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43 Top 21st Birthday Gift Ideas for Non-Drinkers and Drinkers in 2022

Published on Jul 15th 2022
21st birthday gift ideas

Turning 21 is a significant event in life and it’s crucial to find the best 21st birthday gift ideas. In this new phase of adulthood, young adults can finally enjoy their first legal drink! Even if your 21-year-old isn’t super interested in alcohol, they still look forward to their 21st birthday as a major turning point in their lives.

Selecting the right gift for this occasion can make a huge impact as they reflect on their birthday. According to the BBC, picking the right gift can drastically improve your relationships. No matter your budget, taking the time to select the right gift will show them how much you care and add extra joy to their lives.

Whether your 21-year-old is excited about their first legal drink or they’re just eager for their upcoming birthday, here are some of the top 21st birthday gift ideas to make their day even more special.

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Creative 21st Birthday Gift Ideas

1. Paint and Sip 

Kick back, relax and create a masterpiece while sipping on a refreshing glass of chardonnay or the warm flavor of pinot noir. Schedule a private birthday party for one of the most unique 21st birthday gift ideas for her, him or them! Try paint and sip in Los Angeles, paint and sip in San Diego, paint and sip in Boston or near you. 

paint and sip 21st birthday gift idea
via Adobe Stock

2. Painting Classes

Skip the alcohol and bring out your inner Picasso with one of the most creative 21st birthday gift ideas. Check out highly rated, in-person painting classes. If your friend prefers a night in, check out online painting classes as well.

3. Pottery Classes

Get creative with pottery classes in the Bay area, pottery classes in San Diego or pottery classes in Boston. Your friend will enjoy crafting their own ceramics, painting a unique design and using this sweet gift for years to come.

4. Drawing Classes

Drawing classes are exciting birthday gift ideas for anyone looking to level up their creativity. Classes can be catered to beginners or experts, so your artist is welcome no matter their skill level. Online drawing classes are also a great option if it’s easier for their schedule.

5. Instant Camera

In a world of digital cameras and social media, we often forget the joy of a quick, simple photograph. This gift is easy to use, fun and is one of the most memorable 21st birthday gift ideas.

woman in street holding polaroid camera
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Foodie 21st Birthday Gift Ideas

6. Cooking Classes

What do you give someone for their 21st birthday if they don’t drink? Cooking classes are great options to help them sharpen their skills and learn new recipes. You can find highly rated cooking classes in Portland, cooking classes in Boston or cooking classes in Baltimore.

Top-notch chefs will guide them through new recipes that will become a favorite in the kitchen. There are tons of options to find the best cooking classes near you!

7. Online Cooking Classes

Does your foodie prefer a night in? Browse online cooking classes that they can enjoy right from the comfort of their own home. World-class chefs lead live, interactive classes so they can ask questions and learn new recipes. Whether they’re a pro in the kitchen, or prefer to play assistant chef, this is a great option to help them create a fun experience in the kitchen.

8. Cast Iron Pan

Add a valuable tool to their kitchen with a high-quality cast iron pan. As one of the best 21st birthday gift ideas for your daughter, prepare them in the kitchen for a versatile, engaging experience. These pans last for decades with the right seasoning and can hold heat for a reasonable amount of time.

9. Cookie Shot Glass Kit

Your friend will find their new favorite dessert with one of the most unique birthday gift ideas. A DIY cookie mold turns average cookies into creative shot glasses. Whether they fill it with milk or spiked hot chocolate, they’ll love this delicious treat.

cookie shot glasses and milk
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10. Boozy Ice Cream Pack

They’ll enjoy dessert and a legal drink with one of the most fun 21st birthday gift ideas. From flavors like spiked hazelnut coffee to mango margarita, they’ll love this refreshing treat to celebrate their monumental birthday.

11. Rosé Flavored Gummy Bears

Celebrate rosé all day with one of the best 21st birthday gift ideas for your best friend. They can add the candy to their favorite glass of wine, or enjoy the sweet treat all on its own. 

Unique 21st Birthday Gift Ideas

12. Online Mixology Classes

Help your 21-year-old learn a new cocktail with online mixology classes. Expert mixologists will build their excitement as they perfect their favorite drinks, gather advice on shaken or stirred methods and discover the intriguing history behind some of the best cocktails. 

13. Virtual Wine Tastings

Expand their knowledge with virtual wine tastings. Whether it’s sipping a dry glass of Sauvignon Blanc or a versatile red, they’ll learn how to pair the right glass with specific meals and discover subtle differences between each tasting. World-class sommeliers will guide them in this experience from the comfort of their own home.

virtual wine tasting 21st birthday gift idea
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14. Virtual Flower Arranging

Bring some beauty into their home with virtual flower arranging. As one of the most unique birthday gift ideas, your aspiring florist will learn how to create delicate bouquets and eye-catching centerpieces.

15. Acting Classes

Shine a spotlight on your 21-year-old with one of the most fun gift ideas. Whether they’re a novice actor or dream of starring in a TV show, they can improve their audition techniques, learn the craft of comedy and build their confidence in these exciting classes. Online acting classes are also a great option to help them to perfect their acting chops.

16. Sewing Classes

Help your crafter learn a valuable skill in a unique birthday gift idea. They’ll engage their creativity as they learn a variety of techniques and fundamentals of this skill. Expert stitchers will teach them how to create new materials they can enjoy for years to come.

DIY 21st Birthday Gift Ideas

17. Hand-Painted Wine Glasses

If you enjoy arts and crafts, hand-painted wine glasses are one of the best 21st birthday gift ideas for a best friend. Your bestie will think of you every time they pour a glass, and you can even create a matching set for a girl’s night in.

pink flowers painted on wine glass
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18. Photo Collage

Grab your favorite photos to give your 21-year-old a dose of nostalgia as one of the most memorable 21st birthday gift ideas for your sister. She’ll love to reflect on memories and favorite events as she pursues the next adventure. She’ll always remember this as one of the most personalized and unique 21st birthday gifts for her.

19. Custom Wine or Beer Labels

Share a laugh with custom wine or beer labels. This unique gift will personalize the event and make drinking their first legal glass even more fun! Add messages and photos, or even an elegant font to go with the theme of their party.

20. The Book of Everyone

Create a personalized book for your best friend that highlights shared memories. Invite other loved ones to write messages, share photos and celebrate the life of your 21-year-old. This gift will help them feel special and supported as they move into the next phase of adulthood.

21. Personalized T-Shirt

Shop for a personalized T-shirt to memorialize the 21-year-old’s birthday. Choose from a variety of styles, fonts and colors to cater to their personality. You can even select a funny phrase to give them a laugh to highlight their special day.

printing custom design on t-shirt
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22. Custom Koozie Sleeves

Help your son keep his first beer cold as one of the most unique DIY 21st birthday gift ideas for your son. Customize the koozie with a fun phrase or his initials. He’ll love this gift during the heat of summer.

Cheap 21st Birthday Gift Ideas

23. Red Wine Stain Remover

Many of us can relate. Spilling red wine on our favorite shirt and anxiously anticipating whether or not the stain will come out. If you’re looking for cheap 21st birthday gift ideas, this gift could be saving them from an unfortunate wardrobe disaster!

24. Big Tin of Popcorn or Sweets

Who doesn’t love a delicious snack on their birthday? Grab a big tin of salty, cheesy or caramel popcorn. The unique tin can also be kept for storage or decoration after they finish their tasty treat.

25. Bottle Opener

A bottle opener is a simple and cheap 21st birthday gift idea. Easily shop for a multi-use tool, or even a keychain so they can bring it with them on the go. You can select from a variety of different colors and styles. You can even have the bottle opener engraved with their initials.

bottle opener 21st birthday gift idea
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26. Flask

Give them a unique thrill with a fun, cheap 21st birthday gift idea. Shop from a variety of styles for a cool flask they’ll enjoy, or even customize one online if you have a little more time before their big day.

27. Candle

You can never go wrong with a scented candle. Lighting the candle will bring joy to their space and can even provide a sense of peace. With plenty of scents and sizes to choose from, this is one of the most affordable birthday gift ideas for a sister or friend.

Last Minute 21st Birthday Gift Ideas

28. Gift Card

Not sure what to give your 21-year-old for their birthday? A gift card is one of the most versatile last minute 21st birthday gifts. Choose from a variety of retail or online stores where they can shop for exactly what they want for their birthday.

Try encouraging them to learn a new craft or skill they may be interested in, or maybe they'd enjoy a mixology or wine tasting class. With a Classpop! Gift Card, they can choose their own awesome experience.

29. Headphones

You can never go wrong with a sleek pair of headphones as a last minute 21st birthday gift. Whether you select Bluetooth or wired headphones, they’ll enjoy listening to the privacy of their music or podcasts.

young man dancing while listening to headphones
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30. Bluetooth Speaker

Make your music-lover happy with a new Bluetooth speaker. Whether they’re cooking in the kitchen, hanging out by the pool or hosting a party, they’ll enjoy the ambiance with this fun gift.

31. Bottle of Wine

A bottle of wine is one of the best last minute 21st birthday gifts. Gather around and enjoy a glass together to create lasting memories. There is also wine for every budget so you have many great options to choose from.

32. Shot Glasses

Commemorate the 21-year-old’s birthday with some fun shot glasses. This is a great gift to celebrate the moment, and they’ll also enjoy using the gift for years to come.

21st Birthday Gift Ideas for Him

33. Virtual Game Night or Trivia

What do you get a guy for his 21st birthday? Online games! He’ll engage in some friendly competition in murder mystery virtual game nights, or challenge his friends in online trivia games. An entertaining host will lead the game in a live, interactive setting to create a fun experience for him to enjoy.

virtual game night 21st birthday gift idea
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34. Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Invite your 21-year-old to search for secret items and decode messages in an exciting virtual scavenger hunt. This fully interactive activity can be held from the comfort of his own home with engaging hosts and customizable game options. He’ll have a blast connecting with friends and creating epic memories.

35. Virtual Escape Room

Race against the clock in a thrilling virtual escape room. He’ll have a blast cracking clues and solving riddles to find a way to escape. A thrilling host will guide the group to make this one of the most memorable 21st birthday gift ideas for guys.

36. Glass Blowing Classes

Immersing him in glass blowing classes is one of the most unique 21st birthday gifts for him. He’ll learn how to shape glass and create his own souvenirs, such as dishes or paperweights. If your 21-year-old is creative, he’ll love engaging his inner glassmith.

37. Woodworking Classes

Gift the guy in your life with one of the most creative 21st birthday gift ideas. In woodworking classes, he’ll learn how to shape, cut and create unique materials, like picture frames and cutting boards. Any skill level is welcome with a variety of classes and knowledgeable instructors.

young man building shelf in woodshop class
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38. Men’s Dopp Kit

One of the best 21st birthday gifts for guys, investing in a luxury Dopp Kit is a perfect 21st birthday gift idea for a son, nephew or friend. This practical and convenient gift will keep him prepared for upcoming trips and exciting adventures. With great styles in leather, cloth or vinyl, you also have the option to customize with his initials.

21st Birthday Gift Ideas for Her

39. Dance Classes

Wondering what to get a girl who is 21? Dance classes can build her confidence and community as she engages in fun dance classes in Las Vegas, dance classes in NYC or dance classes in the Bay area. There are also many exciting and high-energy online dance classes where she’ll meet with the experienced instructor right from the comfort of her own home.

40. Photography Classes

Encourage her creativity with photography classes. As one of the most unique 21st birthday gifts for her, she can take hands-on photography classes in Los Angeles, photography classes in Austin or photography classes in Houston.

She can also take online photography classes which are a great option for her to level up her photography skills in a live, fully interactive class.

41. Key Pendant

Why do you get a key for your 21st birthday? As one of the best 21st birthday gift ideas for your daughter, this special pendant will show her how much you care. The key symbolizes her entrance into adulthood as she opens a new door to maturity. She’ll always remember this sentiment you gave her.

42. Cartman Pink Toolset

A toolset is one of the most useful 21st birthday gift ideas for your daughter. Prepare her for any emergency around her place with 39-pieces included. The gift will boost her confidence and independence as she steps into the next phase of her life.

43. Woman’s Travel Organizer

Select a beautiful travel organizer as one of the best 21st birthday gift ideas for her. With plenty of options for her to store her makeup and toiletries, she’ll always be prepared for the next adventure. You can even shop for customizable options and add a monogram. If you're wondering, "What should I get my daughter for her 21st birthday?," this is a great choice. 

women's travel organizer 21st birthday gift idea for her
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Selecting the right gift for your 21-year-old will help memorialize their day and show them how much you care. Whether it’s choosing fun painting classes or a unique DIY gift, these ideas can help you tailor to their personality to create a birthday they’ll always remember.

With these top 21st birthday gift ideas, you can help them head into the next stage of adulthood in a fun and meaningful way!

For even more fun gift ideas, check out other experiences happening on Classpop!