First Birthday Party Ideas – Super Amazing & Fun Ideas to Celebrate

Your child’s first birthday is coming up and it’s time to celebrate, not only that your child is turning one, but that you made it through the first year of parenting…Woohoo! So, let the cuteness ensue, here are some super fun first birthday party ideas to kickstart your planning.

Super Amazing Fun & Practical First Birthday Party Ideas

Step 1: Paper Invitations for the First Birthday Party

I am such a sucker for paper invitations. If I can find an excuse to send out a nice card or invitation, I will do it. And I feel that 1st birthdays count as a worthy reason.

This one is from Etsy

This one is from tinyprints

And this one is from

E-Vites for Virtual First Birthday Parties

Electronic invitations are obviously cheaper and greener but frankly not as gush-worthy cute as the ones you’ll find to buy online. I actually did both a paper and e-vite invitation for my daughter’s first Birthday because so many more people respond to the E-vites. Plus, they actually have some cute features now and for a few bucks, you can send one without all the ads.

Step 2: Choosing the Party Food 

When you are thinking of first birthday party food ideas, you can either go crazy or keep it simple. You can channel your inner Martha Stewart with homemade, thematic snacks or order pizza & call it good. Since your baby and his “friends” may have a limited menu, it’s hard to please everyone anyways.

One of my favorite 1st birthday food ideas is a candy bar, like pictured below. It is super cheap and can look adorable, plus everyone loves candy. And those who don’t… well they can enjoy the fruit and veggie platter.


Step 3: Themed Decorations for Ideas for a First Birthday Party!

Let’s be real, one of the best parts of a 1st Birthday Party is the adorable decorations. Once you have the logistics like when and where figured out, you need to pick a theme and decorations! Below are a couple of adorable creative first birthday themes!

Here are a couple of  1st birthday ideas for girls:

  • Donut Grow Up!
  • Woodland Creatures & Fairies
  • Winter ONEderland
  • The One Where NAME Turned One (Friends-Themed!)

Centerpiece by CrazyBoutCraftsCo


Here are a couple of 1st birthday ideas for boys:

  • Mickey & Friends Birthday
  • Taco Bout 1
  • My First Rodeo
  • Wild One Jungle Party
  • Lion, Bears, and Tigers Circus Theme

Looking for a resource that will provide you with tons of 1st birthday party themes and ideas? The site One Charming Party is a great resource if you want an amazingly beautiful, coordinated party. It’s an online store that sells party plans which detail the decorations, food, 1st birthday party entertainment ideas, and more for a number of different themes from superhero to mermaid to country fair-themed.

This is a preview of the 50-page manual you receive as a pdf with all your instructions, including cupcake toppers and invitation templates.

I personally love simple first birthday ideas the most. I mean are they really passionate about Puppy Dog Pals or football yet? Unlikely. Below are examples of a polka dot party (one of my unique first birthday party ideas for girl!) and party decor based on the baby’s first initial.


Source: via Kaci on Pinterest

Source of letter “E” party: via Ellen on Pinterest

Super Easy DIY 1st Birthday Decorations

Now that I’ve intimidated inspired you with party details that are literally out of Martha Stewart’s media empire, I leave you with some first birthday party ideas that won’t break the bank or your back when it comes to adding pizazz to your party.

1. Banners and Arches

Balloon arches are definitely a thing right now and we are all for it! You can put them in the entryway, going up the stairs, or as a backdrop for the birthday girl’s high chair like pictured below. I also love the mylar balloon letters, which can be simply taped up on the wall.

Donut Grow Up Themed Party with Balloon Arch from Balloon Bonanza

Making a balloon arch yourself is possible, but it’s a pretty big undertaking. We recommend finding someone near you who can make one for you and have it delivered. If you are in Southern California, check out Balloon Bonanza!

2. DIY Balloons and Decor


My friend can always make the most simple decorations look great. She says it’s all about placement. Having the balloons at different heights is appealing to the eye and makes the party look more festive.

I always hit the party store and get a bunch of balloons on the morning of my kid’s parties. They fill up any dull space in your house or yard and toddlers go nuts for them. (They are also terrible choking hazards, so keep them up high and monitor any interaction with balloons and one-year-olds closely.)

3. Custom Decor 

Centerpiece by CrazyBoutCraftsCo

Having some customized items will make your little one’s bid day feel extra special. Plus, they make for great keepsakes to add to the baby box. You can either print out your own or find an artist to whip up some special decor just for you. I love this special centerpiece by Crazy ’bout Crafts, check out her shop here!

4. Through the Year Pictures 1st Birthday Party

If you are on the lookout for cheap 1st birthday ideas that are super cool, you’ll love this! My sister-in-law posted a photo or each month of my nephew’s first year and displayed it on this vintage door.

Don’t have a vintage door lying around, me neither, so use some old frames (I feel like I have an endless supply of those). You can also display them on some craft paper or just stick the pictures up throughout your home. It makes a great conversation starter as well to have your guest see how your baby has grown throughout the year.

A Little Over the Top Fun

  • Have a Pony Party!

This seemed a little over the top to me for a First Birthday party idea, but I have to say when I went to a first birthday party the 1-year-old loved it and all the other kids were absolutely thrilled out of their minds.

It is an especially great option for families looking for backyard birthday party ideas for 1 year old.

  • Have a Mini Petting Zoo!

If you want to ensure that the kids at the party will be entertained a petting zoo is great for ages 1 to 100. We recently went to a party with llamas, sheep, turtles, mini alligators, pigs and more. All of my kids from 2-13 had a great time.

  • Face Painting or Balloon Animals

Having a face painter will always draw the biggest line of kids even for a first birthday party. Most kids up till about the age of 9 or 10 love the idea of getting a balloon animal or their face painted. Plus, with face painting, if you have a teenager around she can use some simple stencils to do the face painting and then you don’t have to hire anyone.

  • Room Decorations

Not everyone is into having a big bash for their little one. If you’re looking for simple 1st birthday party ideas at home, I recommend doing a cute room decoration celebration. Sneak in before your baby wakes up in the morning and decorate their room.

This has become a long-standing tradition in our family and I think it’s the most special moment of every birthday now!

Step 4: Cake Smash

Of course, this big day is not complete without opening gifts and eating some smash cake! A cake smash is when the one-year-old blows out their candle (with a little help) and takes their first bite of birthday cake! One thing is for sure, it is an adorable conclusion to the baby’s first birthday.

Do you have any easy first birthday party ideas to share? We’d love to hear them!

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