20 GREAT Ideas For Adults’ Birthday Parties
The best party games for grownups, ever
In the hunt for some killer games to spice up a birthday party for grownups?
We got you!
Here are 15 adults’ birthday party games that require little to no prior preparation, are easy to play (with simple rules that everyone can understand), and fully engage every person in the group!
Name That Movie
Think I’m telling you about charades under a different name? Wrong.
This is a lot more fun than charades, and also a lot of moving parts, so read carefully.
You’ll need index cards/note cards with movie titles and a buzzer.
- Divide the group into two teams. One person will be needed as a neutral officiator.
- Each team will nominate one player who’ll try to get the team to guess the movie name.
- The two players stand on opposite sides of a small table. Place the buzzer on that table so both players can easily reach it.
- Reveal the first movie name to both players simultaneously. Don’t let the teams see it.
- Here’s the fun part: the players will have to bid on the number of words within which they can get their team to guess the movie.
- For example, The Terminator, the first movie of the famous franchise may be identified by Sarah Connor, First Movie, which is four words.
- Whichever player decides on a number of words hits the buzzer and reveals the number of words.
- The other player can counter-bid with a smaller number of words. And so on and so forth; the players can bid each other down.
- Once the bidding ends, the winning player has one minute to get his team to guess the movie. And the team has one guess.
- Each correctly guessed movie nets that team one point.
- Teams can nominate new players for each round, or they can continue with the same player.
- The game continues till you run out of movies. At the end, the team with the most points wins.
Told ya, it’s a lot more fun than charades!
Murder mystery games
Is there any celebration where a murder mystery game isn’t a shedload of fun?
- You can buy professionally made murder mystery game sets. Check with your local games store - they should have a few.
- You can also search for free murder mystery games online, like this one. You’ll have to download everything from instructions on setting it up to props, costume suggestions and of course the solution.
- Or, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a sleuth, you can try to design your own game.
By the way, fans of murder mystery games should also check out Sydney’s best-loved VR escape games - you may have found the perfect weekend group outing idea!
Yep, we go from mind games to beer games. Quite a jump, innit?
I’d just mention here that Beer Pong is a great option if you’re looking to have the ‘less thinking, more drinking’ or ‘where have all the college days gone’ type of birthday party…
And that Prosecco Pong is a classier version of Beer Pong (as in it swaps beer with white wine), and leave it at that.
But for those guys who’ve never heard of or don’t know how to play beer/prosecco pong, here’s how it goes:
- Divide yourselves into two teams. Each team gets the same number of cups, half-filled with your choice of beverage (beer, prosecco, or you can make it tonic if you want to).
- Each player tries to bounce/throw (decide on a rule) a ping pong ball into one of the opposing team’s cups.
- If the ball lands in a cup, that player gets to drink the contents of said cup.
- If it doesn’t, a player of the opposing team gets a chance to land the ball in one of the first team’s cups.
- The first team to empty the other’s cups wins.
Although, with so much drinking involved, I’d say everyone’s a winner, wouldn’t you?
A perfect game to follow up a round of Beer Pong!
You’ll need a karaoke machine, a number of notecards, and two bowls.
- List out as many karaoke songs as possible on notecards, one song per card.
- Then, list out all the attendees’ names on notecards, again one name per notecard.
- Mix together the song notecards in one bowl, and the name notecards in one bowl.
- Now draw out one song, and one name…and I believe you can guess the rest.
With all the Dutch courage everyone should have after Beer Pong, this should be a highly memorable event!
Which Doesn’t Belong?
This game is all about groups. Or, to be more specific, you’re given a list of items and a category. Some of the items on the list belong to the category, while the others don’t.
The challenge is to find which ones don’t…quicker than the other team.
- Make some lists falling under different categories.
- For example, for the category Sherlock Holmes Stories, you can have:
- A Study In Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes)
- Five Orange Pips (Sherlock Holmes).
- Peril at End House (not Sherlock Holmes, but Hercule Poirot).
- Crooked House (not Sherlock Holmes)
- The Case of the Black Cat (not Sherlock Holmes, but Perry Mason)
- The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger (Sherlock Holmes)
- As you can see, six items, with three that belong and three that don’t.
- Don’t make the lists too long, or the excitement will fizzle out.
- For example, for the category Sherlock Holmes Stories, you can have:
- Keep a buzzer where both teams can reach it.
- Tell the teams the category (in this case, Sherlock Holmes Stories), and start reading out the items.
- The moment a member of either team feels an item doesn’t belong, they have to rush forward, press the buzzer, and say which item doesn’t belong.
- If they’re right, they can eliminate one member from the opposite team.
- If they’re wrong, they themselves are eliminated.
- Whichever team loses all their members first loses.
Another game with booze! And a lot simpler than Which Doesn’t Belong?.
- In turns, each player asks a Who’s most likely to… question, like Who’s most likely to be late for work?
- On the count of three, everyone points to whoever they think fits the description.
- Take a sip for every finger pointed at you.
A game to get those creative juices flowing. On a less serious note, if you’ve played both Beer Pong and Most Likely before you play this, there should be some pretty fascinating stories and scenarios described!
The game is simple. One by one, everyone builds the story, one sentence at a time.
Pictionary (with pen, paper and a clock)
A game that requires skills similar to Charades and Name That Movie.
- Have everyone write down some objects, people’s names, phrases, actions and so on (anything that can be identified) on separate notepapers.
- These could be anything from ‘Karl Stefanovic streaks newsroom’ to ‘searching for the car keys at the last moment’.
- Put all the papers into a bowl.
- Divide into two teams.
- In turns, a player from each team takes a notepaper, and helps their team guess whatever’s written on it, with only a pen and a whiteboard, against the clock (say one minute?).
This game tends to be a lot of fun and can go on for as long as you want! You can assign points to have a winner, but in my experience, the fun in this game is in the playing.
Not So Newlywed!
While this game is best suited for engagements, anniversaries, wedding showers and so on (special occasions related to marriage), it can be a lot of fun at birthdays too!
Couples get asked questions about their relationship, ranging from the innocent (Where did you first meet?) to the intimate (What do you find the most physically attractive about your spouse?) to the hilarious (Imitate your spouse when they wake up in the morning) and so on.
It’s always a lot of fun. Just remember to not include anything that could embarrass the couple, or hurt their feelings…and don’t force them to answer questions beyond a point.
How Do You Doo?
So far we’ve seen games that require you to guess certain things (names of movies, or phrases) based on verbal clues, some acting, and clues that can be traced on a whiteboard with a pen).
How Do You Doo involves trying to guess song names based on ‘Doo singing’, as I’ll explain.
- Write down different song names and throw them into a bowl.
- Divide into two teams.
- One person from a team is selected as the singer.
- The singer selects a song from the bowl.
- On the count of three, the singer has to sing the song, but here’s the catch…they can use only the word Doo instead of the actual lyrics. They have to follow the melody, but can’t sing the lyrics.
- Their team has to guess what song it is.
- Whoever guesses the song correctly becomes the new singer.
- Each team gets 5 minutes to guess as many songs as they can, with the singer changing on every correct guess.
Slip It In
Find out who’s Conversationalist No. 1 among your friends!
- As each guest arrives, give them a piece of paper containing a phrase.
- The challenge is to work that phrase into whatever conversation they’re having with other people.
- If they can do it, without the other person realizing, they win a prize.
Balloon Body Pop
Time to test everyone’s physical coordination!
- Everyone picks a partner.
- Each duo is given a balloon.
- Without using their hands, they have to pop their balloon.
- Forehead to forehead and butt to butt are some strategies that seem to be popular.
A four-round guessing game. Never heard of it? Boy, are you gonna have a laugh, playing it for the first time!
- A player has to pull words (nouns) out of a bowl, and help his team guess it. Here’s the catch, they have to go four rounds - pulling out a noun and helping their team guess.
- First round - everything is allowed, save for saying the actual word.
- Second round - they have to act it out.
- Third round - they have to describe it in a few words (one to three; you decide the exact number).
- Fourth round - they have to act it out, while being under a sheet.
Spoons is a well-known card game that’s fast but requires some skill. To play, you need a number of spoons (one less than the total number of players) and a deck of cards but with the Jokers removed.
You need a group of between three to thirteen players. For the detailed instructions, visit this webpage.
Two Truths And A Lie
My final adults’ birthday game idea is the well-known Two Truths And A Lie. It’s great as an ice breaker and can be a useful game if you’ve invited people from work for example (who you may not know as intimately as your college mates) to your birthday.
The point of the game is to guess from out of three assertions about a person in the group which two are the truth and which is the lie.
Drop A Hint
With the kind of games we’ve talked about here, one person on the team trying to guess a word/phrase while the others give him/her clues is passé.
One person trying to guess a word/phrase while the others give him/her one word clues? Now we’re talking!
You’ll need notecards with a word or a phrase written on each of them, and a timer.
- Divide the guests into two teams, say teams A and B.
- Decide how long you want each team to have to guess - you can make it something like 2 minutes per team, or 5 rounds per team.
- Team A, starting, chooses a guesser. The guesser remains in their seat while the rest of team A goes up to you.
- You give them one of the notecards.
- Now, without talking with each other, they have to give one word clues to the guesser, to help them guess.
- The guesser has ONE chance to guess the word. If they get it right, move to another word.
- And this goes on for 2 minutes or 5 rounds (as in five guesses, right and wrong).
- Then team B takes over.
- After team B has had their turn, both teams change guessers and start a new turn.
The team with the most correct guesses wins!
Great Minds Think Alike
Or, rather, great birthday friends think alike!
Here’s the deal - you’re given a category and you have to write down three things that you associate with that category.
The idea is to see how many people think of the same things.
Ideal for groups of at least 12 people. You’ll need multiple sheets of paper and pens, and a timer to play.
- Divide yourselves up into two teams.
- Every player on each team is given a sheet of paper and a pen.
- On the count of three, announce a category.
- Something like Clint Eastwood movies, or famous people with red hair.
- Everyone has 45 seconds to write down three things they associate with that category on their own paper, without talking to or peeking at someone else.
- After the time has passed, collect the papers and check how many things are common.
- You can score the game like…
- 1 point for every word 2 people on a team have in common.
- 2 points for every word 3 people on a team have in common.
- …and so on, till…
- 5 points for every word 6 people on a team have in common.
- Having tallied the scores, move on to another category.
At the end, the team with a higher overall score wins.
Here’s an app-based birthday party game…although you can do it without the app as well!
- Download the Heads Up app.
- One player picks a category on the app and then holds the phone to their head, so they can’t see the screen.
- The app will display various words related to the category.
- Other players on the person’s team will have to give him/her clues about what the word is.
- Once the word is guessed correctly, the phone is nodded forward to give another word.
- After the first team’s time is up, the second team starts.
The team that can guess the most words correctly wins.
Truth Or Dare, Jenga Style!
You know Jenga. You know Truth Or Dare.
Well, why not mix the two up for a game that’s a whole shedload of fun?
Get a giant Jenga set. Write down Truth Or Dare challenges on each piece.
Now, whenever a player pulls out a Jenga piece, they have to do the challenge written on that piece!
Toothless Happy Birthday Song
A birthday party for adults is incomplete with birthday songs. Here’s a way to make birthday songs a lot more fun.
- Everyone stands in a circle.
- In turns, each guest sings a Happy Birthday song. Here’s the catch: you have to keep your teeth covered with your lips as you sing.
- Should make for some pretty hilarious results!
Have fun during the birthday party!
With all these games, ranging from mind-twisters to karaoke to games with booze, the party should be a blast!
You should also look into complementing these games with a birthday event here at Entermission Sydney. Over two hours of VR escape room fun, with a wide variety of games, followed by cake and snacks!
If you’re planning the party by yourself, here is a guide on planning a birthday party for adults that you should find useful.
For a Sydney party, here are some Sydney birthday party ideas for adults that you should find useful.
And finally, if you found this post useful, bookmark Sydney’s best parties and events blog for easy access to all our future content!
Featured image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay.
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