From Breakfast in Bed to Watching the Football: What's the Best Way to Celebrate Your Birthday?

Here at Jackpotjoy, we love a birthday bash! We set out to find out what the most popular birthday activities are in the UK.
29th June 2023

From Breakfast in Bed to Watching the Football: What's the Best Way to Celebrate Your Birthday?


Birthdays are a special day as they give us the chance to eat plenty of cake, receive gifts from our loved ones, and reflect on the past year. 

We cannot forget that they are also the perfect opportunity to celebrate the most important person out there too: you! And the best part is that you get to do this however you want. 

Here at Jackpotjoy, we love to celebrate special occasions (as you might have guessed from our 20th birthday celebrations!), which is why we’ve discovered what the most popular birthday celebration activities are across the UK to help you get some inspiration ahead of your big day. 

To do this, we surveyed 2,000 UK adults on how long in advance they start planning, what their ideal birthday plans were, who they would most like to spend their special day with, and what birthday traditions are still popular across the nation. 

With that in mind, let’s get ready to start planning! 

Our favourite ways to celebrate

Through conducting the survey, we found that across the nation, one in five (22%) will start planning their celebrations one month in advance. Although one in ten (11%) just can’t wait for their birthday to come around and will start planning at least three months in advance. 

We also discovered that over half of us (52%) look forward to celebrating our birthday with a special meal out. 

Following this, it seems like good weather is needed for a perfect birthday, with 28% of those polled admitting they would love to spend their day simply enjoying some sunshine and warm weather. Just remember your sun cream! 

And finally, it appears that the nation is looking forward to enjoying all their favourite foods on the day, which is the third most popular birthday activity with a 26% approval rating. 

The most popular birthday activities across the nation are: 

  • A meal out somewhere special (52%) 
  • Enjoying the sunshine and warm weather (28%) 
  • Eating all your favourite foods (26%) 

Our study also revealed that the perfect birthday looks quite different for men and women. 

As a starting point, 18% of women said that they would like to be treated to a pampering session where they could have a massage, get their nails done, or go to the salon, while only 6% of men would agree that this is how they would like to spend their special day. 

However, this doesn’t mean that men don’t like being treated; in fact, 22% of men said they would quite look forward to having breakfast in bed for their birthday. 

Another activity men suggested they would quite enjoy on their special day is watching their favourite sport, with almost one in five (18%) of male respondents agreeing that this would be a perfect plan! 

Breakfast in bed (22%) Receive flowers (20%) 
Watch their favourite sport (18%) Be pampered, i.e., have a massage, get a manicure (18%)  
Spend the day with their significant other (25%) Spend the day with family (39%)

Birthday activities to avoid

Only 2% of those polled said they would like to go to a karaoke bar on their special day, making this one of the least popular activities for birthday celebrations.  

Additionally, it appears that indoor activities like pottery and painting workshops are not as well-liked across the country either, as only 6% of respondents said they would like to do these on their birthday. 

And the UK clearly don’t want to miss a second of their big day, as only 7% would like an afternoon nap.  

Less popular birthday activities across the nation:  

  1. Going to Karaoke (2%) 
  2. An indoor activity like painting and pottery (6%) 
  3. Having an afternoon nap (7%) 

The ultimate invite list

We know that getting your birthday plans right is important. However, who we decide to spend the day with is another big decision to make your celebration extra special, and it seems that the nation is most likely to choose to spend their birthdays with family (36%) and friends (25%). 

Two-thirds (64%) of those who are 65 years of age or older admit to wanting to spend their special day with their family, and similarly, women would also be happy to see their family on their big day. 

In contrast, when it comes to loved ones, more than a quarter of men (26%) would prefer to spend time with their partner, and similarly, a third of residents of Cardiff and Edinburgh admitted that they look forward to spending quality time with their partners during their birthdays. 

When it comes to celebrating with their friendship group, a third of residents from Sheffield (33%) admitted this is whom they’d rather spend their day with. 

As a nation of animal-lovers, we weren't surprised to find that 75,000 of us (11%) would like to spend time on our birthdays with our pets - the paw-fect birthday companion!

Who would we most like to spend our birthday with?  

  1. Family (36%) 
  2. Friends (25%) 
  3. Partner (25%) 
  4. Pets (11%) 

What is at the top of our birthday wish list? 

Regarding traditional birthday celebrations, surprisingly, only a quarter (28%) of the nation would really like to have a cake on their birthday! 

However, residents of Southampton and London came out as the biggest cake lovers, with over a third of residents here saying that a cake is a big birthday must! Vicky sponge anyone? 

When it comes to gifts and surprises, just a quarter of the nation (25%) said they would love to receive and open a gift on their birthday.  Those between the ages of 45 and 54 are the ones who look forward to opening and receiving gifts the most, with one in three (31%) admitting to it. 

On the other hand, when it comes to surprises, it seems that the nation is not fans of the unknown, as only 16% admitted they would like a surprise.  

What are the most common birthdays in the UK? 

Now that we know what the perfect birthday would look like, we also wanted to discover what the most common birthdays across the nation are! Do you have a birthday on one of these dates? 

The 10 most common birthdays in the UK are:   

Average Number of Births
127th September1,993
225th September1,987
324th September1,980
41st October1,979
523rd September1,979
626th September1,976
730th September1,975
820th September1,968
919th September1,967
1028th September1,966

With an average of 1,993 births each year, our research shows September 27th is the most common birthday in the UK. And if you were born on this date, you share your birthday celebrations with the likes of Shaun Cassidy and Meat Loaf!  

Not only that, but almost 40,000 UK people have been born on this date in the last 20 years, which is 13,100 more than the least common birthday date in the UK.   

Overall, September is the month with the most common birthdays in the UK, taking 9 out of the 10 most popular dates.  

On the other hand, it seems like December is the least common month for birthdays, with December 26th being the least popular birthday overall. 

Average Number of Births
126th December1,345
225th December1,416
31st January1,563
427th December1,650
528th December1,722
61st April1,726
72nd January1,734
824th December1,737
925th March1,747
1013th April1,748

Here at Jackpotjoy, we’re all about those winning moments that brighten your day. Whether you decide to book your favourite restaurant or go for a nice walk on the beach to enjoy the sunny weather, we wish you the happiest of birthdays!  

Our study sources and methodology:  

  • Study of 2,000 UK adults conducted in May 2023 
  • Most common birthdays (ONS)
  • Celebrity birthdays (Famous Birthdays)