If you’re a parent, then planning a birthday party for every kid to enjoy can be overwhelming. That’s why this list of the top 10 birthday party ideas is just for you!
by Kimberly Pangaro | Kimberly is a mom of four daughters and the owner of the lifestyle parenting media company Atomic Mommy. When she’s not running her company or momming all day, she’s writing about family life.
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Trying to plan a birthday party that every kid will enjoy can be a tad stressful, and as a fellow parent, I thought you could use some help. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of the top ten birthday party ideas that any kid would truly enjoy.
Buckle up–Your at-home birthday party is about to get a facelift!
#1 Science Experiment Birthday Party
Sometimes science can be cool, and this birthday party idea is no exception! When I initially booked a Mad Science birthday party for my 5 year old, I had no idea what to expect from her. I wasn’t sure if I had missed the mark as far as what a 5 year old girl would want. I was quickly proven wrong. Her friends and her had the best time while watching the science show unfold in front of their eyes.
The kids had a chance to ask questions, become an assistant, and had tons of fun doing it. The best part, I didn’t have to worry about any messy clean up or destruction of my home because the party people took care of all of it. Yard party- check! Winter kids- you’re covered, too! Because this kind of party can be had in August or February, as it is easily doable both indoors and outdoors.
#2 Gazillion Bubble Show In Your Yard
Everyone loves bubbles. Heck, I’m almost 40 and I can’t help myself when the bubbles are out! That’s why this birthday party idea for your kids is such a big hit. Children and parents alike will love the bubble show. If you don’t want a show, and would rather experience bubbles everywhere, then you can opt for that as well.
One of my favorite places to book a party like this is OMG Bubbles, because they are a family run company so they know the importance of putting on an amazing kid-worthy show. And while I’d love to say that this can technically be held indoors, I do not recommend it. No one wants to worry about soapy water landing on anything other than the ground. Be sure to plan this one on a nice day, and in the yard.
#3 Gooey Slime Making Fun
Okay, okay. I know I’ve stated how I hate slime. But when it comes to my kids and their birthday parties, I’m sort of a sucker! With that said, this one is definitely messier than the party hosts let on, so keep it outdoors.
I knew how messy this would be before I booked the birthday party, but what I didn’t know, was how much fun it would be for the kids and adults. Now if you pick the right slime making entertainers for your child’s birthday, you will get a ton of extras and add-ons for a very affordable price. The best part is that most of the slime making birthday party companies offer packages that include upwards of 12 kids. That’s a steal, seeing as how much it costs per kid for other kinds of parties. That’s what makes this kind of party totally worth it. Definitely give this one a try… Just also have a power washer handy for the aftermath!
#4 Movie Night Under the Stars
For this party, all you need are some beach towels or blankets, a great child-friendly movie like Encanto that will keep the kids occupied the entire length of the movie, a projector, blu-tooth speaker, and a screen. This kind of birthday party is sort of my favorite because it is the option that requires the least amount of adult assistance, compared to some of the above options. And with this one, the parents can have a bit of adult fun while the kids hang and chill.
If you don’t have a projector and screen, you can call your local bounce house party rental companies, as they may have inflatable screens and the projector to go with it. Or if you think you’ll use these products more than once, it may be worth investing in the screen and projector on Amazon. Take a look at the screen and projector I purchased below. I bought this set because it is super easy to set up anywhere including parks.
#5 Fairy Tale Puppet Show
Puppet shows are a great value of entertainment for just about any age group because a good puppeteer will gear any show towards the age group of their audience. Just be sure to let the booker know what age group you are looking to entertain.
What’s good about this kind of party is that it offers a style of entertainment that involves your child’s circle time skills. And as my 8 year old daughter put it, if the story is good, then the kids will like it. To add a bit of flare to this kind of party, you can also include a theme that centers around your puppet show. For example, if your puppet show is renaissance-style, then you could set up a renaissance-style costume area for the kids, renaissance kid friendly treats, and perhaps even include a dragon character visit. If your budget doesn’t allow the hiring of a puppet show, you can opt to purchase your own puppet show kit right from Amazon.
#6 Magic Show Galore
Magic is that timeless topic that adults and kids never seem to get enough of. That’s why a magic show is the perfect birthday party idea for kids, especially kids who are not fans of anything else. Maybe they prefer watching rabbits come out of hats, or watching coins reappear from their friends’ ears. And if you’re worried that a magic show isn’t enough, you can also add an extra punch of illusionary magic. Think of a magician fake-cutting his assistant’s body in half or doing a disappearing act. That’ll really add the WOW factor that the kids will remember forever!
#7 Bounce House Mania
Depending on the ages of your children and their friends, you’ll want to choose bounce houses as one of your next birthday party ideas. First rule, pick a company that offers all different types of bounce houses.
There are interactive game-style bounce houses, inflatable mechanical animals to ride, traditional bounce houses–for toddlers and older kids, obstacle course bounce houses–these require a great deal of outdoor space, combo bounce houses–these often come with a slide or climbing wall attached, and of course, the water bounce houses. So you see, there are many different kinds of bounce houses you can book for a birthday party. The only difference between them being the ages allowed in each, the price–as some can get quite expensive, and the amount of space you need for setup.
To give you an idea, I once paid $1,500 for a 40 foot obstacle course. It was 20 feet wide and 40 feet long, and required additional room in the yard on all sides for a safe setup. That cost didn’t include delivery, setup, or breakdown. So when you go to book something like this, be sure to ask about this information. If you are not looking to spend crazy money, but still want the bounce house experience, you can always opt to buy a bounce house. This option lets your kids use it over and over again, and you getting your money’s worth.
With that said, I will say that booking one of these is quite effective at tiring your children out while also keeping them completely engulfed with each other. Kids from 4 to 16 will enjoy the bouncing around, and parents will get to mingle with the other adults. So a bounce house is a win-win for everyone!
#8 Backyard Carnival
Who doesn’t love a carnival! It is literally one of the better birthday party ideas I’ve ever done for my kids. Rides, games, food, and tons of fun–that’s what a carnival gives kids. You don’t have to spend a ton of cash renting these items though–you can order carnival games and prizes right off Amazon or Wal-Mart for really low prices!
If your idea of a backyard carnival also includes a water dunk tank, then you might have to rent that. But you can also hire a clown entertainer as well as rent a stationary ride that sits in your driveway or yard. The sky’s the limit when planning this kind of party because you can have as little or as much as you want–it really depends on your budget. Just know that this party will be truly unforgettable and might end up becoming the standard your kids judge all their future parties by.
#9 Circus Act
Elephants, motorcycles, and fire, oh my! I’m sure every child would love have to their own version of the Ringling Bros. circus in their backyards, but if you’re a parent, you are definitely concerned with how much space you don’t have and the high cost. If this sounds like you, then you are in for a treat because circus themed parties are not so difficult to arrange. You just need a bit of creativity.
Having a circus themed party may require you to take the size of it down a few notches. Instead of elephants and motorcycles, hire a few entertainers like acrobats, aerial artists, jugglers, or some unique circus acts like stilt walkers or LED performers. You can even dress your child up as the ring leader, and ask the entertainers to give your kid a power thrill by letting him be a part of their show.
#10 Petting Zoo and Pony Ride
This kind of birthday party really engages the kids to enjoy a part of life that is not normally experienced. It’s the cat’s meow for kids of all ages. If your little ones have older siblings, trust me, even they will enjoy this party. After all, who doesn’t love to pet goats and rabbits, to watch the ducks run around, and to feed baby lambs. It is quite an intoxicating feeling, being surrounded by farm life, even though it’s right in your back yard.
Here’s a few questions to ask when booking this type of party:
- Ask if the company offers tents (in case of rain).
- Ask if they provide the feed for the animals, or if you need to purchase it separately.
- Find out if a rain date is included in the price (book a rain date simultaneously).
- Ask if they offer additional perks like having a pony ride or camel ride.
- Be sure to ask how many animals are included, what kinds, and for how long.
- Find out what size space will they need for setup (does it need to be grassy or pavement).
Keep in mind that for a party like this, you will probably need a decent sized yard or driveway. Lastly, you will want to use a reputable company with quite a few good reviews on Google or on Facebook. Why? Well, you wouldn’t want to book the party, send the deposit, and then have the petting zoo company never show up. That actually happened to me one year.
Planing a birthday party should be simple, and it almost would be if we didn’t put so much pressure on ourselves to plan the perfect party. Hopefully, the list of birthday party ideas for kids that I shared helps you prepare for your next big hoorah.
Happy party planning!