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Planning a birthday party in London is always tricky – obviously you want to try and find something fun to do that’ll keep the whole squad entertained, but at the same time you don’t want things to be too expensive or difficult, which in London can oft be easier said than done. You’re a rockstar and deserve to celebrate every single birthday like one, but where to start? Fear not, we’re here to help! After a lengthy office brainstorm, our team of events and entertainment experts have sourced ten super awesome London birthday bonanzas that will guarantee your next party is one to remember without breaking the bank…

P.S. For even more birthday inspiration, check out our round up of the top 10 bottomless brunches in London.

1) Sip a few swinging birthday beverages at Cahoots

Cahoots is one of the most unique venues in London – a former air raid shelter that’s been transformed in to a 1940s style speakeasy/disused tube station that pays homage to Londoners forced to take shelter from the Blitz during WW2. Inspired by the true events of post-war celebrations in Soho’s illicit underground speakeasy scene during the late 1940s, you can look forward to sipping some incredible cocktails in your own carriage while being serenaded by live jazz, swing and lindy hop bands with brilliant names like The Hotsie Totsies, The Roustabouts or Lois ‘Legs’ Laurelle.

Booking is free, though the cocktails are on the pricer side (£9-15). Still, it’s worth it to have an actor/waiter refer to you as a spiffing old chap while serving up a steaming theatrical cocktail in a teapot!

2) Sing happy birthday at Lucky Voice

Ideal for those looking to make a literal song and dance of their birthday, Lucky Voice specialises in the Japanese style of karaoke where you get your own private room in which to sing with your nearest and dearest instead of performing in front of strangers. You book your sing in two hour slots, with prices ranging from £12-22/person depending on the time, date and venue you choose. Lucky Voice has branches in IslingtonSoho and Holborn, with an extensive menu of artisan cocktails, pizza and nibbles available in each venue, and a free round of shots for all birthday bookings to help get the party started.

You can also choose to add a cocktail masterclass (£40-50/person) to your sing at any venue, and there’s a unique bottomless karaoke brunch available at Lucky Voice Islington (£35/person) on Saturdays if you’re really looking to go all out.

3) Make your own birthday bottle of gin at The Ginstitute

The Ginstitute is Portobello Road Gin’s very own gin making school and runs daily classes that it rather ominously titles ‘The Experience’. While on the pricier side at £120/person, you do get a lot for your money – The Experience walks you through the history of gin, plies you with five or six gin-based cocktails, teaches you how to make your own gin, and then finishes by putting all that knowledge in to practice to create your very own bottle of gin with a unique flavour profile depending on the botanicals you choose. And on top of all that, you get to take home another bottle of the Portobello Road Gin’s own famous signature blend so you’re guaranteed to have a well-stocked drinks cabinet for weeks to come.

4) Fight zombies at Bunker 51

If you’re after a truly insane birthday celebration, Bunker 51 puts on a special zombie laser tag experience that is genuinely spine tingling. Based in an old nuclear fallout shelter from the Cold War, the dark and dank concrete interior of Bunker 51 is the perfect setting for living out your Walking Dead fantasies of being Rick Grimes while frantically running away from the infected zombies/drama school students who are hiding around every corner.

For the more faint of heart, there’s also normal paintball, laser tag and airsoft available, with two playing fields and a number of non-zombie based scenarios to take part in.

5) Enjoy a birthday high tea with cats

Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is a brilliant little cafe in Bethnal Green that has half a dozen resident fur balls to delight and distract diners. The cafe puts on a daily afternoon high tea (except on Wednesdays when the emporium is closed) that is very reasonably priced at £25/head. It certainly doesn’t get much better than enjoying a jam and butter scone while a tubby tabby purrs affectionately at your feet!

N.B. Maximum group booking size is for six people.

6) Eat a birthday banquet at Feng Shang floating restaurant

Moored on the canal right at the top of Regent’s Park, the Feng Shang Princess floating Chinese restaurant is one of the most unique places in London to enjoy a taste of The Orient. The restaurant itself is a lovingly handcrafted three storey vessel that was built especially for proprietor Karen Chua in the 80s, with a menu of tasty Chinese dishes that match the serene setting and are friendly on the wallet. There’s an especially good selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes, though if you’re really looking for something hedonistic, consider ordering the whole Peking duck (24 hours notice required).

7) Have a birthday boogie at the Ceilidh Club

For something completely off the wall, a taste of Scottish culture at the Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) Club is a guaranteed foot stomping crowd pleaser. Started in 1998 by a group of Scottish friends and family, the night has grown exponentially and is now one of the longest running dance nights in London, with ceilidhs held every weekend at Cecil Sharp House in Camden.

The night lasts for three hours (8-11pm), with a live band playing rousing Scottish music while guests perform traditional Ceilidh dances like the The Flying Scotsman or Britannia Twostep. Complete novices are more than welcome – in fact, they’re positively encouraged – with a caller and team of experienced Ceilidhers on hand to help walk you through the steps of every dance no matter how ungraceful you may be. There’s also a well-stocked and reasonably priced bar for anyone in need of a bit of Scotch courage.

Tickets are £17:

8) Join The Great Gatsby for a roaring 1920s birthday bash

The longest running immersive show in London, The Great Gatsby puts its audience right at the heart of the action as the plot of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great American masterpiece unfolds around them. Audience members can look forward to the excitement of watching Jay Gatsby attempt to win back his love while actively making up part of the scene as a guest at one of his wild parties.

It’s up to you how much you want to get involved – you can either sit back and watch from the sidelines or interact directly with the cast as they occasionally fish for audience participation. Either way, there’s a fully stocked bar with plenty of era-appropriate cocktails to sample!

Tickets start from £30:

9) Let out your anger with some birthday battle archery

Archery tag is basically dodgeball but with bows and arrows (don’t worry, the arrows are blunted). Based just by London Bridge, 2020 Archery runs archery tag sessions every day (outdoors during the summer and indoors during the winter).

The courses might not look like much, but it’s amazing how quickly an hour flies by when you’re trying to brain your best friends of over 20 years with as many arrows as possible. 2020 Archery’s 4.9 star rating on Google should give you some idea of how much fun going full Robin Hood is!

Cost is £35/person:

10) Feel like a VIP in your own private hot tub birthday barge

Yes, you read that correctly – floating hot tub barge! The Hot Tug (guys, please, phrasing) has moorings in Canary Wharf and Old Street, and offers you the freedom of floating down the Thames in a hot tub while sipping champagne like a true VIP. Renting one costs between £225 and £250 for 90 minutes, but you can fit up to seven people in each boat, so the actual cost per person is around £35. You’re also welcome to bring your own booze which certainly helps keep costs down!

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