I happen to love planning my son’s birthday party each year. His first birthday was kind of a yawn (he’s just a baby!), but it’s much more fun now that he can get in on the party planning.
If you’re looking for something creative and non-generic for your child’s next birthday, I rounded up some of the most creative birthday themes to inspire you.
Here are some of my favorites:
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR
This is a popular book that deserves celebration. (It also has a built-in menu that’s fun to replicate at a party.) Instead of the typical caterpillar balloons, I opted to focus on the colorful dots throughout the book with gumballs, circular confetti, and watercolor decorations. See more photos at Early Mama.
If you don’t want to focus on one book in particular, a library party is a great idea. If it’s for a first birthday party, you could have guests bring their favorite childhood book to help build your baby’s collection. See Library Party ideas at Call Me Badger.
PASTEL ART BIRTHDAY PARTY
A unique version of an art party by Stephanie of Couture Parties — featuring pretty pastels, a garland made from paint cans, and little art kits. I especially love the invitations printed on Behr paint chips. See all of the photos (and all of the deets) on Hostess with the Mostess.
VILLAGE COUNTY FAIR FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY
Tori from The sTORIbook created this absolutely unbelievable party filled with the kind of country charm we all need in our lives — a Farmer’s Market, lemonade stand, pie-eating contest, wooden signs, classic fair games, etc. Every last detail is creative and thoughtful with a heaping serving of nostalgia. See more of this party on The sTORIbook.
GLAM CAMPING PARTY
If you know anything about the design team Anders Ruff, you know that they design some of the most amazing parties — and they also have an extensive shop that sells printables of their designs (including this theme party).
I’ve been seeing the term “glamping” a lot lately (glam camping, for anyone having trouble deciphering that), and this is the perfect party for a little girly girl. Ruffly chevron tents, whitewashed logs, s’more cupcakes, matching girly PJs — not a detail out of place. Amazing! See all of the details (and tons of photos) on Anders Ruff.
COOKIES & MILK
I really like this idea for a first birthday party because the 1-year mark is typically when kids are introduced to cow’s milk and are allowed a little sugar indulgence. But of course it would be a popular idea for any age — who doesn’t love cookies and milk? This party in particular (by Banner Events and Anders Ruff) is both simple and well thought-out — and luckily much of the decor is available as free printables from Anders Ruff! See the photos and free printables at Anders Ruff.
SWEET SHOPPE BIRTHDAY PARTY
Guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser, this party (designed by Paige of the Etsy shop Paiges of Style) is all about ice cream, candy jars, and sugar, sugar, sugar. Get your own Sweet Shoppe Birthday Party for $39.50.
AIRPLANES + TRAVEL
I saw this party last year and I was really nudging my two-year-old in this direction — but he wasn’t sold on it. I especially loved the boarding pass invitations, baggage claim goody bag section, and airplane game — and the coolest thing is that most of these items are available in the Little Frills shop. Take a look at this amazing party on Little Frills.
BIG TOP BIRTHDAY
If you know anything about Hello! Lucky’s popular letterpress designs, you probably have high expectations for their party-throwing abilities — and those expectations will certainly be met with this big top party idea. Hello! Lucky designer Eunice put this party together for her son’s first birthday — complete with vintage-style popcorn boxes, circus decor, and clown noses. I especially love how they took big ideas and scaled them down for a very reasonable yet thoughtful first birthday at home. See more details at Hello! Lucky.
WET AND WILD WIPEOUT PARTY
This party wins for the most creative (and fun!) summer birthday idea, inspired by the ABC show Wipeout, where contestants have to compete in these wacky obstacle courses. Mom Beth Saxton went all out for this wet-and-wild water party. See all of the details on Beth and Co.
When Family Style’s own Jaime was faced with a Dora the Explorer party request from her 3 year old, she used her well-known creative juices to design a more unique version that still pays homage to Dora’s Mexican heritage. A fiesta! They painted maracas, decorated sombreros and tambourines, planted succulent plants, and even played in a petting zoo. (And yes, Dora made an appearance at the party.) See the incredible details and photos at Pretty Prudent.
GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS
It might not be a theme that immediately jumps out at you, but take a look at this party from Frog Prince Paperie (including a table made from a four-post bed and porcelain bowl party favors), and you’ll be daydreaming about recreating it. See the amazing details at Frog Prince Paperie.
VINTAGE SUPERHERO PARTY
With all of the superhero movies now coming out, a SUPERHERO birthday theme is a popular one — especially with the little boys. And this vintage version — giving a nod to the classic comic books — is a fresh, fun alternative to the expected approach. The best part is that you can buy this party from Anders Ruff! See more at (and buy from) Anders Ruff.
WIZARD OF OZ PARTY
My turning-3-year-old son wanted nothing more than a Wizard of Oz birthday party, which we granted with a DIY yellow brick road, rainbow streamers, DIY hot air balloons, wand-making stations, and a Somewhere Over the Rainbow cake. It was all very simple, yet effective. See more photos at Early Mama.