Birthday parties typically revolve around the latest movie characters or a recent toy craze, but the creative birthday parties are the most memorable. There are limitless options when it comes to a theme for your child’s birthday party. Use these 25 themes as inspiration to plan a perfect party of your own.


Turn your party space into a kid aquarium. Decorate the walls with blue paper, and then add fish, plants and other sea life. If the weather is warm, play games involving water like a water balloon toss or a tug-of-war over a baby pool. Serve blue Jello with Swedish fish floating in the middle, and send kids home with a bag of undersea gummy candy.


Donuts are perfect for a party because they’re beautiful and delicious. Create donut-shaped invitations, and serve a birthday cake made entirely of donuts. Play games where guests race to see who can eat a donut off a clothesline, or try to toss cardboard donuts over cones. Decorate with a giant, inflatable donut that will later serve as a pool raft. Have a fun activity where guests can decorate donuts of their own.


You can have a fantastic camping themed party inside or in your backyard. Set up a tent where you can gather for games or stories, and be sure to serve camping foods like hot dogs and s’mores. If you’re outside, you can build a fire and roast marshmallows.


Italian Food

A pasta party is a fun way to celebrate all things Italian. Send invitations that look like plane tickets to Italy. Decorate your party space like an Italian restaurant. Allow the guests to sample a variety of pastas and toppings, or let each guest make an individual pizza. You can even make a birthday cake that looks like a pizza by getting creative with candy and icing.


Sparkling blues, pinks and purples set the scene for a mermaid party. Guests can come dressed as mermaids, or you can provide mermaid tails of your own. Hang a fish-shaped piñata, and set up a fishing game where guests can catch prizes with a clothespin on a fishing pole. Then have a mermaid race where kids have to flop across the floor with their legs tied together.

Enchanted Fairy Forest

Turn your own backyard into an enchanted home for fairies. Incorporate small surprises like fairy doors on trees or tiny table set for tea. Ask guests to come dressed as fairies, or provide wings for your guests as they arrive. Give guests supplies like sticks and rocks to create their own fairy houses. Play a game of fairy tag where guests who are tagged must fall asleep and be woken by a fairy with a magic wand.


Your little science enthusiast will love a party that’s all about science. Look through some kids’ science books to find fun and exciting experiments to try. Serve foods in beakers and test tubes, and even create organs made of Jello. Make molecules with marshmallows, gumdrops and toothpicks, and send guests home with a small science experiment to complete on their own.

Ice Cream

Ice cream is the ultimate party food. Send invitations in the shape of ice cream cones, and decorate with balloons in pastel ice cream colors. Buy an inexpensive ice cream maker that allows guests to create their own desserts by shaking the ingredients in a ball, and have a contest to see who can identify the most ice cream flavors while blindfolded. Set up a sundae bar with several types of ice cream and variety of toppings to put on top. Create a pin-the-cherry on the ice cream cone game for guests to play.

Tea Party

Create an elegant tea party for your little prince or princess. Have guests arrived dressed in their finest clothing or royal costumes, and host a tea party with plenty of cakes and cookies to enjoy.

Play games to see who can toss the most teabags into a giant teacup, or ask guests to create a castle made of sugar cubes. Your guests can even paint ceramic teacups as an activity that doubles as a party favor.


A flamingo is a fun way to use orange, pink and red to throw an eye-catching party. Use flamingo shapes for invitations and placeholders. Create a game that involves tossing balls into an inflatable flamingo. See who can stand the longest on one leg like a flamingo. Make balloon flamingos by taping legs, feathers and a cardboard neck and head to a large, pink balloon.


Kids who love to color will enjoy a party that’s all about crayons. Line the floor, walls and tables of your party space with white paper, and provide plenty of crayons for coloring throughout the party. Decorate with large crayon shaped banks and balloons. Challenge kids to color pictures with their eyes closed, and make multi-colored crayons with broken pieces. 

Rock Star

Send invitations on a cut-out of a guitar or microphone, and ask kids to come dressed as rockers. Set up a stage in your party space with colorful lights, and host a karaoke session and a fashion show. Have an air guitar contest to your child’s favorite music, and serve a cake in the shape of an electric guitar.


Celebrate all things French with a party theme based on that special country. Send invitations in French with an English translation, and have guests

recreate the Eiffel tower with toothpicks. Serve French pastries, pizza on French bread and French fries. Give each guest a beret to wear home.


Any sport can be an excellent theme for a party. Use baseball, basketball, football, soccer or a combination of sports. Play a smaller version of the game as an activity, and play traditional birthday party games using sports balls. Use plastic toys and icing to quickly turn a sheet cake into a field for any sport. Give kids squishy balls as party favors.  


Many kids are fascinated with bugs, so focus your party on insects. Make treats called dirt with chocolate pudding, crushed cookies and gummy insects. Have relay races where kids must crawl, hop or try to fly like a bug from one place to another. Give each guest an insect viewer and a butterfly net. Serve chocolate covered raisins, and tell kids they are ants. Make a caterpillar birthday cake out of brightly colored cupcakes.


A blueprint style invitation and a bunch of plastic construction hats will set the scene for a construction themed party. Provide oversized cardboard blocks so guests can build the tallest towers. Have relay races with cardboard bricks, and make an obstacle course with construction signs announcing what guests should do next.


Send invitations telling guests, “I mustache you a question. Will you come to my birthday party?” Tape some cardboard mustaches to straws or sticks, so kids can place them over their faces for a photo op. Make a pin-the-mustache on the face game with a poster-sized photo of the birthday child. Use cookie cutters to cut out mustaches shaped sandwiches and cookies. Send home mustache tattoos and lollipops as favors.


Serve a breakfast party with pancakes, syrup and your child’s favorite cereals. Ask guests to come in pajamas, or throw it as a surprise party for all the guests. Make arrangements with the guests’ parents so you can come to each house and get the child out of bed to come straight to the party location. Boil eggs for an egg toss game, and play charades with a breakfast theme. Instead of a traditional cake, serve layers of pancakes with icing in between.


Colorful candy is a child’s dream party theme. Send invitations with lollipops attached. Wrap helium balloons in colorful cellophane to be oversized candies hanging from the ceiling or tied in a bouquet on the birthday child’s chair. Be sure to have a birthday piñata, and create a candy bar where guests can fill favor boxes to take home. Send kids on a treasure hunt for bags of candy, and use candy to create unique mosaics.


Bright, rainbow colors are the center of this happy party theme. Send invitations shapes as rainbows, and serve rainbow colored fruits and candies. Get directions to make a cake that looks like a rainbow in the center when cut, or have someone else make it if baking isn’t your thing. Give guests paint or crayons so they can create their best rainbows, and have a race where guests must carry candy on a spoon as they run from one place to another.

Farmer’s Market

You can create your own farmer’s market in your home or yard. Serve a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and baked goods. Provide play food and create several stands so guests can pretend to buy and sell their products. Buy vegetable plants and let each child pot one to take home. Make tractors out of cardboard boxes that kids can wear in a relay race, and teach kids the classic game of Farmer in the Dell. Decorate the birthday cake with marzipan fruits and veggies.


Send pineapple shaped invitations, or get really creative and give each guest a real pineapple with party details attached. Decorate your party space with as many pineapples as you can find or make to create a pineapple paradise. Serve fresh pineapple, pineapple juice, pineapple ice cream and pineapple cake. A pineapple wearing sunglasses makes the perfect table décor. Let guests try to throw plastic rings around pineapples, and play the limbo to luau music.


Does your child love math? Then throw a math-themed birthday party. Decorate the party room with huge cardboard numbers and number balloons. Put the children in a circle and assign each a number. Have them shout out a number and throw the ball to that person as quickly as possible. After that, have a Sudoku puzzle race. Give books full of fun math games as party favors.


Invite guests to a safari at your house. Gather some stuffed animals or your real pets and decorate a few rooms of your house like a jungle or the African plains. Give the kids a scavenger hunt list of animals to identify. Turn freeze dance into a game where guests are lions who prowl around the room when music plays but suddenly fall asleep when it stops. The last child to fall asleep is out, and the game continues until only one lion is left.

Use carrot sticks surrounded by red and yellow pepper slices to create a lion with dip in the middle as a face, and use cookie cutters shaped like jungle animals to make rice cereal treats. Place toy animals on a green sheet cake, and you have an easy safari birthday cake.

Cupcake Party

A cupcake party can get messy, but your child and guests are sure to have a good time. Send an invitation in the shape of a cupcake, or attach the party details to a real cupcake in a box. At the party, give each child a cupcake without icing. Offer lots of colorful icing and toppings, and allow each child to create a personal cupcake masterpiece. Play a relay game where each child has to squash a cupcake by sitting on it in a plastic chair. Buy a giant cupcake pan to use as a birthday cake, and give cupcake shaped erasers as party favors.

When you consider a theme for your child’s birthday party, think about what your child enjoys most. This can be anything from an activity to a food. It could even be as simple as a color combination.

Consider elements like invitations, foods, decorations, activities and party favors. These 25 themes will spark your imagination so you can get started on planning the best birthday party your child has ever seen.