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Why should you have a backyard birthday party?

Outdoor birthday parties are in! Everyone loves to be outside. There is scientific proof that being outside makes people happier and calmer. This is even more true after the last few years, as we’ve been made acutely aware of all the germs and recycled air that occurs in a crowded room with lots of people. 

A backyard birthday party is a very inexpensive (free!) party venue. You get to be creative with your theme, decor and activities without any restrictions, and nature provides its own form of decor and endless entertainment for kids.

Here are the top tips for planning a backyard birthday party:

#1: Don’t underestimate yard prep. 

You probably don’t want to invite all your family and friends over to a backyard that looks like a jungle. It can take a few weeks or months to find someone to give your yard a little clean up/makeover, or the same amount of time if you are doing this yourself. Start early in preparation! The party is just a good excuse to get your yard in tip-top shape.

#2: Choose a theme that makes sense to be outside.

There are so many fun options for outdoor parties! Most themes will work for a backyard party, however a video game themed birthday party may be a little strange to have outside in the backyard. 

outside picnic

#3: Send invites 1 month prior.

Snail mail? Email? Text? eVite? Carrier Pigeon? There are endless options these days that make this super easy. You don’t want to send these too early that everyone forgets about it, but you also don’t want it to be too late that people can’t make it because they already have plans. The sweet spot is about 1 month prior! This is not specific to a backyard party. 

#4: Get at least part of your food ordered/catered. 

Food has the ability to make or break a good party. Yes, you or your husband could spend literally the entire day at the grill stressing over hot dogs and hamburgers to save a few bucks, but you won’t get to enjoy much of the party. Here’s a better idea:

  • For appetizer/snacks, make a grazing board for adults and have a bucket of snack bags or pouches for kids 
  • For your main filler food, order it or get it catered. 
  • For your featured foods that go with the party theme, you can do these yourself in advance. They are simple DIY foods that add a little touch of the theme into the food.

#5: Provide hydration and libation.

  • Water Bottles in a cooler
  • Fun drink for kids in a cooler  (lemonade, juice boxes, etc)
  • Fun drink for adults, premade in a large dispenser (labeled for “ADULTS”; provide a cooler to scoop clean ice)

party drink

#6: Keep the dessert inside.

Keep the dessert inside & cool until you are ready to serve it. There’s nothing worse than a cake that’s been outdoors for hours.

#7: Keep the decor simple.

The best thing about throwing an outdoor birthday party is the natural decor! Keep your decor simple and incorporate nature. Here’s what you may want to include:

  • Signs & Printables can tie your theme together & help give basic instructions (Welcome - enter party here, cards & gifts go here, here’s how to do this fun activity, etc.)
  • Balloon arch
  • Birthday chalkboard
    • This is a fun personal touch featuring the birthday boy or girl. Tell guests all about their favorite things and how they’ve grown the past year with a milestone chalkboard printable in a frame.
  • Flowers & Greenery
  • Hang things from the trees

#8: Don’t forget music & speakers.

Music is key to the ambiance of a good outdoor party. Since you’re outside, you’ll need to plan ahead on your speaker situation. A bluetooth speaker is always a top choice.

#9: Have a back-up plan.

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, make sure you have a backup plan. This can be rescheduling, moving the party to a porch, moving the party indoors, or having a tent set up.

#10: Plan activities that won’t get kids extremely dirty/muddy/wet.

Based on the theme, determine 2-3 activities that can keep the kids entertained. Consider that parents may not want their kids to get extremely dirty/muddy/wet unless they are prepared for this. Of course, if it’s a water type party they will have brought a swimsuit, towel, extra change of clothes, etc. But if it’s not and they are diving around in mud in your backyard, they may just leave them there.

Kids playing in sandbox

#11: Be prepared for a little extra set up 

While we love a good backyard party, there is a little bit of extra set-up since you aren’t having your party at a venue. Here are some other important, yet sometimes forgotten details to remember:

  • Paper products
  • Cooler with ice
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Table for food
  • Table for drinks
  • Table or area for Cards & Gifts
  • Table + Chairs for sitting


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