Birthdays: chock-full of Facebook messages from people you barely know, automated emails from Baskin Robbins, obligatory family dinners, and disappointment. What’s not to love? 

Last week marked my 27th birthday, and while the wonderful people in my life tried their darnedest to give me the birthday they thought I wanted, all I really wanted was to sleep in, watch trashy TV with my cat, eat salted dark chocolate in bed, and perhaps venture out into the world to have a private, pseudo adventure that was NOT birthday-themed. 

If the onset of your birthday gives you the sudden urge to hide or flee, I recommend indulging your unconventional side. Forget the cake, candles, and giant numbered balloons; here are six non-traditional ways to celebrate your big day without leaving the comfort of your own city.

Indoor Skydiving with iFly Toronto. Calling all adrenaline junkies! iFly Toronto offers the unparalleled opportunity to defy gravity for as little as $72.00 per person. iFly equips patrons with a trained flight instructor, and their introductory package features a free fall simulation, which allows you to feel what it’s like to skydive without having to actually jump out of a plane. No prior experience required. What is required: flyers must be over the age of four and under the weight of 230 pounds. According to reviewers, flying is addictive, so consider yourself warned!

Drag Show at Crews & Tangos. If getting good ‘ol birthday drunk is high on your wish list, do so in style at Crews & Tangos. This venue is known for one thing and one thing only: local drag. (Okay I lied, it’s also known for its wicked karaoke, dubbed “Vocal Rehab.” Thursdays from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.) 

Hip-Hop Karaoke at Revival Bar. Did someone say karaoke? If you’re sick to death of belting Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” perhaps it’s time for a genre switch. Every third Friday of the month marks Hip-Hop Karaoke night at Revival Bar where you can rap to your heart’s content for the low, low price of ten bucks.

Drop-in Improv at The Second City. Do you fancy yourself funny? Let the seasoned professionals at The Second City Toronto be the judge of that! Adult drop-in improv classes run every Monday, Friday and Saturday and will cost $15.00 per class. According to TSC’s website, “Play improv games like Whose Line Is It Anyway, and then head down to our Mainstage to see the pros in action!”

Birthday Longevity Noodles at Magic Noodle. Cake, candles and balloons are very much a western take on celebrating birthdays, so if that clichéd combo puts you to sleep, you might be inclined to embrace an international birthday tradition. According to an article published in NOW Magazine, featuring Toronto restaurant Magic Noodle, “The noodle is a symbol of longevity and are as much a part of a Chinese birthday celebration as a birthday cake.” In many Chinese households, a bowl of “longevity noodles” are a birthday staple, and consuming them the right way should ensure you fortune, happiness, and, of course, longevity in the years to come. The customary way to gobble down longevity noodles can vary from household to household, with one prevailing practice proving to be undisputed: never, ever cut a strand of noodles. Moral of the story: if you don’t have a Chinese household to hit up, head over to Magic Noodle for a bowl of noodles that could potentially change the course of your life.

Honourable mentions:

  • Don’t want to break the bank? Make yourself a thermos of herbal tea, grab a book, and head to Allen Gardens for the afternoon! Sometimes the best birthday gift of all is SOLITUDE.
  • Grab a few pals and have a low-key board games night at Snakes and Lattes. It’s always a good time, if you can get in!
  • Maybe all you want for your birthday is to drop some serious knowledge on strangers at Drake Trivia. Cover is like, $2. Done.
  • Sign up for a workshop at Bloom School and take home your own birthday bouquet!