It can be tough to find fun birthday ideas. After all, you must consider your budget, the age of the person whose birthday you’re celebrating, their likes, dislikes, and more.
To help you get inspired, we’ve compiled a list of birthday ideas spanning all age ranges and tastes. Ready? Let’s get started!
Fun Birthday Party Themes
Below is a list of 10 birthday party themes. The great thing about choosing a theme for your party is that it makes it easier to come up with the rest of the plan, like decorating, food, and games.
For instance, having a Fiesta-themed party can include Mexican foods such as tacos, Spanish rice, and a nacho bar. A cinema-themed party can include showing a classic movie favorite.
Start with your theme idea and expand it to create an unforgettable party. You might even find a unique gift idea and design your party theme around the gift.
For example, if your daughter wants cowboy boots as a gift, a Western-themed party could be an excellent way to tie the theme together with the gift.
Here are ten great theme ideas for your next birthday party.
Kids and adults alike love superheroes. Have your party guests come dressed as their favorite superhero or villain. You could even go so far as to decorate your house or party venue to look like the birthday person’s favorite superhero world.
For example, you could decorate a Batman fan’s party room to look like Gotham City or a Wonder Woman fan’s party to look like Paradise Island.
2. Retro Disco
How about a disco-themed party for those 70s and 80s music fans? Hang a disco ball from the ceiling (check out this homemade disco ball), get some colored strobe lights, and create a 70s and 80s music playlist on your Bluetooth speaker.
If you want to go really old school, set up a stereo and speakers in the party area. Make clothing, hairstyles, and makeup from the era a requirement to attend.
A Hawaiian-themed party always works, whether you’re planning an outdoor summer gala or an indoor winter party. After all, Hawaii is fun any time of the year.
Ask guests to wear leis and Hawaiian garb, and prepare traditional Hawaiian fare such as these Hawaiian chicken kabobs. Don’t forget to play Hawaiian music.
Tiki torches, blow-up palm trees, and coconut-shaped drinking glasses can add to the fun.
4. Casino Night
Create a casino night theme and go as simple or as extravagant as you want. Set up poker tables and dominoes tables.
Or rent casino equipment to mimic what you’d find in a live casino. Top off your party with fun casino-style decoration ideas. You could send out playing card-designed invitations and use fuzzy dice as table toppers.
5. Circus Theme
A circus-themed party is another fantastic idea that goes over well with crowds. Include circus games like ring tosses and (fake) dumbbell lifts.
Get creative with food ideas such as hot dogs, circus peanuts, bags of real peanuts, and cotton candy.
Use decorations such as red noses, circus-themed invitations, and balloons galore.
6. Cinema Theme
What about a cinema-themed birthday party? Start by setting up a family room or other venue to look like a theater.
Show your guest of honor’s favorite movie. And serve food fitting with movie theater menus, such as popcorn, soft pretzels, and theater-sized candy boxes.
Make the days leading up to the event even more exciting by sending out one of these movie-themed invitation designs.
I love that cinema-themed parties can be done on a modest budget, like these $50 and under gift ideas.
7. Magic-Themed Party
This idea works well for kids and adults alike. Design your magic-themed party with store-bought or homemade magician’s hats, magic wands, and stuffed animal bunnies.
Hire a magician to perform magic tricks or teach partygoers to learn their own. Serve magic-themed related food such as rabbit doughnut holes and dark chocolate dipped pretzel sticks as magic wands.
8. Murder Mystery Dinner
A murder mystery dinner could be a great birthday party theme for older kids or adults. Start by creating a venue in your home or renting a great venue (such as a mansion) on a site like Peerspace.
There are hundreds of murder mystery games you can buy for the party, or you can check out these free murder mystery games.
Another idea: Have your murder mystery party in a wooded yard and finish the evening with hot dogs and s’mores in front of a bonfire.
9. Karaoke Night
There’s nothing like a karaoke machine to get the fun started. Rent a karaoke machine or purchase one on Amazon.
Try to create a concert-like atmosphere with a makeshift stage and chairs for the audience, and don’t forget to video the show – the laughs will last for years.
10. Western Theme
A Western-themed party is another idea. Have party guests dress up in costumes as cowboys, cowgirls, or horses. Have bandanas for partygoers and decorate your venue like a ghost town, a ranch, or a western town.
Send out digital printout Wanted Posters as invitations, and serve western-themed food such as these chocolate cowboy hats.
Next, let’s look at some fun ideas for birthday party activities.
Fun Birthday Party Activities
Party guests love to have fun, so you’ll need to plan a few fun birthday party activities to keep them entertained.
11. Spa Activities
Spa activities are an excellent choice for that teen party or mom’s night out party. Set out manicure and pedicure tools, along with various nail polish colors.
Offer natural facial options such as plain yogurt, cucumbers, and clay masks. Make your facials extra comfy by keeping washcloths in this moist towel steamer.
Another idea: Hire a masseuse to come and give five-minute neck and shoulder massages.
12. Progressive Dinner
Why not make a progressive dinner for the birthday party you’re planning? This can be a fun idea for both adults and teens.
Typically, progressive dinners feature at least four different houses or other venues. Menu items at each venue will vary. As an example:
- Drinks and appetizers
- Dinner Salad
- Main dish
- More drinks
Make sure you have designated drivers if adult beverages will be served. Get creative and plan a fun and exciting courses for each venue.
13. Shopping Day
This party activity is perfect for teen girls and other shopaholics. Plan for the party group to spend the afternoon at a local mall.
Include a stop for lunch at a restaurant within the mall. Set aside plenty of time to shop before and after lunch.
Finish the party with dessert at a mall ice cream shop or another dessert venue.
14. Pool Party
If you live in a home with a pool, as many Southern states residents do, a pool party can be a great birthday party idea.
However, even if you don’t have a pool at home, you can often rent one fairly inexpensively. Local hotels in the Midwestern town where I live will rent pools for birthday parties for as little as $100 for an afternoon.
Party guests can spend the afternoon swimming and finish out the event, opening presents and eating cake or other foods.
15. Brunch Buffet
Having a brunch buffet is another popular birthday idea for kids and adults. You can make your brunch as easy or as extravagant as you’d like.
Keep it simple by having all party guests meet at a local buffet restaurant or host a brunch at a private home, and make all of the food yourself or have it catered in.
Some brunch party food ideas can include:
- Egg bake and other egg dishes
- Hash brown casserole
- Fruit salad
- Meat, cheese, and cracker trays
- Biscuits and gravy
- Doughnuts for dessert
16. Ice Cream Bar
An ice cream bar is another fun party theme. Activities center around each guest building their ice cream sundae or cone.
Start with two or three basic ice cream flavors, or get creative and add fun flavors like Cedar Crest’s Birthday Cake flavor or Banana Split.
Then include topping choices such as cut-up candy bars, crushed graham crackers, Skittles, or M&M’s.
Got a dairy-free guest? Try Ben and Jerry’s non-dairy ice creams made with almond milk.
17. Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunt-themed parties are fun for kids and adults alike. You can hide items around the house for partygoers to find.
Or head out to a local park and make it a learning hunt where guests can find different types of leaves, trees, or animals. Search the internet for scavenger hunt ideas that come with free printables to make party planning easier.
18. Adventure Activities
Adventure activities also make for a great birthday party theme. Plan a visit to a paintball park or go mini golfing. Visit an amusement center or a video game arcade. Plan a go-karting trip or a day at a local waterpark.
19. Pizza Party
A pizza party theme is always a hit. Have crusts ready to go, and set up an assembly line on the counter where party guests can make their pizzas.
Include topping ideas such as pepperoni, green pepper, olives, onions, pineapple, ham, and more.
Have both red and white sauces available. Encourage party guests to get creative and award prizes for categories such as “Most Creative Pizza” or “Most Nauseating Pizza.”
20. Cake or Cookie Decorating
A cake or cookie decorating theme can be fun as well. You provide cookies, mini cakes or cupcakes, and different toppings.
Have a couple of different frosting flavors and provide sprinkles, colored sugars, and other cake topping items.
Be sure to have guests take photos of their creations before eating them. You could also give away prizes with this idea, such as “Most Creative” or “Most Colorful.”
21. Mug Painting
Mug painting is another theme idea that can go over well, and who can’t use another coffee mug?
Simply buy plain white mugs for every party guest. You can get reasonably priced mugs at Walmart or Michaels’ craft stores.
Decorate the mugs with acrylic paint or permanent markers. Check out this article for complete mug painting instructions.
A BBQ-themed party can be a fun idea as well. Offer an array of BBQ foods such as chicken wings, brats, hot dogs, and more.
Have partygoers choose from various BBQ sauces and include some side dishes.
23. Chili Cookoff
How about a chili cookoff for your party’s theme? Each guest who wants to participate in the cookoff can bring their favorite chili.
Guests who don’t want to cook can participate as judges or enjoy the chili creations. Have chili topper sides available, such as sour cream, green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and bacon.
Sleepover-themed parties can be great for kids and teens. And they’re simple to plan as well. Have guests bring their sleeping bags (and pillows) if there aren’t enough beds in the house.
Plan movies, spa activities, nerf wars, or other games to keep guests busy and serve the guest of honor’s favorite foods.
Fun Birthday Party Games
Speaking of games, here are some fun party games for the birthday party you’re hosting.
25. Minute to Win It Games
Minute to Win it Games is a hit at any party. And there are hundreds of game ideas you can choose from to fit any interest, skill level, and budget.
Face the Cookie, Wrap it Up and Iron Man are just a few games you can choose to play at your birthday party.
Pinatas are a great way to release some pent-up energy, and smacking a pinata will appeal to kids and adults alike.
Get creative with fillers and add other items to your pinata along with candy, such as dollar store toys, money, and notes that list prizes on them.
Limbo is a great game that you can play with a simple broomstick. Play it indoors or outdoors and give prizes away to the top winners.
28. Musical Chairs
Musical chairs is another party game that’s easy to put together. Arrange all chairs facing outward in a circle, having one less chair than you have players.
Play the music of your choice. When the music stops, everyone has to grab a chair. The person that doesn’t grab a chair in time is “out.”
Hint: Allow eliminated players to “buy” their way back in by answering a trivia question. If they don’t answer correctly, they are permanently eliminated.
29. Water Balloon Fight
A water balloon fight is the perfect birthday party game if you’ve got an outdoor space and warm weather.
Kids and adults will get a kick out of pelting their fellow partygoers with balloons. Not up for getting partygoers wet? Have them throw water balloons at targets instead of at people.
There’s nothing like an old-fashioned game of charades to get a party going. Divide partygoers into groups and have one team member describe a song, movie, or book to other team members without using words.
The team with the most correct answers is the winner. You can modify the game for skill levels by having teams guess words instead of movies, songs, or books.
Get a whiteboard and a dry-erase marker for a fun game of Pictionary with party guests. Use cards from your Pictionary game for teams to draw from.
you can also make up cards with your own words or phrases.
32. Capture the Flag
This old-fashioned game is easily set up with two flags and a large playing field. Each team strategizes on how to get the opposing team’s flag by going into enemy territory without being stopped.
At the same time, teams must block their flag from being captured. Check out these Capture the Flag variations to add even more fun to the game.
33. Relay Race
A good old-fashioned relay race can be another great party game idea. Create your course and teams and reward the winners with fun prizes.
34. Truth or Dare
Truth or Dare can be a great party game for kids or adults. Choose dares based on the ages of the kids.
Here are 1,000 dare ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
35. Would You Rather
Would You Rather is a simple game that requires no supplies – just creative minds. Kids (or adults) ask other partygoers questions such as:
- Would you rather take a bath with a thousand fish or eat one raw fish?
- Would you rather dance on your front lawn in your pajamas for five minutes during a neighborhood block party or drink a cup of sour milk?
Check the internet for fun questions for all ages.
Cornhole is another fun game for partygoers of all ages. And cornhole sets come in a variety of different designs, prices, and sizes.
37. Fear Factor Games
Want to add some extra thrill to the birthday party you’re planning? Consider adding in some Fear Factor games.
Choose easy Fear Factor games for kids, such as “taste the baby food,” or more difficult games for teens and adults, such as eating dried mealworms or crickets.
38. Who Said It?
Who Said It? is a fun game where you choose a quote and then give your contestant two choices as to who said the quote: the right person and the wrong person.
Choose quotes from famous people or close family members or friends.
39. Trivia Games
Trivia games are always fun at birthday parties. Choose trivia questions from games at home, such as Trivial Pursuit.
Or get trivia questions online for free. Divide party members up into teams for extra fun.
40. What Is It?
What Is It? Is a fun game where you put different foods into bowls, blindfold participants, and then have them guess what the food is without smelling it or tasting it.
Some food ideas include tapioca, baby foods, or other foods with exciting textures. You can also have participants taste the foods if you’d like.
Fun Birthday Party Decorations
Last but not least, here are some party decoration ideas to round out your birthday party planning.
41. Candy Decorations
Decorate your party with different kinds of candy. Make table toppers with bowls of M&M’s, skittles, and mini candy bars.
Use giant lollipops to make signs or place settings. Or make paper decorations that look like candy.
42. Decorate with Desserts
Why not decorate with a variety of desserts? Bars, cookies, and cupcakes all make for fantastic decor.
You can also decorate with mini cheesecakes, pudding cups, and cake pops. Get creative with different colors and flavors.
Decorating with flowers is another birthday party hit. Choose from a variety of flower types and colors.
Roses, carnations, lilies, and mums are some ideas you can start with.
44. Western Decor
Decorate your Western or BBQ-themed party with cowboy hats and lassos, and even rent pony rides if you want to.
Download this fun printable from Etsy and have guests come up with their cowboy/cowgirl names.
45. Decorate With a Specific Shape
Why not decorate with a specific shape in mind? Cover the venue in colorful squares and accent with square foods such as Starbursts and Triscuits.
46. Beach Decor
Whether summer or winter, beach decor items make for a fun party. Think seashells, margarita glasses, sand, and beach balls.
47. Personalized Confetti
Personalized confetti comes in a wide array of options. Choose confetti for a specific age or get confetti in the shape of the guest of honor’s name and more.
48. Theme-Specific Cupcake Toppers
Cupcake toppers come in all different designs. Choose from sports-related toppers to animals, or any other type of topper design.
Shop Amazon or Etsy for cool ideas.
49. Photo Banners
Photo banners are easy to put together and make a great party decoration. Simply get a long piece (or several long pieces) of twine or thick string.
Place wooden clothespins evenly throughout the string and attach a picture to each clothespin. Other ideas include using a wooden board or poster board to display photos.
50. Streamers and Balloons
You can’t go wrong when decorating with plain old streamers and balloons. Use various colors or your guest of honor’s favorite color to fill your venue with that party feel.
Fun birthday ideas for kids, teens, and adults are everywhere, and you don’t have to blow your budget to host a great party. Use what you know about your guest of honor to plan a fun and entertaining birthday party that no one will soon forget.
Do you have some great birthday party ideas we should add to the list? Please let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear about them!