50 Birthday Party Ideas for Kids, Teens and Adults

Another trip around the sun is something to celebrate. Below are 50 birthday party themes guaranteed to make the guest of honor happy. From kids, teens and tweens, to grown-up birthday party ideas, this list offers something for everyone! 

Kids Ages 4 to 10 

  1. Superheroes - Little ones will be flying high with this birthday party. Ask guests to come in costume and go comic-book crazy.
  2. Circus - A circus theme is quick and easy to put together and cost-efficient. Use hula hoops to create different “rings” of entertainment and encourage family and friends to get into the act as lion tamers, acrobats and a clown caravan.
  3. Scavenger Hunt - Send the kids out of the house to work up an appetite for cake and ice cream with a scavenger hunt. Ask the birthday boy or girl to select 10 items they want to hide, then offer clever clues to put everyone on the right track.
  4. Build It - Place building materials (blocks, logs, Legos, etc.) at several tables. Break into teams and see who can build the tallest tower or come up with the most creative structure.
  5. Star Wars - May the Force be with you as you grab your lightsaber and host a Star Wars party for some out-of-this-world birthday magic. Ask guests to come dressed as their favorite character.
  6. Princess Party - Make your little one the belle of the ball with a princess-themed party. Surprise the guest of honor with a special visit from a favorite book or cartoon character and take pictures for the ultimate party favor.
  7. Mad Scientist - It’s alive, it’s alive! Guests will love digging in and creating slime, making a volcano erupt or mixing paint colors. Be ready with smocks to keep clothes clean.
  8. Fairytale Party - Does your child love Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty or Aladdin? Make the storybook come alive with tasty treats, character cut outs and glittery decorations.
  9. Pirate - Arrrrgh, who doesn’t love a pirate party? Welcome everyone aboard with eye patches, plastic swords and telescopes and play games where guests can walk the plank and find buried treasure.
  10. Gone Fishing - For the kid who loves throwing in a line and catching the big one, make this party tops with fishing games, lure crafts and plenty of gummy worms!
  11. Bounce House - Bounce, jump and flip into birthday fun! Visit an indoor bounce playground or rent your own for the ultimate at-home party.
  12. Fort Building - Grab the blankets and pillows for an epic fort building session. Once the masterpiece is complete, serve cake and ice cream inside the creation.
  13. Fashion Show - Ask guests to bring their favorite dress-up clothes and stock up on fun accessories like tiaras, costume jewelry, belts, sashes and more. When everyone is ready to shine, hold a fashion show complete with photographer and light-lined runway!

Tweens and Teens Ages 11 to 17

  1. Gamer - Give the gamer in your life a party he or she will never forget. Host a home tournament with multiple stations or collect your quarters and visit an arcade for an afternoon of fun.
  2. Teatime - This birthday party is totally insta-worthy. Dress up in your fanciest teatime attire and channel your inner royalty. Serve warm beverages along with finger sandwiches and bite-sized desserts. Pick up vintage cups and saucers from a local antique shop and let guests take them home as favors.
  3. Pool Party - Find a neighborhood pool or YMCA where the birthday boy or girl can spend the day splashing and having a blast with their peeps. Serve poolside snacks, pizza and an ice cream cake for the win.
  4. Cook Off - Up for some tasty competition? Host a cook off party. Split into groups of two or three and give each team a mystery food basket. Pick a theme like appetizers, pasta or baked goods and see what treats they whip up.
  5. Movie Night - Cue the popcorn, snacks, comfy clothes and takeout — it’s movie night. Start early in the day to allow for plenty of time for all their favorite films.
  6. Make Pizza - Purchase dough, sauce, cheese and lots of topping choices and let the group get creative.
  7. Escape Room - Can your birthday crew decipher the clues and get out in time? Visit a local escape room or order an online kit and host your own.
  8. Camp Out - Take the party to the great outdoors with a camping party. Start the day with tent races and finish with hot dogs, s’mores and songs around the fire.
  9. Spa Party - Giggle your way to gorgeous with a fab spa party. Visit a local spa or bring in professionals to treat guests to manicures, pedicures and facials!
  10. Art Party - If you have a creative tween or teen, let them express themselves making beautiful works of art with their friends. Create ceramics, visit a pottery studio, or make reservations for a group-led painting party.
  11. Paintball - Visit an outdoor paintball location near you and take your best shot. Ask about birthday packages!
  12. Candy Bar - Everyone will love this sweet idea. Set out a six- or eight-foot table and line it end-to-end with candy of all shapes and sizes. Put treats in clear bowls and vases for an elegant touch. Many party stores have individually wrapped goodies in a rainbow of colors, making it easy to incorporate almost any theme.
  13. Slumber Party - Nothing says birthday fun like a slumber party. Grab the sleeping bags and keep the group well supplied with movies, snacks, candy, activities and more.

Adults Ages 21 and Up

  1. Cookout - Fire up the grill and ask guests to bring a side dish to share and their favorite beverage.
  2. Birthday Under the Stars - Move furniture in the grass, set out blankets and pillows and set a festive mood with tons of candles. Sit around the fire and break out the instruments for a birthday sing along!
  3. Themed Potluck - Does the guest of honor have a favorite food? Surprise him or her with a potluck party. Ask each guest to bring a dish and the recipe to share. So delicious (and easy)! Genius Tip: Try one of these 50 creative potluck themes.
  4. Detective (Clue) Party - It’s a birthday whodunit! Use a board game or find online inspiration and set the scene for the (almost) perfect crime. Can you solve the mystery in time for cake and ice cream?
  5. Dancing Through the Decades - Jam out and enjoy all the number one hits of the birthday guest from birth to present day.
  6. Brewery or a Wine Tour - Many breweries and wineries offer group package tours that include tastings and treats along the way - a great way to celebrate.
  7. Comedy Club - Find the schedule of a local comedy club and book a block of tickets. Let the club know you are celebrating a birthday for a chance to get the guest of honor up on stage!
  8. Weekend Getaway - Grab the crew and celebrate all weekend long. Book a mountain home, beach getaway or rent an RV and go where the road takes you.
  9. Casino Night - The stakes are high for this party. Deal the cards, pass out the chips and see who racks up big. Have prizes ready for the biggest winners and the biggest losers.
  10. Take a Hike - Get active with a long (or short) birthday hike. Invite friends and family and spend time together in nature. End the day with a nice dinner, trip to a brewery or coffee and dessert.
  11. TV Theme Party - You’re never too old to have a party inspired by your favorite TV show! From Friends to The X-files, Gilmore Girls or The Amazing Race — go all out with your favorite buds.

For All Ages 

  1. Breakfast Brunch - Start the special day off right with a delicious brunch! Kids will love wearing pajamas to a morning party and grown-ups can sip coffee and mimosas while flipping pancakes. Don’t forget the whipped cream, sprinkles and candles!
  2. Olympics - Ready, set, go! This is an easy party theme that guests from two to 92 will love. Select a few outdoor games (run the bases, volleyball, pass the torch, egg toss, etc.) and let friends and family compete for gold. Genius Tip: We have 20 outdoor games to get you started.
  3. Sports Party - If your little one is into a particular sport, invite everyone to learn to play or get a lesson from a professional. For older kids, plan a celebration around the big game at a local restaurant with tons of TVs and yummy snacks!
  4. Costume Party - Kids can come to the party as their favorite movie character, and adults can show off their best couple costumes or have a masquerade ball.
  5. Volunteer - Celebrate another year by giving back to the community. Head to the Humane Society to take care of animals or grab the crew and serve meals to neighbors in need.
  6. Luau - Set up the palm trees, purchase a colorful selection of lei’s and break out the limbo stick, it’s time to have a party! Serve pizza with pineapple for an easy dinner idea or whip up traditional island dishes.
  7. Ice Cream Social - I scream, you scream — everybody loves ice cream. Create an epic sundae bar with mouthwatering toppings like hot fudge, caramel, marshmallows, nuts, crushed candy bars, cookies, whip cream and more.
  8. Board Games - This old-school party is guaranteed to be a hit! Set up five or six tables and ask guests to bring their favorite board games. Rotate during the party and have gifts on hand for the big winners! From Scrabble to Battleship, Connect Four to Apples to Apples — celebrate the big day with a little friendly competition.
  9. Around the World - Pick a country or culture the birthday guests are really into and design a party around it. Serve traditional food and include fun facts for guests.
  10. Fiesta - A fiesta is the perfect setting for a fun gathering. Start by taking a swing at the pinata and serve cocktails or mocktails with a selection of tacos, burritos, chips and salsa. If you are short on time, this is an easy party to have catered!
  11. Beach Bum - Even if you aren’t anywhere near the ocean, you can still hang ten with a cool beach party. Spread sand outside in an open space and fill up a few baby pools. Give beach towels as party favors and finish the evening off with a fire on the beach.
  12. Holiday Theme - Spend the birthday boy or girl’s special day getting dressed up for Halloween, enjoying fireworks for the Fourth of July, making ornaments for the holidays or hanging out for the big New Year’s Eve countdown.
  13. Talent Show - From singing to telling jokes, jumping rope or standing on your head, this fun theme will get everyone into the act.
Find the perfect party vibe and incorporate your individual style for an unforgettable day with friends and family. With so many awesome ideas to choose from, your birthday celebration is sure to be tops.

Courtney McLaughlin is a freelance writer in Charlotte, N.C. She gratefully shares her life, home and heart with her daughter and their dog. 

Additional Resources:

35 Creative Party Favor Ideas
25 Party Games for Kids
Birthday Party Planning Checklist
Create Custom Birthday Party Invites with Sign Ups
Top 30 Minute to Win It Party Games for Adults