5 Sizzling Summer Party Ideas for Kids

Memorial Day has come and gone and that can only mean that summer is around the corner! And, while kids love parties at any time of year, summer parties are extra fun. For one thing, outdoor venues are on the table again, from beaches and parks to your own backyard. Whether you have a little one in your family with a summer birthday or just want to let them kick off the season in style, here are 5 delightful summer party ideas for kids.

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. This party inspired by Alice in Wonderland makes for a fun and whimsical twist on a classic garden party theme. Set the stage with a long table, colorful oversize paper flower decorations, and mismatched plates and cups. Fill teapots with juice, serve cupcakes and sandwiches, and let the madness begin! Guests can be invited to either arrive in a crazy hat or decorate their own as part of the afternoon’s entertainment.

Backyard Camping Party. Kids love camping but you don’t have to go far to enjoy the great outdoors! Set up camp in your very own backyard. Pitch a tent or two in the garden, ideally around a fire pit if you have one. Kids can enjoy classic camp crafts, storytelling, and s’more-making. Depending on their age, you can invite a few friends to have a sleepover under the stars or simply enjoy a bit of camp-themed fun before heading home.

Ice Cream Social. This is one of my favorite summer party ideas for kids after the butterfly-themed ice cream party I planned for my granddaughter, Goldie, a couple of years ago. We had it at a local creamery but of course, you can also set up a sundae bar at home or bring in an ice cream truck. (The little ones will love it!) For Goldie’s ice cream social, we welcomed guests with a huge, colorful balloon display, This would work for many parties, whatever the theme. We also had fun ice cream cone centerpieces made with balloons. Balloons really are such a versatile decoration for children’s parties!

Water Fight. A pool party is a classic summer party idea, but you don’t have to have a pool to enjoy some splashy fun! Set up kiddie pools and sprinklers in your backyard. Provide (filled up) water balloons, water guns, buckets, and other water toys. Be sure to have towels on hand and have parents bring a change of clothes for their kids. That way everyone can dry off and enjoy some birthday cake before heading home tired but happy.

Outdoor Movie Party. For slightly older kids (say, ages 8 or 9 and up), this makes a great option. Purchase an inflatable outdoor screen (or make your own screen by hanging a white sheet) and rent a projector to show a movie under the stars. A popcorn machine or a popcorn bar makes a great addition. You could also serve other classic cinema snacks and drinks.

The good news is that during this transitional phase of COVID-19, all of these summer party ideas for kids can be adapted to incorporate more or less social distancing. Just add extra space between your guests when you set up.


Image by Amy and Stuart Photography