I am often asked, “How long should a birthday party last?”. And it really depends on the age, and also if the party is for family and friends or a children’s birthday party.

A birthday party should last on average 3 hours, but the time varies depending on age. A children’s birthday party should last between 1-4 hours and 3-5 hours with Family and Friends. Special Birthday parties like Sweet sixteen, 20th, 30th, and so on should last between 4-8 hours.

We have divided the birthday parties into 3 groups:

  • Kid’s Birthday party
  • Teens birthday party
  • Adults birthday party

How long should a Kid’s birthday party last?

On average a kid’s birthday party should last 2 hours. Toddlers and preschoolers do best with parties kept between 1-2 hours. school-age kids’ birthday parties should last between 2-3 hours if enough activities are included in the planning.

It’s been our experience, (from more than 500 kids’ birthday parties) that the birthday parties are best kept within 3 hours. Since the kids get overstimulated and tired. Birthday Parties that take longer than 3 hours seem to be less of a success.

Delta Fun

We have made a list of how long kids’ birthday parties ideally should last depending on age below:

AgeAt leastSuggested lengthMax
>3 years1 Hour1½ Hours3 Hours
3-6 years2 Hours2½ Hours3 Hours
7-year-olds2 Hours3 Hours3½ Hours
8-year-olds2 Hours3 Hours3½ Hours
9-year-olds2 Hours3 Hours3½ Hours
10-year-olds2½ Hours3 Hours3½ Hours
11-year-olds2½ Hours3 Hours3½ Hours
12-year-olds3 Hours3 Hours4 Hours

Make sure you have a handle on the birthday party planning. So the kids are entertained though out the whole party.

How long should Teens’ birthday parties or birthday events last?

A teen’s birthday party should last 3-4 hours with high school classmates and friends. But it is normal that the birthday party with family and friends last 1 hour longer.

AgeAt leastSuggested lengthMax
13-year-old3 hours3-4 hours5 hours
14-year-olds3 Hours3-4 Hours5 Hours
15-year-olds3 Hours3-4 Hours5 Hours
16-year-olds4 Hours6 Hours8 Hours
17-year-olds3 Hours4 Hours5 Hours
18-year-olds3 Hours4-5 Hours8 Hours
19-year-olds3 Hours4-5 Hours8 Hours
20-year-olds3 Hours5 Hours8 Hours

Why is a Sweet sixteen birthday longer than normal teen birthdays?

A Sweet Sixteen birthday is not like any other birthday, especially in the united states. This birthday is perhaps one of the most important birthdays that get celebrated like there is no tomorrow.

A Sweet Sixteen last on average 6 hours. The length of the party may vary from 4-8 hours, depending on the planned party. Commonly, the party lasts a few hours longer than other teen birthdays, due to the entertainment that is planned for the birthday party.

How long should a birthday party last for adults with family and friends last?

A birthday for adults usually lasts longer than a kids’ birthday party. But how long depends on if it’s thrown on a weekday or the weekend, and obviously what age is being celebrated at the party since not all birthdays are equal.

On a weekday, a birthday party for adults should last around 3-4 hours. A birthday party for adults planned for the weekend should be at least 3-4 hours long, but the ideal duration varies from 4-8 hours depending on the age being celebrated.

The table below shows the recommended length of a birthday party for adults age by age. The suggested length is for a birthday party planned for the weekend, and the “at least” time is for a weekday birthday party.

So if you are wondering how long do birthday parties last on average, this table will give you some numbers to go from.

AgeAt leastSuggested lengthMax
21 years4 Hours6 hours8 Hours
22-29 years3 Hours5 Hours5 Hours
30 years4 Hours6-8 Hours10 Hours
31-39 years3 Hours5 Hours8 Hours
40 years4 Hours6-8 Hours10 Hours
41-49 years3 Hours5 Hours8 Hours
50 years4 Hours6-8 Hours10 Hours
51-59 years3 Hours5 Hours8 Hours
60 years4 Hours6-8 Hours10 Hours
61-69 years3 Hours5 Hours8 Hours
70 years4 Hours5-7 Hours8 Hours
71-79 years3 Hours4 Hours6 Hours
80 years4 Hours4-6 Hours7 Hours
81+2 Hours4 Hours6 Hours

How long should a landmark birthday or Milestone birthday party last?

As you can see from the tables above, a landmark birthday or a milestone birthday should last a bit longer than other birthday parties.

For landmark birthdays, such as a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th or 60th birthday parties, the party should last four hours minimum. If the birthday party is planned for the weekend, the recommended length of the birthday party is 5-8 hours.

The reason why landmark birthday parties, such as a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th or 60th birthday last a bit longer is that these are big milestones in a person’s life. They signify a change in status or a new chapter in a person’s life, so it’s only fitting that the party lasts a bit longer to celebrate.

What are landmark birthdays?

There are many landmark birthdays throughout the year. Some of these include a person’s 16th birthday, when they can legally drive; their 18th birthday, when they become an adult; and their 21st birthday when they can legally drink. Many people also consider their 30th, 40th, or 50th birthdays to be landmark occasions. These birthdays often entail parties or other celebrations to mark the occasion.

Landmark birthdays are special birthdays that signify a change in status or chapter in a person’s life. it may be a numerical birthday, like turning 30, 40, or 50. It may also be a birthday that unlocks a significant event like getting a driver’s license, legal drinking age, or retirement age.

We have made a post on all Landmark birthdays, and what is being celebrated