Ideas for an outdoor birthday party for kids

Children at an outdoor birthday party
What a setting! Nature provides the perfect space for a fun-filled day. (Photo: Rawpixel/iStockphoto)

If your child has a birthday coming up, why not have a party with a Nature Detectives theme? It's perfect for kids who love wildlife. Your child and their friends can have loads of fun adventures outdoors, and a woodland celebration is a cheap and easy option too. Here are some ideas and tips to help you plan the perfect party.

Choose a venue

It could be a favourite wood, a local park, or even your garden. Wherever you choose, it needs to be somewhere your child’s friends can get to easily.

Boy swinging from tree
Make your own woodland obstacle course and give a prize to the child who finishes first. (Photo: Jill Jennings/WTML)

Outdoor party games and activities

You’ll find plenty of inspiration on our website. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Build a tree-mendous den – kids could split into teams and have a competition if there are lots of guests. Younger children could build a mini den for their favourite cuddly toy.
  • Plan a scavenger hunt, or get the kids to lay out a summer treasure trail for others to follow.
  • See how many different plants and creatures you can spot – our woodland wonders spotter will start you off. Or you could see who can identify the most trees with our leaf ID.
Kids playing in woods
There are loads of things to do outside from building dens to playing hide and seek. (Photo: Michael Heffernan/WTML)
  • Find a natural obstacle course – a fallen tree trunk to balance along, a low branch to crawl under, some stepping stones to cross, a puddle to leap over…
  • You could even give the party a wildlife theme and get everyone to come dressed as their favourite animal, or make your own masks – we have lots of animal mask templates you could use.
Animal face masks
Animal face masks are a great alternative to party hats. (Photo: Danielle Wesley/WTML)

What if it rains? That’s no problem – just ask guests to bring their wellies and do some puddle jumping, or get creative with all that lovely, gloopy mud! Try our marvellous mud creatures, or make some muddy faces with leaves, bark, flowers and pebbles.

Party bag fillers

Some prizes will make planned games and activities even more fun. And you’ll want to give your guests some little gifts to take away (in an environmentally-friendly, paper party bag, of course!). Keep to the nature theme with these ideas:

Party bags for a children's outdoor party
Fill paper bags with nature goodies to inspire your guests after the party is finished. (Photo: Danielle Wesley/WTML)

Make an animal birthday cake

Wow your child and their friends with a woodland-themed birthday cake, such as our lovely ladybird cake or scrummy hedgehog cake. Picnic food is a great choice for an outdoor party, check out our recipes.

Ladybird cake
Make a birthday cake inspired by your child's favourite woodland animal! (Photo: Danielle Wesley/WTML)

Tips for eco-friendly parties

See how green you can make your party. It's a great way to get kids thinking about how to look after the environment:

  • Can you walk to the woods or use public transport, rather than everyone coming by car?
  • Pack your picnic food in reusable materials, and don’t use plastic straws.
  • Forget the balloons, they can be harmful to the environment - go for reusable bunting instead and take it home for next time.
  • Don’t have candles on the cake – you don’t want to risk setting the woods on fire!
  • Remember to take your rubbish home and recycle as much as you can.
  • Be sure not to trample plants and make sure children only use materials they find on the woodland floor for your activities.

Stay safe

  • Make sure you have enough fellow grown-ups to supervise, especially if you’re going to the woods.
  • Have a back-up plan in case of bad weather – wooded areas can be dangerous in thunder storms and strong winds.
  • Make sure sturdy shoes are recommended on the invite. Long trousers are a good idea too as there may be brambles and stinging nettles around.
  • Remember the sun screen and hats – it’s not always shady in the woods.
  • Take along some wipes or hand sanitiser for when you’re ready to tuck into the grub.

Winter birthday?

Don’t feel left out – there’s no reason why you can’t wrap up warm and have an outdoor children’s birthday party too. Have a look at our winter activities, such as animal tracking or winter tree ID. We even have some winter picnic ideas.

We’d love to see some pictures of your party! Share them with us using #NatureDetectives.

Tell us about your outdoor birthday party

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