Last Updated: Jun 19, 2018
Finding the right kids birthday party idea comes down to choosing a theme that sparks imagination and excitement. Imaginative birthday themes create unforgettable days of storytelling, adventure and creation, all the while celebrating what makes the birthday girl or boy exceptional and unique.
Parents get more free reign when it comes to first birthday party ideas, but as passions and interests change year by year, so will birthday parties. Celebrate their new excitement for baking by throwing a design-your-own cupcake bash or welcome their costumed friends for a superhero party. This way, friends and family can share in the joy of their current hobby or interest while letting loose and having an exciting day.
We’ve collected 20 kids birthday party ideas for all ages, styles and interests. Whether you’re looking to get outside and explore the farm, dive into some home science experiments or enjoy a day of backyard games, explore these kids party ideas for your next birthday bash.
1. Hollywood Glamour Movie Bash
Travel back to the Golden era of Hollywood with striped popcorn boxes, sparkly dresses and bow ties. Break out the dress-up outfits before watching a cartoon classic and ending the night with your own movie awards show.
2. Baking Extravaganza
Explore a recipe step-by-step as a group or pair up in teams for a cupcake challenge—just like in their favorite baking show. Learning the science behind baking is just as exciting as eating your homemade treats!
3. British Tea Time Celebration
Break out the fancy frills and teacups for an elegant afternoon of tea and cookies. Craft your own hats and fascinators, and coronate the birthday girl or boy the royal member of the day with a crown or tiara.
4. Character Storytime
Flexible for all ages of passionate readers, encourage guests to dress up as their favorite book character and share a page of their favorite story. For the little ones, invite a theatrical friend to make an appearance for a storybook circle.
5. Adventure Challenge Party
Arrange a backyard obstacle course filled with physical challenges and exciting games. As kids work their way through the course, each of their individual strengths can shine through to get the team to the end together.
6. Magical Unicorn Party
This trendy kids birthday party theme will awaken the creativity in each little unique unicorn at your gathering. Decorate with rainbow décor, play unicorn-themed games and of course, try your hand at some DIY unicorn goodies.
7. Superhero Meetup
Superheroes deserve a party too! Encourage your guests to dress like their favorite superhero either from pop culture or from their own imaginations. Kids can craft their own capes, personalizing their superhero getup.
8. A Day Out on the Farm
Support a local farm by throwing your kids birthday at a nearby stable, dairy farm or petting zoo. Learn about how to milk a cow, meet some furry friends, and explore the daily life of farm living.
9. Glow-in-the-Dark Dance Party
Use kid-safe glow-in-the-dark paint to create shirts and face-paint designs before dancing out all their energy to freeze dance and other silly dance games.
10. Magic and Mystery
Explore the world of magic wands and solving tricky riddles with a magic and mystery birthday theme. Leave clues throughout the yard or house to guide the whole group toward figuring out the mystery of the day.
11. Girl-Power Costume Bash
Invite friends to dress up as their favorite strong woman from fiction or history. Design awards or storybooks about their character before gathering together for cake and celebration.
12. Science Exploration
Possibilities are endless when it comes to home-friendly science projects. Make your own slime, build fizzing volcanoes and send everyone home with a rock candy kit to grow at home.
13. Cirque du Celebration
It’s time to join the circus! For this kids birthday party idea, create circus-themed stations in your backyard. Set up guessing games, a popcorn and ice cream station and even bob for apples for a prize.
14. Mermaids of the Sea Sleepover
Get all dolled up as the princesses of the sea for a mermaid birthday party. Kids can decorate their own tails with felt, sequins and puff paint and finish the evening with a certain classic mermaid movie.
15. Surf’s Up Birthday Bash
No matter the season, channel your classic beach days with a cool surfing-themed kids birthday party. Organize fun beach ball games, lay out pool-themed snacks, and design your own sandcastles—sand or not!
16. Glamping Birthday Party
Camping doesn’t have to mean you’re roughing it. Set up a sleepover right in your backyard with delicious snacks, fluffy pillows and even an outdoor movie.
17. Water Fun Wipeout Birthday Party
On a hot summer day, break out the slip-and-slide, hose and water balloons for a good, ol’ fashioned water-filled birthday. With minimal supplies, organize a water balloon toss, set up a DIY dunk bucket or try out this list of other simple backyard water games.
18. Make-a-Mess Art Party
Not all art projects are about staying clean. Guide finger painting, found-art nature crafts and tie-dying activities to show how tactile and abstract art can be. Be sure to set up a clean-off station before dessert!
19. Theatre Games Gathering
Close to a local theatre company? Kids theatre games are great ways to get everyone on their feet and being creative—and best of all, there are no supplies required.
20. Let’s Build It!
Building crafts and games are great for all ages. Set up stations and challenges with legos and blocks for the little ones or collect recycled cardboard boxes for middle schoolers to build their own mini city block or dollhouse!
Quite often, the simplest themes inspire the most exciting parties. Check out this list of imaginative birthday party ideas when planning your kid’s next birthday party to create a memorable day of celebration, learning and adventure. Whatever theme you choose, keep it in mind as you plan all of the day’s festivities, from decorations and invitations to what you write in the birthday card.