22 of 2022’s Top Birthday Party Themes

ziplining is a fun birthday party idea iStock
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This year is a brand new frontier: The world is opening up again and families are headed back to their favorite spots or finding new adventures for celebrations. What we’re trying to say is, birthday parties are back for 2022! From the never-gets-old Minecraft birthday party theme to the still-popular Encanto decor and tasty Colombian goodies, we’ve got the goods on the hottest kids’ birthday party ideas for the year.


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Ethereal unicorn party decorations in pink and violet from Kara's Party Ideas
Kara’s Party Ideas

Unicorns

Unicorns are back as one of the most popular birthday party ideas for kids in 2022, although they still might not be getting the same amount of love that llamas are at the moment. Get some ethereal inspiration from San Diego’s Starry Eyed Events’ gorgeous Elegant Pastel Unicorn Soiree gallery (because, you know, unicorns don’t do parties. They do soirees).

Want to keep young unicorn lovers busy? Try this DIY unicorn horn headband that is an absolute must for your little guests.

A set of Encanto birthday party supplies from Amazon
Amazon

Encanto

That’s right—we’re still going to talk about Bruno! Encanto remains a hot birthday party idea for the little ones this year. So order up an entire array of Encanto-theme supplies right from Amazon including banners and cupcake toppers, add bright balloons, and serve up an array of authentic Colombian party food and appetizers sure to be a hit with the kids. And with the March 18 release of the Disney Encanto Sing-Along, the entertainment took care of itself. 

Related: 15 Birthday Party Favors for $5 or Less

Decorations for a space themed birthday party for kids
Inspired by Alma via Etsy

Space-Themed Parties

Whether your space-loving kid knows all the facts or is a budding astronaut, 2022 is the year for out-of-this-world parties. Gear up with decor, space-themed activities, and cosmic cake to celebrate the big day. You can even go for a glow-in-the-dark-themed galactic bash

A girl in a helmet smiles as she gets ready to go ziplining
iStock

Active Parties

Booking some time at a ropes course, zipline or even a rock-climbing venue is definitely a kids birthday party theme we see taking off in 2022. Whether it’s indoor during cooler months or an outdoor adventure park, kids are ready to burn off some of that pent-up steam from the last two years of constant restrictions and life in flux. While most of these courses tend to be for children ages 8 and up, it can sometimes depend on kids’ comfort levels. It’s always good to let parents know in advance, usually a necessity because waivers need to be signed and grownups need to have some kind of activity alternative for kids who decide against it at the last minute (including the birthday kid) like a simple art or hands-on craft. Most places will have a party room for rent.  

Cowabunga! 

An outdoor movie screen and decorations are set up as part of an outdoor movie theme birthday party idea for kids
iStock

Outdoor Movie Night

A classic party theme that everyone loves! Kids missed out on many movie premiers and even if your comfort level is still not 100 percent for smooshing back into theaters, there is nothing quite as charming as an outdoor movie. This one takes warmer weather and the right equipment, but the good news is a lot of movies went straight to streaming, so there are plenty of new hits to theme your party. Or do your own version of the Academy Awards for your tweens and let them vote between two or three. Check out our best ideas for outdoor movie nights here. 

Amazon

Sonic the Hedgehog

Does your little gamer love Sonic? Turns out, a lot of other people’s kiddos dig the feisty blue hedgehog, too. Find a plethora of Sonic birthday party supplies on Amazon and entertain your high-tech party guests with this Sonic toss game that doesn’t require any screen time.

 

 

Homemade golden snitches sit on a platter for a Harry Potter birthday party
Gabby Cullen

Harry Potter Birthday

Thanks to the Secrets of Dumbledore the wizarding world is on point once again (not that it ever got old). Dust off some witch hats before Halloween, have wands at the ready, and make golden snitches from Ferrero Roche chocolates! Activities can include playing some Harry Potter bingo or trivia, making potions, and drinking delicious butterbeer

Focused kids look for a way out in quest room bunker at an escape room birthday party
iStock

Escape Room Birthday

If you’re looking to entertain the always-hard-to-please teens and tweens or give younger kids a challenge, an escape room birthday party can provide hours of entertainment (and boost critical thinking skills). Either plan your celebration at a professionally-crafted escape room game spot in your neighborhood or create a DIY escapist birthday party at home.

Green plates and napkins and other decorations for a Minecraft birthday party
Amazon

Minecraft Party

Minecraft is still a popular theme for older kids who enjoy playing the game. You can DIY it with cool ideas like the ones we spotted over at Spaceships & Laser Beams, or buy supplies from Walmart or Amazon

Violet and blue treats sit waiting for a mermaid themed birthday idea for kids
Pink Cake Plate

Mermaids

Mermaids still reign birthday parties! The magical gals make for the perfect theme with ethereal decor and food. Need some inspo? Head to Pink Cake Plate for some adorable under-the-sea ideas, including Mermaid Muddy Buddies.

An array of different colored balloons, perfect for any gender neutral birthday party idea
Adi Goldstein via Unsplash

Gender-Neutral Party Themes

Sonic, LEGO and Superheros––2022 will see tons of gender-neutral party themes. Ideas surrounding food, non-pink and blue colors and gender-inclusive activities all make for fun parties on the horizon. 

Related: Gender-Neutral Party Favors That Totally Rock

Parents treat their children to a colorful evening birthday celebration
iStock

Lateovers

Instead of a sleepover, why not a lateover? Perfect for younger kids or kids who aren’t ready to make the jump to a whole night, invite friends over around dinner time, and plan fun “night time” activities like karaoke, a dance party, glow-in-the-dark games, outdoor games you can play in the dark or even crafts. 

A girl with a flower wreath on her head and her mom host a crafting birthday party
Alice’s Table

Make a Craft Birthday Party

Crafty birthday parties are still very much a thing. From Alice’s Table, which provides custom floral arranging parties for kids’ birthday parties (Each attendee learns how to create a professional floral arrangement and bring it home in a stylish vase or a beautiful flower crown fit for a queen, and they come to you if you’re hosting a private event) to services like Camp Crafty Parties, which brings everything kids will need to make a fun craft, you’ll be seeing a lot of these themes during 2022. 

Pink cakes and tulle and other princess party decorations sit on a table waiting for the royal birthday party guests to arrive.
Mint Event Design

Next-Level Princess Parties

There are three secret ingredients to pulling this party off: tulle, gold glitter and a princess kit cake from Cakest. Skip on over to Mint Event Design to see more inspiring pictures. And check out our review of Cakest and other DIY baking kits. 

Three little girls in pink bathrobes sit on a bed showing off their nails at a spa birthday party
iStock

Spa Party

Who wouldn’t want to celebrate their birthday with a full spa treatment? Drop cucumber slices in water, offer soft and cozy robes and slippers and twirl their hair up in a towel for a day of pampering that includes manicures, pedicures, and facial masks.

Trampoline Park Party

Don’t tell us you haven’t spent a Saturday at a trampoline park recently. This is one of the hottest places to host a kid’s birthday these days. The best part? There are plenty of opportunities for your guests to get their wiggles out all at once!

A little girl is dressed up like Wonder Woman at a superhero birthday party
Gabby Cullen

Superhero Party

Whether it’s Justice League or Marvel, a superhero birthday is always a blast. Set out different superhero costumes, and let your guests choose their powerful persona upon arrival or have them come dressed as their favorite superhero for an awesome superhero bash!

A boy and his friend are in the kitchen stirring ingredients in a silver bowl during a baking themed birthday party
Annie Spratt via Unsplash

Baking Party

Decorate cupcakes, cookies, you name it! Set out different colored icings and sprinkles and watch what crafty creations they cook up! Let them decorate their own aprons and even wear chef hats! For more sweet-themed fun, watch Willy Wonka or Ratatouille

DIY lightsabers, a droid-decorating station, and a Death Star piñata from Spaceships and Laser Beams.
Sweet Pea Parties

Star Wars

The Star Wars franchise may be decades old, but the force is still going strong thanks to The Mandalorian and the new Star Wars areas at Disney parks making many new generations adore the characters. Young Jedi will love this party plan that includes DIY lightsabers, a droid-decorating station, and a Death Star piñata from Spaceships and Laser Beams.

Want something female-centric for your budding Rey? This Millennium Falcon party from Kara’s Party Ideas will get your little girls ready for action.

Tropical decorations sit on a table as part of a Moana Birthday party idea.
Catch My Party

Luau / Moana Party

You can expect to see Disney’s Moana making the rounds on the birthday circuit again this year. With its tropical, floral setting, a Moana party is a gorgeous one, especially if you use some of these fun ideas from Catch My Party founder Jillian Tobher Leslie. Her Moana party recommendations include a layered hibiscus flower cake, frosted flower cookies, and adorable crab-shaped croissants. If you’re looking for activities, check out these fun (and free!) printables from Play Party Plan.

Related: 7 Birthday Party Hacks That Will Save Your Sanity

Two little girls show off their colorful hands at an art themed birthday party
iStock

Art Party

Ditch the nice clothes and let your kids get messy! Our original messy art party uses squirt guns, mega-canvases, shaving cream, and paint-filled eggs to get kids’ creative juices flowing. 

 

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