While birthday parties at home may be an easy option, a house full of kids can be a nightmare. To save you stress and broken belongings, try one of these outdoor kids’ birthday party ideas instead.
- Visit the local park
Sometimes the simplest solution is right around the corner: your local park. Take advantage of your neighbourhood facilities and host your party for free. Kids will love having plenty of open space to run around in.
Make sure you bring everything you need for some outdoor party games, although your kids will likely have just as much fun playing games that require nothing but themselves. All you need for games like Tag, Red Rover and Stuck in the Mud are kids and plenty of energy.
Your local park is likely to also have free picnic facilities like tables and barbecues. Set up snacks and drinks for kids when they need a break from the fun. Make sure everyone stays hydrated and stock up on sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
- Go for a hike
Hiking may not be your first thought for an outdoor party, but it offers kids a great way to use up lots of energy and spend time with friends and family in the great outdoors. You can then have a mini party when you reach your destination and enjoy some great views.
As you hike, you can play guessing games, like I Spy or word games like thinking of a different animal for each letter of the alphabet. It can also be a great time to just chat and get to know your child and their friends.
Be careful to avoid overly strenuous or dangerous hiking trails, but ensure the kids have enough freedom to run off and explore.
Make sure everyone is dressed appropriately for the day, including good walking shoes and sun protection, like long sleeves and hats. Ensure everyone has water and frequently hydrates. Remember to keep the pace to what the slowest walker can manage, so no one gets left behind or overexerts themselves.
- Have a pool party
If your child’s birthday is in summer, throw a party where kids can cool off. If you have a backyard pool, it’s an easy set-up. But you can also visit the local pool. Admission is often cheap and you can bring everything you need. Ensure kids are respectful of other patrons though.
Wherever you throw your party, make sure you supervise all children in attendance. You may need to ask other parents to help to ensure everyone is safe. Make sure all kids are competent swimmers and know how to play safely in water. Everyone should also wear appropriate sun protection, like rash vests, sunscreen and hats, to avoid sunburn.
Encourage children to take a break every hour or so in order to get a drink and rest. If children are eating, make sure they wait a few minutes before going back into the pool to avoid becoming nauseous.
- Visit the beach
Australia has some of the best beaches in the world, and they are perfect for your next party. There are often free facilities like barbecues and picnic tables nearby. Alternatively, you can have fish and chips from nearby cafes.
While the surf and sand will keep kids busy for a long time, don’t forget to bring along a few extra items. Ask your child about beach games they’d like to play, like volleyball or cricket, and bring along what they need. You may also like to bring sandcastle building equipment too for kids to get creative.
Make sure children are wearing sun protection, including rash vests, sunscreen and hats. Sunscreen should be regularly reapplied when children have been in the water. This is a good time too for kids to have a drink and break to avoid overexerting themselves.
It’s important children are appropriately supervised while at the beach to avoid injury. Therefore, it’s best to only invite a few children or ask other parents to join you. This can be a great way to get to know your kids’ friends and their parents too.
Also make it clear to children that if they go swimming, this must be done between the red and yellow flags. This is the area where lifeguards are on duty and they can help if the kids get into trouble.
- Hold a sports day
If your child is an avid sports fan or athlete, have your own mini sporting competition at the park or in your backyard. Play your child’s favourite sport or have a host of fun games to play. These can include traditional sports, like soccer or cricket, but also silly games like egg and spoon races or potato sack races.
Make sure you have all the equipment you need, like balls and markers. Inspire some competition between the kids by having prizes and ribbons for place winners. You can even have a trophy for the overall winner of the day.
- Go go-karting
For an exhilarating birthday party, take your child and their friends go-karting. Getting to drive can be an exciting experience for kids, particularly for those who are competitive.
Be prepared for this party to be a little more expensive than other options. You may need to limit guests to a small number or ask parents of guests to chip in. However, you can save money on your kid’s party in other areas, like food and decorations.
- Try a horse trail ride
If your child is horse-mad, they’ll love nothing more than getting to go for a birthday trail ride. There are lots of places that offer trail rides for children, but prices and time spent riding can vary. Check reviews to see which places offer the best value for money as well as experience.
This party idea is best done with a smaller group. Many riding experiences have a person limit for trail rides, and you don’t want kids to be split up. This can also be a way to keep costs down.
Remember to dress appropriately for the day: wear long pants and apply sunscreen. Helmets and riding boots are often supplied, but double check what is available for your experience.
Speak to the children about how to behave before you arrive. Remind them that they should respect the animals and the people running the experience. They need to follow directions and be calm and gentle around horses. This includes not shouting and only patting a horse if an employee says it is okay.
- Visit a local children’s farm
If your kids love animals and want a more hands-on experience than the zoo, visit a local children’s farm. At these farms, children can see what life is like on a farm and interact with the animals. They can learn new skills, like gardening and caring for large animals, as well as learn about how food gets from the farm to their plate.
Entry fees are usually fairly cheap, but it can help to bring along your own food to cut costs. Make sure children are wearing comfortable shoes to walk around in, as well as hats and sunscreen. This will prevent sunburn and sore feet from spoiling the day.
- Spend the day at an amusement park
While a more expensive option, an amusement park can be the perfect way to spend a whole day outdoors. Whether it’s waterslides or rollercoasters, kids will have plenty to do.
To reduce costs, have a small guest list or ask parents to pay for their child’s admission. A smaller group also makes it easier to supervise children so they do not get lost or hurt. You can also save money by bringing your own food as prices can be steep at amusement parks.
Be prepared with simple games to play while you wait in lines, like I Spy or word association games. This can help avoid tantrums and keep everyone feeling upbeat. Remind children to also follow any directions from park staff, like height restrictions, as these will be for their own safety.
- Try outdoor laser skirmish
If your kid is an avid gamer, outdoor laser skirmish can make them feel like they’re playing a video game while running around outside.
Similar to paintball, kids are encouraged to run around in teams and play competitive games. Kids wear special sensors and carry laser guns. When a child fires at someone, the sensor is triggered, notifying them that they are out. No one is injured and kids learn patience and hand-eye coordination as they play.
This can be one of the more expensive party ideas, but, ultimately, the more friends your child has to play with, the more likely they are to have a good time. Therefore, you may need to ask parents to pay for their child’s admission — this could be in lieu of a present.
Get your kid outdoors this year for their birthday with these great party ideas. Talk to your child about what they’d like to do and tailor a party to suit.