Summer Birthday Parties: 5 Fun Ideas

Filed under: Birthdays, Activities: Babies, Activities: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Activities: Big Kids

Summer birthdays mean you can take the party outside. Credit: Getty Images

Birthdays are so much fun for kids to celebrate at school -- you get to bring treats, everyone sings to recognize your special day and you might even get a little gift or two to top it all off.

But for kids who were born when school's not is session, birthdays can get lost in the busy summer shuffle. We don't want that to happen, so we scoured the Web for five great birthday party ideas that will let your little Leos, Geminis, Cancers and Virgos know that, even through they were born when the weather is hot, their parties can still be cool.

1. Garden Tea Party: Does your little one love "Alice in Wonderland?" Set her up with a tea party of her own in your backyard. offers lots of tips on creating the theme: Send teacup-themed invitations and hang pastel decorations -- balloons, streamers, maybe hang a canopy if it's extra hot out. "Tea" can be lemonade or punch for younger kids and food can include little sandwiches cut in fun shapes with a cookie cutter, cookies and other fun desserts. Don't forget to set up an area for dolls and teddy bears. And if Dad chooses to dress as the Mad Hatter? Even more fun!

2. Backyard Water Park:
Kids love to play in water, so why not set up a wet and wild experience out back? Domestic goddess Martha Stewart suggests using blue and green decorations, a sea-inspired menu (fish sticks, tartar sauce, Goldfish crackers) and, of course, setting up sprinklers, a Slip 'n Slide and water table fun and games. Stock up on sunscreen, make sure everyone brings their swimsuits and towels and check out Stewart's adorable invitation and favor ideas.

3. Luau Love: Creating a tropical theme for your kid's outdoor birthday party is a snap. The folks at HGTV suggest decorating with leis, mini palm trees, coconuts and tropical colors. Serve kids fresh coconut milk -- just drill holes in coconuts and add a festive straw. You can also set up a big sand box and give guests their own buckets and pails to keep. For games, try building a volcano from a kit and practicing the hula in grass skirts (you can get 'em cheap at Oriental Trading). And food is easy: pineapple, smoothies, Goldfish crackers, Macadamia nuts and a pretty tropical cake.

4. Camp Out: Is your older child ready for a sleepover birthday party? The weather is nice, so take it outdoors with a camping theme. says to start with cute tent-shaped invitations (which include a "supply" list -- sleeping bag, toothbrush, pjs, etc.). Set up your tent in the backyard and plan a few camping-inspired games -- a scavenger hunt, water fun, flashlight tag when it gets dark, maybe a fun ghost story or two. The menu could include sandwiches or hot dogs, trail mix, beans and, of course, s'mores. Don't forget something yummy for breakfast, too. And a great favor idea? Star-gazing books or charts.

5. Celebrate Carnival Style: Taking a group of kiddos to an amusement park would be tricky -- not to mention quite expensive. But Martha Stewart has a few ideas to bring the theme to your child's birthday party at home. You will need to be crafty to pull this one off but, if you're like Martha, you'll get great results. Use brightly colored sheets and blankets hung on clotheslines between trees or poles to serve as booths, and set up traditional games (think ring tosses and clothespin drops). Serve carnival food such as hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy and lemonade. Offer temporary tattoos, or hire a face painter. And, of course, have candy prizes on hand.

Related: Tips for Successful, Stress-Free Birthday Parties for Kids

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.