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At Home Birthday Party Ideas & Themes

by Lissa Eckert

in Birthday Party Ideas

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Opting for a cozy night in celebrating your loved one’s birthday? These at home birthday party ideas are sure to get your creative juices flowing! Did we leave a great at home birthday idea off the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

Low Country Boil Party

There’s nothing like a Low Country boil to get a party going! This popular southern fare is a great way to serve a ton of guests at once right in the comfort of your own home. Low Country boils are best when enjoyed outside at a picnic table covered in newspaper, but if the weather doesn’t agree, get out your biggest platters for a family style feast. Serve other southern favorites, like boiled peanuts and pimento cheese with crackers, while guests arrive. Start your boil by placing a large stockpot filled with water and seasoning on the grill– toss in the potatoes and corn first. Sliced kielbasa goes in next, but save the shrimp for last since they cook quickly! Serve with plenty of homemade cocktail sauce and fresh lemon wedges. Stock a cooler with craft beers and glass bottle sodas, but don’t you dare forget the sweet tea and fresh squeezed lemonade. Forgo the traditional birthday cake and serve an upside down berry cobbler instead. Your guests are sure feel right at home at this low country boil– so at home in fact, you’ll have to kick them out with the traditional, “y’all don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here!”

Fiesta Party

Invite friends over to your house for a south of the border bash! The brighter and bolder the decorations, the better. Create a banner out of orange, yellow, pink, and blue tissue paper. Spice up your snack table with mini bowl banners made from tissue paper and double sided tape. A fiesta is never complete without a piñata– go with a donkey, cactus, or stick with the traditional 9-pointed star. Decorate tables with colorful vases filled with orange and pink gerber daisies. Serve classics like horchata (a cinnamon and vanilla rice drink) and margaritas. Make your guests feel right at home with a DIY taco bar. Set up individual dishes for salsa, guacamole, sour cream, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. For appetizers, serve grab-and-go 7-layer dip cups with homemade tortilla chips, goat cheese stuffed jalapeno poppers, and grilled corn covered in lime juice and cotija cheese. To really make this at home birthday party a successful fiesta, serve a tres leches cake or a margarita cheesecake. Your guests are sure to say OLE!

Bourbon Tasting Party

Invite guests over to your place for a bourbon tasting party they’re sure to enjoy. Set up a chalkboard by the front door that ushers attendees in to “Pick Your Poison”. To provide a better variety of options, have everyone bring a bottle of their favorite bourbon. Make sure you have a collection of your favorite small batch, single barrel, and craft bourbons to sample. Create the bourbon bar by flipping a galvanized tub upside down and placing the bottles on top. Set out glasses and garnishes along the table for a DIY sampling. (Experts recommend tulip shaped glass, but whatever you have at home will do!) Make sure to include snacks to cleanse palates between samples, such as pecans, dark chocolate, bagel chips, bread, and cheese. Don’t forget a bucket of ice for those who prefer their bourbon on the rocks or the dump bucket for those who prefer tasting only. Once the tasting wraps up, grill burgers and provide plenty of gourmet toppings like pineapple, sriracha mayo, and fried eggs!

Surprise Party

Invite friends and family over to your house for a traditional surprise party! Sometimes there’s no better birthday party than getting loved ones together for a surprise honoring the birthday guy or gal. Really surprise your loved one by having a beloved out-of-town guest come in for the event! Have them hide in the back of the room for a surprise AFTER the initial surprise. Go all sorts of traditional with party hats, streamers, and noisemakers. Get huge gold or silver balloons to match the age they’re turning. Add a special touch to the night by tying photos of past celebrations and good times to balloons filled with helium. The photos will hang at eye level for a perfect little reminder of who you’re all there to celebrate! To keep the night low-key and easy, grill burgers and hotdogs alongside sliced cantaloupe and watermelon served on popsicle sticks. Serve their favorite flavored ice cream and birthday cake, but make sure there are enough candles to make a wish! This surprise party is sure to go down in the books.

Potluck Party

Celebrate another great year with your birthday guest of honor by hosting a potluck party. Bring their favorite people together for a night of good company and good food. Be sure to assign guests a food item they’re comfortable with, but also keep in mind you don’t want to end up with several of the same dish. A signup sheet is a great way to combat this– break it down by categories (appetizers, main course, and dessert), so you’re sure to get a little of everything! Plan to take care of some of the appetizers by making bite size bacon cheeseburger meatballs or meatball mozzarella cups with quartered breadsticks. Guests can snack and sip on the signature cocktail (consider blackberry lemonade or a fruity sangria) of your choosing while waiting for all the dishes to arrive. Depending on the time of year, plan to host your event accordingly. If you’re able to celebrate outside, set out a basket with sunscreen, bug spray, and blankets. Throw a nice mint colored tablecloth over picnic tables or set up an indoor event with great tunes and plenty of cozy seating. Depending on what guests opted to bring for dessert, make the opposite! Plenty of cookies and cake? Make a peach cobbler and serve with French vanilla ice cream! Too many pies? Set up an ice cream sundae bar! This at home birthday is sure to leave everyone feeling great– and full!

At Home Olympics Party

If you’re looking for an at home birthday party that works for all ages, this is the party for you! Plan to host your own at home Olympics by setting up your backyard for the events. This backyard bash is especially great for a summertime birthday. Create your own scoreboard by using chalkboard paint to cover an old sign or large piece of wood. Split groups into teams ahead of time and encourage them to come up with a team name and color or country. If you’ve invited guests that are less-inclined to partake in the games, encourage them to be the official mascot or cheerleader. For decorations, create Olympic torches out of red, orange, and yellow tissue paper. Roll up brown construction paper for the the base. Set up team games, like corn hole, horseshoes, ladder ball, and bocce ball. Organize individually scored sack races and hula hoop-a-thons! Create gold, silver, and bronze medals by tying pendants to red, white, and blue ribbon. Once the games are over and victors have been crowned, serve appetizers from around the world, like mini chorizo tacos and guacamole or pita spears and sliced cucumber with hummus and tampenade. To celebrate the birthday to the fullest, organize a milk and cookie bar with a variety of cookies from all around the world. Get flavors like tea cakes, macaroons, chocolate chip, biscotti, zeppolis, and shortbread. This birthday is sure to win you the gold!

Murder Mystery/Who Done It Dinner Party

Who doesn’t want to attend a murder mystery dinner party? Send invitations to a guest list of about 6-10 people with the ominous message, “You are cordially invited to a dinner to DIE for…”. Include a character description of their assigned player and strongly encourage they come dressed to play the part. For the game, make your own Clue-esque kit with faux weapons and clues, or check online for an already assembled option. Serve crab cakes with blood (cocktail sauce) and deviled eggs resembling eyeballs while guests get settled in. Encourage them to stay in character while they mingle! For dinner, serve something you can make ahead, like lasagna, garlic bread, and salad, so you’re free to join in the mystery. Decorate your dinner table with golden candelabras and pearl beads. Have everyone dine by candlelight- it’s sure to set the mood! Once your guests have had a chance to eat, have the night begin with the dramatic death of your first victim. From there, the night is sure to take on a life of it’s own! Once your detectives think they’ve solved the case, bring them together for the finale. After the mystery is solved and your victim is revived, celebrate with a birthday cake that has a fake knife stuck dead center. This birthday party is sure to leave guests screaming!

Garden Party

A garden party in your own backyard is the perfect way to celebrate your birthday. Invite guests to come decked out in their finest garden wear (women in tea-length floral dresses and sun hats, men in seersucker pants and bow ties). Set up a skinny table with glass pitchers of fruit infused water, fresh squeezed lemonade, and true southern sweet tea. String a vintage floral happy birthday banner from the front of the drink table. Place pastel colored linens and vases filled with wildflowers for a perfect sweet touch. Since everyone will be all dolled up, make sure you take full advantage of the moment! Construct a wooden picture frame from reclaimed wood and hang it with rope from a tree as a makeshift photo booth. Your guests are sure to get hungry, so keep the appetizers coming! Serve caprese skewers marinated in pesto or drizzled with balsamic vinegar as an appetizer along with cucumber chicken salad bites. For a classy birthday treat, serve a naked cake with fresh whipped cream and berries or individual strawberry shortcake cups.

Chili Cook Off Party

A chili cook off is the best way to celebrate those birthdays that fall in the chili-er months. Give guests plenty of notice to prepare their best chili dish by sending invites saying, “WANTED: Best Chili in Town!” Have guests come prepared with a copy of their recipe to exchange with the other contestants. Decorate with a red and white checkered table cloth and place flowers in cleaned and emptied tin cans. Make sure to celebrate the guest of honor with a “Jim’s Birthday Chili Cook Off!” To prepare for the party, set up a banquet style table with an extension cord– you’ll need the extra power for all those crockpots! Order sample size cups and spoons for the perfect tasting portions and create scorecards for anonymous judging of each dish. It’s all about bragging rights, so award wooden spoons of three different sizes to first, second, and third place. Just paint the ends in gold, silver, and bronze! After the chilis are all sampled and the winner has been declared, have a tasty topping table set up with all the chili essentials, like nachos, Fritos, jalapeno cornbread, hot dogs (cut in half so guests can try a little of everything), cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, jalapeños, onions, and sour cream. After all that savory, your guests are sure to have a taste for a decadent birthday cake. Try chocolate with fudge frosting and raspberry filling!

Pineapple/Tropical Party

Throw the sweetest pineapple themed party to date! This at home bash is sure to score you points. Real pineapples make great decorations- to kick it up a notch, use foam brushes and funky paints like lilac, lavender, and teal to paint the green crown of each pineapple. Once they’ve dried, set your art up on the food and present tables. Don’t worry about being wasteful- after the party is over, cut up the pineapples in chunks and throw them in the freezer for smoothies later. For the backdrop behind the snack table, get gold balloons that spell out ALOHA, but leave the “O” out and instead use a pink flamingo in it’s place. If you have the space, get a few blow up palm trees to really set the scene. Pineapples are really popular right now, so check for pineapple pool toys and floats- they’ll make great oversized decorations that your teen can take to the pool or beach later. Make sure you set up a smoothie bar- your guests will love making their own tasty drinks! If the guest list it too big, man the bar yourself and have two signature smoothie flavors to choose from, like peach mango banana and strawberry pineapple. For another fun spin, empty out coconuts and serve dips right out of the shell. Instead of a birthday cake, try a pineapple cheesecake- it’s sure to hit the spot!

About the Author - Lissa Eckert


Lissa is the SEO Content Coordinator at CustomInk. She aims to create content that engages and inspires our customers. Lissa thinks it would be really cool to one day see an idea of hers brought to life by a customer's order!

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