Birthday Party Ideas for Kids: 30 Ways to Make It Memorable Birthday Party Ideas for Kids: 30 Ways to Make It Memorable
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Toddler Years

Birthday Party Ideas for Kids: 30 Ways to Make It Memorable

By Pehr
May 19, 2023  •  Last Modified May 19, 2023

It’s hard to believe your little one is another year older. This calls for a celebration! Though the days may feel long, the years are definitely short. Birthdays are a time to reflect on how much your baby has grown up in the past year, and throwing a party is the perfect way to shower your little with love. You may feel nostalgic and sentimental, but with a few of our party planning tips, you’ll be all set to host an amazing gathering with no fuss. Depending on how old they are, and what your budget is, there’s plenty of kids party ideas to make the day a sure hit. Whether you want to stay at home, rent a space or host outdoors, get inspired with our top 30 birthday party ideas for kids

Kids Party Ideas At Home

Throwing a birthday bash at home has its perks. Hosting in a cozy and familiar environment can still offer up adventure with a few simple features that will mean the world to your little one. Imaginative play time, party games, decorations and a cute cake go a long way. Transform your home with beautiful birthday decor your little will enjoy like free printables in zodiac signs or aquatic life. Get them to choose their own party outfit like a comfy cotton ruffle romper, gingham dress, henley one-piece or a short sleeve puff romper in a playful print.

toddler girl in coastal striped blue ruffle dress holding sunglasses and pink ball
Ruffle Dress - Coastal Stripe Blue

Here are our 10 best birthday party ideas for kids when you want to host at home:

  1. Classic party games. Party time means play time! Pass the parcel, musical chairs, and pin the tail on the pull-toy (these downloadable prints are great for a new spin on this traditional game). Indoor games like these are also ideal for winter babies whose activities may be limited by the weather. 
  2. Make the ultimate party favors. Your little will enjoy sharing the joy of their special day by creating party favors for their guests to take home. Small toys and stuffed animals, stickers, wildflower seed mixes and treats like lollipops or homemade cookies will be all the talk on the playground the next day. Go the extra mile by packing them in cute pouches.
  3. Piñata time. Buy an empty piñata and fill it with your own selection of treats (use confetti if you want to avoid candy). Safety is most important so if you choose this activity, make sure there is a lot of adult supervision and assistance. You may want to skip the blindfold for this age group too. 
  4. Create a craft table. Guests can work on making their own special item to take home from the party. Decorating a tote bag, using t-shirt paint on white tees, beading necklaces - whatever you choose, make sure it is age-appropriate.
  5. Plan a treasure hunt. Create a treasure map with clues, get guests to work in teams and hide “gold” or small toys around the house or in the backyard. You can also have a few accessories on hand so kids can dress up in character.
  6. Rent a bouncy castle or trampoline. Little kids love to channel their inner gymnast. There’s nothing more exhilarating than jumping, rolling, doing somersaults and flips at this age. Keep the numbers limited for the safest experience and offer a separate play area with toys for party guests to explore. Plastic and wood toys make post-party clean-up easier, and can be easily put away in accessible storage baskets
  7. Make it a theme party. Whether it’s a popular show or movie or a theme like mermaids or glow in the dark, little ones will love seeing their favorite characters featured throughout the party. You can buy theme decor online or at a party store like cups, plates, streamers, tablecloths and balloons. 
  8. Play dress up. Pick up a lot of different dress-up accessories at your local thrift store to create your own costume trunk. Tutus, silly hats, cat ears, masks, feather boas, colorful clothing and anything that sparks imagination. 
  9. Face painting. Do it yourself or hire a face painter! Your little will love seeing their face transformed by flowers, butterflies or animals. Kids party ideas that give guests a chance to choose are a great way for them to express themselves. 
  10. Open a sundae bar or bakeshop. Use a play kitchen, prepare a batch of cupcakes and get all the fixings like colorful frosting, sprinkles and cake toppers. Each guest can make a custom cupcake to display at the bakeshop (before they all get eaten, of course)! A sundae bar is also a fun option for little ones to create their own ice cream masterpiece. 

Outdoor Birthday Party Ideas for Kids 

You can keep things simple outdoors with just a little inspiration for kids birthday parties. Hosting a party at the park or outdoor venue takes the pressure off prepping and decorating the house. Will the party be rain or shine, or do you have a back-up plan if the weather doesn’t cooperate? Think about the guest count for the party, too. If you’re keen to invite the entire kindergarten class, a park party is the best way to keep a big group entertained without breaking the budget. 

toddler wearing pink heart shaped sunglasses and one piece ruffle swimsuit
Ruffle Swim Tank - Sea/Ink

Here are our top 10 kids birthday party ideas when you want to celebrate outdoors:

  1. Pool party or splash pad. Kids parties that are simple and straightforward are often the most popular. Pack a cozy hooded towel and swimwear for the birthday boy or girl, plus food and cake for post-swimming (don’t forget the candles)!
  2. Create an outdoor photo booth. Pick up a backdrop, bring a box of sunglasses, hats and wigs, and let little ones go wild getting their photos taken. For a budget-friendly option, take the photos yourself and email them to all the guests afterward instead of renting a booth that prints photos. 
  3. A Teddy Bear picnic. What better way to spend a couple hours in the park than enjoying a few bites alongside your favorite teddy bear? Bring everything you need to plan the perfect picnic, including healthy snacks that little ones will like. Bring it to life by styling all the bears for a fashion show with doll clothing (newborn sizes will usually fit too). 
  4. Outdoor party games. Tag, hide and seek, red rover, three-legged races, frisbee, water balloons and other games that require a lot of outdoor space to run around can get messy. Pack up everything you need for a quick clean up in a canvas tote or diaper bag so it’s easy to grab and go. Bring extra sunblock, umbrellas for shade, drinks and bucket hats to protect little ones’ delicate skin. 
  5. Visit a zoo or farm. Getting up close with animals at the local petting zoo or farm is a treat at any age. You can also book a traveling zoo to come to you - they usually have a selection of small animals to choose from like goats, bunnies, frogs and snakes that are safe for little ones to hold.
  6. Blow bubbles. You can make your own bubble wands or buy a bunch of different shapes. Kids party ideas like this one can keep the group happily playing for a while. You’ll be amazed by how captivating blowing bubbles can be for toddlers and preschoolers!
  7. A woodland theme party in the forest. Fairies, gnomes, elves, fawns and woodland creatures. When you go with a theme party, the excitement revolves around all the accessories and getting immersed in a magical world in the forest. Bring a few folding chairs, blankets and play mats for babies and toddlers to sit.
  8. Balloon artists, magicians or special guests. Hiring entertainment is an exciting way to keep young guests engaged. It might be their favorite princess or superhero, or a clown, balloon artist or puppeteer. If you go with entertainment like balloon animals, each guest can take home a balloon masterpiece as their party favor.
  9. Have a circus. This theme has a lot of ways to make outdoor parties lively and fun like popcorn, red clown noses, striped decor, a pop-up tent and elephant and tiger toys on display. For an easy party favor, send each guest home with a box of animal crackers. 
  10. Plein air art party. If your little artist loves to create, set up a few easels in the backyard for guests to paint to their heart’s content. You can also offer sidewalk chalk, crayons, hair paint and other drawing stations for a range of creative outlets. 

Kids Party Ideas at a Rental Space 

If you’re hosting at a rented space with an activity as the main ingredient, there’s less need to spend big on decorations and food. Be clear with guests on whether gifts are expected and don’t feel obliged to provide party favors. For kids this age, opening a lot of gifts can be overwhelming! You can keep things simple by limiting gifts to a book, gift card or card with $5 to put toward a collective gift of their choosing.

baby and toddler playing on striped play mat with basket and boat
On The Go Play Mat - Sea/Ink

 Here’s our top 10 birthday party ideas for kids at a rented space:

  1. Gymnastics. You can host a fun party at the local gymnastics studio. Little ones can run, jump, roll, swing, somersault and get all their spirited energy out with group games too. 
  2. Baking class. This keeps the party short and sweet. It’s simple to plan and the pastry chef will teach little ones how to decorate cakes or cookies. 
  3. Flower shop. A lot of floral studios will host group parties for kids with activities like planting a fairy garden with succulents or learning how to take care of a plant. 
  4. Skating rink. Rent ice time for an hour and make sure there is supervision and instructors for new skaters. Roller rinks are also a great option since they rent roller skates and kids don’t have to bring their own. 
  5. Bowling alley. There’s usually a kids lane with smaller bowling balls for little ones to enjoy the excitement of bowling and try the game for the first time. 
  6. Gaming centers, play zones and arcades. Whether it’s carnival games, video games or a big play zone with a ball pit and monkey bars, these venues are full of exploration and excitement for littles. 
  7. Restaurant party rooms. Try your local pizza parlor, kid-friendly restaurant, or tea house for a private tea party. For toddlers, bringing a doll or stuffed animal to the table can be a fun novelty. They love pretend play at this age and having a transitional object makes them more at ease in social settings. 
  8. Creative studios or shops. An art class, ceramic studio, or build-a-bear where each guest can create their own stuffed bear. Doing something artistic as a group is a great way to build skills, express themselves, and every guest leaves with a unique party favor as a memento of the day. 
  9. Yoga or dance studio. Host a ballet class, yoga session or a dance free-for-all to shake those sillies out. They’ll love moving and grooving and learning how to do something new. Dance moves and yoga poses are things they’ll take with them after the party is over!
  10. A day at the Museum. Keep it mellow with a birthday party hosted at a museum. There are a lot of options, so choose something that really appeals to the birthday kid. Airplane museums, science centers and dinosaur and history exhibits can all feel special. Most museums offer a group rate or party package for birthday celebrations. 


Keep it simple, especially in the early years. Though parents may feel pressure to make every birthday party over-the-top, it’s the little things that often bring the most pleasure to toddlers and preschoolers. We hope this guide gives you all the inspiration for kids birthday parties you need to make your little one’s birthday a day they will fondly remember. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Toddlers and preschoolers tire out quickly from stimulus and excitement, especially during social activities like playdates and parties. Two hours is plenty of time for kids to have fun but you could stretch it to three hours if you need to. If you decide to host at home, make sure your invite has a clear start and end time for the party.

Little ones age 5 and under are usually accompanied by their parents at birthday parties. An exception could be if the party is hosted at a venue that has additional supervision. It’s a good idea to ask the host if you should attend.

A lot of parents want the focus to be on the birthday kid and not on the gifts. Since birthday parties for little ones are short, gift opening can take a lot of time away from other fun group activities. If you want to open gifts after the party, set up a gift table and make sure you follow up with parents to say thank you and express what your little one loved about their gift.

Most toddlers and preschoolers still need a midday nap until age 4, and some will continue to nap until age 5 or 6. The ideal time frame for a kids birthday party is the afternoon between 2 - 5pm. They’ll be energetic after getting some sleep, hungry for a meal, and excited to see their friends.