London frequently tops lists as one of the best cities to celebrate a birthday. Whether you’re a tourist or a London resident, it can be tricky to come up with new and exciting London birthday ideas, no matter how well you know the city.
But don’t despair! We’ve compiled 22 London birthday ideas to suit everyone and everyone. Read on to find out how you’ll be celebrating your next birthday...
Fun Birthday Ideas in London
1 Go on an Outdoor Treasure Hunt in Shoreditch
You’re never too old to go on a treasure hunt - especially when the treasure includes delectable dishes, allusive hidden gems and an activity the whole family can enjoy. Enter the Shoreditch Shuffle - a perfect birthday bash activity!
Shoreditch is one of London’s trendiest hotspots, packed with fascinating facts, street art and Bohemian cafés and eateries. Discover the secrets of Shoreditch with your friends or family, compete against each other for top points on our leaderboard!
Insider Tip: Already explored all of Shoreditch? We have 8 outdoor treasure and scavenger hunts in London you can try instead! Click here to find out more…
2 Celebrate like Samuel Pepys by Seeing a Performance
Samuel Pepys is one of the most notable Londoners of all times - and for good reason. Often attributed as the first English diarist, he made a point of celebrating his birthday in some pretty odd ways.
For instance, in 1666 for his 33rd birthday, Pepys celebrated by combining - his words, not ours - his three favourite things: “theatre, music and women”. Make of that what you will, but you can take a leaf out of Pepys’ book by seeing one of his favourite plays, The Tempest, or anything else you find last-minute tickets for.
3 Go Loco for Crazy Golf in A WWII Bunker
Swingers isn’t any old indoor crazy golf club. It’s a conglomerate of bars, street food dining stalls and golf courses all wrapped up in some of the most Instagrammable rooms in London.
With two London venues to choose from, one in Central London and another in the West End, celebrating your birthday by playing some crazy golf is an excellent way to extend your competitive spirit even further after playing one of our London urban adventure games!
4 Go to London’s only dedicated Dog Beach with your Pup
If the main person you’d like to spend your birthday with isn’t actually a person at all, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that 35% of UK households own a dog, and finding venues that allow pets can be tricky.
But you can bypass all of those rules by taking your friends, family and four-legged pals to London’s only dedicated dog beach, Ruislip Lido.
5 Play an Exploration Game in an Unfamiliar Suburb
Londoners, admit it: you hardly ever abandon your postcode area. Stop reinforcing stereotypes and celebrate your birthday by venturing into hitherto unexplored locales by going on a London urban adventure!
Traverse north or south of the Thames and get your mates, dates, friends and family onboard for an unforgettable birthday escapade. Pick from one of many locations in the city including Kensington, Southwark, Covent Garden, Shoreditch and Mayfair and work together to untangle cryptic clues, solve perplexing puzzles and rediscover the Big Smoke with a twist.
Insider Tip: Each trail comes with discounts available at recommended local pubs, cafés and restaurants. There’s no cheesy guide, unnecessary waiting around AND you can win cash prizes each month - find out more!
6 Go For a Picnic in Chelsea
What better way to celebrate a birthday than eating al fresco? Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to Chelsea - but there are a few great reasons why you should.
Weather permitting, Chelsea offers its residents and visitors a plethora of picnic spots to absorb all of the Royal Borough’s history and glorious greenery. Take Chelsea Physic Garden for example - founded in 1673, it’s England’s second-oldest botanical garden and it’s got a great outdoor study centre if you have kids or plant-lovers attending your birthday party.
Other Chelsea picnic recommendations include Ropers Gardens, St. Luke’s Gardens, Chelsea Embankment Gardens and Cremorne Gardens.
Psst: If you want to eat your picnic late in the evening, head to Albert Bridge Gardens, the view of the bridge lit up makes for an ideal birthday selfie background!
Unusual Birthday Ideas in London
7 Go on a Charles Dickens-themed Murder Mystery Adventure
Reckon you could figure out whodunnit before Poirot, Marple or Holmes?
Mix up your birthday celebration plans by recruiting your friends or family to make your very own detective squad playing A Rift In Time.
Part walking tour, part scavenger hunt, this outdoor experience takes you on a walking tour of London. Your team plays as a group of detectives who have to decipher cryptic clues and untangle puzzles together to move through a narrative tour of Mayfair and Covent Garden.
Added Bonuses: When you book this, you’ll get food and drink stops included as well as a discount at a historic pub. Book now!
8 Visit The Cartoon Museum
Just around the corner from Oxford Circus, you’ll find one of the most remarkable small museums in London. The Cartoon Museum has a collection of over 6,00 original cartoon and comic artworks, as well as a library of 8,000 comic books.
Inside, you’ll see prints from Georgian England, recent political comic strips, Rupert the Bear and much-loved Beano characters like Dennis the Menace and Dandy.
Perfect for nostalgic adults, kids and anyone with an interest in history, this hidden gem is the ideal way to wile away a few hours in Central London.
9 Eat Lunch at Maltby Street Market
Anyone who’s been to London before knows the only way to eat is by visiting a street food market. All Londoners have their favourite haunts for different reasons, but it can be worth straying out of your neighbourhood and finding a new hidden gem.
And that’s where Maltby Street Market comes in. Located in Bermondsey, south-east London, this street market is ideally positioned for birthday celebrations.
Maltby Street Market is right next to the Bermondsey Beer Mile and it caters for everyone: sweet tooths (Bad Brownie is a personal favourite) and offers cuisines from all around the world; Ethiopian, Persian, Venezuelan, Japanese, British, Spanish…the list goes on!
10 Go to the Cinema Museum
Why celebrate your birthday in silence at the cinema when you can trawl through cinema’s extensive almost 200 year-old history?
The Cinema Museum is a fantastic hidden gem in Lambeth, South London. Originally a workhouse - Charlie Chaplin was actually housed here once upon a time - the museum holds some incredible artefacts, memorabilia and equipment from the 1890s.
If you fancy it, the museum also hosts classic film nights where you can catch vintage and modern movies in an iconic saloon.
11 Become A Birthday King or Queen
London is the official home of the British Royal family, so if you’re a fan of all things royalty, you’re in the best place.
There’s obvious tick boxes you can cross off - see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, visit Kensington Palace for afternoon tea, go for a tour around Westminster Abbey…
But you can also take it up a notch by visiting shops with Royal Warrants: think Twinings Tea Shop or, if it rains, get your hands on a Fulton umbrella (the Windsors opt for the clear ones but you can be more creative if you prefer).
12 Have Afternoon Tea Beneath The Cutty Sark
Ideal for tea lovers, explorers and cake connoisseurs - what better way to explore Greenwich than by having an afternoon tea beneath the Cutty Sark?
Built in 1869, the Cutty Sark was designed for speed and to carry what was becoming the UK masses’ new breakfast drink, tea. Today, the Cutty Sark is a museum ship in Greenwich, London.
Tea is the second-most popular drink in the world (after water, obviously) so chances are, this is the perfect solution to your last-minute plans.
Explore the museums and surrounding area and then enjoy a quintessentially British afternoon tea by dining directly beneath the ship that made tea-drinking possible!
Insider Tip: Our Greenwich Guile outdoor mystery tour finishes just 5 minutes away from the Cutty Sark. Combine the two for a brilliant birthday bash in Greenwich!
Birthday Ideas in London for Him & Her
13 Play Table Tennis Where It Was Invented
Nothing says Happy Birthday quite like a game of ping pong - or beer pong, if you prefer.
In 1901, John Jaques III patented a new, dining room friendly game called Gossima in Farringdon. This was the original ping pong or table tennis we play today, and incredibly, the first balls were Champagne corks and cigar boxes were used as bats!
Bounce has two venues, one in Farringdon and another on Old street, both in Central London. The Farringdon venue stands on the exact spot where Ping Pong was invented - but they also offer beer pong, shuffleboard and wonderball if that’s more your thing.
Insider Tip: Both of these venues are just a stone’s throw away from our urban adventures in Central London. Split into competitive teams or take it easy - there are multiple pub and café stops along the way!
14 Get Your Sports Kicks at Barkick
Watching live sports can be a nightmare. After you’ve signed up to all the various streaming channels, given away your monthly paycheck and your internet speed is being outrun by passing snails, you find a new ceiling to Rock Bottom.
But there’s an easy and enjoyable way to overcome all that. Find your nearest sports bar and watch a live match with friends, family, as a couple or even on your own (seriously, you’ll always find fellow fans to chat with!).
Barkick in Shoreditch offers reasonably priced drinks (a beer is around £5!) and a great selection of sports including football (soccer), Formula 1, cricket, baseball, tennis, rugby league and boxing.
15 Visit London’s Floating Bookshop near Camden
For bookish birthday ideas in London, there’s only one place to go: Word On The Water.
Whether you’re a lover of the written word or not, a visit to Camden would not be complete without stopping by this unique literary haven.
Located on Regent’s Canal, Word On The Water is an independent bookshop that sells everything from children’s books to London tour guides, as well as mysteries, thrillers, fantasy fiction and so much more.
Psst: Word On The Water also hosts talks, open mic nights and poetry slams!
16 Relive your Childhood at an Arcade Bar
Quick question: Were you always Player One or Player Two? Birthdays are an excellent opportunity to get nostalgic, and what better way to do that than seek out London’s best arcade and gaming bars?
If you feel like escaping London for Tokyo on a budget, there can only be Loading Bar (Peckham and Stoke Newington). This one is a personal favourite as their cocktails are named after iconic games such as Crash Bandyfruit and Elderflower Scrolls Skyyrum.
17 Become a Plant Parent at Columbia Road Flower Market
Looking for unusual birthday ideas in London that combine gift-giving and the great outdoors? Head to the Columbia Road flower market.
A relic of tradition and nature in Bethnal Green, London, The Columbia Road flower market echoes the seasons by selling cut and dried flowers, succulents, cacti, house plants and herbs and much, much more all year round.
Plant lovers will appreciate the opportunity to wander around this hidden gem and bring home a new, leafy member of the family.
The market is open on Sundays from 8am until around 3pm, and there are plenty of independent shops and cafés dotted around when you need to stop for a slice of birthday cake!
18 Drive To Survive At The F1 Arcade
Got a car-crazy dad or a sister with a need for speed? We all know someone that would kill to ride shotgun beside Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen, and now, they kind of can.
The F1 Arcade opened in February 2023 and it’s already become a hit. Located in St. Paul’s in Central London, the F1 Arcade is a car simulator racing venue that allows ‘drivers’ to experience racing like never before.
Groups can compete in head-to-head races or team racing, experience ‘porpoising’ and chill out at the arcade’s bar where the cocktails have names F1 fans will recognise, including Pole Position and my personal favourite, the Chicane Colada.
Insider Tip: Make a day of it by exploring Central London on foot before hitting the driver’s seat. Our outdoor experience, The City, starts just around the corner from the F1 arcade, more guaranteed fun for your friends & family!
Birthday ideas in London for Adults
19 Get Giggly at the Angel Comedy Club
Coming up with birthday ideas in London can be expensive, but luckily, Angel Comedy Club hosts daily free stand-up shows.
Instead of spending a fortune at The Apollo, opt for supporting up and coming comics who are guaranteed to finish your birthday celebrations with laughter. There are two venues to choose from - The Bill Murray in Islington, and Camden Head.
20 Ask For The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
Although synonymous with the U.S, the first speakeasy bars actually had their origins in Britain and Ireland.
First noted in an English slang dictionary in 1823, “speak-softly shops” started life as unlicensed liquor stores. Don’t worry, though. This London speakeasy is fully-licensed - it’s just near impossible to find.
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town in Spitalfields, London is accessed by walking through a fridge - yes, really. To enter, you have to ask for the Mayor of Scaredy Town and give the bar’s address. Once you’re approved, you’re free to settle down to some birthday celebrations in one of London’s coolest secret bars.
21 Play a Game of Boozy Bingo at Dabbers
Looking for 18th, 30th, 40th birthday ideas in London? Prove that age is just a number by celebrating your birthday by playing bingo - but not like you’ve ever played it before.
Located in Hackney and Central London, Dabbers have two purpose-built bingo venues that are a far cry from your local town hall. Think themed bingo nights blended with a show, hosted by or including comedians, performers and musicians.
Depending on which day of the week and time of day you want to play, you and your friends or family can even get your hands on excellent prizes including holidays and experiences or a nice sum of cash!
22 Do a Yoga Class with Incredible Views at Sky Garden
Sky Garden in Central London might seem like an unlikely place to find tranquillity, but high above the hustle and bustle of morning commuters you’ll find downward-facing dogs, happy babies and warrior ones, twos and threes!
If all you or someone else wants for their birthday is a bit of peace and quiet, this could be the perfect solution.
Yoga practitioners of all abilities are welcome - all you need is your own mat and bring your phone or a camera - the London skyline views from the Sky Garden are unbeatable!
Book The Best Birthday Ideas in London
Ultimately, the list for birthday ideas in London is almost endless. When coming up with unique or unusual birthday party ideas, it can be useful to have a few handy tips at your disposal:
- Think about the person whose birthday it is: what would they enjoy most?
- Also think about who will be attending; is this something everyone can enjoy?
- What is your budget; can you combine a few of these ideas to fit everyone’s needs?
Most importantly, it’s vital to have some flexibility about your plans.
Booking any of our walking tours, outdoor exploration games or treasure and scavenger hunts in London gives you total freedom to start and finish whenever you like, take extra breaks if you want or need them, and it’s suitable for people of all ages.
You’re also guaranteed your money back if you don’t have an amazing time - although our previous reviews speak for themselves: we’re rated 5/5 on TripAdvisor and 4.95/5 on Google Reviews!