Summertime birthdays are something kids often dread – they aren’t in contact with their classmates and have a hard time getting everyone to their party. I used to wish my birthday wasn’t in the middle of June, but then I realized the opportunities summer offers. During the school year, parties are only a few hours – kids have homework and school to schedule around. In the summer, a birthday party can be a day-long experience, and I’ve put together a list of party ideas from the classic pool party to a trampoline park party that will make this year’s birthday bash one to remember.
1. The Water Party
Of course, swimming is a summer tradition that kids never tire of. Have party guests arrive in their swimsuits and bring a towel. All you need is a big yard or a nearby park, a truck-load of water balloons, plastic water guns, sponges, and buckets. In fact, the list of water games goes on and on – you can find hundreds with a simple google search. No matter the games you choose, everything from water balloon fights to sponge races will provide a summer cool-down your kids will love.
2. A Pirate Scavenger Hunt
Certainly, a pirate-themed birthday bash can be just what the captain ordered! Provide guests with eyepatches or bandanas to set the scene, play pin the flag on the pirate ship, and let the kids eat like scallywags. The best part of the party – the buried treasure! For younger kids, all you have to do is bury gold coins and let the kids go at it with a shovel and pail. For the older ones, provide an incomplete treasure map with clues to find the buried loot. All ages will enjoy the delicious treasure of chocolate coins when they reach their booty.
3. Alice in Wonderland Tea Party
As a result of recent movies, Wonderland is making a comeback. To start, set up your yard like scenes from the film – a bubble-blowing station with Mr. Caterpillar, lawn croquet with the Queen of Hearts, musical chairs with the Mad Hatter, gardening with the talking flowers – the kids can have their own adventure as they walk through different parts of the classic story. Lastly, add cookies that beg to be eaten, juice that demands to be drunk, topsy turvy decorations, a table set for tea and you’ll have the perfect scene for a wonderful tea party!
4. Safari Party
Surely, a safari party is a great option for those animal loving youngsters! Visit your local zoo, design a scavenger hunt where kids get points for spotting different animals throughout the exhibits. Give kids foam animal masks to wear, decorate the party room with animal-print balloons and blow-up zoo animals. Additionally, a zebra print or tiger-striped birthday cake will add a great surprise to the cake-cutting!
5. Backyard Campout
Kids love camping, so bring the campout to your kids! Set up a tent or two, build a bonfire, put up a hammock and a slackline, and your backyard will feel just like a kid-friendly campsite. Consider an obstacle course, a hike, or fishing from a kiddy-pool pond for your party activities. Specifically, kids can build their own trail mix at a trail mix bar, race to set-up shelters, and decorate hiking sticks. Don’t forget to finish the party by roasting s’mores for dessert!
6. Under the Sea Party
This poolside theme will keep kids cool while exciting their imaginations! Kids can play in the pool as fish or mermaids; mermaid racing, diving for treasure (toys that sink make great treasure!) and playing sharks and minnows. In fact, decorating a table with seashells, jelly-fish lamps (paper lanterns with streamers for tails), schools of paper fish, and a blue table-cloth with colored streamers for seaweed and a coral reef is sure to transport your guests from the pool to a mermaid castle below the sea.
7. The Luau
Likewise, the grass skirts and barbecue combination makes one exciting summer party! Have kids dress up to add color to your party- you can even do a costume contest. Welcome guests with flower leis to make them feel like they’ve been transported to the Big Island. Teach a hula lesson so guests can perform for their parents at the end of the night. Consider games like pineapple bowling and limbo. Light tiki-torches, decorate with coconuts, pineapples, and flowers. Not to mention, serving a barbecue of pork and pineapple alongside your family’s favorites, and guests will leave feeling like they’ve tasted Hawaii.
8. Homemade Carnival
Carnivals are so much fun for kids; there are plenty of games to excite them and tons of fun foods to eat. You can easily bring the fun home for a carnival birthday party. Play carnival games like a ring toss (fill bottles with water and use a small knitting loom for a ring), a squirt game (place ping-pong balls atop golf tees and let kids shoot them off with a water gun), a bean bag toss, plinko, donuts on a string (if kids can get it off the string without it hitting the ground, they can eat it), and bowling. Let guests snack on cotton candy, churros, and popcorn while they play, and serve hot dogs, corn-dogs, or burgers for dinner.
9. Ninja Party
Certainly, you guests will feel epic, sneaky and have an awesome time with a ninja party! Consider taking your party to an indoor trampoline park! Specifically, many parks have obstacle courses for kids to play on. Have your guests wear all black and let their imaginations ignite the party as they bounce, flip, climb, and jump themselves around the trampoline park like ninjas!