Ideas for a 30th Birthday Celebration this Summer?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Caroline Angelo

“Dear PoPville,

My boyfriend is turning 30 on a Sunday this summer and I am trying to come up with some fun, unique ideas for a group of about 20. I would like to do something more exciting than a boozy brunch but not as expensive as chartering a boat on the Potomac for a summer cruise. Any fun ideas??”

27 Comment

  • Perhaps La Boum’s party brunch at L’Enfant cafe is a perfect fit, if you are party people?

    • And you want to spend a fortune….

    • I highly recommend La Boum however that is not a cheap activity. We spent about $200 a person… but we were ordering bottles of champange and shots with reckless abandon.

      • +1: Same experience here, and herein lies the problem. Could you image trying to separate checks for 20 people at the conclusion of La Boum? It would be an epic disaster. You’d be better off at a flat rate, all-inclusive food and booze brunch (Alba Osteria, Ambar, etc) so there’s no squabbling over the check.

  • I’d get a big cabin in the woods for the weekend! Depending on his friends that could be a pain to coordinate though.

    • We’ve done birthday camping before. The trick is to pick a date and say “this is when we’re going” so people are either in or out. We had about 75% of people commit when I set the date 2-3 months out. Then when we got closer I made assignments for meals and other supplies. With 20 people that could be complicated, but you could assume that maybe 12 would come, or you can get a bunch of adjacent campsites somewhere.

  • jim_ed

    River Tubing in Harpers Ferry. BYOB in a cooler for a leisurely booze cruise. End the night at Charlestown for gambling and watching the ponies run.

    • I was going to suggest tubing in Harpers Ferry as well. Great summer group activity.

      I also second Caroline and lucie on renting a big house. There are some great places out toward Shenandoah and not too expensive when split lots of ways. We had a hot tub at one, lots of hiking/biking, cooking big dinners, drinking, and no one has to go home!

  • saf

    Book a private group tour that interests him. (For example, if I were doing this for my husband, I would find something through the Building Museum, or maybe get Brian Kraft to do his streetcar/Eckington tour. Or, if we hadn’t done it already, a brewery or distillery visit weekend.)

    Then go out for food/drinks/cake.

  • Tubing, Charlestown Races and Slots, Paintball, Trampoline Park

    • You definitely won’t be able to celebrate it the way I did on my 30th. First it was a family dinner at Mortons, then drinks and bong hits with my brother, who took me to see Heroes and Friends at Chick Hall’s Surf Club. Some of the best honky tonk guitar playing I’ve ever heard in my life!

    • I Dont Get It

      I want to do the Pirate Boat!

  • Nationals game if they are at home that Sunday!

  • Wine tour — get a bus/van

  • Not a venue, but I will repeat my favorite 30th birthday gift idea (I’ve done it for lots of people and it is always very appreciated). Reach out to 30 friends/family and get them to write a sentence or two or more about what they love about him. Then pull it together in a fun little booklet with photos – “30 Things we Love about [Name}. How often do we tell the people we love why we love them? This is one of those things you keep forever.

  • Private cooking class at Culinaerie: $95 pp. You help design the menu, drink all you want and watch others clean up.

  • Champagne treasure hunt and secrets doors hunt at O St. Mansion. They will work with you for food/drink. Definitely a unique experience.

  • A visit to Carousel.

  • Go with a “15th anniversary of his 15th birthday” theme. Book a party at the indoor rock wall climbing center in Rockville (Earth Treks Climbing Center) & have goody bags for guests of pogs, rock candy & mini bottles!

  • For my 30th my husband arranged for friends to meet us at a local winery as a surprise. We did a tasting, got a tour, and they had a grill where we cooked lunch.

    • I will also add that he actually threw me a 3rd-ieth birthday, so basically a 3rd birthday party for a group of 30 year olds. We had a pinata, he got a princess cake and we played other games. It was pretty silly and a lot of fun (especially after the wine).

  • Party bus! Get ur booze, music and driver. I would do Solomons or North Beach for dinner.
    Locally you could arrange a room at Maggiano’s and go to a show at any one of our fantastic music venues.

  • For my friend’s birthday we organized a scavenger hunt with clues all over the city. The theme was 30 new things she’d never done before (i.e. go to the Museum of Unnatural History, go to the Fish Market, ride a City Bike). At each stopping point/clue we met up with another friend who gave her the next clue. This then culminated in a surprise birthday house party. It takes some work – and probably should be split up over a couple days, but it was pretty awesome!

  • H at country club. Drunk putt-putt would fun and awesome. 2nd the Nats game idea too, or DC United. With the latter u could also BBQ/booze at a tail-gate by the river pre-game.

  • BBQ at Pierce Mill Barn in Rock Creek Park. Throw in some bocce, frisbee, football or whatever he likes to play and you’re golden. My wife and I did it for our engagement party and had a blast. The only difficult part is getting a grill down there.

  • Didn’t you know 30th birthday is Fireworks Birthday? Drive to TN this weekend. Load up the trunk.

    Bonus: the challenge of finding a place to set ’em off where you won’t get arrested. Get that adrenaline pumping. I recommend the park at 38th and R just north of Georgetown Hospital.

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