Staff-picks March 19 2019

21st Birthday Gift Ideas - 14 Unforgettable Experiences

21st Birthday Gift Ideas - 14 Unforgettable Experiences

Scrolling through your calendar, you realised that your mate’s 21st birthday party is fast approaching. It’s a huge milestone. Anxiously, you pick up your pen and notepad and start listing down ideas. Staring at it, you realise how cliché those gift ideas are. A monogrammed bracelet, a key necklace, a wallet, and the list just goes on and on. 21st birthday is a memorable and unique day. Time to toss that list aside and start giving your mate a unique gift that lasts forever. Here are 14 ideas for 21st birthday gifts that would make the perfect memorable birthday idea.

Experience gifts make the best 21st birthday gifts because they give the recipient an unforgettable memory that will last a lifetime. Unlike physical items, experiences cannot be lost or misplaced and are something that no one else can take away from them. They provide unique moments to share with family and friends, as well as opportunities for personal growth and exploration. Plus, experience gifts often create lasting memories that can be cherished forever!

Here our our top ideas for 21st birthday gift:

21st Birthday Ideas - Gifts For Her:

1.   Wine Tasting

Will any 21st birthday celebration be complete without alcohol? Now, before you start looking for shot glasses to wrap, didn’t they already receive that on her 18th birthday? It’s time to help your mate move up in life and switch to wine glasses instead. Remind her, just like wine, she will age finely in life. Gifting her an opportunity to explore a vineyard is a memorable gift as it can be done in many parts of the world. As one ages into their 21st year, it is the year of finding oneself. The different types of wine say a lot about an individual.

Celebrating your 21st birthday at a vineyard is an unforgettable experience. Not only will you be surrounded by the beauty of nature, but you can also enjoy some delicious wines with your loved ones that are sure to make your special day even more memorable! At a vineyard, you and your friends can have fun exploring different types of wine while taking in the stunning views. A vineyard birthday party is also ideal for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and spend time reconnecting with nature. So if you're looking for something unique to do on your 21st birthday party, consider having it at a vineyard!

Worried about her getting home after all those wines? Fear not, you can gift your friend a chauffeur driven experience (AKA party bus!).

2.   Cooking Class

“Food is the way to a person’s heart”. I’m sure most of us have heard that saying. Well because it is true! Now before you grab your phone and start making a reservation at the birthday girl’s favourite restaurant, try looking up cooking classes instead. Gifting someone an experience of a cooking lesson is so much better than just making a reservation at their favourite restaurant.

Here’s why a cooking lesson makes a more memorable 21st birthday gift:

a.   Firstly, it is a forever gift! This reason itself should make you start browsing cooking lessons around the world. But, let me convince you further.

b.   Cooking together allows you to bond more with the birthday girl. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Spending quality time together.

c.  Gifting a cooking lesson means your gift doesn’t just end at finishing the meal. Every time the birthday girl cooks that meal, the gift continues.

d.   It is a gift that keeps on giving. Each time she cooks it for someone else, she is forwarding your gift to others. She can now touch others’ hearts all the way through life.

e.   Cooking lessons are more than just cooking and eating the final product. It’s the full experience like purchasing the ingredients from the local market, experiencing and learning authentic culinary, and more.

3.   Spa Visit

If you are cracking your head to think of a 21st birthday gift, you must really care about the person you are gifting to. Nothing screams “I care about you” more than a spa visit. Gifting someone a spa experience says, “I care about you and I want you to take care of yourself as well.” A spa experience is more than just a facial or a massage. It’s a pamper session! Everyone loves to be pampered! Imagine laying down on a soft feathery pillow, dimmed lights above you and a masseuse relaxing those tight muscles around your shoulders. Are you in heaven yet? Well now, you could gift this heaven-sent relaxation to the birthday girl.

  • Massages: Massage is a great way to relax and unwind, especially for someone celebrating their 21st birthday. It can help reduce stress levels, ease muscle tension, improve circulation, and promote overall wellbeing. Massage therapy has been used for centuries as a form of natural healing and relaxation. Today it’s still one of the most popular forms of self-care in many cultures around the world. Whether you opt for Swedish massage, deep tissue massage or aromatherapy massage - there are plenty of options available that will provide your loved one with a much-needed break from everyday life. A massage session on their special day will leave them feeling refreshed and rejuvenated!
  • Facials: Facial treatments are a great way to pamper the birthday girl for her 21st birthday. Facials can help cleanse and exfoliate the skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. They also provide an opportunity for relaxation, helping to reduce stress levels and ease muscle tension. With so many different types of facial treatments available, there is something to suit everyone’s needs and preferences! From hydrating masks to deep cleansing facials - there are plenty of options that will make your loved one feel special on their special day.

4. Hot Air Ballooning

Hot air ballooning is an unforgettable experience that makes for a great 21st birthday gift! It is the perfect way to celebrate this special milestone in someone's life and create memories that will last a lifetime. A hot air balloon ride provides stunning aerial views of landscapes and cities, giving you a unique perspective on the world below. Plus, it can be done almost anywhere around the globe, making it a truly memorable experience. Whether you’re looking for something romantic or adventurous, hot air ballooning offers something for everyone. So why not give your loved one this amazing gift as they turn 21? They’ll never forget their first ride!

5. High Tea

High tea is an experience that will make your 21st birthday celebration even more special. A high tea allows you to indulge in exquisite food while enjoying a variety of teas from around the world. You can customize your high tea by choosing from a wide range of sweet and savory treats such as finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream. A tea party for the birthday girl doubles as the perfect gift and birthday party!

21st Birthday Ideas - Gifts For Him

1.    Driving Experiences

A sweet ride. An adventure. Spectacular scenery. These are the ingredients to make a perfect HIM gift. From a Segway to an ATV to a super jeep. The choices are endless. Gift your man the 21st birthday adventure that he will never forget. Gift him a sweet ride of his choice accompanied with a guided adventure to discover the world’s hidden gems. Gift him the adrenaline rush like no others. Whether is a motorcycle tour or a helicopter ride, nothing is going to beat these kinds of unique gifts.

2.    Brewery tours and experiences

It’s time to brew the best 21st Birthday gift for your mate. Gift him the experience of a brewery and beer class. Learn the fine art of beer and food matching. At the end of his 21st, he shall master the art of beer. If you are thinking of letting your mate go alone… you are doing this the wrong way! Gift this experience to yourself as well and enjoy it together with him. Get competitive in pairing beers with the different types of food and subtlety let him win. After all, who doesn’t like an ego boost on their 21st birthday?

3.    Abseiling

If they're the outdoorsy type, we recommend an abseiling experience. Overlooking Brisbane city skyline is the perfect way for one to spend their 21st birthday. Experiencing the thrill and the beauty Brisbane has to offer will surely be a memorable birthday. Seen Brisbane? Well then, it’s time to see other skylines the world has to offer.

Want to give them something with even more adrenaline? Maybe bungee jumping instead...

21st Birthday Ideas - Gifts For Everyone

1.   Wildlife adventures

21st birthday is not only about the gift you receive, but it is also about giving back to your peers. Gift your best mates a terrific 21st birthday celebration with you in the wild. We all love to get wild occasionally, so why not celebrate it with wildlife. Love horses? Well, gallop your way into your 21st birthday party with a horseback ride and swim experience. Gift yourself and your friends a ‘royal-like’ experience. Let the horses take you along the scenic trails in the countryside. If horses aren’t your thing, Gifting Owl has your back. 

• Whale watching: Whale watching is a magical experience that everyone should enjoy at least once in their lifetime. From the majestic humpback whale to the playful beluga, there's something special about seeing these creatures up close and personal in their natural habitat. Whether you’re aboard a boat or on shore, whale watching offers an incredible opportunity to observe wildlife in its most natural state while enjoying some of nature’s most breathtaking sights. With luck and patience, you can even witness these gentle giants breaching out of the water or spy them playing with each other - creating memories that will last a lifetime!

• Safaris: Safaris are a unique and exciting way to experience the beauty of nature. Whether you’re looking for an adventure in Africa or just want to have some fun with friends, safaris provide a thrilling journey through the wilds of the world. From watching big game animals like lions and elephants in their natural habitat, to exploring exotic locales filled with lush vegetation and breathtaking landscapes, safari tours offer something for everyone. With experienced guides leading the way, you can learn about conservation efforts while also getting up close and personal with some of planet Earth's most amazing creatures. A safari is sure to be an unforgettable experience that will leave lasting memories!

Browse our full selection of wildlife experiences here.

2.   Undersea Walk

What is your spirit animal? Dog? Cat? Sloth? Most of us would choose an animal that lives on the land. But there are so many fish in the sea. Just take your pick! Imagine how cool would it be to look beyond the surface and live underwater. Will you live in a pineapple under the sea? Or in a castle filled with treasures and mermaids? To quote Sebastian from the movie The Little Mermaid, ‘things are better under the sea as they got no troubles and life is the bubbles’.

Gift your bestie a day without trouble discovering what goes on under the sea. The Undersea walk is a great way to experience marine life. Gifting Owl also has other underwater experiences such as scuba diving or snorkelling. A gift that takes you beyond the land to undiscovered places beneath the sea definitely deserves a place in the 21st birthdays’ hall of fame.

3.   Photographer and Insta addicts


It’s unthinkable not to gift your mate an ‘instagramable’ 21st birthday. I mean, who would do that? Obviously, it’s time to step up a notch and make every click count. Gift your mate a photography tour in their city or wherever they are in the world. From Italy to New York to Japan, bring out the bad boys and capture the great sites with your friend front and centre of the lens. A photography tour is a gift that lasts forever. They’ll learn the art of capturing and creating memories that they’ll always love to look back on.

4. Hotel stays & getaways

Hotel gift cards are a great way to give the birthday girl or boy an experience they will never forget. From a luxurious spa day to a romantic getaway, hotel gift cards can be used for any occasion. Not only do they provide the perfect escape from everyday life, but they also allow recipients to enjoy all the amenities hotels have to offer. The birthday boy or girl can choose their dream destination to celebrate their 21st birthday party, and spend the whole night living it up in their bougie hotel room. BLISS!

5. Helicopter rides

If you're looking for an unforgettable 21st birthday experience, look no further than a helicopter ride. This thrilling adventure takes you high above the ground and gives you a bird's eye view of your surroundings. Whether it’s sightseeing over stunning landscapes or soaring through the air in search of adventure, there’s something special about seeing the world from a different angle. With safety protocols in place and experienced pilots at the helm, this is one gift that will have your loved ones grinning from ear to ear with excitement!

A 21st birthday is a special occasion that calls for an unforgettable experience. For those looking to mark this milestone in style, there are many exciting ways to do so—including taking a memorable helicopter ride!

Trying to think up 21st birthday party ideas? Here are some of the world's most iconic helicopter ride locations perfect to give as a group gift:

The Grand Canyon in Arizona: Experience breathtaking views of sandstone cliffs and deep gorges while soaring above the Grand Canyon. On a clear day you can see up to 100 miles away!

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco: Take in views of the iconic bridge’s suspension cables and towers from high up in the sky. Enjoy spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay as you.

The Great Wall of China: Get a bird’s-eye view of the ancient fortification that has stood for centuries. On a clear day, you can see as far as 50 miles away!

The Eiffel Tower in Paris: Admire the stunning architecture of the world-famous landmark from a unique vantage point.

The Colosseum in Rome: Soar above ancient ruins and admire the iconic amphitheater as you take in spectacular views of the city skyline. A helicopter ride is sure to make your 21st birthday extra special! With so many amazing locations available.

The Northern Lights in Iceland: Witness the breathtakingly beautiful natural phenomenon known as the Aurora Borealis while flying over Iceland's stunning landscapes.

• Mount Everest in Nepal: Feel on top of the world and take in views of the Himalayas from high above.

• Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe: Fly over one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls.

6. Travel gift card

Travel gift cards can be one of the most meaningful gifts you can give someone at their 21st birthday party. Not only do they provide the opportunity for them to explore and discover new places, but travelling also offers a number of personal growth experiences that can have lasting effects throughout their life. The experience of travelling opens up our eyes to the world and helps us to gain a new perspective on life.

It encourages us to step outside of our comfort zone and explore different cultures, cuisines, languages and beliefs. A travel gift card is the perfect way to encourage your loved one’s growth and exploration. With a few clicks they can be booking amazing hotels or planning their dream vacation. Now that's a 21st birthday experience they won't forget!

Some bucket list travel experience / 21st birthday ideas include:

  1. Iconic landmark & attraction tickets. EG. The Eiffel Tower, Great Wall of China or Statue of Liberty.
  2. See the natural wonders of the world: EG. The Northern Lights, The Great Barrier Reef, Iguazu Falls.
  3. Local food experiences: EG. Walking street food tours, authentic cooking classes with a local
  4. Exploring & sightseeing: Eg. City sightseeing tours, walking tours or hop on hop off buses.
  5. Hotel getaways: Eg. A long weekend escape to a new city

At Gifting Owl the birthday boy or girl can choose to book any of the above bucket list travel experiences with their Travel Gift Card!

What makes a 21st birthday special?

Turning 21 is a big milestone because it marks the start of adulthood. It is when you hit the legal drinking age, you are more independent and start thinking building a life of your own. 21st birthdays are special and should be celebrated in style.

21st Birthday Party Ideas:

Turning 21 deserves to be celebrated in style. Whether you're looking for gifts, activities or experiences, it's important to make the day special. To help get your creative juices flowing, here are some of the best 21st birthday party ideas that will take your celebration to a whole new level!

  • An experience listed above. Think high tea, cooking classes and winery/tours - These are PERFECT venues for a 21st birthday party!
  • Free outdoor spaces. If you're on a budget, how about host a barbecue or picnic at your favourite hang out spot?
  • Have a slumber party, fancy dinner or pool party with all your friends for an intimate and special birthday party.
  • Play your favourite board games and card games at your game night birthday bash!
  • Host a costume party at home! Nothing beats a themed costume party!
  • Take a party bus to the nightclubs or celebrate with a casino night.
  • Watch live music: See your favourite band perform live! For me personally, this is the perfect birthday idea!
  • Sing your favourite tunes at a karaoke bar. Hire a private room for your whole group.
  • Separated from you friends on your birthday? Gather your friends virtually for a video game party or virtual games night.
  • Enjoy a boozy brunch or a mixology class and follow it up with bar hopping all night long.
  • Go on a road trip! This fun and unique way to celebrate your birthday will leave you with memories for life!

Gifting Owl is the largest worldwide gifting platform. With just a few clicks, you will be able to find that perfect 21st birthday gift for your mate. You don’t have to worry about when and where they do their experiences. Gifting Owl vouchers are valid for three years and are fully transferable. So, there is nothing to stop you from starting the gifting experience here and now.

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