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Birthday Party Ideas


Throw the best birthday bash for your loved one with one of our favorite ideas. These birthday parties are great for all ages— from adults only to kid friendly soirees, we’ve got you covered! Are we missing a great idea? Let us know in the comments section below!

Kicked Up Cookout

If your birthday just so happens to fall in the warmer months, this kicked up cookout is the perfect party for you. While yard games like cornhole are guaranteed crowd pleasers, go all out with these BIG ideas for your birthday bash. Make a game of lawn Twister by spray painting green, yellow, blue, and red circles on the grass. Take Yahtzee beyond the kitchen table with this yard version— create dice out of wooden blocks and use galvanized pails to shake them up! Keep score on a giant poster board that resembles the original score pad. Add the final touch to your kicked up cookout with giant Jenga— set up a table with Jenga pieces made out of 2”x4”s. Encourage a little friendly competition between guests by creating an ultimate scoreboard. First, second, and third place are guaranteed prizes! Plan to serve the cookout grub everyone loves— burgers, dogs, and brats with all the fixin’s. Don’t forget plenty of sides like potato salad, macaroni and cheese, and corn on the cob. No birthday party is complete without dessert, but try a different spin by serving popsicles, strawberry shortcake, or a lemon bundt cake for a tasty summer-time treat.

It’s ALL Fun & Games

This party is all fun and games, but even better, it’s perfect for all ages! Invite guests over for food and fun. If weather allows, set up outside and plan to cookout with burgers, hotdogs, and all the fixin’s. If not, have no fear! Consider making barbecue in the crockpot for an easy but yummy meal that’s sure to feed the crowd. The games featured on our list are all indoor friendly. Try a safer twist on the pinata with a punch box— to make your own punch box, you’ll need a cardboard box, tissue paper, tape, and lightweight prizes or candy. For a more hygienic twist on bobbing for apples, tie donuts to strings and hang them from a tree branch or yardstick. The first to gobble their donut up enough to fall, wins! Another easy activity? Guess the number of gumballs. Fill a glass jar with a ton of multicolored gumballs and set up a guessing station— the winner takes the jar home! Attach balloons to a bulletin board and fill them at random with dollar bills or feathers. Allow three throws only per guest and then on to the next in line— it’ll add a fun element to a classic game. If you’re stuck inside, consider setting up a crepe paper laser maze in a hallway— use red streamers and tape to challenge your guests to make it unscathed to the other side!

An Artsy Party

Paint and sip parties are all the rage these days, that’s why we know this artsy party is sure to please at any age. No matter how old your crowd is, these crafty ideas are sure to please. Start by covering a long table with craft paper. Mark each place setting by writing each guest’s name right on the “tablecloth” along with the supplies they’ll need. If you’re hosting adults, invite them over to the bar to indulge in fun color-inspired drinks before the crafting begins, like cotton candy cocktails garnished with pink rock candy lollipops, or champagne floats made with sherbet. If your crowd is more likely to enjoy the standard drinks, stick to a traditional red and white wine option and local craft beers. Once everyone has settled in their seat, let the crafting begin! Consider stopping by your local craft store for letters that match the initials of each of your guests. Make sure there’s plenty of on trend paints (like silver, gold, and rose gold), fake flowers, or wine corks for the adults, but consider stickers, glitter, and funky paints for kids. If you have a true artistic flair, hang craft paper from the walls and draw a whimsical scene for guests to fill in with paint or markers. Make sure to set out a drop cloth to catch any spills! If you’re hosting all ages, let the kids decorate while the parents watch the action.

Party with a Photobooth

Invite family and friends over for a step up from a regular birthday bash with this photobooth party. Come up with the perfect hashtag and encourage guests to “Shoot it. Share it. Hashtag it.” so you’re able to check out all the fun photos later. Create your perfect photo booth by hanging a white backdrop with twinkle lights. Stock your photobooth with all the best props— mustaches, kissy lips, bow ties, and crowns are just a few fun accessories! Don’t stop there, pull out old Halloween costumes, hats, and wigs, to really step up the party. Create a second photobooth by cutting an old school polaroid shape out of a white poster board. Decorate the bottom with your party hashtag or a happy birthday message especially for the birthday guy or gal. Hang this picture perfect photobooth from a tree or in a hallway from the second level so guests can stop for a quick photo op. Serve finger foods, like mini mac and cheese bites, fried ravioli, and bacon wrapped smokies. For dessert, serve birthday cupcakes with sugar polaroid cameras on top.

Surprise Party

Invite friends and family over to your house for a traditional surprise party! Sometimes there’s no better 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.

Getting Old Sucks, but this Party is Sweet

Getting old can be hard, but this party is sure to sweeten the day! If your birthday guy or gal has a serious sweet tooth, this is idea you’ve been looking for. Send out invites featuring a grade school photo in black and white with the theme, “Getting Old Sucks, but this Party is Sweet!”, so guests know dessert is covered! Make sure you really go all out with the sweet treats— your guests are sure to thank you! Feature a sugary dip station with yummy favorites like cookie dough, Reese’s, and cake batter dips! Ditch the veggies and set up favorites like animal crackers, pretzels, graham crackers, marshmallows, and vanilla wafers for dunking. Don’t let the sweetness stop there, set up a candy bar with a ton of options. From Tootsie Pops to Hershey’s Kisses, let guests stock up their little paper goodie bags stamped with “sweetest eats”. Serve tasty drinks, like spiked strawberry lemonade (moscato, vodka, and frozen strawberries) or cake by the ocean cocktails (cake vodka, rum, orange juice, and pineapple!). While it may seem like the sweetness should stop there, no birthday party is complete without cake. Whether it’s traditional vanilla or a decadent chocolate, pair your cake with the perfect cocktail. Rich and chocolatey? Pair with a cabernet or go all out with White Russians. Vanilla? Chardonnay is the perfect accent. This party is sure to make turning another year older so much sweeter!

Cozy Campfire

This cozy campfire birthday party is perfect for all ages. Really cozy up your campfire by setting up hay bales around the fire with tons of blankets for all your guests along with necessities like bug spray and koozies for cold drinks. Create easy lighting with empty tin cans— remove their labels and use a hammer and nail to create small holes before placing a candle inside for the perfect twinkle. These camp-friendly lanterns will not only be useful, but also great decorations on the food table. The fire is sure to help warm things up, but hot beverages sure won’t hurt! Set up apple cider and hot chocolate in crockpots. Don’t forget the toppings! Cinnamon sticks and spiced rum are great additions to hot apple cider, while caramel vodka and whipped cream are just what a warm mug of hot chocolate needs. For dinner, have a station set to go with hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls and foil. Your guests will have a great time roasting them by the campfire. Serve the campfire roasted dogs with a side of baked beans and corn on the cob. No campfire is complete without roasting marshmallows! Set up the ultimate s’more dessert bar with a ton of tasty options: traditional s’mores (add peanut butter or Peppermint Patties for a tasty twist!), campfire cones (ice cream cones filled with marshmallows, Reese’s, Rolos, and bananas!), and s’mores pops (marshmallows dipped in chocolate and rolled in graham cracker crumbs). After dinner and dessert, have the kids run off the sugar with a game of flashlight tag while the adults tell ghost stories around the campfire.

Birthday Brunch

A birthday brunch is the perfect party plan for lovers of hot stacks and Bloody Mary’s alike. What’s better than brunch? A brunch party that’s perfect for any age group! Encourage friends and family to come over to your house in their coziest jammies. If you’re entertaining adults, stock the coffee bar with a ton of fun syrups and creamers, but don’t you dare forget the mimosas and Bloody Mary’s! Greet guests with a make your own Bloody Mary bar when they walk in— stocked with lemons, limes, celery, olives, hot sauce, and bacon skewers! With a setup like that, your party is off to a great start. Make sure you offer a few traditional breakfast staples, like waffles or pancakes, but prep ahead of time with french toast casseroles or a goat cheese and spinach quiches! For a little lighter of a breakfast treat, throw together a parfait bar with plain and Greek yogurt, plenty of fresh blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, and granola. To really “put the icing on the cake”, serve a tower of donuts on a cake stand instead of a birthday cake!

Backyard Carnival

A backyard carnival is sure to please any birthday guy or gal! Set up a photobooth by running red and white striped fabric as the backdrop or use spools of tear off tickets for funky twist. Invite guests to “step right up” to snap a photo when they first arrive. No carnival is complete without popcorn and cotton candy! Buy bags of buttery goodness and sticky sweetness for everyone to munch on as they walk around the booths. Make sure there are plenty of food and game booths for everyone to keep busy at. Set up a snack stand with goodies like corn dogs and soft pretzels! Caramel apples are always a big hit at the carnival, but make this classic treat a little easier to enjoy by making a dipped apple station with apple slices and plenty of tasty dips— like chocolate, caramel, or peanut butter. Offer crushed nuts, M&Ms, and chocolate chips to roll the apples in. For games, set up a wall of balloons filled with paint— have attendees throw darts at the wall for a colorful version of a timeless classic. Set up a few ball toss stations by placing empty tin cans in a pyramid with softballs to throw. Make sure there are plenty of prizes for winners, like stuffed animals and other little trinkets from the dollar store. A guessing booth is another great idea for a quick and easy game. Fill a glass jar with a ton of clown noses and have everyone write their guess down. The closest to the real number wins! Since this is a carnival themed birthday party after all, serve funnel cake cupcakes. Mmm!

Don’t think the great ideas stop there! Visit our Birthday Party Ideas section or head right to a few of our favorites:

Birthday Party Ideas for Adults
Birthday Party Ideas for Kids
Birthday Party Ideas for Home
Birthday Party Ideas for Teens

Lissa is the Site Content Specialist at Custom Ink. She hopes to create content that engages and inspires customers. Lissa loves to see ideas of hers brought to life by customer's orders!

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