringing together friends and family. Follow a few of these simple tips to plan a fun filled party for your friends and family.

Go for a theme

Themed parties are always much more entertaining than a simple dinner. Think about some of the favorite activities that the birthday person enjoys and try to center the party on that. If they love Mardi Gras, have a party with that theme. If they like animals, consider finding a outdoor location like a zoo to host the party. Retro and oldies parties are fun too. There is no better excuse to rent a country club ballroom or hip club to throw a great birthday bash.

Give ample notice

Most people have jobs and family obligations, so sending invitations at least two weeks in advance is a great way to make that everyone can make it. Don’t be afraid to send a ‘save that date’ notice if your plans are still in limbo. It also helps when it comes to budgeting overall expenses. Just like with any other party, food is a big point of focus. Regardless of where the venue is, it’s important to plan your menu in according to the theme of the party. If your party will be a small affair, consider making the food yourself. If you have a larger group you want to invite or just don’t want to worry about the responsibility, arrange to use a catering company to plan the perfect menu.

 Decorations and Preparations

 Unless you have a very big budget, you will have to take care of the decorations yourself. This is a chance to have fun and show your creative talent. There are many party stores and craft stores where you can find trinkets, banners, posters and other items to fit your adult party theme. On the day of the party, make sure you arrive early and give yourself ample time to set up and get everything in order. Don’t forget music! Hiring a DJ for a few hours is affordable and often worth it. Even if you don’t hire a DJ, take time in advance to pick out music that you like, that is theme appropriate as well as age appropriate for you and your friends.

The Cake

Birthday cakes, just like in weddings usually are the main focus. The cake is what brings everyone together for a song and a wish. Find out what your birthday man or woman likes or reflect the theme of the party. A great way to present a birthday specialty cake would be to place the cake in a gift box! Wrap the cake up as if it were a gift, and place it on the table next to the other presents. There are many ways you can make your cake box stand out using ribbons, colors and/or balloons and other specialty items. One of the first things to consider if you really want to make the cake stand out is the actual stand. Most craft stores and bakery outlets have a lot of themed variations. For example, if you are going to have a chocolate birthday cake try using a white cake stand to present it not only to the birthday person but for the crowd to see. Another great idea is to use a special shaped cake. Whatever your theme, find one that is appropriate to the occasion. When it comes to decorating your specialty cake you should be very creative. Birthdays are meant to be fun, so the cake should reflect a certain amount of humor and gaiety. For example, if you decide a car shaped cake, then you can make brightly colored icing in all different shades and cut out wheel shapes to go on top of the cake. One way to wrap a specialty birthday cake is in a personalized cake box. You could have a birthday decoration added to the box along with the name of the birthday person. Another idea is to have the box say something meaningful that won’t ever be forgotten. Cake boxes come in many different sizes and shapes. Think ‘outside of the box’ to get your loved one something they will remember.

Food gifts

If you’re going to give out another type of food gift such as wine and cheese, tape them together side by side and add some colorful tulle and ribbon to make them stand out. Attach the gift card to the ribbon for a more polished professional look. If the person you are buying a food gift for is a chef, try purchasing cooking utensils and different seasonings and creating a food gift basket. Wrap the basket with decorative fabric, plastic wrap, or tulle. Top the basket with a bow and a card and your gift is ready to be received.

After it’s all over

At end of the evening, cleaning up may be the last thing on your mind. Hire a clean up crew or party maid service for the evening. Depending on the venue you have booked, it may be included in the rental. If not, it is a great way to make sure that you aren’t left with a mess that can ruin the fun shared during the party. If you plan to have alcoholic drinks at the party, consider having a taxi service on call. Your guests will appreciate your concern. Regardless of the size of the birthday party, a guest book will allow you to have a record of the attendees. A few days after the party, send a polite thank you for gifts received and for their attendance. To make the thank you card unique, consider making a picture postcard of a memorable time during the party and sending those to the attendees. If you want to be eco friendly, there are plenty of attractive email thank you notes that can be tailored to fit the occasion.