Your kid’s birthday party only happens once a year. Sadly, if you were like many parents, you may have had to make the difficult decision to cancel last year’s celebration. Now, after so many months of social-distancing, celebrations have never felt more important. While the pandemic is far from over, there is finally a light on the horizon. Kids’ birthdays are back — in both new and creative ways.
Last year, we predicted kids’ birthday party trends would include individually-packaged meals, take-home desserts, and on-theme face masks. While some of these trends will inevitably continue, birthday vendors are dreaming up even bigger ways to celebrate your little one.
Get ready for sophisticated setups — inspired by some of the hottest wedding trends. You’ll also find unique tablescape ideas that might even convince your kid to sit down and eat a vegetable or two.
From wow-worthy décor to imaginative photo ops, these kids’ birthday party trends have us excited for 2022. Get ready for the best year yet — where birthday wishes really do come true.
Kids’ Birthday Party Themes for Outdoor Enthusiasts
We’ve all gained a greater appreciation for the great outdoors over the last couple of years. With on-and-off social-distancing mandates — where even holidays and major life milestones were often celebrated over Zoom — the outdoors has come to represent a place of freedom and connection. In fact, backyard birthdays and weddings have never been more popular.
Consequently, we’re not surprised that nature-themed kids’ parties are gaining traction. Plant, animal, mineral — you name it. The natural world is worth celebrating, along with your little one.
As it turns out, a slice of watermelon is all you need for the ultimate birthday inspiration. With a bright pink and green color palette, this kid’s birthday party wows with on-theme food, immersive activities, and plenty of photo ops. Discover everything from melon mojitos (for the adults, of course) to a hot pink bouncy house.
How do we love this birthday party? Let us count the ways. Towering daisy sculptures, daisy place settings, and daisy-style cupcakes are just a few of our favorite details. Make sure to see other photo-worthy elements such as a daisy covered porch swing and floral crown station.
Animal sounds are some of the first “words” babies learn. It seems like kids never outgrow their love for animals, and with good reason. They make the best party themes, after all. This year we’re shining a spotlight on the small but mighty butterfly. We love how this birthday party soars to new heights with a pastel color palette and wings for all the younger guests.
It’s par-tee time, indeed. Kids and parents alike will love a golf-themed party — especially when there’s a round of miniature golf involved. Other adorable details from this tented birthday party include a golf-ball decked photo op and golf ball-like cake pops. Oh, and did we mention the white bouncy house with a cascade of balloons?
Chairs That Make Kids Want to Sit Down
Parents know the difficulty of keeping little ones in their seats — especially at dinner time. Fear not. With creative seating arrangements, kids will be eager to settle into their chairs (and maybe even eat their vegetables).
After the birthday cake, party rentals are a number one priority for your kids’ birthday party. Make sure to check out PartySlate’s curated directory to find top local and national rental companies. It’s time to sit down and celebrate in style.
Did someone say, “Boho-glam?” These miniature rattan thrones are guaranteed to have younger guests rushing to their seats. As adults, we can honestly say, we wish we were small enough to join in the festivities. Sigh. Make sure to see other photos from this adorable celebration. You’ll even find another 2022 trend: See if you can guess what it is.
Ladera Ranch, CA
Floor pillows turn any meal into an adventure. We love how an eclectic mix of cushions (from boho wicker to funky tassels) create an instant party vibe. Moreover, check out how the curated details from this gorgeous tablescape elevate the look — turning pure fun into a glamorous experience.
When Wedding Trends Invade Kids’ Birthday Parties
As Picasso famously said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” We 100% approve of kids’ parties taking their cues from some of the most glamorous wedding celebrations. See how wedding ideas are the gift that keeps on giving.
Is there anything more unique than teal palm leaves or cotton candy-hued foliage? Dyed floral centerpieces took over wedding centerpieces last year — and are now making their mark on the most photo-worthy kids’ tablescapes. Make sure to see how an overarching balloon installation kept the color theme going at this whimsical birthday celebration.
Pampas grass routinely made an appearance in some of PartySlate’s top events of the last few years. In fact, it seems like pampas grass will always be trending. Even the Death Star and planets like Tatooine can benefit from this ultra-chic foliage. We are obsessed with how Star Wars gets a new (and elevated look) with the help of pampas décor. Of course, that’s just the tip of the asteroid. Discover even more picture-perfect details below.
Wedding planners have been reinventing the color wheel with monochromatic-themed celebrations that range from all the traditional all-white to the zanier all-yellow. Birthday hosts, take note: Monochrome has never been hotter. See how this Minions-inspired birthday party has us swooning over everything yellow — from golden roses to banana peel cutouts.
Geode cakes add instant glamour to any celebration — be it a luxe ballroom wedding or dinosaur-themed kid’s birthday party. We especially love how two golden dinosaurs replicate the traditional wedding topper — minus the dino part, of course. Discover other incredible elements from this fun-filled celebration. We’ll give you a hint: There’s life-size dinosaur fossils on the scene.
The pandemic had caterers scrambling to rethink serving stations at weddings. Lo and behold, the mini charcuterie board was born. We hope this trend is here to say, and we are happy to see it appearing at kids’ birthday parties. After all, kids also deserve to indulge in the finer things in life — and stay safe while doing so. Click to see other personalized dining ideas like individually-served desserts. Talk about yum.
Lessons from the Pandemic
COVID-19 forced everyone to adapt, including event planners. With a combination of strategic planning and creative thinking, celebrations persevered — and were forever changed along the way. The pandemic led to new types of celebrations such as micro weddings and virtual events, as well as new ways of celebrating with social-distancing and testing/screening precautions.
While we are overjoyed that life is beginning to return to normal (at least the new normal), we are glad to see event planners continuing to stretch their imaginations. As far as we’re concerned, these pandemic party trends can stick around for another year or two.
With social-distancing mandates, outdoor dining with heated igloos became the next big thing. We love how this backyard birthday party features a branded superhero pod where kids could don the costume of their choice and transform into their favorite superhero. We’d say that’s even better than a Michelin-star meal.
Salads in a jar have long been a staple of the PartySlate office lunch. After all, they’re so convenient (and Instagrammable). We love how this concept has shifted to desserts. With individually-served mini birthday cakes becoming increasingly popular due to COVID-19, we expect this trend to stick around. Our stomachs (and Instagram accounts) approve.
14. Themed Cuisine Containers
Food buffets all but disappeared throughout the pandemic. In their place, individual servings of pre-packaged snacks kept guests satiated — and safer. We especially love how packaging became the perfect blank canvas for branding and party themes. These “tackle box” snack packs are just one of many picture-perfect details at this fishing-themed party. Discover everything from fishing bobber cake pops to “live bait” fruit cups.
Kids’ Birthday Desserts That Makes You Look Twice
Ask any chef. Food can rise to the levels of fine art. While molecular gastronomy has been reinventing restaurants (and even corporate events) for years, kids’ catering is finding its own ways to shine. Caterers are thinking outside the box (and the traditional birthday cake) with new presentations and flavors. Sometimes, wishes really do come true.
Who said kids aren’t allowed to play with their food? These custom-made breakable chocolate hearts — designed to match the pastel tablescape — turned dessert into an immersive activity. Click to see other trending details from this backyard celebration. You’ll find dyed floral centerpieces, cushion seating, and so much more.
Last year, we predicted popcorn would be a top food trend for 2021. We’re going a step further this year. Expect to find popcorn paired with sweet desserts — like this luxury birthday cake accented by white chocolate popcorn. Discover other mouthwatering desserts from this Twinchella-themed first-birthday party. We especially love the ice cream cones topped with — you guessed it — popcorn.
Colts Neck, NJ
We’ve all been there: The dessert menu comes, and it’s impossible to decide on just one option. This carnival-themed birthday party gave guests the best of both worlds with two-desserts-in-one. From ice cream sundaes topped with donuts to cupcakes crowned with cotton candy, dessert just got a whole lot sweeter.
Kids’ Birthday Décor Goes Round and Round
We’ve said it before: Party vendors have been forced to think outside the box over the last couple years. Luckily for us, the sphere was born.
Spherical birthday party décor is transforming backyards and venues alike. More than just party decorations, circles and orbs are creating everything from the perfect photo op to immersive activities. We have to give a round of applause.
Not all that glitters is gold. Matte color schemes are taking over everything from manicured nails to living room walls. Best of all, matte is making its mark on kids’ birthday balloon décor. Click to see how matte balloons created one photo op after another at this golf-themed birthday party. We especially love how the tablescape backdrop evokes a golf course and bright blue skies.
As COVID-19 cases begin to drop, and social gatherings return in full-swing, a favorite activity makes a reappearance. That’s right: Ball pits are back. We especially love how this ball pit features a slide as well as color-coordinated balls. As you can imagine, no kid wanted to leave this daisy-themed birthday party without going down the slide one last time.
Photo Spots are Still Hot
Even the greatest kids’ birthday party must come to an end. Luckily, photographs last forever. In addition to hiring a skilled photographer to capture your little one’s big day, we suggest creating the perfect photo op. While your kids may not be on Instagram, they will certainly appreciate an opportunity to pose for the camera.
Photo cardboard cutouts aren’t just for fairs. We are obsessed with this custom cardboard golf cart framed by pastel matte balloons. Other photo-worthy spots at this adorable birthday party included an elaborate dessert cart and white bouncy house decorated in balloon décor.
This Baby Shark second-birthday party wows at every angle. We love how the entire private residence becomes a photo op with two-story length streamers and balloon installations. Other incredible photos ops at this creative birthday bash include an on-theme lounge area and Baby Shark greeters.
PEOPLE ALSO ASK
How to Plan a Kid’s Birthday Party?
After finding your favorite ideas and inspiration on PartySlate, we recommend assembling a talented team of event vendors. Use PartySlate’s curated directory to find top local and national vendors. Some top kids’ birthday vendors to consider include:
We also recommend hiring an event planner to take the stress out of the planning process. Make sure you’re enjoying your child’s milestone, not running around fixing falling streamers or tracking down missing cupcakes. Moreover, an event planner is more than just a logistics expert. Ask your event planner for vendor recommendations and additional ideas and inspiration.
What to Serve at a Kid’s Birthday Party?
While kids’ birthday cakes are undoubtedly the highlight of any birthday party, we recommend feeding your guests more than just sugar. Trust us, their parents will thank you.
Hire a top local caterer to create custom menus that serve your dietary needs — and make the celebration all the more enriching. Moreover, you can browse catering ideas here. If you see something you like, make sure to save the photo by clicking the heart so you can share with your catering team.
Where to Celebrate a Kid’s Birthday Party?
While backyard birthday parties are increasingly popular, an event venue offers many perks. Venues often come with in-house vendors and rentals. Additionally, venues often provide limited planning services that help facilitate a smoother planning process.
Use PartySlate to find an available kids’ birthday party venue that meets your needs. Make sure to use the filters to narrow your search by amenities, location, guest count, and more.