22 birthday party themes your kids will love

From pirates to Peter Rabbit, whatever your kid’s into, we have a birthday party theme for that.

Last updated: 18 May 2023

1. Circus

Step right up, step right up… The circus (party) is about to begin! Create a fun day out at the carnival with this classic party theme. Toffee apples, iconic boxes of popcorn, and hot dogs round out the menu, while a giant tiger toy makes for great photo opportunities. Silly party hats, circus themed birthday party decorations and a good old clown will really bring that carnival feel!

2. Under the sea

Does your kid spend their entire summer splashing in the deep blue? Make their big day a little more fishy with themed decorations, from classic under the sea to magical mermaids. Fussing over food? No worries, just pop to the local fish and chip shop – perfect!

3. Jungle

Would you describe your kids as a little bit… wild? A jungle themed birthday party might be the way to go! Decorations covered in animal print, animal face paint and your own house plants create that authentic jungle vibe. Top it all off with a game of sleeping lions when your little monkeys are going too bananas!

We have all the themed birthday party decorations you need on Trade Me.

4. Magical garden

Taking the party out into nature is the obvious choice when weather permits. Create a magical garden setting with twinkly fairy lights, flower shaped plates and napkins and floor cushions to perch on… all in your backyard! A picnic is the way to go for food, with bite sized cupcakes, fairy bread (of course!) and some whimsical face painting to top it all off. Just don’t forget your wings!

5. Rainbow

You may not have thought of this one before, but it’s been one of the top birthday party themes of recent years. Have fun with colour and decorate with rainbow balloon garlands, pretty pastel streamers and a vibrant table setting. A rainbow layer cake is the way to go, with a fitting cake topper and candles with coloured flames!

6. Favourite colour

Would your kid be happier with just one colour on display? Whether it’s yellow, pink or green, take their favourite colour and run with it! Choosing different shades of the same colour really makes this theme stand out, and make sure you stick to the theme for the food too – no one wants to see a plate of orange wedges at a red party! Go for apples or strawberries instead.

Make your kids’ dreams come alive with these fantastic party decorations.

7. Dinosaur

Rrrraaaaawwwrrr! It’s a party theme as old as time, and it never gets boring. If your kid is stuck in the dino-phase, take them back to the time when these giants roamed the earth. These fossil discovery sets are right on theme and will keep your guests busy when it’s time for you to have a much needed cuppa!

8. Space

Has your kid been asking for a party that’s out of this world? Look no further than an outer space party theme! Try some astronaut ice cream for an authentic taste of space and fill up party bags with glow in the dark stars, Mars bars and galaxy slime.

9. Princess

Sometimes, a classic kids’ party theme is the way to go. Have your guests don their favourite princess attire and create a scene made for royalty with pretty princess decor! Create a DIY tiara station filled with coloured gems, glitter and pom poms and let your little princesses’ creativity shine.

From planets and astronauts to Peppa Pig.

10. Peppa Pig

Oink oink! If your kid can’t get enough of this cheeky little pig, make their big day positively pleasant with everything Peppa Pig! Second hand books are perfect for party favours or spot prizes. We’d like to suggest pigs in blankets for the table, but is that too on the nose (ahem, snout?).

11. Harry Potter

You could go as big or as small as you wanted with this magical party theme. A simple approach could involve Harry Potter themed decor and a movie marathon, or take it to the next level by starting with a sorting ceremony, pretend duels, broomstick races and of course a great feast with chocolate frogs, Berty Bott’s every flavour beans and butterbeer, of course!

12. Tropical

Bring some sunshine to your kid’s next birthday party with a tropical theme! Keep things fresh for the party food with plenty of fruit, Hawaiian pizza and a mocktail version of Pina colada. Give each guest a lei or flower crown upon arrival, and perhaps treat yourself to a few Monsteras - for decor’s sake of course!

Let them immerse themselves in a world of wizardry, or be transported to a tropical island.

13. Paw Patrol

We’ve got a feeling this Paw Patrol craze won’t die down any time soon. If your kid is just nuts about this popular show, you’re not alone! Luckily for you, we have plenty of Paw Patrol themed birthday party decor onsite to make your little one oh so happy on their big day – the Skye’s the limit. Bake some themed cookies ahead of time thanks to these cookie cutters, and let your guests decorate them while watching, well, Paw Patrol of course!

14. LEGO

If your kid is brick-crazy, we don’t blame them! LEGO has stood the test of time, so it’s no wonder that it makes a great kids’ birthday party theme. Start things off with this bright and fun LEGO themed decor and tableware, and grab a bulk lot of second hand bricks so the guests can get their LEGO Master on. Just set them a challenge and a timer, and we can guarantee they’ll be quietly amused while you prepare the party food. LEGO cake anyone?

15. Superhero

There are so many ways to ace the timeless superhero party theme! Grab some masks and capes and set your guests a mission to solve at the start of the party. Serve super cupcakes and top it all off with an Avengers movie, and you’ve got yourself a super party!

Who said sleeping had to be boring?

16. Peter Rabbit

If there’s one classic character that’s really made its way back to the present, it’s Peter Rabbit! We love these Peter Rabbit themed party decorations, and these little books are perfect for party favours or spot prizes. Try mini carrot cupcakes and carrot sticks for snacks (Peter’s favourite!).

17. Pirate

Arrrrrr me hearties, gather round for a party fit for a pirate! There’s nothing pirates love more than gold, so set up a treasure hunt that leads guests to a chest filled with chocolate coins and Twix bar. Round out the fun with a game of scrub the decks and shiver me timbers, ye’ve got yeself a pirate party!

18. Tea party

Nothing says class like a tea party (pinkies up!) and they’re surprisingly easy to pull off. Park up your table on the lawn with a tablecloth and serve up the tea. The good news about a tea cup is that nobody can tell if there’s choccy milk inside (take note kiddos). Cucumber sammies without the crusts will go down a treat... and maybe add a marmite or jam one in there too for good measure. Pair with a round of croquet or lawn bowls for some fun in the sun.

Who said sleeping had to be boring?

19. Slumber party

If a daytime shindig just isn’t going to cut it, celebrate around the clock with a sleepover! Choose a room to make as cosy as possible with cushions and blankets galore, and take things up a notch with a DIY cinema experience - all you need is a blank wall or old white sheet and a mini projector.

20. Unicorn

Dreaming of glitter, rainbows, and fluffy clouds? Us too! Well, giddyup with a magical unicorn themed party. Pop on some unicorn headbands, sip on a milk shake, and try making your own slime (pastel only please!) This isn’t your standard horse party so only the best will do.

21. Winnie the Pooh

The Hundred Acre Wood crew know how to have a good time! Head to the backyard and pop up a teepee or tent like Eeyore, learn a new trick on the trampoline like Tiger, or make a daisy chain like Piglet (longest wins!) When you’re ready for some chill time, huddle up in the tent with all the teddies you can find and put on one of the classic Pooh movies. For a sticky treat, channel your favourite yellow bear and try honeycomb.

22. Kiwiana

What’s more choice than a Kiwi themed birthday for a Kiwi kid? No fuss party food features all the classics – sausage rolls, cheerio sausies, fairy bread, twisties, Kiwi onion dip, lamingtons, jaffas and jet planes. As for the games? Easy as! Keep it simple with iconic childhood favourites – pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs and the chocolate game! With limited planning necessary, this makes for an excellent last minute or low cost party theme.

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