1 Year Old Birthday Party Ideas: 30 Themes to Celebrate Your Little One’s First Milestone
As your child turns 1, it’s time to celebrate their first milestone with a bang! And what better way to do that than with a themed birthday party? Whether you’re looking for something classic, trendy, or unique, we’ve got you covered with 30 of the best party theme ideas for 1 year old birthday parties.
1 Year Old Birthday Party Ideas
- Teddy Bear Picnic: Set up a picnic blanket and teddy bears for a cute and cozy party theme.
- Circus: Bring the circus to your backyard with circus decorations, circus animal cakes, and a mini carnival-style games.
- Little Prince/Princess: Create a royal setting fit for a little prince or princess with a castle-shaped cake, a crown for the birthday child, and a throne for picture taking.
- Safari: Give your guests the adventure of a lifetime with a safari-themed party, complete with jungle decorations and animal-inspired snacks.
- Under the Sea: Transport your guests to the ocean with an under the sea-themed party, featuring a cake shaped like a coral reef and sea creature decorations.
- Farm: Take your guests on a trip to the farm with a party theme that includes barnyard decorations and farm animal cakes.
- Superhero: Help your little one become a superhero for a day with a superhero-themed party, complete with capes and masks for guests.
- Space: Blast off to outer space with a space-themed party, featuring planet decorations and a rocket-shaped cake.
- Sports: Score a touchdown with a sports-themed party, complete with decorations and cake in the shape of a football, soccer ball, or other sports equipment.
- Disney:Bring the magic of Disney to your party with a Disney-themed party, complete with character decorations and Disney-inspired treats.
- Enchanted Garden: Transform your backyard into an enchanted garden with fairy decorations and a tea party theme.
- Camping: Pitch a tent in your backyard and create a camping-themed party, complete with s’mores, campfire decorations, and a “campfire” cake.
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Bring the fun of Disney’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to your party with decorations, balloons and a cake with the beloved cartoon characters
- Fruits and Veggies: Have a healthy themed party with decorations and cake that are colorful and fun-looking fruits and vegetables.
- Firefighters: Let the little ones pretend to be firefighters for a day with firetruck decorations, fire hats and a cake shaped like a firetruck.
- Jungle: Create a jungle adventure for the little ones with a jungle-themed party, complete with palm trees, animal decorations and a cake shaped like a jungle animal
- Cars and Trucks: rev up the fun with a cars and trucks-themed party, featuring decorations and cake in the shape of cars and trucks.
- Construction: Dig into a construction-themed party, complete with decorations and cake in the shape of a dump truck or excavator.
- Pirates: Set sail for a party adventure with a pirate-themed party, complete with treasure maps and pirate decorations.
- Train: All aboard for a train-themed party, complete with decorations and a cake shaped like a train.
- Zoo: Create your own zoo with a zoo-themed party, complete with animal decorations and a cake shaped like a zoo.
- Rainbows: Celebrate the colors of the Rainbows: Celebrate the colors of the rainbow with a rainbow-themed party, featuring decorations and a cake with the colors of the rainbow.
- Peppa Pig: Bring the fun of Peppa Pig to your party with decorations, balloons, and a cake featuring the beloved cartoon character.
- Mermaid: Dive into a mermaid-themed party with ocean decorations, a cake shaped like a mermaid tail and even mermaid tail costumes for the guests.
- Frozen: Let it go and throw a Frozen-themed party with decorations, balloons and a cake featuring Anna, Elsa, and Olaf.
- Paw Patrol: Call the Paw Patrol to your party with decorations, balloons, and a cake featuring the beloved cartoon characters
- Bubble: Create a bubbly atmosphere with a bubble-themed party, featuring bubble-inspired decorations and a cake with bubble-like frosting.
- DIY: Create a personalized and meaningful celebration with a DIY-themed party where parents and guests can create keepsakes for the birthday child.
- Stuffed Animal: Create a cozy and adorable atmosphere with a stuffed animal-themed party. Guests can stuff their own lovey and give their new friend a name.
- Balloons: Go for a simple yet festive theme with a balloon-themed party, featuring colorful decorations and a cake with balloon-shaped candles.
Shop Gifts for 1 Year Old
Unique First Birthday Party Ideas
First Birthday Party Checklist
8-12 weeks before the party:
- Choose a date and time for the party
- Choose a venue (if it will be held somewhere other than your home)
- Decide on a theme for the party
- Create a guest list and send out invitations
- Plan the menu and drinks
- Plan the decorations
- Arrange for a photographer or a photo station
4-6 weeks before the party:
- Confirm the venue and other vendors
- Finalize the menu and drinks
- Plan the party activities and games
- Purchase party favors or small gifts for guests
- Purchase or make decorations
- Purchase or order the cake, cupcakes, and other desserts
2-4 weeks before the party:
- Prepare or order the party favors and small gifts
- Plan the set up and layout of the party venue
- Confirm the photographer or photo station
- Order any rental equipment (tables, chairs, etc.)
1 week before the party:
- Confirm final details with vendors
- Confirm final headcount with guests
- Prepare or purchase decorations
- Set up the party venue
Day of the party:
- Set up any last-minute decorations
- Coordinate with vendors
- Greet guests and ensure they are comfortable
- Take lots of photos and enjoy the celebration
- Clean up and pack up after the party.
First Birthday Party Places
There are many places you can have a 1st birthday party depending on your budget, the number of guests you are expecting, and the theme of the party. Some popular options include:
- At home: Having the party at home is a budget-friendly option and also allows you to have more control over the decorations, food and activities. If you have a large backyard, you can even set up a tent and make it feel like a different place.
- Community center or park: Renting out a community center or reserving a picnic area in a park can be a great option for larger parties. Many community centers have kitchen facilities and tables/chairs that can be used. Park picnics are especially great for outdoor parties during the warm weather.
- Party room at a restaurant or café: Some restaurants and cafes have party rooms available for rent, which can be a great option if you don’t want to deal with cooking and cleaning up after the party.
- Indoor play area: Many indoor play areas have party rooms available for rent and provide fun activities for the kids. This can be a great option for young children and parents that want to keep the kids entertained during the party.
- Rental venues: For a more grand celebration or for people who prefer to hold a party in a specific theme, renting a venue that fits the theme like a museum, botanical gardens or an aquarium might be ideal. It can be more expensive, but it can also make the party memorable and unique.
First Birthday Party Activities
- A smash cake photo shoot for the birthday child to enjoy their first taste of cake
- A “first year” photo collage featuring pictures of the child throughout their first year
- A balloon pop game where each balloon contains small prizes or cand inside
- A “guess how many” game, where guests try to guess how many items are in a jar (could be cand, buttons, small toys)
- A “pin the pacifier on the baby” game
- A baby-safe sensory bin filled with items such as soft balls, blocks, and stuffed animals
- A “My first year” scrapbook station where guests can take pictures, decorate and fill out with wishes for the baby
- A “memory tree” where guests can hang up pictures or notes with memories or wishes for the baby
- A Baby-friendly craft station where parents and guests can create keepsake for the birthday child.
- A sing-a-long session with nursery rhymes, lullabies and baby-friendly songs
- Story time for kids with age-appropriate books
- A dance party with lots of balloons and colorful streamers
Food Ideas for 1st Birthday Party
Here are some popular food ideas for a first birthday party:
- Finger foods: Small sandwiches, mini pizzas, sliders, and appetizers are great options for finger foods. You can also include some healthy options such as veggies and dip, fruit skewers, or cheese and crackers.
- Desserts: A birthday party is not complete without cake! You can opt for a classic birthday cake or consider cupcakes or mini desserts like macarons, cake pops, or cookies.
- Snacks: Include some popular snacks that kids and adults can munch on throughout the party such as popcorn, pretzels, or potato chips.
- Drinks: Set up a beverage station with non-alcoholic drinks such as juice, lemonade, iced tea, or soda. For the adults, you can also include a separate beverage station for coffee or tea.
- Special food for the birthday child: Keep in mind that the birthday child might have special food needs like purees or specific types of food. Be sure to consider that and have some options ready for them.
It’s important to consider any dietary restrictions or allergies of your guests when planning the menu. You can also hire a caterer or rent a food truck if you prefer not to deal with cooking or preparing the food yourself. It’s also worth noting that during the pandemic, it’s recommended to consider alternatives, such as individually wrapped snacks, or providing single-use utensils and plates, to ensure the safety and health of your guests.
No matter what theme you choose for your 1-year-old’s birthday party, remember that the most important thing is to spend time with loved ones and create lasting memories. These party theme ideas are just the starting point and can be customized and tailored to your specific needs and preferences. Have a blast planning and executing the perfect birthday party for your little one’s first milestone!