Birthday party entertainment for kids has changed a great deal in the last 20 years. Kid’s parties are now often much more than just jelly and ice cream with a few party games. If you’re struggling to decide what type of party to throw for your child, these entertainment ideas for kids parties will give you some inspiration.
At Home Birthday Party Entertainment for Kids
You don’t have to book a venue a for your kids party, there are lots of great entertainment ideas that you can do at home.
Birthday Tea Party
This is a lovely party idea for first and second birthday parties. Very young children don’t need a source of entertainment beyond the excitement of seeing their guests and a tea party provides a simple way to feed everyone. If there is something your little one is very keen on you can always theme it, we had a Peppa Pig themed tea party for my daughter’s second birthday.
Definitely one for older children, a sleepover is a popular choice for tweens. Most sleepovers involve food, a movie and some games. How many you invite will depend on the space you have available and how much you value your sleep!
Back Garden Camp Out
If you don’t have the space indoors then you could consider back garden camping for a sleepover party. This one won’t be a lot of fun if the weather is bad but if your child has a summer birthday it can be great fun.
If you’ve got a tween, or even a younger child who is keen on pampering, a spa party is a great choice for an at home birthday celebration. You can buy supplies cheaply and order pizza to feed them. It also combines well with a sleepover party.
Who doesn’t love lego? Lego can be a great party idea as it provides both the entertainment and the theme. You can give the children building challenges and then judge them and award prizes. You can often bulk buy lego fairly cheaply secondhand and you can also use it for your party bags.
Entertainment Ideas for kids Parties in Halls
If you’re planning children’s parties during the early years of school, there’s a good chance you’re considering an all class party. One of the best ways to do an all class party is by hiring a hall and then arranging entertainment. Here are some entertainment options for hall parties.
Once of easiest and most cost effective ways to have an all class birthday party is to hire a hall and then book a professional to entertain the kids. A good entertainer will keep the children engaged for around an hour and a half, leaving you with thirty mimites for food and cake at the end.
A classic birthday party idea, if you’ve got a large group of kids to entertain then a disco can be a great choice. You can hire a DJ or just use a phone with speakers. For the full experience lights and disco balls are a must.
Themed Hall Party
If your child is passionate about something then you can plan a party around it. For our son’s 5th birthday we had a superhero themed party in a hall. We hired a bouncy castle and asked everyone to come dressed as a superhero. We also arranged some superhero themed activities including shooting “badies” with silly string and decorating superhero masks. Whatever your theme, you’ll be able to find some ideas on Pinterest.
A science party is a great choice for slightly older children (we did it for a 7th birthday) and has the bonus of being educational. If you have a background in science you might be able to run it yourself but if not there are plenty of companies that can come and run science parties for you. The kids that attended ours were genuinely amazed at what they saw.
Unusual Birthday Party Entertainment Ideas
As your children get older you might start to feel bored of all the usual parties they attend. If you want a more unusual party, have a look at these suggestions.
Recording Studio Birthday Party
If your child is a music lover I’d highly recomend having a look to see if anyone offers recording studio parties in you area. We did this for our son’s 9th birthday and he absolutely loved it. Numbers are usually limited because of space but by the early tweens children often have a smaller friendship group they want to invite. The children get to record a song at the studio then get a copy to keep afterwards.
An Arcade party
My daughter recently went to a party at an amusement arcade and had the best time. The arcade was closed to the public during the party and the machines are all set to free play so they can game away to their heart’s content.
Hire a Gaming Bus as Kids Party Entertainment
Another option if you have kids that love gaming is to hire a gaming bus. It comes and parks near your home and is set up with a range of games consoles for your child and their friends to enjoy. Once they’re done gaming that can head back inside for food.
Kids Escape Room Party
We have a local kid’s escape room that offers children’s parties. Rather than challenging them to escape, the kids are given a spy mission to complete with problems to solve. It wouldn’t work well for younger children but is great for over 8s.
Party Entertainment Ideas for Kids with High Energy Levels
If your child and their friends have high energy levels and you want to wear them out, these energetic party ideas will do the job.
Soft Play Parties
I’ve lost count of the number of soft play parties my children have been to but do know what? They’ve loved every one of them. Soft play parties are often the easiest on parents because the venue takes care of pretty much everything, all you need to do is send the invitation and bring along the cake. If you have very little children you can also hire soft play equipment to use at home or at a hall.
Trampoline Park Party
This has all the benefits of a soft play party but for older kids. The only downside of a trampoline party is that you usually need to get all of the parents to sign the trampoline park waiver before the party which can be logistically challenging.
Bouncy Castle Party
Bounce Houses are great fun, even the adults love a turn. If you have a big garden you could have one at home or some Halls will let you have one, either inside the hall or in they grounds.
This is similar to a disco but with someone teaching specific dances. This is often a big hit with tweens and lots of dance schools offer the service. Just be aware that it’s not for everyone so consider what you’ll do if some kids don’t want to take part.
Sports Themed Birthday Party Ideas
The ideas below are based on particular sports and also great options for energetic kids.
If you’ve got a football mad child then they will love a football themed birthday party. Lots of party companies offer these along with some children’s football classes. If you’re a keen player or involved in coaching you could even run it yourself. We had ours at the local leisure centre which was a great price.
Climbing Wall Party
Cip and Climbs are often located in trampoline parks and many offer birthday parties. They’re great for children that like to challenge themselves but I’d suggest you take them before the party to check they like it, a friend of mine didn’t and it turned out her daughter hated it.
if you want to have a skating party you can choose between roller skating or ice skating depending on what you have in your area. Even if your child can skate well, it’s likely that a lot of their friends won’t be able to you so you’ll need a reasonable number of adults who can skate to help out.
For those who prefer a lower energy sport, bowling is a fun choice. Unlike skating, it’s easy for everyone to have a go at and there are usually guides available for younger children. My children have enjoyed attending bowling parties since they were around 3 and still enjoy them now as tweens.
Animal Themed Birthday Party Entertainment Ideas
Animal themed birthday parties are often as fun for the adults as they are for the children. Just make sure you’re happy with the animals welfare standards before you book.
Lots of zoos offer birthday parties so if you have one locally it can be a great option for an animal mad child. There are usually quite expensive but may give you the chance to do things that the average zoo visitor doesn’t get to do, so can be good value.
Park farms are great places to have birthday parties. Many let you get hands on with the animals and most have lots of fun features in addition to the animals so there’s something for everyone.
Mobile Petting Zoo
If you don’t want to go to the animals, then have them come to you. Mobile petting zoos can come and run parties in your house or garden or at venues like halls. Some specialise in a particular type of animals, like reptiles or even birds of prey, while others will bring along a range based on your child’s preferences.
If your child is pony mad then a horse riding party might be for them. Some companies will bring a pony to you and others will invite you the stables to have a ride, learn a bit about horse care and then have some food.
Creative Birthday Party Entertainment ideas for Kids
If your children like to get creative then they can share their creativity with their friends with one of these creative party entertainment ideas.
An Art Party
There are lots of companies who run art parties. They’ll come to your home or venue with all of their art equipment and support the kids to create their own masterpieces. Just make sure you choose one that cleans up the mess at the end!
Ceramics Painting Party
If you want something a bit more contained than ceramic painting is a great birthday party entertainment idea. If you want to arrange it yourself you can buy kits quite cheaply. Alternatively you can hire someone to come and run it for you. If you have someone come and run it they’ll likely have a bigger selection of ceramics and paints to choose from than you could buy yourself for a one off party.
Jewellery Making Party
For younger children, this can be bead based jewellery, where they can simply thread beads together to create necklaces and bracelets. For older children you can use a wider range of materials and tools.
Pizza Making Party
Kids love pizza and creating your own is great fun. When we did pizza making as entertainment at a children’s party we carried the theme through and let them make their own sweet pizza using large round biscuits and icing.
There are companies that will come to your home or venue and show the children how to make their own chocolate creations. These can be fun for chocolate mad kids although a group of children on a sugar high is less fun for parents!
Outdoor Entertainment Ideas for Kids Parties
If your children prefer to be outside then these outdoor parties could be a great choice.
Den Building/Survival Parties
My children love den building, campfires, whittling and orienteering. We’re lucky that some of our local nature nature reserves, as well as some independent companies the area, run parties that embrace these activities. They are especially popular if you get to toast marshmallows.
Tubing involves sliding down a dry ski slope in an inflatable ring. There is no skills to it and it’s great fun so suitable for even the least athletic kids.
Dry Ski Slope Party
If you enjoy skiing at a dry ski slope then many offer children’s parties. They are usually best for slightly older children who will get the hang of it more quickly and spend less of the party falling down!
Party at a Theme Park
If you want to splash out then you could have a theme park birthday party. Some theme parks offer birthday party packages or you can just take your child and a few friends to enjoy the day and either buy food there or take a birthday picnic.
Hopefully that list has given you some entertainment ideas for kids parties. You might also like to find out how to survive children’s birthday parties, particularly at the age when they are pretty much a weekly occurrence.
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