21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (2024)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (1)
  • JUN 8, 2018
  • Category : GUIDES
  • WRITTEN BY: Shaun Yates

Hello, and welcome to our 21st birthday gift guide! Shopping for 21-year-olds can be tricky, so we’ve put our heads together and come up with twenty-one cool gift ideas just for you. Here, you’ll find a variety of foolproof birthday presents to make them smile – including unforgettable experiences and a few practical essentials for surviving their twenty-first year! If you’re preparing to celebrate a loved one’s big 21, don’t do anything ‘til reading this!

Table of Contents [ hide Show ]

21st Birthday Experience Gifts
A Flying Lesson
A co*cktail Masterclass
A Zorbing Experience
An Anti-Gravity Yoga Class
A Food Tour
More Thoughtful 21st Birthday Gifts
A 16-25 Railcard
A Succulent Plant
A Travel Planner or Journal
A Gym Wear Subscription
A Personalised Mug
A Borrow My Doggy Borrower’s Voucher
An Inflatable Air Lounger
A Tattoo
A National Art Pass
A Google Chromecast
21st Birthday Gifts for Him
A Vintage Shaving Set
An Oi Polloi Gift Card
21st Birthday Gifts for Her
A Trouble Club Membership
Her Favourite Fragrance
Homemade 21st Birthday Gifts
A Photo Collage
A Homemade Piñata
Happy Shopping!

21st Birthday Experience Gifts

Experience vouchers make ideal 21st birthday gifts – of course, it’s an age at which to try new things and discover lifelong passions! What’s more, when physical gifts are impractical – due to a big move or upcoming round-the-world trip – experience gifts are a thoughtful choice that won’t weigh them down.

Naturally, everyone’s different, and there are experience gifts to suit all manner of interests. In this section, we’ve gathered together a few of our favourites. From zorbing to flying lessons – we think they’re all perfect ways to mark the big milestone.

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (2)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (3)

A Flying Lesson

Prices start around £55

Now they’re old enough to hold an ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot Licence), isn’t it about time they got started!? A flying lesson makes a truly awe-inspiring gift at any age, but for 21-year-olds it could really be the start of something special. Introductory flights take off from airfields across the country, with experienced instructors ready to offer up the controls to their fledgling co-pilots. For many, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime sensation and a sure reminder that – even in adulthood – the possibilities remain as endless as the horizon.

Experience Days offer a great range of flying lessons in both Planes and Helicopters – follow the links to send your loved one to cloud nine!

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (4)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (5)

A co*cktail Masterclass

Prices start around £35

Sure, they’ve been visiting bars and pubs (legally) since they turned 18 – but what have they been drinking? Cheap lager and special-offer Jägerbombs are for teenagers, so now’s the time to develop some grown-up tastes! During a co*cktail masterclass, they’ll learn to mix proper drinks using quality spirits, mixers and garnishes. Under the supervision of trained mixologists, they’ll discover the art of balancing and finessing flavours, while picking up professional tips and tricks that’re guaranteed to impress family and friends alike.

Head here to browse our fabulous co*cktail masterclasses – ‘cause if they must get sozzled, it best be the good stuff!

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (6)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (7)

A Zorbing Experience

Prices start around £45

Your 21st year can be a pretty serious one, full of big decisions and increased responsibilities. Let’s not forget, however, it’s also a lot about having fun, doing things impulsively, and being a tad ridiculous. Bearing that last one in mind, zorbing is perhaps the ultimate activity to keep grown-up stresses in check. For those who haven’t heard, zorbing is the simple practice of climbing inside a giant inflatable hamster ball and rolling down a hill, often with a few bucketfuls of water thrown in for good measure. Hey – why not?!

It looks like we’re on a roll, so go check out our awesome zorbing vouchers, today!

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (8)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (9)

An Anti-Gravity Yoga Class

£30 for two people

Whether you’re talking physical, mental or spiritual, our personal well-being has become a hot topic lately. We know that good habits formed in your twenties can last a lifetime, and few are more beneficial to well-being than regular yoga sessions. For newcomers, there are countless introductory classes out there, but none quite like this inspired anti-gravity version.

Developed by professional dancer and gymnast Christopher Harrison, it teaches a variety of techniques using aerial silks for better stretching, strengthening and relaxation. It’s the perfect birthday gift for those looking to make positive changes. Namaste.

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (10)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (11)

A Food Tour

Prices start around £20

Whether they’re moving away for the first time or relocating after university, many 21-year-olds face the (at times daunting) prospect of a new home in a strange city. If you’re looking for a gift to help them settle in, a food tour could be the answer.

They’re a fun way of getting to know a new neighbourhood while sampling its tastiest bites, and you’ll find tours covering all sorts of local themes and cuisines, in towns and cities across the UK.

Visit our section, or search for local tour operators in your city of choice. Your loved one will feel right at home in no time!

More Thoughtful 21st Birthday Gifts

Experience vouchers are awesome, but there’s more than one way to surprise someone on their big day. Next, we’ve a few more 21st birthday gift ideas – both practical and fanciful – that’re sure to put a smile on their face and a spring in their step.

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (12)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (13)

A 16-25 Railcard

£30 for a year

At an age when friends are scattered across the country and wanderlust burns brightly, a railcard is the ultimate travel essential. The 16-25 Railcard gives them a third off rail fares for a whole year, which could add up to a HUGE saving. From city breaks and shopping weekends, to seaside daytrips and summer festivals – they’ll be thanking you for every journey! For just £30, it’s an absolute no-brainer – now they’ll have no excuse not to pay home a visit once in a while!

You can find out more about the 16-25 Railcard, here.

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (14)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (15)

A Succulent Plant

Less than £10

Although they can legally apply to adopt a child, some 21-year-olds aren’t quite ready for that level of responsibility. Not only do succulents require significantly less care, they also improve air quality and aid concentration (unlike kids). Haworthia, Jades and Gasteria are all perfect varieties for beginners – and they’ll brighten up that new house or flat a treat.

Online nurseries, like Surreal Succulents and Crafty Plants, stock an amazing variety of plants that can be delivered to your front door. They’ve also some handy parenting tips for anyone missing their green fingers!

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (16)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (17)

A Travel Planner or Journal

Prices start around £17.50

You can’t go wrong with stationery, and a travel planner or journal makes the perfect gift for would-be backpackers. Each year, more and more twenty-somethings jet off to discover new places, people and cultures – and they need somewhere to document all those adventures!

Sukie stock an attractive range of affordable, 100% recycled, silk screen-printed journals that can be personalised with the recipient’s name on the cover. For an extra few quid, they’ll even gift wrap it for you!

At the luxury end of the scale, you’ll find the ‘Off the Beaten Track’ travel journal from Smythson of Bond Street. Gilt-edged and bound in cross-grain lambskin – it’s almost too beautiful to write in!

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (18)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (19)

A Gym Wear Subscription

See seller’s website for pricing

Working out has never been more popular among young people, and today’s gym-goers like to look good while breaking a sweat. So, keep them on-trend and Instagram-ready with a gym wear subscription from Human Performance Engineering – one of the UK’s leading home-grown technical sports apparel brands. Their collections are designed to empower, and subscription options allow you to select and send a new outfit every few months. They count professional athletes and celebrities among their fans, so we’re confident your favourite gym bunny will love them!

For more information about subscriptions for both men and women, head to the Human Performance Engineering website.

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (20)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (21)

A Personalised Mug

less than £10

If you’re looking for something that they’ll use every day, a personalised mug is the way to go. Whether it’s their morning coffee, office tea break, or bedtime hot chocolate – your gift will brighten their day time and time again! Include a favourite photo or inside joke and keep them smiling during those late-night cramming sessions or long days in that first ‘proper’ job.

Moonpig have a great selection of custom options for just £8. You can add your own photo/s and text to hundreds of different designs, and orders placed before 4pm (Mon – Fri) will be posted that same day.

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21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (23)

A Borrow My Doggy Borrower’s Voucher


If they’re turning 21, chances are they’re still living in rented accommodation and having to cope without a pet in their life. In these circ*mstances, dog envy can quickly grow out of control unless a solution is found. Enter Borrow My Doggy – the service that pairs local pooches and time-pressed owners with trusted dog-lovers for walkies, play dates and sitting stays.

Basic membership is free, but premium users enjoy several key benefits – not least the ability to contact owners directly. Gift vouchers are available here, so go on – help them fill that dog-shaped void!

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (24)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (25)

An Inflatable Air Lounger


You’ve probably spotted a few of these bad boys popping up in the park, on the beach, or at a festival. Comfy, portable, and easy to inflate – they’re the ultimate laidback summer companions.

Snugboy loungers are available in four different colours and have been designed to last. They’re made from durable ripstop nylon and can hold up to 250kg – that’s enough for your loved one, plus a couple of friends! A guaranteed game changer when the sun shines and outside beckons.

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21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (27)

A Tattoo

Hourly rates vary

That’s right, keep your hair on! It’s the 21st century after all, and even Judi Dench and David Dimbleby have them. A tattoo needn’t be tasteless or obtrusive. For many, they’re a liberating form of self-expression – something meaningful and beautiful to cherish forever. There are talented artists working all over the UK, and many sell gift vouchers that can be put towards the cost of an inking session.

Sure, it’s a birthday present few will expect – but one they’ll always remember. Just be sure to veto any of the following – partners’ names, mistranslations, swear words (obviously), or tear drops on the face (anything on the face).

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (28)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (29)

A National Art Pass

£34 for a 12 month under-26 membership

With a National Art Pass, they gain free entry to the countries best galleries and museums, plus 50% off the ticket price for special exhibitions. Participating venues include the V&A, British Museum, Scottish National Gallery and Tate Liverpool. New members also receive a welcome pack and an Art Quarterly magazine subscription – helping them keep up to date with the season’s must-see events. How very cultured!

To purchase a National Art Pass as a gift, visit the Art Fund website.

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21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (31)

A Google Chromecast

around £25

21-year-olds will scarcely remember the days when you could count the nation’s TV channels on a single hand. Online streaming services, like Netflix, have revolutionised the way they consume their favourite programmes – and there’s never been more to choose from! The Google Chromecast allows them to beam content from their mobile devices straight to their TV screen. That means they can binge watch to their heart’s content – without squinting at a tiny screen, trying to balance a laptop on their knees, or investing in a pricey smart TV!

Know someone who can’t get enough of the latest shows? Find out more about the Chromecast, here.

21st Birthday Gifts for Him

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (32)

So far, we’ve chosen 21st birthday gifts that we think would appeal to both men and women. Next, however, you’ll find a couple of suggestions just for him. Here goes…

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (33)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (34)

A Vintage Shaving Set


At 21, he’s too old to be using a BIC disposable – so treat him to a classic shaving kit from the Shave Lounge. The package contains everything he needs to begin using a traditional double edge safety razor – including an Edwin Jagger razor, Omega shaving brush, and sandalwood scented shaving soap.

Compared to modern cartridges, the enclosed blades are cheaper, kinder to skin, and better for the environment. Once he’s mastered the oh-so macho art, they’ll also provide a better, closer shave – one his grandad and great-grandad would be proud of!

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21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (36)

An Oi Polloi Gift Card

£5 - £100

We love gift cards! Don’t listen to those naysayers who call them lazy or suggest giving cash instead. Cash is all too easily frittered away on rent or groceries, whereas a well-chosen gift card gives them no option but to treat themselves! Of course, most shops offer them, but we think Oi Polloi is a safe bet for the stylish young man in your life.

This independent menswear boutique stocks all the brands of the moment, plus exclusive colourways and collabs. Their ‘Deck-Out’ section also features some pretty sick style inspiration, and clearance sales run throughout the year. Go on, embrace the gift card – he’ll thank you for it!

21st Birthday Gifts for Her

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (37)

Naturally, we’ve also thought of some fabulous 21st birthday presents for her. Check them out below…

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (38)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (39)

A Trouble Club Membership

£45 for a six-month membership

Trouble is a members’ club with a difference. Unlike most of London’s stuffy institutions, it’s led by women, with a view to building ‘a society of smart and engaged people who share the same interests’. Members enjoy a number of benefits – including discounted tickets to various talks and events, invitations to exclusive members’ dinners, and access to the club noticeboard. For driven young Londoners, it’s an opportunity to make new friends and get inspired as part of an inclusive, female-led community.

Membership is £45 for six months. If you know someone who’s looking for Trouble, visit the club’s website, here.

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (40)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (41)

Her Favourite Fragrance

prices vary

Buying the right gift needn’t be rocket science. Sometimes, it’s best to keep things simple – and you can be sure a bottle of her favourite perfume will always be gratefully received. Of course, this may require some snooping if you don’t already know it. Then again – make those subtle enquiries now, and you’ll have a go-to gift for years to come!

For tips on getting the best deals on designer fragrances, take a look at this thrifty guide from MoneySavingExpert.com.

Alternatively, if she’s yet to find her signature scent, you can explore Experience Days’ range of ‘create your own perfume’ vouchers, here.

Homemade 21st Birthday Gifts

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (42)

Finally, we’ve a couple of homemade gift ideas – for those who favour a more personal touch. We all know it’s the thought that really counts, and these easy-to-make gifts will be treasured well into their twenties and beyond.

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (43)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (44)

A Photo Collage

With a quality camera on every smart phone, it’s never been easier to capture the moment in a photograph. Gone are the days, however, when we’d have these developed and printed. Today, most of our memories exist online instead – soon lost and forgotten in Facebook albums and Instagram feeds. Rescue them from that fate by creating your own photo collage – and remind someone of all the good times you’ve shared!

Simply choose and print your favourite photographs, before arranging them on a card or canvas. Shape and size is up to you, and you can get creative with extra decorations. Hint: glitter is positively encouraged.

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (45)

21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (46)

A Homemade Piñata

Question: what do you give the person who has everything? Answer: a homemade piñata of course. We’re not sure this one needs further explaining. Suffice to say, they’re surprisingly easy to make and guaranteed to turn up the fun at any 21st birthday celebration. Just fill it with the birthday boy or girl’s favourite sweet treats and stand back – the first swing of the bat is theirs!

Check out this wikiHow guide for a basic how-to, or head here for more ambitious project inspiration.

Happy Shopping!

Well, that about concludes our 21st birthday gift guide. We hope it’s given you a few ideas ahead of your loved one’s big day.

If you have any questions concerning any of our recommendations, or want to let us know how well your gift was received – please get in touch via the comments section below!

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21st Birthday Gifts – 21 Unique Ideas (2024)
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