Your child’s birthday is fast approaching. How does the year go by so quickly? The birthday invitations are blank, and you still haven’t chosen a single birthday party idea. There’s so much to plan like the venue and entertainment but time is running out.

Birthday parties can add much stress to a happy and memorable occasion. When you have to cater to both children and parents, young kids birthday parties can quickly mutate into monstrous celebrations.

If you’re struggling to decide on a birthday party for your child or you’ve left the planning go until the last minute, steal our tips and tricks for stress-free kids’ birthday party ideas.

Our list of 20 top birthday ideas weigh up the pros and cons to make it easier for you to organise a birthday party for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. We narrow the selection down by:

  • Children’s birthday party places that don’t require bookings.
  • Kids’ birthday party venues where you can sit back and relax.
  • Kids’ party entertainment that adds a memorable touch.
  • Party themes that keep children and adults entertained and carefree.

Layered rainbow cake part of a themed birthday party idea.

20 Kids birthday party ideas

Children’s birthday party places

These birthday party places are generally no-cost, free-to-use locations. One of the biggest hurdles in public places is the weather. You should also check local council laws to see if you need permission or a permit for the party, especially if you’re hiring entertainment.

1. Have your child’s birthday party at home.

Often considered the least expensive option, this location is ideal for budget birthdays. Choose to celebrate your child’s birthday with immediate or extended family or go the extra mile to invite your child’s friends. Often the simplest option is the best.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • No hire fees, council restrictions or permits.
  • Your child is more comfortable in a familiar setting.
  • No time restraints or shared resources.
  • Ultimate party privacy.
  • No maximum numbers, so parents can stay.
  • Organise after-party clean-up.
  • Organise and manage the party decorations, entertainment and catering.
  • Visitor parking can be a challenge depending on your neighbourhood.
  • Personal privacy invaded.
  • Some guests may overstay their welcome.

2. Local parks and gardens

Public areas with barbecue and picnic areas are suitable for small gatherings. You may need to go early to claim your spot if it’s a popular destination. For young children, select an area that’s either close to free activities such as swings or wide spaces for running and fun games.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Outdoor fun.
  • No mess at home.
  • Usually free for small gatherings.
  • Fresh air.
  • Share area with other people.
  • At the mercy of the weather.
  • Decorations and entertainment may be restricted.
  • Organise catering and clean-up.

3. The beach

A beach party on the sand may be more suitable for older children like toddlers and preschoolers with parental supervision for all children. Take plenty of sunscreen and extra hats. Shovels and buckets are optional.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Sensory and messy play.
  • Outdoor fun.
  • No mess at home.
  • Usually free for small gatherings.
  • Share the area with other people.
  • At the mercy of the weather.
  • Decorations and entertainment restrictions.
  • Organise catering and clean-up.

4. Public water parks.

Public water parks are fantastic party locations for toddlers and preschoolers. Choose water parks with sprinklers instead of pools to make supervision and participation easier. Advantages and disadvantages are similar to beaches and parks.

Child sits at the top of the slide in an outdoor area with swings, ideal places for children’s birthday parties.

Kids’ birthday party venues

While many commercially hired birthday party venues require a booking, weeks in advance, some sites only need one or two weeks’ notice.

Often the biggest disadvantage of hiring a kid’s birthday party venue is the cost. For a small party of ten children, these can cost hundreds of dollars. But after weighing up self-catering, guest gifts, game prizes and the cost of cleaning up, hiring a party venue can look attractive.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Entertainment, physical and play-based activities.
  • Indoor or outdoor fun.
  • No mess at home, catering or clean-up.
  • Some venues provide a party host to facilitate structured entertainment and catering.
  • Share some aspects with other people.
  • Can be costly.
  • May have to book in advance.
  • Limited numbers and time.
  • Parents of other children may not be encouraged to stay.

5. Indoor play places.

Dedicated indoor play places have amazing jungle gyms, rope swings and slides where children can let loose for hours. Some also offer additional amusements such as laser tag or jumping castles.

6. Tenpin bowling.

It’s not all heavy balls and bowling. Some tenpin bowling alleys off other sporting facilities and electronic game parlours suitable for preschoolers.

7.  Fast food restaurants.

We won’t name them here, but suffice to say these party destinations are easy on the budget and require little planning, preparation and pack-up time. Great for occasional use these kids party venues come with a host, games, a play area and fast party food that most children enjoy.

8.  Swimming pools.

Check out the swimming pools close to you for their birthday party offers. Some pools offer beginners’ lessons while others have other fun aquatic activities available for children of all ages.

9.  Early learning kinder gyms

Kinder gyms and indoor sporting experience parks offer fun tumbling classes and other physical adventures for children age 1 and older. Party packs may include a designated area for a sit-down party, though cake and party food may be BYO at some birthday party venues.

Child plays on monkey bars. Indoor play places are some of the best kids birthday party venues.

Kids party entertainment

Entertainment at a kid’s party varies so much. You can make your own and encourage older relatives to help or hire entertainers and other amusements. Hiring kids party entertainment can take the stress out of having to plan and organise the whole party on your own.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Can be educational, physical or purely for entertainment purposes.
  • Indoor or outdoor fun, depending on the type of entertainment hired.
  • Frees up your time to socialise or focus on other party activities.
  • Not a complete kids party solution.
  • Can be costly.
  • May require permits and licences depending on the venue and location.
  • May use up a large parcel of land.
  • Limited time.

10. Face painting and balloon sculpting.

Colourful face painting and creative balloon twisting will stretch those little smiles from ear to ear.

11. Magic and science shows.

Add a little mystery to your preschooler’s next birthday party with party tricks or a wow-worthy science demonstration.

12. Character entertainers.

Liven up any kids birthday party with fantastical roaming characters that sometimes do acrobatics or magic shows.

13. Reptile parties, petting zoos and baby farm animals.

These mobile animal farms come to you and require a suitable space to set up their enclosures.

14. Amusement rides such as jumping castles.

Often requiring a big backyard or a decent space at a park, jumping castles and other amusement slides and rides are often a favourite with toddlers and preschoolers.

Children love to interact with farm animals as part of the kids party entertainment.

Kids’ party themes

A selection of kids party themes complete our list of 20 birthday party ideas. A theme is often all it takes to dress-up and brighten a children’s birthday party with themed party food and decorations. Themes set the mood and encourage a child’s imagination and creativity.

15. Pirate and Princess party.

This traditional theme is always a favourite among children and adults. Pirate hats and tiaras can be easily crafted out of old paper and decorated for a party activity.

16. Disney party theme.

Disney has so many movies and shows to choose from across a wide range of child-friendly genres. Your party guests can choose to dress up as their favourite Disney character.

17. Pokémon birthday party theme.

Expect several talented trainers and maybe a Pikachu if you decide to hold a Pokémon birthday party.

18. Enchanted forest theme

An enchanted forest theme suits birthday hosts who have an affinity for nature but always for a magical escape into the land of fairies, elves and other woodland creatures. Take this party outside for nature fun and outdoor play.

19. Storytime party theme.

Give your guests plenty of creative licence with the storytime theme. They can dress up as their favourite storytime character and also bring the book to be read and shared with other children.

20. Camping party theme.

A camping theme can work both indoors and out. Pitch tents in the backyard that are full of delightful surprises, or decorate your house with miniature teepees and comfy cushions.

Two children sit inside a teepee play tent surrounded by cushions a cool, kids party theme.

Encourage your child’s imagination at Petit Early Learning Journey

You don’t need to wait for your child’s next birthday to fill their lives with imagination, creativity and wonder. At Petit ELJ, our core beliefs embrace the learning environment as a place of potential and possibility, designed to provoke curiosity and encourage the imagination.

Come tour your nearest centre to experience our rich and diverse range of learning spaces. Children’s ideas inspire our curriculum and are integrated into our teaching tools, programs and environment.

Book your tour now.