30 Great Birthday Ideas From TulsaKids Readers

Wondering what to do for your child's next birthday party? Check out these tips!

We asked TulsaKids readers to share their favorite birthday party ideas! Read about them below.

Harry Potter Party

Using hula hoops as goals and pool noodles, your child and their friends can play a game of Quidditch. Encourage attendees to dress up as their favorite character for extra fun. For the goodie bag, add glasses like Harry’s, and chocolate frogs, and there are many DIY instructions on how to make a magic wand. If you are able to hand deliver the invitations, you can attach the invite to a white balloon and use a sharpie to turn the balloon into an owl.—Jen H.

a young boy dressed like harry potter, for a list of birthday party ideas

Pancake and Pajama Party

On my son’s 2nd birthday, we chose to have a pancake and pajama theme. Parents loved that their child could come in his/her pajamas, and it saved parents the time and fuss of having to get their child ready for the party. My son, who has sensory aversions, loved the fact that instead of having a messy cake with icing to get on his hands, we had pancakes and donuts. We made cereal necklaces, and everyone went home with a box of cereal and a cereal bowl.—Caressa H.

Water Balloon Party

We love having water balloon parties. It is a fun and inexpensive way to celebrate. You can see the joy on the faces of all the kids and adults alike as they run around trying to get others without being got themselves!—Danny P.

Little Mermaid Party

A Little Mermaid party at the pool, with “real” mermaids waiting to swim with the kids—Marianella A.

Luau Party

I gave all my granddaughters a luau birthday party complete with a snow cone shack in the back yard. Everyone dressed in Hawaiian dress, and we had a water balloon fight and dance-off. Everyone had a ball!—Janice S.

Powder Paint Party

A great kid’s birthday party, regardless of sex, is a powder paint party! Even little ones enjoy getting their hands on powder paint and throwing around colors! On Amazon, or local retailers like Michaels, you can find powder paint bags, grenade-shaped paint balls, refillable powder paint balls, hand-held cannons, and much more! This entertainment will be plenty of fun for all ages. Stick to easy finger food and cupcakes. Lots of Instagram pics will show off a fun party!—Juwell M.

Minecraft Party

Last year my grandson was turning 7, and he loved Minecraft. We rented a room at a local city park. We started off with making a Minecraft mask. I had card stock with squares printed on them. The kids could glue colored squares or color the squares on the mask while we waited for the rest of the kids. Then we had Minecraft games, knock down the creeper with a plastic bow and arrow I got at Dollar Tree. We had a magnet fishing game where they could snag up a Minecraft stick that had a paperclip on it. I also had kid tunnels and boxes set up like a cave. I bought battery-operated candles and put a Minecraft torch print-out around them. They took their torches into the maze of boxes and loved it. They took their Minecraft snacks into the boxes to eat. I put Minecraft potion printouts around their bottled water, such as Potion of Healing. There were surprise Minecraft stuffed animals in the cave as well. The children loved it and finished off with a Minecraft cake.—Sue J.

Nerf Gun War

A Nerf gun war in the backyard was a huge hit for everyone this year. We took boxes and taped them together to create hiding areas. Some had holes to shoot through. The kids and adults enjoyed this for hours.—Natasha H.

Bug Day Party

We had a very special 4th BugDay party for our little ladybug. She has always had a fascination with insects. We had ladybug-shaped birthday cake with cupcakes, a ladybug piñata, and best of all, a very special bug hunt. I purchased those little plastic insect collecting containers from the Dollar Tree; they come with a small net and tweezers. I scattered fake plastic insects throughout the yard, and the kids hunted for them. The ones they caught, they got to keep along with their insect habitat. This served as a great parting gift. Great for both girls and boys.—Tiffany L.

a young girl holding a bug container and net, for an article on birthday party ideas

Mary Poppins Party

We had a Mary Poppins party for my daughter’s 4th. Started with a package delivery at the door for the bday girl, which was a bowler hat just like Mary’s (easily made with glue gun and flowers). We had a roll of black paper spread out on the sidewalk with chalk for the kids to make art like Bert’s. I made a carousel cake (the tiers and horses are from Wilton), then we decorated our own kites (from Oriental Trading) and took them outside to fly. I was dressed as a suffragette. The kites were their take-home gift (I’m not a fan of goodie bags), and everyone was happy! With the remake of the movie coming out, I think it would be a timely summer party theme.—Theresa M.

Puppy Party

Puppy party, puppy decor and fun pretend puppy snacks. Display a box full of stuffed animals (puppies) and make a sign that says, “Adopt a Puppy.” Each party guest gets to take one home.—Melissa J.

Art Party

We had an art party, and the kids loved it! When they arrived, they chose rainbow-colored aprons that I had personalized with their names. My husband is an artist, and he guided them through a watercolor painting on a canvas. While they were drying, we had candy on the table in personal art palettes, which they used to decorate cupcakes. They also had rice crispie paintbrushes and rainbow-colored fruits and veggies. For party favors, we gave watercolors, chalk, and rainbow-colored candies.—Lisa

Unicorn Theme

Upside-down waffle ice cream cones, designed with edible colors and icing for the unicorn’s horn.—Brandi

Dragon Party

Dragon themed with kids dressed as knights and piñatas that look like dragons so they are slaying dragons. Medieval folklore themed.—Amanda

Cowboy Party

This year my son wants a cowboy party! I love the idea of bandana and cowhide plates and napkins. Treats like “hay stacks” (rice crispy treats) and root beer (in the old bottles) for drink fun. For favors, I think everyone could grab a bandana filled with small goodies. The invitations would have a catchy phrase like “round up all the party animals…” or “hold you horses…Exton’s party is (enter date)” –Kami L.

Indoor Camping

We made tents for each girl (chevron material with feather boas). Indoor “campfire,” lanterns and told ghost stories.—Chanda

Emoji Party!

Kids live by these emojis, and they’ve become an important part of the way they communicate. Since emojis seem to be everywhere, it can be a fun way to throw an inexpensive party that is Pinterest-worthy!—Whitney

Book Party

I’d really like to do a book theme party, like the Little Golden Book. With the goody bags filled with pencils, mini books, and a blank book so the kids can make their own. Have games that include book themes and prizes for reading and writing, etc.—Tera F.

Bubbles and Glow Sticks

Make light sabers using bubble wands and a glow stick. For older kids, you can cut and pour the glow stick into the bubble solution. For younger, just activate the glow stick and put the entire thing into the wand!—Dara B.

Giant slip and slide

Cover each person with dawn dish soap to make it a fast ride 🙂 Have it in a neighborhood park, lots of space. Our invitations would be a summer theme with slip and slide birthday theme: “Come party with us as ‘Christian’ slides to 12 yrs old!” We would have contests and prizes; the cake would be summer themed, either tie dye or neon bright colors and popsicles for treats, along with fruit punch Gatorade and soda or water; food would be a cookout with hamburgers and hot dogs, chips and sides.—Ryanne L.

Puzzle Scavenger Hunt

Theme the party around teamwork and give rewards for completion. Have two (or more) presents wrapped with treats or blind bags inside (1 for each child attending)—the game is finding hidden puzzle pieces. They then go to the central location to complete the puzzle(s) as they are found. The team wins the prize as each puzzle is completed. Could do this with building blocks also: See how high the tower gets. You could theme the party around the subject of the puzzle (princesses, Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, etc…)—Beth K.

Make Ice Cream!

Ice cream making with coffee cans! You bowl the cans back and forth!—Tasha K.

Rock the Runway Party

My daughter does competitive dance, so we always have an abundance of costumes from every year and past recitals/competitions. So we decided to do a “Rock the Runway” party, and it turned out so cute! We made a little runway with lights, did all of the girls’ hair and make-up, and then they chose a fancy costume to wear to put on a show for the audience! We also got one of the cute SnapChat filters for the day for around $5, and it was a big hit too! My daughter helped me make her cupcakes for the party, and that was also a fun experience. –Breanna A.

Campout Beach Party

Have a campout beach party if in the summer. Get small bottles, roll up invite, and put in the bottle, then get ready for the fun. If you’re in the Tulsa area, Jellystone at Keystone is awesome. S’mores, hotdogs for lunch, and foil dinners at night make awesome fast, easy and fun meals. Swimming and so much more. And do goodie bags with Dollar Tree water toys. My daughter loved this.—Angelia T.

Party Planner Tile

Backyard dirt party!

Get a tarp and dump some dirt down. Let kids play with shovels, trucks, cars and more. Then move on to the car wash, where you can set up water, bubbles, etc. for your cleaning station. Use a hose to spray kids and toys when you’re all done! The cake can be a crumbled chocolate “dirt” cake in the back of a new large yellow metal Tonka truck made to look like a construction site. Other snack items can be dirt cups of chocolate pudding, crushed Oreos and gummy worms. Have fun and get dirty, then have fun getting clean.—Emily J.

Color-Themed Party

Have a color-themed party with a messy art area for painting and an area where the kids could throw non-toxic, edible colors at each other and get super messy. Also, have a big slip-and-slide area with hoses and sprinklers so the kids can play and get clean.—Jorjana M.

Combination Party

My 2 children have birthdays within 2 days of each other so we currently combine parties. We keep it simple with things they both like. We splurge usually on getting them the cakes they want. They love it. — Tina C.

Decor Tips

Choose a fun theme and instead of spending tons of cash on themed party ware, buy single-color tablecloths and mix and match your colors of plates/cups/flatware/etc. Use small toys/stuffies/themed items as centerpieces (bonus: your kiddo has new stuff from their favorite interest!) and cut colored tablecloths for runners. Find something fun with the theme for a cool photo op/backdrop. Cupcakes in a shape or decorated with skewers and/or wrappers so you don’t have to cut the cake to serve. Also buy individual ice cream cups so you’re not scooping. Alternatively, you can have a few prepped cupcakes and then some piping bags/sprinkles/etc. for kids to decorate their own; this has been a huge hit for our parties. For outdoor parties, slip ‘n’ slides, water balloons, bubbles, chalk, hula hoops and yard games are always fun. For indoor parties we usually do some sort of craft — we’re attempting tie-dye this year! Also remember that not all parties must be huge or big events. Sometimes just a few decorative touches, some pizza and movies, and giggles are the way to go! 🙂 P.S.: Location parties can be great too! A set time and schedule, a fun activity that you don’t have to lead and minimal clean-up are definitely perks!—VaNessa B.

Photo Invitations

Have 5×7 photo invitations done with a picture of your kid on it. It makes a great keepsake. Plus the parents in the class/group get to know your kid a little better.—Sarah H.

Plan Ahead!

Planning ahead will almost always be a foolproof way to have the most fabulous kids birthday party ever. Pre-make your goody bags, decorations, finger food snacks for the little ones who are too eager play, music, and games! Pre-planning allows you to spend time with you guests, and enjoy!—Laura Z.

Categories: Features, Party Planning