Summertime and the parties are easy—especially birthday parties! With great weather, water and a little creativity, you can have tons of fun in the sun. We’ve gathered up the best outdoor birthday party themes for your summertime baby, from messy art parties to twists on water play. Sit down, grab a popsicle and prepare to take your party to the next level with inspiration we found from the best party planning pros out there.

A Sailing Celebration

Party ahoy! Even landlubbers will have a splash at a sea-worthy sailboat themed party. Fun activities like boat races and fishing will keep your guests occupied, and snacks (like adorable octopops) add an extra-festive touch. Set sail for Just Add Confetti for inspiration and how-tos.

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Rainbow Magic

What's waiting at the end of the rainbow? A fantastic outdoor birthday party. Rainbows make for a natural outdoor party theme that's easy to pull off with brightly colored decor, Skittles-sprinkled desserts and a rainbow pinata.

Field Day Fun

Take a cue from everyone's favorite day in elementary school and host a field-day themed party. Tug-of-war, relay races and wheelbarrow races: it's easy to put together fun activities for this party. It practically plans itself! If you need more ideas and want to add to the classic field day events, check out our favorite family-friendly outdoor games that are easy to repurpose for a field day birthday party or take a look at this fantastic toddler field day.

Cardboard Creations Party

Combine two of your kiddo's favorite things with a donut + cardboard forts party. We love this clever, affordable idea dreamed up by 19 streets. They gathered up cardboard boxes and supplies, split party guests into teams, and let them go to work building epic backyard forts before celebrating with donuts for dessert!

Art's a Blast

Add an extra dose of color with an outdoor art party. Set up big canvases like the ones shown above—or just tape butcher paper to the fence—and let your guests' inner Picassos come out. We've rounded up all the supplies you need to throw an artsy bash, including painters palate cupcakes, here.

We All Scream for Ice Cream

Take that drippy, messy, delicious treat outside with an ice cream sundae-themed party. Fun decor like this tissue paper sundae adds a festive touch, and an ice cream sundae bar will give all your guests the chance to load up on their favorite toppings. Eat up the best ice cream sundae tips here.

Tea Time

With flowers blooming, summer is the perfect time for an outdoor tea party. We love the floral fabric and vintage tea cups at this festive party. Add a whimsical activity and turn the party into a fairy garden with a fairy house craft. Check out The Garden Spot for more fairy tale tea ideas and find our fave tea time snacks here.

A Berry Good Birthday

Summer is berry season, and so it's natural to throw a sweet berry-themed bash. Bright red touches make this party fabulous and will put a smile on any fruit-lovers' face. Hello Wonderful will show you just what to pick to throw your own berry bash.

Camp Out Party

Get out into the great outdoors with a summer-camp themed birthday party complete with a delicious s'mores cake. We love the clever merit badge activities that Alison of Just Add Confetti dreamed up for her son's fifth birthday. Bonus: you can use her free printable for your own party. Find out all the details at Just Add Confetti.

Soccer Kicks

Score loads of points with a soccer-themed birthday party. Get inspired by this soccer-themed party over at Catch my Party—jerseys double as decoration and plastic trophies are full of munchies. Plus, the activity is a total no-brainer. Up for a game of soccer, anyone?

Flower Power

Kori Clark transforms soft blooms in coordinating colors into a fresh, beautiful take on the standard princess party. Pick a color palette and just add (lots of) flowers, homemade and otherwise.

Water Play Party

Marigold Mom shows us that you don’t need a pool for a water party—sprinklers, blasters and even good ‘ol fashioned water balloons can all do the trick. A few extra-mile details like a sunscreen station and asking parents to bring a change of clothing make for a cool party on a hot summer day.

Birthday Fiesta

With bright colors for décor and flavorful dishes (taco bar, anyone?), a lively fiesta makes a great motif for a summer backyard birthday party as styled by Bows and Arrows for 100 Layer Cake-let. Another idea to throw in for good measure? A “grown-ups only” pitcher of margaritas on the side.

 

A Ball Bash

Bloom Designs starts off with colorful tickets as invites and adds a booth of the kiddos’ favorite game day snacks (we can’t think of a better excuse for nachos and cheese puffs). Literally, throw a few inflatable balls onto the lawn, and you’ve got a birthday party home run.

Mud Run

Under the Sycamore’s clever-themed party uses boxes, tires, string and other obstacle-worthy props to create the ultimate outdoor birthday challenge. Bonus: parents will thank you at the end of the night (think pooped-out kids falling straight into slumber!).

Outdoor Movie Night

A family-friendly flick, munchable sides of popcorn and a basket of blankets for when the night cools down complete the ingredient list for an awesome outdoor birthday movie night, in this party styled by Memorable Jaunts for Inspired by This. So let the birthday kid pick the flick and once the movie starts, all you have to do is sit back.

Popsicle Party

Buckets of frozen treats and bins of water toys in Giggles Galore’s popsicle party go a long way with the kiddos on a warm (birth)day with this simple, easy themed party.

Bubble Mania

This easy homemade bubble recipe by Happy Hooligans is sure to cause some bubble mania (with the most gigantic bubbles ever!) amongst the littles. Pair the recipe with different kinds of wands, have towels on hand and let the suds take over.

To Dye For Party

This might just be the perfect opportunity to introduce the kiddos to your favorite '70s playlist (Bee Gees, anyone?). Plus, partygoers get to take home a fun “to dye for” favor that lasts longer than candy or trinkets from your standard goody bag. Chaotically Creative gives inspiration for helping party-goers get their groove on.

A Market Party

A market full of fresh fruit in vibrant ripe colors is the perfect inspiration for your (organic) farmers-in-training to celebrate a birthday—or at least excuse to nosh on something other than candy, as Eye Heart Pretty Things so beautifully demonstrates.

—Oz Spies

 

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Featured image: iStock