Adventurous spirits and long, sun-soaked days make summer the best time to throw an awesome summer birthday party. Not sure where to start? Be inspired by the below summer birthday party ideas guaranteed to be a huge hit.

photo: You + Me

Pack a Picnic
Take advantage of bright days to throw a party outside at your favorite park. From packing simple picnic food (we love finger foods you can make ahead) to coordinating fun outdoor games, click here for ideas that can last you well into fall.

photo: Bashery & Co.

Mermaid Splash
You don’t need a pool to make a splash with a water-themed bash. Decorate with all things mermaids like this set up from Bashery & Co. Hand out sunglasses and set up a sunscreen station. Slip and slides, water balloon games, and a spongeball toss are just a few of the fun ways your guests can cool down in the summer heat. For more wet fun check out these ideas.

photo: Andrea Gurniak Photography via Spaceships and Laser Beams

Camp Out Adventure
Little explorers will have a blast at a camping-themed adventure party. Set up tents to give party-goers a shady spot to enjoy their s’mores. Pass out magnifying glasses as take-home favors, and create plenty of engaging entertainment with a nature scavenger hunt like this one from Five Little Chefs.

photo: Memorable Jaunts

Lights, Camera, Action!
It really wouldn’t be summer without a trip to the movies to watch a blockbuster. Bring the bigscreen to your backyard instead with a film fanatic’s bash fit for an award. Toss a few blankets and cozy pillows around the lawn, put together a popcorn bar, like this one from Pen & Paper Flowers, and project your favorite family-friendly flick on the side of your house or on a sheet while you relax under the stars.

photo: Secrets of the Faeries

Midsummer Magic
There’s something magical about those dog days when the sun is still shining long past most kids’ bedtime. Sprinkle your party with a little bit of that magic and invite the faeries and forest creatures to create an unforgettable summer birthday party. Pass out fairy wings and flower crowns to party guests, paint faces, make nature-themed crafts, and serve up some tasty treats, like these ladybug apples.

photo: SIMONEmadeit

Take Me Out To The Ballgame
Nothing says summer to sports fans like a day at the ballpark. Serve up hot dogs, Cracker Jacks, and baseball cupcakes like these from SIMONEmadeit. Have gloves and balls handy for kids to toss and don’t forget to have all the party guests sign the party-winning ball as a special token for your baseball-loving birthday kid to cherish.

photo: Jill Birkmann Photography via Project Nursery

Life’s A Beach
It really wouldn’t be summer without a trip to the beach. Set up a sandbox and let the kids dig for buried treasure. Play hot potato with a beach ball. Serve up refreshing beachy treats, like popsicles and watermelon. Give the guests sand buckets and shovels, or this adorable sandcastle kit from Mama Papa Bubba, as take-home favors.

photo: Living Locurto

Emoji Extreme
With ‪the Emoji Movie hitting theaters this summer, those yellow-faced smileys are sure to be a party hit and leave your guests :grinning:. Cover every inch, from cookies and cakes, to balloons and banners, in those playful emoticons. Play pin the face on the emoji and set up a photobooth with emoji props. For more smiley fun, check out these awesome ideas from Spaceships and Laserbeams.

photo: A Little Savvy Event courtesy of Allyson Wiley Photography

Gone Fishing
Cast your line and reel in some excitement with a fishing themed birthday party. You don’t have to have access to a lake to catch some fish, instead set up a kiddie pool and play go-fish with DIY fishing poles with magnets like these. Serve up kid classics, like worms in dirt, and send your guests home with these adorable skipping stones from Bash Please.

photo: Sugar Hero

Ice Cream Social
Ice cream and summer go together like… well, ice cream and summer. This match made in birthday party heaven will, not only give guests a sweet treat, it will also keep them cool in the heat. Set up an ice cream bar like the ones featured here and they’ll have a blast coming up with their own cold concoctions.

photo: Andrea Patton via Our Little Women

Get Your Glow On
Take advantage of those warm summer nights with a party after dark. Kids (and grown-ups) will have fun lighting up the night with a glow party. Set up you party space with black lights and pass out glowing accessories, like bracelets and glasses. Set up glow-in-the dark games, like hopscoth, and let your guests get creative with glow chalk, like this DIY recipe from Growing A Jeweled Rose. Check out these dark play ideas for more glowing activities.

photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

Let’s Go Fly A Kite
Send your party soaring to new heights with a kite flying birthday bash. For the main event, guests can make their own DIY kites from kits like these from Kites On A Roll. Serve up some kite-shaped cakes and cookies. If the wind is in your favor, your guests can spend the rest of the day flying their kites in the summer sun.

photo: Jolie Loeb

Sing Your Heart Out
Summer is packed with music festivals, so why not turn your party into a birthday-palooza with a backyard music fest. Instead of hiring a band, let your little crooners take the spotlight with a karaoke party. Pass out party invites that look like VIP concert passes. Set up a stage area with sparkly backdrop and mic stands and get ready to jam while the kids rock the day away. While the guests wait their turn, they can deck themselves out like rock stars with wigs and costumes.

What festive themes do you have planned for parties this summer? Share your shindig in the comments!

—Shahrzad Warkentin


birthday party ideas