The Ultimate List of Birthday Party Ideas

Make every birthday party an occasion to celebrate and look forward to whether it is a “big one” like a 30th or 40th birthday party, or you are just celebrating making it another revolution around the sun.

Our list of birthday party ideas for adults is sure to get you excited and help you plan the perfect bash for friends and family in Cape Town. 

Birthday Party Ideas For Foodies

Let’s be honest – celebrations and food go hand-in-hand!

If you are choosing to celebrate your birthday in Cape Town you should consider taking advantage of the foodie culture. From cafes, to restaurants, markets, and specialty food stores, there is something for every food lover to enjoy!

birthday party and cake

Have a Birthday Breakfast or Brunch

Some consider breakfast the most important meal of the day, so why not celebrate your birthday by having breakfast with friends?

Birthday Breakfast at a Cafe

Choose to book a large table at a local cafe or breakfast hot spot and try their delicious coffee and food. You can go to your favourite local spot or give one of these popular spots a try:

Tip: Upgrade your birthday breakfast to a bottomless brunch. See if your favourite breakfast spot offers mimosas and bubbles or arrange with them beforehand and spoil yourself and your guests with a boozy birthday brunch.

Host a Birthday Breakfast

If you are more of the hosting type, why not do breakfast at home. You can get a selection of pastries and spreads and prepare a continental birthday feast. You could also opt for a full-on fry up or do something a little different and have a pancake, waffle, or flapjack breakfast party. Ask guests to bring their favourite toppings as a great option for a bring and share party. Be sure to hire any additional crockery and cutlery you may need!

Fruit plate on festive table

Host a Birthday Lunch or Dinner

Having a birthday meal is a great way to get a group of people together and have food, good conversation, and spend some quality time together.

There are many different options for lunch and dinner that you can choose from depending on your style, guest list, and theme.

Relaxed Birthday Lunch or Dinner Ideas At Home

For a very relaxed and laid back approach, you could host a birthday braai. Choose to have it at home and combine it with a pool party in summer or a potjie in winter. You could consider hiring some decor and equipment to create a birthday theme or just add a special touch to differentiate it from a normal weekend braai.

If you prefer not to do the braaing yourself, you could have a spit braai. There are several companies (such as Thyme Kitchen) that offer different packages and do all the work from set up, cooking, and serving through to clean up and supplying eating utensils.

If you live in a flat or don’t have the ability to braai at home, why not try cooking for friends and family or organising a birthday potluck. Each person can bring their favourite dish and you can have fun trying everyone’s cooking.

Birthday Meal At A Restaurant

If you prefer to stay out of the kitchen and outsource the cooking you could choose to host a meal at your favourite restaurant. Book a big table tell them it is your birthday and you might even get something special like a dessert on the house to celebrate. This is a great option as everyone can order what they want and there is no cleaning up left for you!

We are spoilt for choice in Cape Town being in the heart of a wide range of wine farms. Why not choose to have a lazy birthday lunch or sophisticated birthday dinner at a wine farm with excellent food, cheese boards, or tapas and do a little wine tasting while you are there?

To celebrate a milestone birthday as you turn 30, 40, 50, or 60, why not do something extra special and organise a fine dining experience? Cape Town has an incredible array of world-class fine dining restaurants have a look into some of them for inspiration:

Should you wish to bring the experience into your home you could also opt for a catering company or private chef to cook for you. You can hire decor, crockery, cutlery, and glassware to create a perfect setting and enjoy fine dining in your own home with friends and family.

group of friends celebrating birthday

Celebrate Like Royalty With A High Tea

If you are a fan of tea and coffee or find cute pastries and finger foods irresistible, a high tea might just be the perfect birthday party idea for you!

High Tea At A Hotel or Cafe

Several of the hotels and cafes in and around the Mother City have spectacular high tea options:

High Tea At Home

If the price tag of a hotel or cafe is a bit steep or you have a specific theme in mind why not DIY? You could visit your local bakery, bake your own treats, or ask friends and family to bring along their favourite sweets. You can set a table at home or in the garden and consider hiring some teacups, crockery, and cutlery if you do not have enough or have a specific style in mind.

sweet patisserie cakes and coffee

Have An Outdoor Birthday Picnic

A picnic is a great, low-effort way to gather a group of friends, and enjoy food in nature at your favourite location. Here are some ideas for great picnic spots:

  • Kirstenbosch
  • Clifton or Camps Bay Beach
  • your local park
  • wine farms (check beforehand which allow picnics)
  • your favourite hiking trail

You can either get a company (try Dial-A-Picnic) or restaurant to make picnic baskets for your guests (most wine farm restaurants offer pre-made picnics). You could also choose to make your own picnic food, or ask your guests to bring and share food.

Some things to keep in mind with a picnic are:

  • Ensure your chosen venue allows picnics
  • Be aware of rules around alcohol (which is not allowed on beaches in Cape Town)
  • Remember to take your rubbish with you
  • Don’t forget to check the weather and have a backup plan in case of rain or wind!
friends holding picnic bundle

Book a Cooking Experience

You can do everything from chocolate bonbon making at Honest Chocolate or baking up a storm in the Lindt Studio to charcuterie classes with Richard Bosman, bread baking with Crust and Crumb, and foraging with Veld and Sea.

For a more traditional approach, you could book a group cooking class at one of the many cooking studios in Cape Town. Have a look at Ginger and Lime, Stir Crazy, and Top Nosh.

For a cooking party where you get to be creative and have fun with food, look at the highly popular Food Jams.

people cooking mushrooms and making food

Birthday Party Ideas For Drinks Lovers

A birthday is a time for celebration and for many, no celebration is complete without the perfect drink. Keep it exciting with our birthday party ideas for drinks lovers.

Host A Cocktail Party

This idea is a great choice for those who love their cocktails. There are so many ways to use this idea to create the perfect party for your style.

DIY Birthday Cocktail Party

You can create a DIY bar stocked with different drinks and bar equipment. Let your guests go wild and create interesting and delicious cocktails! You could have a competition for the best drink of the night.

Combine a cocktail party with a fun theme and re-create drinks of the theme such as Gimlets for a 1920’s great Gatsby theme. You could even have a regional theme such as Mexican and have a night of margaritas and Mexican snacks.

To create the perfect DIY cocktail party you could consider hiring the right glassware and bar equipment as well as decor to perfect the party.

Full-Service Birthday Cocktail Parties

If DIY is not your style, there are also many bar and staffing companies that offer bar services. They have a range of services to meet your cocktail party needs from mobile cocktail carts and bars to full-service bars and staffing.

You can even arrange once-off cocktail making lesson at their bar schools!

middle aged friends celebrating birthday

Birthday Drinks At A Bar

This is a great no-fuss hosting option. With the vast number of bars and pubs in the Mother City, you can find the perfect spot to chill with friends in a vibrant atmosphere.

Rooftop Bars

For rooftop bar experiences try Gigi in town, Chinchilla in Camps Bay, Up Yours at Yours Truly on Kloof Street, or RED Roof at Radisson Red at the Waterfront.


Barristers, Forresters Arms, and Devil’s Peak Tap Room are some slightly more laid back and casual traditional bar experiences.

Cocktail Bars

If you are a gin or cocktail lover, try The Secret Gin Bar or Cause Effect Cocktail Bar.

No matter where you decide to have your birthday drinks Cape Town is sure to have the bar for you! If you want to treat your guests why not consider starting a bar tab or buying drinks like wine and beer for the table?

people cheering at bar

Do a Wine, Beer, Gin, or Whisky Tasting

In Cape Town, we have a huge variety of wine farms, beer breweries, and gin distilleries to choose from.

Child-Friendly Wine Farms

If you are looking for a child-friendly venue where the kids can play while the adults chat and celebrate you can try Spice Route, Groot Constantia, Leopard’s Leap, or Signal Gun Wine Farm.

Have a Unique Wine Tasting Experience

For a more adult-centric experience, celebrate your birthday with the Franschhoek Wine Tram. Organise a shuttle to drop you off and pick you up in Franschhoek and spend the day exploring the gorgeous Franschhoek Wine Valley on one of the 8 different tram routes or book your own experience or private tour.

Beer Tasting

Pop into one of the local craft breweries such as Hog House, Devils Peak, Aegir, or Woodstock Brewery and spend time with friends and loved ones while sampling some of the finest beers around.

Gin Tasting

If Gin is more your thing, fear not for the Mother City offers plenty of distilleries too. Book a special tasting for you and your friends to celebrate your birthday at Hope on Hopkins, Woodstock Gin Co., or New Harbour.

Whisky Tasting

For whisky lovers, try the Bascule Bar where you can arrange self-guided, or tutored tastings of a wide variety of whisky.

Host A Tasting At Home

If you are worried about drinking and driving, why not host your own tasting?

Go to your local bottle store, and buy a range of interesting and unusual wine, beer, whisky, gin or any other drink of your choice. You can ask at your local bottle store for some tasting notes and tips, or do some research online before your party and DIY.

Don’t forget to hire the right glassware for your wine, beer, or spirits. If you have a birthday theme you may also want to hire some decor to set the scene.

White wine in glasses

Artistic Birthday Party Ideas

Not everyone wants their birthday party or celebration to be centred around food and drink.

Try these artistic activities for something engaging and fun. Best of all everyone can take their creations home and have something to remember the day by!

Birthday Celebration at Clay Cafe

If you prefer to make something and express your artistic side with your friends and family to celebrate, why not try Clay Cafe? They have branches in Hout Bay and Town and allow you to pick your favourite bisqueware piece and decorate it to your heart’s content. It is a great way to do something meaningful and leave guests with a lasting memory of your party.

female potter painting a pot

Art or Music Party

You could also approach a local art or music school and set up a workshop for you and your friends to play around and have some creative fun with.

Active Birthday Party Ideas

For the adrenaline junkies who love to be busy and want to plan an active party for their birthday, you are also spoilt for choice.

Cape Town has several spots where you could host a birthday party while being active!

Birthday Paintball

Although likely to leave you with a few bruises, paintball is a great way to pit your guests and friends against each other and bring out their competitive side. Try Ground Zero Paintball just 15 minutes away from Canal Walk Shopping Centre.

Birthday At The Shooting Range

If you are looking for the thrill of shooting guns why not pay a visit to one of Cape Town’s gun ranges? You can spend a few hours testing out your skills and see who is the best shot. Gun Fun is Cape Town’s indoor gun range in the heart of the CBD and near plenty of bars and restaurants for grabbing food and drink after.

Go-Karting For Your Birthday

For something a bit less punishing you could try go-karting. With several spots around the city where you can bring out your inner racing driver, this can be a fun way to discover who has a need for speed and who likes to drive Miss Daisy. Try Kenilworth or Century Karting.

Birthday Surfing

Surfing is a great activity for water and beach lovers. Arrange a private lesson for you and your friends with one of the surf instructors such as Learn 2 Surf that operate on Muizenberg beach and see who can catch the best waves.

Sand-Boarding Party

If you prefer to stay dry, why not try sand-boarding? Several operators run sand boarding parties in the Atlantis sand dunes where you and your friends can try your hand at surfing (or tobogganing) down the dunes. Give Sandboarding Cape Town a try.

Kayaking For Your Birthday

An early morning kayak off the coast of Clifton is great for a small group who enjoy trying new things. You might even spot dolphins, seals, or an elusive sunfish and are sure to give guests something to remember. Contact Atlantic Outlook for more information.

two people in red kayak on river

For the Game lovers

If you and your friends love to play games, we have some great ideas for an epic birthday party. 

Choose from Escape rooms, tabletop games, and active scavenger hunts!

Birthday Party at an Escape Room

See if you can escape with Hint Hunt where you and friends are locked in a room and have to crack the clues to escape before time runs out. A great way to bond with friends who love puzzles.

Scavenger Hunt Birthday Party

If scavenger hunts are more your thing why not have a scavenger hunt birthday party? You can either design your own scavenger hunt by creating a list of items to collect or hire a company to set it up for you. This will be a great one for groups of fun-loving people!

Board Game Birthday Party

A slightly more laid back approach to a games themed birthday party is to host a board game day or evening. You can find a few games that look interesting and celebrate your day with friends and fun.

If card games are more your thing why not have a poker night or a casino themed party?

You could also use an online party game such as Jackbox where players connect to the game on a TV using their cellphones.

Don’t forget that if you decide to do it yourself, you may want to hire a few things just to make sure you have all of the decor and glassware to make your event perfect.

people playing board game together

Birthday Party Experiences

For some, a birthday celebration isn’t complete without an experience to make it memorable.

Get some inspiration from our list and make your birthday party one to remember!

Party Bus Birthday Celebration

If you want to dance and party the night away why not hire a party bus to drive you around the city? You can move around from sunset at Signal Hill, to partying with the backdrop of city lights and even stop off at the beach for a late-night dip (if you are brave enough).

Sunset Cruise Birthday Celebration

For a truly special experience you could book a sunset cruise on a catamaran, or if you really feel like splashing out hire the whole boat for an afternoon. An unforgettable birthday experience!

man pouring champagne for friends

Movie night

While going to the movies might seem like an idea better suited for kids, this is truly a birthday party option for everyone. Simply tweak it a bit with some more adult birthday touches.

Celebrate With A Night Out At The Movies

Try going to a small independent cinema like the Labia where you can watch a range of new and art-house movies. Book out a small movie theatre just for you and your friends. Upgrade the movie snacks with more adult beverages (think vodka slushies) and give guests an experience to remember.

Outdoor Cinema

You could also celebrate your birthday with the Galileo Outdoor Cinema. Get there early and book a spot for you and your friends and have a picnic and chat while you watch the sunset and wait for the movie to start. A movie under the stars is a great way to celebrate.

Home Cinema

This is another birthday party idea that you could do yourself. Create a home cinema with a giant TV or rent a screen and projector. You can supply all your favourite movie snacks and drinks and choose your favourite flick to entertain your guests.

friends watching television

Spa day

This one is for everyone. When life gets hectic, your birthday might be just what you need to indulge yourself and a few close friends in the spoils of a spa day. Choose to visit your local spa or salon (many of whom offer “sparty” packages) or find a traveling therapist to visit you in the comfort of your own home. Take the opportunity for a well-deserved treat and some pampering.

bachelorette party woman getting toes done

Weekend away

Sometimes spending time with friends and family with how you want to celebrate. Why not go away for a weekend or a few days? You could opt for camping, glamping (give Africamps a try), or book a large house and spend a lazy weekend together exploring your temporary home and bonding.

friends camping at campsite


Karaoke is a fun way to spend time with friends. You can all bond over bad singing and make memories for a lifetime. Several bars in Cape Town such as the Manila Bar offer Karaoke experiences and private karaoke rooms for rent. You could also try a DIY option if you have a console with a karaoke game.

teen friends singing and karaoke

Pool party

If you are lucky enough to have a birthday in summer why not celebrate the warm weather at the same time. Host a birthday party at the beach, at home at your pool, or at a public swimming pool. You can organise a range of pool inflatables and games (if you have it at home).

friends walking along poolside with inflatables

Birthday Party Themes

You might want to take some of the ideas we have given you above and combine them with a theme to personalise them and make them uniquely yours. Here are some fun birthday party themes that are sure to make your day!

seniors wearing superhero costumes


Pick your favourite decade and make your guests dress-up according to that era. You could throw a 1920’s great gatsby themed murder mystery dinner or host a 1960’s hippy themed braai. A 1980’s dance party is always a hit.

Get your guests to dig deep in their dress-up boxes and consider giving a prize for the best dressed or most inventive costume.


This theme is great fun for all, guests choose their favourite meme and come dressed up as that meme. A great conversation starter and addition to a party idea.


A more toned down theme that is great for dinners and events in public, you request all of your guests to come dressed in a specific colour. It can be your favourite colour, or a colour that will make you shine on your birthday.

Pop culture (movie/series/event)

A more traditional theme, you get guests to dress up as characters from pop culture. This could be your favourite movie (think Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings), YouTubers or series (Game of Thrones, The Office, How I Met Your Mother). Anything goes, and the results can be brilliant.


Give your high tea, breakfast or lunch birthday party a bohemian theme. Ask guests to come in flowy dresses, pastels, and hippy pants. Add decorations to your table that are rustic and earthy and include flowers and candles.

Travel and culture

Theme your party after your favourite culture or place in the world. You might opt for a Japanese theme and serve ramen or sushi. Decoration might include bamboo mats, dressing up in Kimonos and sitting on the floor.

A Mexican night could involve serving nachos and margaritas and wearing ponchos and Sombreros.

For an Italian theme you could serve Pizza and Pasta and make everyone use italian phrases.

Dress up/down

Ask guests to come dressed in a certain way. You could ask everyone to “Suit up” for a How I Met Your Mother theme, or for a movie night everyone must come in pyjamas. The sky is the limit.


Choose your favourite musical, whether it is Rocky Horror, the Lion King, Stop, or Frozen and get your guests to dress up in the theme. Play the soundtrack in the background for extra points.


A very grown up theme, get guests to dress up for a raunchy dinner or cocktail party. Hire some real dancers to show guests a few moves!

group of employees at office party

Plan Your Perfect Birthday Party Today!

You never need to struggle to think of the perfect party idea for your birthday again. Whether you are a foodie, adventure lover, or looking for a unique birthday celebration experience we have an idea for you. What are you waiting for? Start planning your perfect party in Cape Town now!

No matter how you choose to celebrate your birthday do it in style and make sure that you have all your birthday party hiring essentials from EHIRE. Order easily online and get crockery, cutlery, decor, and more delivered to your door for your event. Hire from EHIRE for your birthday party today!

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