The Best Birthday Party Themes in 2020

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Get ready for 2020’s line up of birthday parties for kids with our guide to the most popular kids’ party ideas. From a birthday bash featuring favorites like llamas to birthday party ideas for teens to even an exciting experience party like an Escape Room, these hip ideas for party themes are sure to make those mini-milestones ones you’ll never forget!

**Editor’s Note: Due to COVID-19, some of the birthday ideas that happen outside the home are not possible at this time. 

photo: iStock

Drive-By Birthday Parade

2020 is the year of the drive-by birthday parade. There are all sorts of creative ways to make it special for the birthday kiddo. Make posters, shoot silly string out the window, tie balloons and banners to the side of the car, blast kid-friendly tunes, and if you feel comfortable, your party guests can drop off a gift as well. 

Virtual Party Ideas

Just because you can't have a ton of friends over just yet doesn't mean your kid can't have a memorable birthday celebration. We've rounded up everything from the best dessert ideas to a huge list of creative virtual parties. Click here to get the details


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.

Scooby Doo

The newest installment of Scooby Doo hits theaters this May with SCOOB and that makes it a hot theme for a party in 2020. Chica and Jo nailed the design with their fun party that involved creative printables, homemade "inspector kits" and a mystery that must be solved.

photo: iStock


Teaching our kids to give back is essential to parenting, and it can start with something as easy as a party! Instead of the focus being on the birthday boy or girl, you'll be seeing more party themes centered around volunteering. Whether it's picking up trash on the beach with the Surfrider Foundation or canvassing the neighborhood for canned goods for those in need, Volunteer Parties are here for 2020.


The newest Spongebob Squarepants film is coming out this year! Head to Bikini Bottom for some Krabby Patties and time with your fave characters when you host a Spongebob party, like this soiree from Hostess With the Mostess. Perfect for a summer or pool party, tropical decor, bright colors and creative labeling can make your party look like something straight out of the Krusty Krab.

Space-Themed Parties

Whether your little is big into Star Wars or is a budding astronaut, 2020 is the year for out of this world parties. Gear up with galactic decor, space-themed activities and cosmic cookies and cake to celebrate the big day.


Minions: The Rise of Gru comes to theaters this year and the lovable creature are sure to spark a whole new gang of followers. We love this simple yet stylish take on hosting your own Minions party from Hello Splendid that uses a peg board, plush dolls, yellow sweets and of course, a few fart blasters.

photo: iStock

Escape Room

When it comes to big-kid parties, you'll be seeing Escape Room invites everywhere in 2020. Not only is your entertainment handled from the get-go, but the smaller number of maximum guests will keep things simple too. 


In just a few short months, Poppy and Branch are returning to the silver screen in Trolls World Tour. That means it's time to cue the bright colors and hugs! Put your hair up in the air with cute headband party favors, colorful photo backdrops and of course, lots of dancing and singing.

Gender-Neutral Party Themes

Sonic, LEGO and Superheros––2020 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. 


Instead of a sleepover, why not a lateover? Perfect for younger kids or kids that 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. 

Star Wars

The Star Wars franchise may be decades old, but the force is still going strong thanks to The Rise of Skywalker, new star Rey, and a new generation of rebel fighters. Young Jedi will love this party plan that includes DIY lightsabers, a droid-decorating station, and a Death Star piñata. Spaceships and Laser Beams has all the details.

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

photo: istock

Movie Night Party

A classic party theme that everyone loves! You can set up indoors or out, pick a classic kid movie from our top picks, set out popcorn, blankets or forts, and even print out tickets! Check out our best ideas for outdoor and indoor movie nights here. 

photo: Beth Shea

Camp Out Birthday

Whether you decide to let a few guest sleepover in a tent or if you just grill up some hot dogs, serve s' mores for dessert and have a few nature scavenger hunts, a camping-themed birthday is always a hit, especially during the warmer months! Need ideas for your tiniest naturalist? Check out this adorable camp-themed first birthday party to be inspired

Bubbles and Brunch

We aren't referring to the bubbles you remember pre-kids, but a morning party with brunch items and kid-favorite bubbles is a winning combo. Offer up egg muffins, scones, fruit and other nibbly goodies, and let the kids go wild with a wand or two. See this two-year-old's sweet day for more ideas. Or, if you've got older kids, why not set up a bubble lab with experiments, instead. 

Detective Pikachu

Pokeman is still a thing and that's because of the new Detective Pikachu film. Deck your kiddos party after the beloved character and don't forget all the fun Pokeballs and treat bags, like these adorable catchalls from The Homes I Have Made.

photo: Gabby Cullen

Wonder Woman

Superheroes are forever popular but this warrior woman has reached new heights. From favors to costumes to cakes, we love the easy-to-recreate ideas at Artsy Momma including cupcake toppers and cute crafts. 

photo: Amazon


If 2016 was the year of the woodland creature and 2017 the year of the flamingo, then 2018 is the year of the llama (and also, maybe the sloth). From sweet baby shower themes to full-on party games (pin the tail on the llama, anyone?) not since Anna Dewdney first began the beloved Llama, Llama series has this creature been so popular among the youngest members of our households. (We think Anna would smile about this trend.) We love this simple llama cake topper kit (ears, eyes and mouth) that transforms your theme instantly (some piping skills required). 

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 in the new year. 


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 here

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 spend 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!

Superhero Party

Set out different superhero costumes, and let your guests choose their powerful persona upon arrival or have them come dressed as their favorite superhero! Get inspired by this awesome superhero bash

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

Mad Scientist

Kids will love being hands-on in this science-themed bash! Hand out lab coats and safety goggles, drink from beakers and put together experiments like bottle rockets (outside, of course!) made by dropping Mentos into a liter of cola. For more ideas, be sure to try these Pretend Magic Potions for Kids!

LEGO Party

Once upon a time, there were LEGO parties or Ninja parties. Look for this season’s birthdays to be taken over by LEGO NINJAGO parties! Spaceships and Laser Beams is on the case with DIY LEGO NINJAGO Movie Character Masks, which make both a great craft for your battling guests and a creative head start on Halloween costumes.

Forest or Woodland Animal Party

Foxes, owls, and squirrels, oh my! Nature themes continue to be a sure bet, and little is sweeter than inviting the forest’s cutest creatures to the party with a woodland theme. Head over to Catch My Party for great tips on how to bring the outdoors in for this adorable first birthday. For older partiers, modify this theme into a fall fairy bash or celebration for a little lumberjack dressed in buffalo plaid! Half Pint Party Design has sensational ideas for both.

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 Virtually Yours.


Unicorns might not be getting the love that llamas are at the moment, but they still have immortality when it comes to popular birthday trends. 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, of course).

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

Art Party

Ditch the nice clothes and let your kids get messy! Our original messy art party uses things like squirt guns, mega-canvases, shaving cream and paint-filled eggs, to get kids' creative juices flowing. Click here to find out more. 

—Melissa Heckscher, Jennifer Massoni Pardini, Kaitlyn Kirby & Karly Wood

Feature photo: Ekaterina Shevchenko via Unsplash


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