Turning 30, what to do?
January 15, 2009 8:23 AM   Subscribe

Help me come up with ideas for something to do to celebrate my 30th birthday.

My 30th birthday is just under two weeks away.

I would like to celebrate in a way that is fitting for turning 30. One of my friends suggested drunken lazer-tag (because that's what she did for her 30th), and that's pretty much the exact opposite of what I'd like to do.

While I don't want the party to be stuffy and boring, I'd really like to spend it doing something other than playing video games. Besides, I did that last year.

Other things to consider are:

1. I, and most of my friends, are of the geeky persuasion. We do like video games and tabletop role playing games, comic books and all the usual sci-fi and fantasy things you'd assume.

2. I do not want a lot of alcohol involved.

3. I would like at least part of the party to occur outside my house, but am willing to reconsider.

4. It needs to be fairly inexpensive. Most of my friends do not have a lot of excess cash to spend, and, really, neither do I.

5. I live in southern-most Riverside county in California and my friends will be driving (or, in some cases, flying) down here to join me for the party.

6. At some point my family will be involved.
posted by digitaldraco to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
So you were all teenagers in the 90s? Have 90s party. Get everyone to dress up as 90s characters (film, TV, real life). Stipulate that the costumes must be largely home-made or thrift store to keep the cost down. Get people to bring brands of booze that were popular in the US at that time. Buy a Super Nintendo on ebay for $30 bucks and play Mario Cart. For the outside part you could do some kind of scavenger hunt with clues that require knowledge of 90s popular culture.
posted by Jakey at 8:47 AM on January 15, 2009

Pervasive games! Which is a vague and contested term, but basically, games that involve public space, moving around, and often some selection of running, sneaking, discovery, camaraderie, and paranoia. There are a pile of rulesets at Ludocity (warning: self-link), requiring different amounts of preparation, for example:
  • Journey to the End of the Night is fantastic, arguably the Best Pervasive Game Ever, but it's a lot of work to prepare and requires some non-players to stand around in random outdoor locations and act as checkpoints.
  • Day of the Thing requires less preparation, and plays a bit like a combination of hide and seek, a scavenger hunt, and a chase through the post-apocalypse.
  • Night Watch requires less preparation still, and can be played in a more contained area than the other two (a park, a patch of woodland), with people taking it in turns to be the guard.
  • Scotland Yard is a live version of the boardgame of the same name; it hasn't been tested in this form but has been played in an earlier variant, and worked well.
There's plenty of other games of the general type, some of which tend more towards parlour-game style things and can be played inside once everyone's worn out from running around.

If you go for something like this and want advice on getting the night to work as a whole/choosing games/general prep, do let me know.
posted by severalbees at 9:03 AM on January 15, 2009 [7 favorites]

I came in to suggest some good ole LARPing (Mind's Eye or Cthulhu or something), but severalbee's stuff looks really interesting.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:11 AM on January 15, 2009

Best answer: Well since you're a sci-fi geeky type, I'll admit that I spent part of my 30th birthday watching Logan's Run with a small group of friends, after having a lovely meal out together. Since you are possibly young enough not to have seen it before, I will warn you that it is truly dreadful now, but that the 30th birthday thing is very relevant. If you are in a giggly mood you can watch it with a group of friends and do your own impromptu MST3K session.
posted by Joh at 9:28 AM on January 15, 2009

Don't know if you saw it already, but here's the thread to my same question a bit ago. We ended up just, basically, taking over my favorite local bar and it was an AWESOME time. I did try to make it a "thing" but in the end, just having everyone I loved/who loved me around was the most important thing, and made 30 not so bad after all...
posted by indiebass at 9:55 AM on January 15, 2009

Best answer: Logan's Run session of Octane.

hack it a bit for a more LARP-y, out of the house experience? Find some way to involve some in-character sparring at a park?

But I think Octane would be a good fit, and character creation is relatively easy.
posted by itesser at 10:53 AM on January 15, 2009

Based on advice I got here, I went to Yosemite for the first time on my 30th birthday, with my husband and friends from out of state. We shared rooms at a place that wasn't very expensive (Yosemite Bug) and at night we played stuff like Arkham Horror (though now I'd take Fluxx instead, which is a lot more accessible to non-gamer-types). It was great fun and really memorable, and I'm glad I got out and about (I've been more interested in checking out my area of NorCal since then). I don't know what's down your way besides Joshua Tree and Mt. Palomar (hey! is there a meteor shower coming up? do they open to the public? that could be really awesome! Bring nerdy card games and fancy hot chocolate!), but I thought I'd suggest something along those lines since you have several gaming options already.

And happy birthday in advance!
posted by wintersweet at 3:00 PM on January 15, 2009

Response by poster: Leaning more towards pairing the get-out-of-the-house part of the day with dinner. Still investigating my options, though. Thanks for the input, all!

A MST3K session of Logan's Run might be a fun way to end the evening, especially as I expect to have a few people sleeping over. I shall add it to my NetFlix cue.
posted by digitaldraco at 7:31 PM on January 17, 2009

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