Birthday Party Themes

Planning a birthday party is certainly a rousing task, especially for someone with a flair for creativity. People who can translate creative party ideas into reality can have a total blast sketching out a fun-filled birthday wingding, as long as they play their cards right, that is, chalk out everything in advance. And the first step to having a memorable birthday celebration is setting a theme to streamline preps and organize an unforgettable event that all attendees shall remember for years to come!

Picking out a theme for a birthday party is tricky, thanks to the endless array of party ideas to choose from. Whether you want to put together a fascinating carnival for your one-year-old or throw a wild bash for your best friend, there are countless ways for you to go about planning the celebration. To save your brain from turning into a cluttered mess, we decided to share our exhaustive list of birthday party theme ideas.

Plan an ultra-chic exclusive soiree, replicate the Met Gala 2019 camp fest or choose a concept from our birthday party theme suggestions to map out an event that will be the talk of the town for a long while.

Toddlers and Kids Birthday Party Themes

The tiny humans are all for colors and over-the-top festivities when it comes to celebrating birthdays. Unless a kid is an inborn space fanatic or science junkie, they have a ball around colorful decorations and engaging games. Keeping that in mind, here are quite a few birthday party themes for children.

The World Underwater

Having an underwater-themed birthday party offers you infinite ways to plan everything. From setting up an indoor pond and lacquering up the venue blue to getting a sea-themed cake and giving fish-shaped treats in goody bags, you can try any number of decorating ideas for an underwater party.

But if that’s too much of an undefined territory for you to navigate, you can narrow the theme to a deep-sea movie, such as Finding Nemo.

Whether you keep the scope of your little one’s birthday ball limited by choosing a motion picture or go all out by picking out the entire ocean to let the kids tread faux waters, be sure to throw in vivid colors for a quintessential kids’ party.

Mad Scientist

While most kids are not a fan of science, they do love mixing things and creating a mess. For this reason, throwing a farcical science fair for a birthday party will get you some pretty loud rounds of applause from the little fellas. 

Setup mini-lab counters where the kids get to handle different colored solutions in flasks and feel like actual mad scientists. They can either mix those together or add other faux science substances into the mixture. And try to be creative with the products you provide the kids for experimentation, that is, choose things that will have a visible reaction after coming in contact with one another, like baking soda and vinegar. Also, place lab coats and safety goggles close by for the kids to wear to add to their experience.

For the cake, go for one with a center filling that looks like some mysterious goo, while, for decorations, choose bright-colored balloons pressed together in bunches, resembling bubbles. To take the concept up a level, use flasks to serve drinks and Petri dishes for snacks.

And of course, for the birthday banner, get one with letters written as chemical symbols as on the periodic table. If you want to try something a bit more theatrical, hire a lab expert to do some fun science tricks in front of the little attendees and blow their minds.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Who doesn’t love chocolate? To be more specific, which kid doesn’t love chocolate? Quite literally none!

So what better way to entertain the tiny chocolate fiends other than by throwing a Charlie and the Chocolate themed birthday party? You can play around with this classic childhood fantasy of every kid and do so much in terms of decorations, activities, and fare.

Make the venue’s entrance the same as the chocolate factory’s in the movie. Set up multiple brown-colored configurations to give the impression of a chocolate plant. Use colorful props to assemble a chocolate garden with a chocolate river, hang edible chocolates from the make-believe trees for the kids to feast on, and place multiple Oompa Loompa dummies all over the venue.

For the cake, either go with a factory replica or choose Willy Wonka’s iconic St. Patrick’s hat. You can also go in a completely different direction and use Charlie’s skewed home as inspiration for the cake.

If you want to take the chocolate-y experience for the kids to a whole new level, put together a chocolate making counter where the young humans can make their own chocolates. This may sound complicated, but it’s not. All you need is some melted chocolate and molds, in which the little chocolatiers can form their very own chocolates.

Candy Store

There is only one thing that kids could love more than chocolate, and that is candy! Candy is every child’s favorite snack, with good reason. The sweet sticky goodness of candy comes in many shapes, forms, colors, and flavors, offering a wide variety for munching.

Plan a candy store-themed birthday bash for your child and rest easy knowing that they are going to absolutely love every bit of the event. Use as many buntings, streams, balloons, ribbons as you need to make the party blindingly colorful. But be sure you follow a tasteful color-theme, don’t just throw in colors willy-nilly, workout a sequence to have a fun yet classy jamboree.

Set up a sweet shop, a cupcake station, a candy cart to add personality and multiple elements to your shindig. If you are up for some rigorous cleaning later, you can also put up kiosks where kids can make candies or fix up cupcakes or any other confection (but of course under adult supervision). You don’t want to leave a bunch of charged up high-on-sugar kids on their own devices.

An upside-down ice-cream on a pastel-shaded colorful cake, decorated with sprinkles and candies, will look dead on according to the sweet theme of the party. And to keep the kids engaged, slides, jumping castles, trampolines, and whatever other amusing establishments you can manage to arrange, will work perfectly.

Rumble in the Jungle

Bringing the jungle to a kid’s birthday party is devilishly fun because you get to create faux habitats of all the animals you plan to invite. Again, you can choose to go all out and turn the venue into a forest or pick out a movie, such as the jungle book or Tarzan, to streamline your design choices.

However, you decide to plan a jungle-themed party, make it as believable as possible. That’s not to say you should bring in real animals to appease the kids unless you can manage some movie magic as in the film Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, you shouldn’t play with alive animals.

But surely, if you can manage to have your little one’s party at the zoo with trained animal experts, then, by all means, let your kid have all the fun in the book.

Realistically speaking, not many people can afford to book the zoo for a wingding, so most likely, you’ll have to plan a jungle-themed party from scratch. And frankly, it’s not that difficult; in fact, if anything, it’s a considerably easier theme to pull off. Buy an assortment of green and brown decorations, including balloons, streamers, buntings, shrub cutouts, etc.

Transform the venue into a make-believe jungle, and for the cake, use just one animal or select a pack of different species to go with the concept. Play jungle sounds as the background score to add to the forest-y vibe.

If you think a quick informational session, where the attendees get to learn lesser-known facts about a few animals, will not dampen the mood, perhaps you can spread some knowledge among the growing individuals.

Journey to the Outer Space

Although outer space is not too popular among all kids, it makes for an exciting theme for a birthday party. Children by nature are curious beings who love to learn about new things, and the galaxy is undoubtedly an unfamiliar concept for most tiny humans. You can choose the celestial world as your child’s birthday theme and let them and all other kids explore the secrets of the universe.

Throwing an outer space-themed party provides a million ways to engage the inquisitive young minds.

Color the venue in shades of blue and purple to depict the galaxy and use silver and white balloons to represent the stars. You can also hang all the planets from the ceiling and place some telescopes for the kids to observe the stars. A silver spaceship as the cake will work beautifully with your concept. To top it off, add a sparkling candle on top and enhance the feel.

An outer space-themed party is better suited for older kids and not toddlers as they like everything colorful, which the solar system isn’t.  If you have a kid less than 5, choose a little more animated theme such as the jungle, ocean, or candy store.

Adult Birthday Party Themes

The best part about picking out a birthday party theme for adults is the complete absence of restrictions. You can go as wild as you like without fear of ruining young minds! If you are ready to throw a rad blowout, here are some ideas to kick start your imagination.

F*30 Funeral Party

Many people believe that turning 30 is a gloomy moment in life when, in reality, it’s a reason to celebrate! Thirty years of living are sure to bring wisdom and the freedom to do whatever a person wants, so how can it not be a time for a party?

If you want to welcome the new chapter of your life (or your friend’s for whom you want to throw a party) right, bid farewell to your youth with a ceremonious get-together.

Marking a vital age milestone, an F*30 funeral party is also sometimes referred to as a goodbye my youth party, and it can be anything you want! You can choose to go down the dark road with a cemetery-themed party where everyone is dressed in black outfits, paying homage to the deceased, aka the birthday person’s youth!

Turn the party location into a spooky gravesite; put up black and white balloons, streams, and other eerie decorations. You can choose to serve a grim-reaper themed cake or a cake shaped like a grave. For snacks and refreshments, cover the spread with death-related confections, such as biscuits shaped like tombstones with RIP written on them.

If you feel an F*30 ball is not for you, then you can go with the next theme on the list.

The Booze Bazar

The booze bazaar is just a colloquial moniker for a bar-themed party; you can name it whatever you want because that’s not going to make your celebration any less fun!

Alcohol is perhaps one of the most pleasurable offerings of life. So why not concoct an entire shindig out of it?

There are many ways to materialize a liquor-based theme; you can choose to create a makeshift winery in a barn or transform an indoor venue into a bar. Either way, you will have an unlimited supply of alcohol to celebrated adulthood.

Use a whisky bottle or wine barrel as inspiration for the cake and serve fare infused with alcohol. To stay true to the event’s spirit (pun intended), offer as many hard drinks as you can, preferably every liquor brand from around the world. But doing that won’t be easy. You should also set up a DIY cocktail counter where the guests can mix their own drinks.

If you decide to go with this boozy theme, be sure you hire a herd of designated drivers to drive the inescapably intoxicated attendees.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

A trip down memory lane, or a blast from the past, call it whatever you want as long as you are ready to enjoy the bygone times again. Choose an era to narrow down your design and dressing choices or let the party be open for interpretation, giving the guests freedom to show up however they want.

As far as the arrangements go, use the typical decorations from the good old days, such as a disco ball, record players, boom boxes, etc. You can also park a vintage convertible at the venue to enhance the overall vibe of the place. Of course, the car doesn’t have to be real; it can be a prop.

Play old rock songs in the background for an additional touch of reality. You can also set up a karaoke bar to offer your guest an entertaining activity.

If you don’t want to have to choose every aspect of the theme yourself, then you can pick an old show for inspiration. For instance, select Boy Meets World as your main idea for the party, this way; you don’t have to plan every bit of the event. You have all the settings; all you’ll need to do is replicate them. Doing so will also help the guests pick out an outfit; all they’ll have to do is select a character, and they’ll know what to wear. It’s a win-win situation!

Havana Nights

Cuban-themed parties are perfect if you can use a beach house as the venue because that gives you 24/7 access to the ocean. But if that’s not possible, then you can always create the setting of one someplace else.

Choose an open space for your Cuban party, and think everything tropical. Hang empty coconut shells, put up garlands, put together thatched-roofed huts, if possible (remember that you don’t need to construct the perfect straw cottage), and serve fruity cocktails. Hang make-believe leaves and fruits from the ceiling, if the venue has one. If not, build a banquet and use its awning to suspend your Havana-themed ornaments. Place some realistic palm trees to make everything seem more authentic.

For the cake, pick out a colorful tropical cake with cigar toppers. You should also consider serving cigar-shaped appetizers and finger foods to match the ambiance. And don’t forget the drums! Put those either for a show or for the people to play.

Go Camp

The last theme we have on our list is inspired by the 2019 Met Gala; camp! It offers you the absolute freedom to go as bold and overboard as you wish. Make your camp birthday bash an indulgent affair with exaggerated decorations, punchy alcohol, and elitist food.

Since the idea of going camp is open to interpretation, you can choose to do whatever you want with the cake, décor, and activities. The only advice we have for you is don’t forget to have a jolly time!

Remember, a birthday party is organized to celebrate someone’s birth, which means the point is to have fun. So, don’t get caught up in the planning and picking a theme; instead, have a grand old time. Besides, there is no wrong way of having a party, so no matter what you do, you will have a party as long as you are ready to rumble!