Spring is the perfect time for an outdoor birthday party, whether in your backyard or a local park. These party themes work well for a wide variety of ages and party sizes. They can be as simple or complex as you want to make them, and many require only minimal purchases.
A mystery-solving party is like a classic scavenger hunt — with a twist. Maybe a stuffed animal has gone missing? Or a hidden treasure box of candy has been reported? Plant clues around your backyard, neighborhood or local park that lead the group to the solution. You could even get your neighbors involved to deliver hints. Offer magnifying glasses and small notebooks with pencils as party favors for the young detectives.
All you need for a successful carnival-themed party are the right activities and snacks. Pin the tail on the donkey and a ring or bean bag toss are simple and fun games perfect for this type of event. As for the treats, cotton candy, corn dogs, circus peanuts, animal crackers and popcorn (extra points if you snag some classic red and white striped boxes to serve it in) will immediately make your backyard feel like a carnival.
This one’s simple; all you need is a white sheet, a projector and plenty of popcorn for an outdoor movie party. If you want to get a little more elaborate, rent or buy an old-fashioned popcorn machine and purchase some movie theater candy boxes to hand out to guests. Send tickets with the party invitations so kids feel like they’re going to a real theater.
It might not be quite warm enough yet to swim in the ocean, but you can still bring the beach to your backyard. Kids can play in a sandbox, toss beach balls, hang out on towels and even fish for plastic toys in a kiddie pool. Fill your goody bags with sunglasses, small sand shovels and flip flop key chains. Watermelon, ice cream and lemonade are all perfect treats to make it seem like summer’s arrived a little early.
For an active group of kids, set up a variety of field day games to keep everyone moving. Some ideas include relay races, jump rope, tug of war, sack races and kickball. Medals and whistles would work great as party favors. Just make sure you have Popsicles on hand to close out the party!
A version of this story first appeared in our May 2021 issue.