(that are also a blast for adults!)

Birthday parties are hugely important to kids.  Nowadays, a fun birthday party theme is almost required.  The more unique the birthday party theme the better, because in addition to having to choose a party theme that the kids will love, you often have numerous other parents and adult family members in attendance who appreciate a really well-done theme.

To help your creative process, here are some of our favorite unique party theme ideas for kids that are a blast for adults, too.

Movie and Book-Inspired

Harry Potter.  The books and movies might have concluded awhile ago, but the story is still wildly popular with all ages, as well as easily adaptable to parties.  How else can we make it fun for adults?  Jello shots in the colors of the Hogwarts houses! Source

Frozen.  This hit Grammy-winning animated movie’s humor and catchy tunes already have people laughing and singing along.  Kids and adults will love this party theme, and you can get creative with the wintery scenery.  In fact, to make it more fun for adults, try serving frozen cocktails—you can even make virgin frozen cocktails for the kiddies. 

Despicable Me.  There aren’t many things much cuter than those Despicable Me minions.  Incorporate those adorable creatures into your child’s party décor, food, favors and games.  Adults, feature special yellow cocktails, like piña coladas. Source

Dr. Seuss.  This colorful and wacky party theme is perfect for the kids—and adults, too!—who love reading Dr. Seuss classics, like Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. Source

Disney Villains.  With so many Disney princess parties already in the books, it’s time to mix it up with a Disney villain party theme.  Adults can have fun dressing the part as well.  Put together a playlist of Disney songs, play a few games and name a few specialty drinks after some of your favorite Disney villains.  The parents might appreciate a Bare Necessities or any of these Disney-like cocktails. Source

Birthday Party Themes for Girls

Once Upon a Time.  Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, Princess Fiona…make this theme any magical fairytale you and your daughter want it to be. Source

Pajama Brunch.  Invite all of the women in your daughter’s life for a pajama brunch.  Moms and adults can indulge in mimosas and champagne-soaked strawberries seated around the “adults” table while the girls sit at their own table and enjoy pancakes and fruit. Source

Spa Sleepover.  If your daughter and her friends are old enough for a sleepover party, invite a small group of girls over for a spa night.  Moms can have their own girls’ wine night while the children paint nails and watch movies. Source

Fairy Party.  Little girls love all things fairies.  Incorporate fairy dust and fairy magic into her birthday party theme.  Ladies, this might be fun for you: bring extra tutus, tiaras and clip-on jewelry and let the girls accessorize the men at the party.  It will be a prime photo-opt! Source

Tea Party.  Make this one a Mad Hatter party with Alice in Wonderland décor and games.  When you serve the tea to the children, have a separate tray with adult beverages, like mini margaritas in small Moroccan tea glasses in lieu of tea. Source

Birthday Party Themes for Boys

Legos.  Bring the delights of Legoland to your own backyard or party venue with a Lego-themed party.  Adults, freshen up your Lego-building skills by having your own contest against each other. Source

Justice League.  Invite the whole gang to a superhero-themed party that all ages can really get into, especially the dads!  And for those kids and adults who really know their comics, host a trivia contest for all ages.  You can even play some of the movies featuring the Justice League characters in the background to entertain everyone. Source

Little Gentleman.  Round up the most old-fashioned props and accessories you can find for the little gentlemen on the guest list at this party.  Adults can enjoy brandy or whiskey drinks at a party like this.  Playlists can include Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Nat King Cole—mostly for the adults’ enjoyment. Source

Spy.  Make this party a mystery party where guests have to solve riddles and clues to get prizes.  Adults can have fun creating the clues and showing the evidence or even participating in their own murder mystery activity. Source

Birthday Party Themes for Adults and Kids

Circus.  This theme is for all ages.  Adults can get into this party theme when they participate in the carnival games as well.  Give away two different sets of prizes—one for the kids and one for the adults.

Monsters.  Whether you choose to use famous monsters (i.e. Monsters Inc.’s Mike and Sully) or completely made up monsters is up to you.  Either way, when done right, this theme is adorable—and it gives you a lot of options when it comes to creating a monster-ific desserts table. Source

Movie Theater Party.  Grab your favorite animated movies, pop some popcorn and throw up a big white screen and projector for a movie theater party.  Adults, make it fun for you by choosing a favorite movie from your childhood—Swiss Family Robinson, The Parent Trap, Doctor Dolittle, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Freaky Friday, The Muppet Movie to name a few. Source

Game Board Olympics.  The Olympics are right around the corner.  Kids and adults pair off and compete in short, fun games around the house and yard for awards and prizes.  Rotate teams and pairs so that each kid is paired with a different adult.

Around the Campfire.  Camping is a really fun concept for children.  For many adults, however, camping with children is all work and no play.  Meet somewhere in the middle with a backyard campout.  S’mores are still a big hit right now, so for s’mores tips and tricks, check out our summer article.

Themes to Personalize

Game Theme.   What’s your child’s favorite game?  Build a party around it!  For example, turn your party venue into Candyland.  It’s a longstanding favorite, so adults will love it, too, especially if you serve one of these themed drinks.

Color Theme.  What’s your child’s favorite color?  Build a party theme around that color with fabulous décor, foods and accessories.  Again, theme your adult beverages with a color-inspired cocktail.

Art Theme.  Is your child into drawing, painting or building things?  Pick a type of art and use that as your party theme.  Adults can join in on the fun as well by painting their best rendition of a famous work of art.  Remember, painting is usually more fun when you’re having a drink or two. Source

Zoo Theme.  Most children have a favorite animal or animals.  Pick out the animals that your child really likes and incorporate them into a zoo theme.  Adults can be the zookeepers and participate in games and activities, too. Source

Sports Theme.  Boys and girls love sports and activities.  Which one is your child’s favorite to watch or play?  Turn it into a party.  Bonus, you already have an activity!  This can also include parties at ice rinks to play hockey or skate—adults, participating in this can be really fun for you as well. Source

How to Make it Fun for Adults, Too

Any of these birthday themes can also be fun for adults when you incorporate some activities or entertainment for them as well.  Here are a few tips on how to make a kid’s birthday also a blast for the older in age but young at heart:

  • Ask them to dress the theme.  Not everyone will participate, but make sure they know the theme and are aware that you, personally, will be dressing the part.  It’s fun to see the costumes adults can put together.
  • Have adult drinks available.  Bars are one of the easiest ways to incorporate themes—just rename the drinks to something clever and theme-related and serve them from a well-decorated table.
  • Make time for adult games.  If the kids are playing a game, either have the adults pair off with the children or have a second round of the same game or activity just for the adults, such as an adults-only Quidditch game for the Harry Potter theme.
  • Invite them!  Even though the party is more for the children, put your adult friends and family on the invitation so that they know this party will aim to entertain them as well.
  • Create playlists that also appeal to the adult crowd.  Yes, Disney songs are great, but an entire night of them?  Maybe not!