10 Summertime Birthday Party Themes for the Outdoors

Summertime is all about outdoor events, right? So for those of you planning children’s birthday parties this summer, take advantage and choose fun, festive themes that work best out in the open. And for inspiration and decorating ideas, come along as we revisit 10 of our most popular kiddie party posts—all set in the sunny outdoors and each with a theme the little ones will love!

Little Cowboy / Wild West Theme

Barnyard Quenchers Dispenser | www.bellenza.com/party-ideas

A cowboy or Wild West theme will never go out of style! Draw from timeless elements for the venue and table decorations—including cowboy boot centerpieces, bandana favor bundles, cowboy hats, bales of hay, wooden buckets, and stick horses for the little buckeroos!

Nautical Birthday Theme

Nautical Lighthouse Centerpiece

Have the party guests sail the high seas with a nautical party motif! For kiddie table decorations,  choose from a DIY lighthouse centerpiece, a model of a pirate ship or sailboat, or a large seashell filled with saltwater taffy candies. DIY sailor hats can double as name card holders at each place setting, too!

Circus Birthday Theme

Circus themed centerpiece and place settings.

Everyone loves the circus! So for a little girl’s summer birthday, transform each party table into a circus-themed spectacle. Create a glitzy centerpiece with a circus animal cage and topped with a darling doll. Then, for party favors, prepare popcorn in DIY clown-hat favor cones and tulle favor purses filled with cookies. And set up a circus-themed candy table and colorful birthday cake to match!

Painting / Art Theme

Upcycled Cans as Centerpieces for a Painting-themed Birthday Party

A painting or art-themed party is often hosted indoors. But having it outdoors promises less clean-up hassles afterwards! See our ultra-colorful decorating ideas that you can DIY: floral centerpieces in upcycled can vases and a party sign framed in a rainbow-hued balloon wreath.

Safari Theme


Kids will have a roaring good time at a safari-themed party! Just have the cutest stuffed jungle animals and giant cardboard cutouts grace the welcome display (our set is for a baby shower, but this would work just as well for a birthday). Then, on the table settings, include jungle animal puzzle pieces and tree bark and “jungle vine” touches for the napkins and menu cards

Shark Theme

Shark-themed Boy’s Birthday Party DIY Ideas from Table Decor to the Drinks and even Dessert Table!

What about simulating shark-infested waters right in your backyard? This post we created on a shark-themed birthday party is full of clever ideas to do just that—a DIY shark centerpiece, party wreath, sun catchers as a party activity, and yes, a shark piñata! Beach supplies and snorkeling gear make fun accents, while even the party punch can be ocean blue.

Mermaid Theme

Mermaid Birthday Theme

Dive right into this well-loved theme for birthday pool parties: a mermaid motif! This other inspiration post we featured offers up fabulous under-the-sea ideas. Think mermaid tails and scales, seashells, starfish, “pearl” candies, “bubble” lanterns, beach baskets filled with goodies, and “Ariel Barbie” atop the birthday cake—all swimming in a lovely palette of teal and purple.

Dino Dig / Camp Dino Theme

Camp Dino Party! Let’s Dig for Fossils Birthday Ideas

Dinosaurs will never be extinct! At least as far as little boys’ party themes go. Whether you choose a Dino Dig theme or a Camp Dino one, as we did, the possibilities for decorations, party games, food, drinks, desserts and favors are amazingly creative. Dinosaur bones on a chocolate or brownie cake, “Jurassic Park” mini terrarium centerpieces, dino-shaped sandwiches, a Happy Trails snack station for hungry paleontologists—you’ll love them all!

Ice Cream Theme

Ice cream party theme

Beat the summer heat with a sure hit: an ice cream-themed party! Keep the look cool in a palette of pastel colors, and the vibe delightful with vintage-inspired ice cream parlor decor and party supplies. Our inspiration post shows how you can go “all out ice cream”—from candy-in-cones favors, to hanging decorations, to cupcakes and the birthday cake, to an irresistible scooping station with all the toppings!

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