Birthday Party Activity Ideas

Updated on May 15, 2010
S.W. asks from Woodinville, WA
14 answers

Hi Moms... I'm having my soon to be 6 year olds birthday party at a park. It is in the evening and we are just pretty much planning on BBQing hotdogs and doing the cake thing. I had wanted to do a pinata but apparently the park doesn't allow it or balloons and decorations because of the mess it can leave as well as can be harmless to local wildlife (ok, whatever? I totally would have cleaned up any mess!) I live in a rather "green" area! Anyway, I was just thinking of doing the BBQ and having the kids play and just doing a goody bag instead of the pinata. Is that too borring? Should I come up with something else for the kids to do? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance :)

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answers from Seattle on

Hi S.! I went to a couple of birthday parties held at parks, through the Pierce Co Parks and Rec and the county provided a "goody bag" of games that came w the rental fee. In the bag was everything you needed for a 3-legged race, ring toss, etc. The kids AND the adults at the parties also did wheelbarrel racing, egg toss, relay race. It was a lot of fun and there was plenty room since we were at the park. The kids especially enjoyed seeing us old folks trying to do the wheelbarrel race. Hope that helps!

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answers from Orlando on

Scavenger hunt? You can google it to find a list of ideas for what to have them look for (you can hide things in the playground and in trees, or make a nature list, like a brown leaf, a blade of red grass, etc)

You can also play old school games like red rover-- google to find them, too

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I commend you for choosing a location that encourages physical play and sharing. I wouldn't get too excited about planning party games. Bring a couple soccer balls or whiffle balls and bats if there isn't any play equipment. If any of the kids play a baseball, ask them to bring their gloves, bats, and helmets to play a pickup game. If it's warm, they can all bring water toys and squirt each other. Water balloons can be fun if you fill them ahead of time. I've noticed many are biodegradable these days...and ice chests are a great way to transport them!

As far as goody bags, I like to have the kids decorate their own with markers or foam stickers. I use plain paper bags, which are larger than traditional goody bags and are more environmentally friendly.

Let those kids play and have a great time being outside. Best of luck planning the party!



answers from Portland on

You might have the kids do a craft, maybe decorate a little spiral with foam critters and then have them do a treasure hunt for a box with a stamp and they can stamp in their book when they find the treasure. You could set up 2 or 3 treasure boxes (if there aren't some already hidden in that park-look online to find previously hidden treasure boxes) and they can log multiple stamps and also a pencil in each box would allow them to write about how they found the box.

They have a take-home gift and you don't have to do goody bags.

You could have a little obstacle course set up that they can run through numerous times and some of the obstacle items might have other uses, like a hoola hoop.

I wish my daughter's birthday was during the warmer season, she just missed it and it almost always rains in OR in April.

Have fun.



answers from Seattle on

Hi S.,

I would plan a couple of games also. Some of the games we've played are: ring toss, bowling (Target has an outside version), toss the bean bag into the blown up catcher (sorry can't remember the official name of that one LOL), Pin the eye patch on the pirate (dollar store). Instead of gift bags I purchased sand buckets at the dollar store and after each game completed, the child got a prize to put in their bucket (bubbles, army parachute guy, silly straw). At the end I also threw in a handful of candy (what's a party without a little candy, right?).

For the adults, not that they expect it, but we taped a scratch ticket onto the bottom of one of the chairs and at some point told them to look and they were very excited (used scratch tickets as a prize for the water balloon toss too).

Have fun and enjoy the day outside!



answers from Portland on

I think all the suggestions are great but I also think you don't need a bouncy house or fancy games to have a party. Its a park right - let them play however they would like and I don't think they need to go home with a bunch to stuff they will only play with for 30 seconds or candy they eat and then makes them act crazy for 2 hours. Good game suggestions below - maybe decorate a t-shirt or plant some seeds, or send the kids home with something they will enjoy for a while or wear and remember the party.



answers from Seattle on

Bubbles are always fun. Also, there's sets of outdoor play things you can get at pretty good prices, Wal*Mart, especially, like golf, horseshoes, ect...maybe you could set up different activity centers.



answers from Seattle on

Have some park toys available: Frisbees, balls (various sizes if possible), jump ropes, suggest the kids play tag, you get the idea. Park birthday parties are fun because it gives kids a chance to run around without too much structure.



answers from Seattle on

Maybe some sort of game or play structure?



answers from St. Louis on

Well I plan picnics for our church and we always have outdoor activities for the kids. Here are some ideas:
Sac races - you can get coffee bean bags from your local mom and pop coffee shops. I got mine for free,all I had to do was ask.
Kids love water games - 1) line kids up with a cup of water and they race to the finish line trying not to spill water.

I probably wouldn't plan too much because if there is a play ground, the kids will probably be more interested in playing on it.
If this party will be at dusk time, maybe glow sticks or bracelets would be a good idea.



answers from Portland on

I have had several parties at the park for my kids. I planned a little game or two, but didn't put too much time into it. The kids just wanted to play together on the playground equipment and I never got to them. We had goody bags in the theme that my child wanted, and the cake too. There was not much to clean up and the kids went home tired but happy.



answers from San Francisco on

In addition to the other ideas, one year I had a "baseball game" at the park for my son.



answers from New York on

I think you need to have a few planned activities for the kids. You could do a scavenger hunt, set up an obstacle course type of race, etc.



answers from Seattle on

Great suggestions below, and I would echo much of what others have said. I have had many of my kids' parties at a park, and in my goody bags have sometimes included frisbees, jumpropes, sand buckets or balls that they can play with. I always have a back-up game or 2 in my brain with any necessary materials needed to fulfill this. But, most of the time, the kids just play and are happy and that's the best kind of party to me! Have fun!

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