Outdoor birthday party ideas: group of friends happily celebrating and throwing some confetti

There’s no better way to let loose than with an outdoor birthday party. There are so many fun ways to celebrate another trip around the sun while enjoying the great outdoors. From entertaining little tykes at a bubble-themed bash to roughing it at a camping-themed event or lounging in luxury at a poolside soiree, we have outdoor birthday party ideas that are suitable for all ages. Here are some of our favorite party themes you can use year after year.

10 Outdoor Birthday Party Ideas for Adults and Kids

Outdoor birthday party ideas: kids having an outdoor birthday party

Outdoor birthday parties are great for a few reasons. First, you don’t have to worry about fitting a ton of kids — and their parents — in your home. Second, it’s a great way to get everyone outdoors and active. Plus, outdoor parties provide more options for themes and party games compared to indoor shindigs.

Whether the special someone is an adult or a small child, you’ll find the perfect party idea on this list. Here are 10 awesome outdoor birthday party ideas — from pool parties to tea parties and everything in between.

1. Pool Party

Outdoor birthday party ideas: Beach Ball Party Invitation

Design: Claudia Owen

Invitation Inspiration: Beach Ball Party Invitation

If the lucky honoree has a summer birthday, think about throwing a refreshing outdoor pool party. You can host the event at your own home if you have a swimming pool or rent out a local swimming pool for the event.

Decorate the space with vibrant colors like turquoise and coral. You can create the look of an exotic destination by adding palm leaves and flamingos into your decor. Add a pinata for a south-of-the-border style pool party or make a sandbox for smaller kids to play in. Grab a few inflatable floaties and pool noodles for the kids — or adults! — to play with. You can also set out water guns and water balloons for an older kid’s birthday party.

2. Backyard Campout

Outdoor birthday party ideas: Happy Camper Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Invitation Inspiration: Happy Camper Invitation

Take the classic sleepover and move it outdoors with a group campout. If you’re hosting at a real camping site, you’ll want to make sure to plan and pack appropriately. For a backyard party, you can simplify a bit and set up a few tents and bean bag chairs on the lawn. Depending on your local fire restrictions, set up a fire pit where the kids (or grown-ups) can tell ghost stories and roast marshmallows.

For dinner, serve up classic camp food like hot dogs and mac and cheese. You can also set up a build-your-own trail mix bar with chocolate chips, nuts, and dried fruits. For dessert, serve a birthday cake or cupcakes with frosting designed to look like the flames of a campfire.

3. Track and Field Party

Outdoor birthday party ideas: Let The Games Begin Invitation

Design: Laura Bolter Design

Invitation Inspiration: Let the Games Begin Invitation

Does your child enjoy athletics and a little friendly competition? If so, you can’t go wrong with a track and field-themed party. This theme is all about outdoor games. Set up an obstacle course using chairs and wooden pallets or use pool noodles to create small hurdles. A sack race or relay race is another great way to get the kids active and in on the fun. 

When it comes to decor, stick to the sports theme. Choose party colors based on your child’s favorite university or sports team. Tie ribbons to Oreo cookies to create edible medals and design a cake depicting a track and field.

4. Bubble Party

Outdoor birthday party ideas: Sparkling Bubbles Invitation

Design: Stacey Day

Invitation Inspiration: Sparkling Bubbles Invitation

Ready for a bubbly and bright outdoor birthday party idea? Look no further than a bubble party. This party theme is perfect for younger kids and tweens although we won’t judge if you use this idea for a 21st birthday party! Rent a bubble machine to set the scene or hire a bubble artist to create shapes and characters out of the bubbles. 

For a fun photo opportunity, fill a kiddie pool with a DIY blowing bubbles solution. Then, have the birthday boy or girl stand in the middle of the pool. Place a hula hoop in the soapy water and pull it straight up around them, creating a bubble wall that makes for memorable snaps. 

Fill buckets and tubs with bubbles and set them in different areas of the yard for kids to play with. As a party favor, send the kids home with a few bottles of bubbles, bubble wands, or bubble gum. For an adult celebration, you can send guests home with mini bottles of bubbly. 

5. Starry Movie Night 

Starlight Cinema Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Invitation Inspiration: Starlight Cinema Invitation

Spend a night under the stars while watching some of your favorite stars on the big screen with an outdoor movie night. To pull off this birthday party theme, set up an outdoor movie screen using a white sheet and projector. Set out some comfy seating (bean bags and large blankets work well) along with goodie bags filled with popcorn and movie theater candies like Red Vines and Whoppers.

6. Mini-Golf

Preppy Par-tee Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

Invitation Inspiration: Preppy Par-Tee Invitation

Celebrate a happy birthday with some outdoor mini-golf. You can head to a local mini-golf spot or create a miniature course in your backyard. You can even find companies that will rent portable mini-golf courses and set them up for you. 

Ask guests to attend in their best golf attire — think polo shirts, slack, and skorts. Serve golf-inspired foods like bogie hoagies and golf ball salad to weave the theme into the meal. Don’t forget a birthday cake featuring a golfer to complete the look.

7. Paint Party

Pastel Party Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

Invitation Inspiration: Pastel Party Invitation

Looking for a creative way to celebrate? Let your inner artist out with an outdoor paint party. Set up easels for each attendee and provide painting supplies like brushes and paints. Choose one image for everyone to paint or let the guests paint whatever their hearts desire.

Serve easy, fun party foods like pizza and cupcakes that look like mini paint palettes. For an adult twist, you can make it a “Paint and Sip” party with wine and charcuterie boards. 

This backyard birthday party idea is perfect for young kids and adults who don’t mind getting a little messy. Since it’s outdoors, clean-up is easy and you don’t have to worry about ruining indoor furniture. Make sure to set up a washing station where the party guests can rinse their hands and wash their equipment. 

On your digital invitations, you can also encourage guests to wear casual clothes and let them know that paint splatter is a possibility!

8. Scavenger Hunt Party

Scavenger Hunt Invitation

Design: Mint Parcel

Invitation Inspiration: Scavenger Hunt Invitation

One of our favorite outdoor birthday party ideas is a scavenger hunt — it gets all the guests moving and enjoying a little friendly competition. Hide various items around the yard or outdoor party space. Give the partygoers a list of the hidden items and send them on their way to find each one. The individual or team that finds all the items the fastest wins a special prize.

Keep the participants fueled up with snacks like mini sandwiches, potato skins, and other bite-size party foods. For the birthday cake, tie it into the theme by decorating it with some scavenger hunt items.

9. Beach Bash

Beach Babe Invitation

Design: Patrice Horvath Design

Invitation Inspiration: Beach Babe Invitation

There’s nothing quite as fun as celebrating someone’s birthday on the beach. Whether you’re having a party for young kids, teens, or adults, this outdoor birthday party idea is the perfect fit. Grab the beach balls, beach chairs, and sunscreen before hitting the sand for some fun in the sun. 

For an epic beach bash, pack refreshing favorites like watermelon, fruit cups, and chips. To keep hungry mouths happy, grill up hot dogs and burgers. Instead of a birthday cake, simply order ice cream from a nearby vendor. Keep everyone entertained with beach activities like corn hole and a sand castle competition.

10. Tea Party

Sweet Berry Cake Invitation

Design: Paper Raven Co.

Invitation Inspiration: Sweet Berry Cake Invitation

Pinkies up! It’s time for some afternoon tea. Whether you’re throwing a sweet little girl’s birthday party or a regal celebration for an older queen, a tea party is sure to be one of the most delightful outdoor birthday ideas. 

To enjoy an al fresco celebration, set up a table (or tables) outdoors and cover it with a lace tablecloth. You can set out fine china — or plastic versions for a small kids’ event. Line the center of the table with fresh flowers and include place cards for each guest.

Be sure to provide a variety of teas and afternoon tea fare like finger sandwiches and pastries. You can ask guests to come dressed in fashionable attire and fabulous hats or go for something more unconventional like a Mad Hatter-themed tea party. 

Celebrate Your Special Moment With an Outdoor Birthday Party

Group of friends happily celebrating a birthday party

Once you settle on a theme from these outdoor birthday party ideas, you’ll want to select a birthday party invitation to match. With Greenvelope, you’ll find hundreds of birthday party designs that you can customize. You can change the typography and color scheme, and add fun details like music to make the invite all your own. 

Plus, with digital invites, you can easily track guest RSVPs in a simple online dashboard. No more keeping track of loose cards or dealing with postage. Consider it one more thing to celebrate for your upcoming birthday bash.