Check out our simple, affordable, and fun summer birthday themes and ideas for a party everyone will remember for years to come.

By Fiona Tapp
June 25, 2020
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Summer birthdays have all the perks. You're almost guaranteed good weather, the kids have zero homework, and everyone is relaxed and happy. So when it comes to party planning, why add stress? Keeping things simple is the name of the game. It's summer after all!

One way to instantly make things easier is by hosting your party at home or at a local park. It'll keep costs down and provide a blank canvas for tons of different types of fun. What types of fun, you ask? Consider any one of these easy-to-pull off kid birthday party themes to make the big day one of the best ever. Just add balloons, some cake, and a good playlist!

Bonus: With a little planning, you can make many of these ideas work even while social distancing by adding 6 feet of space between things like sleeping bags, art stations, and picnic blankets.

Pool Party

Host a pool party for kids of all ages. If you have your own backyard pool, you're all set for a celebration with minimum preparation required. Just throw some inflatables and toys in, grab lots of towels and sunscreen, and make sure you have enough adults on hand to ensure a safe and fun day for all.

If the children are younger or you don't have access to a pool, fill up an inflatable paddling pool for just as much fun in the sun.

  • Location: At home or at your local community pool
  • Age: All ages, provided you have enough adult supervision. Non-experienced swimmers need constant touch supervision when they’re playing in or near a pool, according to the AAP. That means you (or another responsible adult) should stay in the water at all times, within touching distance.
  • Things to remember: Make sure you set up a shady spot for kids to grab some water and cool off.
  • Cost prediction: Free

Water Fight!

If your child loves to play with water but you're feeling apprehensive about having a pool party, a water fight party can be just as much fun. Simply gather as many water toys, super soakers, buckets, and water balloons as you can, along with plenty of towels to dry off, and you're guaranteed hours of fun.

  • Location: At home or you can take the supplies to your local park or green space
  • Age: All ages, but kids 5 and up will have the most fun
  • Things to remember: Ask parents to pack spare clothes so that kids can change into something dry in time for cake.
  • Cost prediction: Up to $50 for water balloons and extra water pistols

Teddy Bears Picnic

Send out bear-themed invites asking children to bring their favorite stuffy to the party. Then simply lay out blankets on the lawn, provide picnic food favorites, and play some fun games like Hide and Go Seek, Simon Says, and Musical Statues.

  • Location: At home or at your local park if you don't have a backyard space
  • Age: Preschool
  • Things to remember: Put the teddy bears on their own table at food time to prevent spills on precious furry friends.
  • Cost prediction: Free

Backyard Movie Night

You can easily set up a screening experience in your backyard with a projector and a white sheet. Cover the grass with chairs, blankets, cushions or a mix of them all, then serve up some popcorn and drinks. You can also screen a movie inside if you don't have a projector, just make sure you provide plenty of movie-style snacks to make it feel special.

  • Location: At home
  • Age: 8 and up if you want to be able to show movies on the projector after dark
  • Things to remember: Choose age-appropriate movies and watch closely for any sensitive kids who might need a break during emotionally charged scenes.
  • Cost prediction: Up to $100 if you rent a projector

Painting Party

Your budding Picasso will have an amazingly creative party for minimal cost if you throw a painting party at home. Grab some canvas packs from the craft store and set up stations in your house or yard with paint and water. Encourage kids to create a work of art from their imagination, or provide still life items for them to paint. Bonus: At the end of the party, each child gets to take their masterpiece home.

  • Location: At home
  • Age: From toddlers to age 8
  • Things to remember: Ask parents to pack an oversized T-shirt or painting smock to protect kids' clothes from paint splatters.
  • Cost prediction: Up to $50 for canvas boards and paints

Pizza Party

If your birthday boy or girl loves to cook, throw them a pizza and cupcake party. Simply supply pizza bases, pre-chopped toppings in bowls, and a station to create their pies, then turn them loose to create their own custom pies. After lunch is served, take a play or dance break, then invite them back into the kitchen to decorate a cupcake as dessert.

  • Location: At home
  • Age: 6 and up
  • Things to remember: Make sure you have enough adults on hand for helping to clean up the mess that will ensue, and make sure children also stay away from the oven.
  • Cost prediction: Up to $100 for ingredients

Obstacle Course

Set up a fun relay race in the backyard using items from around the house. You can have station for kids to crawl under things, climb over objects, and perform simple tasks. If it's a hot day make the last station water-based, like dumping a bucket over their head to help cool them off.

Create teams of kids to compete against each other and let the games begin!

  • Location: At home
  • Age: 6 and up
  • Things to remember: Test out the course with your child before the party to make sure it's safe and can be completed. Have small prizes on hand for all kids.
  • Cost prediction: Up to $20 for prizes

Camp Out

Invite a few of your kid's close friends over for a birthday sleepover with a twist. Hold a camp out and pitch a tent in the backyard for kids to sleep under the stars. Feed them a BBQ dinner, enjoy s'mores over a portable fire pit, and tell ghost stories by flashlight.

  • Location: At home
  • Age: 8 and up
  • Things to remember: Have all parents information on hold for emergencies or in case any kids get homesick and want to leave.
  • Cost prediction: Free

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