by Lindsey Lebowitz – When I think of summer with my kids, I think of popsicles, running barefoot through the sprinkler, sun-kissed cheeks, and outdoor birthday parties. Both my kids’ birthdays fall in the summertime, and as an outdoor family, we enjoy celebrating outside.
This year, I’ve gotten a head start on researching outdoor summer birthday party ideas. Varying among celebrating in a backyard, reserving an outdoor area, or going somewhere specializing in parties, some of the following outdoor summer birthday party ideas will cater to the do-it-yourself parents, while some are more hands off.
17 Outdoor Summer Birthday Party Ideas
1. Pool Birthday Party
Who doesn’t love a good pool party? Perhaps you have a neighborhood pool or a local public pool. Additionally, many fitness centers have outdoor pools that can be reserved for birthday parties. Let the pool provide the entertainment.
2. Splash Day Birthday Party
Turn your backyard into a mini-waterpark. Younger children can sit in a baby pool or splash at a water table, while older children can slip-n-slide or throw water balloons. Adults usually have a hard time staying dry at this type of party. Throw your bathing suit on, and join the fun.
3. Field Day Birthday Party
Let the games begin! Put together a series of fun events for the children to participate and compete. Bring back all the old classics like a three-legged race, potato sack race, or egg and spoon race. End the party with an awards ceremony.
| Related: 26 Outdoor STEM Project Ideas |
4. Carnival Party Birthday Party
Step right up creative and do-it-yourself, parents. Transform your backyard into a carnival with themed games and delicious snacks. Games and stations could include a ring toss, a fortune teller, and a photo booth. Giveaway small stuffed animals as a carnival prize or party-favor. Serve popcorn, corn dogs, cotton candy or anything on a stick.
5. Camping Party Birthday Party
Bring the campsite to your backyard. Set up a tent and make s’mores around a fire-pit (adult supervised, of course). Provide kids with a camping bingo sheet and have them look for things typically found in a backyard (this could include a squirrel, bird, ladybug or flowers). Give away tiny flashlights as party favors.
6. Outdoor Movie Birthday Party
Drive-ins may have gone out of business, but the at-home outdoor movie is bringing back the experience. You can rent a white screen and projector from an audio-visual or computer store. Set up blankets and pillows for the perfect movie watching, under-the-stars experience. Serve popcorn.
| Related: How to Throw an Outdoor Pizza Party for Teens |
7. Rent-a-Party Birthday Party
Rent a bouncy house, an inflatable slide or a trackless train. This low-stress event is brought right to your backyard or cul-de-sac. Kids will enjoy the entertainment and parents will enjoy the minimal details.
8. Gardening Party Birthday Party
Green thumbs welcome. Provide each child with a flowerpot they can take home. Get an assortment of seeds and soil for potting each plant. Then let the decorating begin. Use paint, paint pens or even glue and rhinestones to decorate your flowerpot. Kids love gardening, being outside, being creative, and getting a little messy.
| Related: How to Make a Bee Hotel with Kids |
9. Backyard Tea Party Birthday Party
Add a little whimsy to your child’s birthday. Set up folding tables in the yard, complete with tea and finger sandwiches. For fun, have a dress-up station with hats, gloves and suspenders for boys. Set up a few yard games like croquet or badminton.
10. Playground Birthday Party
Does the thought of planning games, coordinating theme appropriate snacks and party décor make you want to throw in the towel? Find a local playground, order a pizza and a sheet cake. Bring some balloons. The kids will have a blast just the same.
11. Pony Rides Birthday Party
Yee-haw! Dude ranches, equestrian centers, and private horse properties, often host children’s birthday parties. What kid doesn’t want to ride a pony for his/her birthday? Other fun activities can include decorating a horseshoe, brushing a pony, and learning about horses.
12. Dairy Farm Birthday Party
Local dairy farms are another little known birthday party idea. The children can usually pet and feed farm animals. Depending on the children’s ages, they can learn about cheese-making, and maybe even milk a cow or goat.
13. Zoo Birthday Party
Zoos are perfectly set up to host birthday parties. Children can spend some time seeing the animals, a zookeeper can provide a learning session or behind the scenes tour. Additionally, most local zoos have a private room for cake and present time.
14. Mini Golf Birthday Party
This family fun activity will keep kids and parents happy. Most courses offer a whimsical theme and cater to children’s entertainment. Check local facilities for information.
15. Bike Party Birthday Party
No, not Harley Davidson, more like Huffy. Pull out all the kids’ bikes, find a bike park or a paved trail, and map out a route for kids. Younger kids can hop on a tricycle or balance bike. Find a picnic table to serve snacks and open presents.
16. Nature Walk-Scavenger Hunt Birthday Party
Calling all hiking families. Pick an easy nature trail. Before the walk, give kids a bag to collect items for a scavenger hunt. As a snack, kids can make their own trail mix from jars of granola, M & M’s, pretzels, or raisins. Make sure the trail has a covered picnic area in case of rain, and of course, accessible bathrooms.
| Related: 7 Kid-Friendly Hiking Snacks |
17. Skateboard Birthday Party
Is your child too old for a traditionally birthday party, but still wants to gather friends? If your child and friends are into skateboarding, find a local skate park. Have a few extra helmets and pads on hand as a safety measure.
With any outdoor party, it is a good rule of thumb to always have a Plan B, or account for some type of shelter. Also, check out these tried and true outdoor safety tips, then get outside and have fun.
READ NEXT >> 18 MORE Ways for Families To Get Outside <<
Lindsey is a boy mom of two, wife, fundraiser by profession, and an aspiring outdoor enthusiast. In her free time, she gets outside with her kids and blogs about it at Outdoorsy Mommy.