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Kids’ Party Ideas: Planning an Awesome (& Affordable) Party

There are some awesome kids’ party ideas out there. Gone are the days when it was all about birthday party games for kids in someone’s lounge room or backyard. Now, it goes way beyond kids’ entertainment for parties to encompass themes, cakes, venues, games, professional entertainment and party bags. 

In some cases, children’s party planners might even get involved. Well why not, if you’re short on time or ideas? A kids’ theme party, for example, is something they might well remember for the rest of their lives. So for many parents, it’s important to get this right!

If you need some kids’ birthday ideas to get things started, then this article is for you. We’ve taken a deep dive into the wonderful world of children’s party ideas for boys and girls in Brisbane – and across Australia. 

From planning a kids’ party to themes, entertainment, party bags, venues, cakes and more, here’s everything you need to know when you want ideas for kids parties. Let’s make a start by taking a look at how to plan the most brilliant children’s birthday bash!

How to plan a kids’ party by age

Before you start searching for ‘kids party ideas near me’ or somesuch, narrowing things down by age can be a great approach. What makes fun event ideas for kids varies very much according to age. 

A one year old, for example, may only be barely able to stumble a few steps – or might still be in the crawling stage. So you’ll need to plan the kind of theme and venue accordingly. Indoor play centres, cake smashes, farms with animals and city parks are all ideal, for example. Similar venues will also be suitable for toddlers, such as two year olds and three year olds. 

When it comes to older kids, activities such as mini golf, Go-Karting, bowling, laser quest and trampoline parks are ideal for tweens and younger teens. Similar activities can also suit older teens – such as 16 year olds. Or you can add into the mix the likes of Segway tours, a tree top challenge or horse riding for these older kids

Kids’ party theme ideas

If you’re seeking a kids’ party idea that centres on a theme, then there are so many options out there. Many of these are based on a classic idea – such as the circus, dinosaurs, fairies or pirates

Other ideas include theming the party around the venue, season or even the time of day. Such as with a slumber party or a Christmas street party. Popular picks also include pool parties – especially in summer and the more northerly states – or kids’ parties at the park.    

A third option regarding kids’ party ideas for boys and girls is to theme it around their favourite character, TV show, book, movie series or game. Examples that are mega-popular include Frozen, Peppa Pig, Minions, Harry Potter, Minecraft and more. 

Kids’ party entertainment

Kids’ birthday party activity ideas range from games you can easily organise yourselves to professional children’s entertainers. The latter you can pay to keep a crowd of preschoolers or slightly older children happy, which takes the onus off you. So it can, for many people, be money very well spent indeed!

Kids’ entertainers

Kids’ party entertainers include ever-popular options like party magicians and illusionists. You can also hire other sorts of children’s entertainers to keep smiles on the kids’ faces. Examples include those who can get the kids dancing or singing, or those who have a particular skill such as face painting, balloon art or clowning. 

Party entertainers might also work around a theme. For example, they might specialise in science parties, or a sport such as soccer. Or they may dress up as specific characters, such as a superhero. 


Birthday party games for kids are a great way to tie together the decor and entertainment for your kids’ party. Again, what is suitable will vary according to age. For younger kids such as toddlers, kids’ party games are pretty easy to organise yourself – as long as you have an adult to hand who’s willing to have their every move both scrutinised and copied exactly!

If you want the best kids’ party games for children who are a little older, then classics like Musical Statues, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, an egg and spoon race, Pass the Parcel or Musical Chairs. All adults surely know how to play and run these general games, as they’ll remember them from their own schooldays.  

You can also decide to play games that are more based around a theme. Such as dinosaur party games, a Harry Potter game, a disco-themed game or two, or games that centre on one of the cheapest and most readily available party accessories of all – the humble and colourful balloon

Kids’ party planners

Though there’s obviously a cost implication, investing in a children’s party planner can be a heaven sent idea. Instead of worrying about party pack ideas for 3 year olds or any of that malarkey, they have all the kids’ birthday party theme ideas you could ever need. 

When it comes to kids parties and ideas, you might want to call in the professionals. If that’s the case, a company like Katie J Design and Events can help you out. With over 300 of their own themes to pick from, this party planner can sort out everything from printing invites and supplies to decor, games, cakes and more. 

Kids’ party venues

Whether you want to find children’s party venues in Brisbane, on the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast, in Toowoomba or in another city that you live in, there are so many indoor and outdoor venues to choose from. 

Party venues can be pretty unique, and with some you don’t need to plan any activities or entertainment at all as this all comes as part of the deal. Examples include unique Gold Coast venues such as Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, art parties at Kingscliff beach, or even iFLY Gold Coast. 

The cheapest recipe for a children’s party, of course, involves holding your kids’ party at home. It’s really just a question of whether you have the space. And can also cope with the noise, mess and inevitable clean-up required after hosting a kids’ party at home.

kid party ideas

Kids’ birthday cakes

If you want to save money, then baking your own cake could be the way to go. But as an awesome cake can be the item that pulls the whole children’s party theme together, it can be something worth splashing out on. 

There are so many birthday cake providers in the Queensland area, from Brisbane itself to the Gold Coast, Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast. Whether you want them to come up with a custom design or copy something you’ve seen online exactly, when it comes to children’s birthday cakes the sky really is the limit!

If you do decide to make a cake at home, using an inexpensive birthday cake topper ordered online can be the perfect way to give your baked goods the professional touch. Or it can be used to brighten up an affordable store-bought confection. 

Kids’ party bag ideas

birthday party venues brisbane
birthday party venues brisbane

If you want to give your guests a gift as they leave the party – and let’s be honest, they’re likely to expect one – then you need to get thinking about children’s party bags. These don’t need to cost a lot of money. Nor do they need to take up too much time – and you can even get the child themselves to help with putting these together. 

There’s plenty of cheap party bag ideas you can steal if you want to cut costs. Alternatively, cut the sugar instead by packing up a pile of sugar free children’s party bags. Or reduce their additive intake by focusing on lolly bags that contain as few colours, preservatives, flavour enhancers and other chemicals as possible.  

Money saving tips for kids’ parties

Consider hiring a venue

Cake icing trodden into the carpet, scribbles on the walls, tomato ketchup smeared across your expensive wallpaper… is there any wonder that one of the key kids’ party trends is to hold yours somewhere other than at home?

It might cost more – and you might still have to clean up. But that can be much easier at a suitable venue, which has wipe-down walls and moppable flooring, than in your newly decorated lounge room! 

The likes of church and community halls don’t have to cost a lot of cash to hire for a few hours. And it could actually save you money as compared to calling in the professional cleaners…

Split it down the middle

If there’s a family member, neighbour or friend you can share party duties and costs with, then this may be so much the better. Each child will of course expect their own presents. And to be able to invite a more-or-less equal number of guests. 

Use digital invites

Save the planet and your cents by choosing free digital invitations over pricey paid-for paper ones. It’s easy to create your own customised artwork by using free graphic design platforms such as Canva

Time it wisely

If you don’t want to feed the kids, our advice is to opt for the 2pm to 4pm time slot. Yes, your list of kids’ party ideas at home or away should include some kind of food, but a few nibbles and a slice of cake should suffice at this time of day, as it’s in-between lunch and dinner. Easy kids’ party ideas include pre-packaged cold snacks such as simple sandwiches, mini cheeses, crackers, sausages and bite-size fruit or veg. 

As anyone who’s hosted themed kids’ parties can tell you, two hours is enough to be supervising a group of excitable children. So don’t be tempted to make it any longer than that unless you really need to!

Buy in advance 

Start shopping early and you can spread both the cost and the stress. Shop at the likes of Amazon in advance for kids’ party supplies. You could save money as opposed to making a last-minute dash to the local, highly-priced party store. 

Step-by-step guide to organising a kids’ party

Pick the date and time

The first step, before finding ideas for a kids’ party, is to decide on the date and time. This is because venues often get booked out many months in advance. It’s also because the date of the party will obviously need to coincide with the child’s birthday – whether this is precisely or approximately. 

If you can, a little flexibility regarding the exact time and date can go a long way. This can really be helpful when it comes to venue availability. And, perhaps, whether or not certain guests can make it. 

Consider the guest list

Before booking a venue for your kids’ theme party, you’ll need to know how many you need to accommodate. If they’re young children, don’t forget to factor in any accompanying adults too! Do you want to invite the entire class, a few of their favourites only, something in-between or an even higher number to include neighbours and other friends and family?

Choose a venue

The theme and venue come next. These may tie in with one another, or they might not. You could, for example, book a church hall in advance, before deciding on the theme at a later date. 

Or you might prefer to book a themed party at a specific venue that can provide the entertainment. As well as the physical space required. Some might even supply catering, decorations and party bags too.  

Start party planning

Decided on the date, venue and number of children? Party ideas are now next on the list. Choosing a theme is a good way to go from this stage, as you can arrange the decor and activities around that. 

The venue may also determine what the kids will do at the party. If it’s held in a city park, for example, then the kids can run around and you don’t need to worry so much about what they might do for a couple of hours. 

If the party will be held indoors – or even in your backyard where entertainment options are more limited – then planning some sort of activity is a prerequisite. 

Think about themes

When you want to keep things fairly simple and within a budget, here are a few theme ideas to get the party started.

Jungle party

This is one of those theme ideas for kids that’s perfect for a mixed group of boys and girls. Kids can arrive already dressed as animals, or simply have their face painted on arrival to get into the theme. A few metres of inexpensive green or jungle print material from your local fabric supplier can instantly transform tables, giving them an authentic jungle feel.

Give yourself enough lead time to shop for fun jungle party accessories such as balloons, tableware or even a glittery green fringed door curtain (which could be used to mark the entrance to the ‘jungle’.

You could serve a real coconut with a straw in it to each guest as a welcome drink. Themed food options can feature mini boxes of noodles tossed with freshly grated veggies, chicken skewers, fresh fruit cups, homemade chocolate chip cookies baked in animal shapes, and cupcakes with jungle themed toppers such as monkeys, oversized green leaves or zebra stripes. 

For easy entertainment, why not download the Madagascar soundtrack before running some games such as Limbo and Musical Statues. You could ask the kids to freeze while posing as a monkey, a tiger or an elephant.

Hide some lollipops or mini chocolate bars (as long as it’s not too hot) in the garden for a jungle treasure hunt. You could also print off some free downloadable colouring pages of jungle animals and fill a few plastic containers with pens and pencils to hold a colouring competition with a small prize for the winner.

Craft Party

Older girls in particular might well be happy for hours at a craft party- as long as you provide plenty for them to do. Rather than being specific about the outcome, just fill a few storage baskets full to the brim with craft supplies like coloured cardboard, stickers, ribbons, feathers, beads and bright wool or string. 

You could give each party guest a blank notebook in which to sketch some ideas and make some notes. Suggestions for creations to make could include friendship bands, mixed media collages or fantasy masks and necklaces. 

Other than that, simply serve the party girl’s favourite food; play her top tracks in the background and no dressing up is even required for this one! 

Mad Hatters tea party

If you want kids’ birthday party ideas that include food, this is another good theme for a mixed group. Girls can come dressed as Alice in Wonderland or the Queen of Hearts, and boys can come dressed as the Mad Hatter or White Rabbit. 

Dress up your old outdoor table with a few lengths of fake turf, which is available to buy online by the metre. Decorate the table with any old teapots you hardly ever use – or borrowed ones – and fill with the kids’ favourite party drink. 

A quick visit to the local op shop should furnish you with an assortment of old tea cups and saucers for next to nothing. Plus teapots if you need those too. Make a place setting with these for each guest, adding mismatched crockery, and write guests’ names on the back of old playing cards. 

Scatter some of the playing cards up and down the table for easy decorative theming. Fill the table with easy ‘help yourself’ platters loaded with mini hot dogs and pizzas, assorted fresh ribbon sandwiches, fresh fruit skewers and fairy bread cut out into heart shapes. Party games can include ‘What’s the Time, White Rabbit’, ‘Pin the Tail on the Dormouse’ and ‘Celebrity Head’. Using all the characters’ names from the Alice in Wonderland story, of course. 

Other ideas

  • Sports party or ‘Little Olympics’ – maybe with a Brisbane 2032 theme
  • Superhero party – one specific superhero, or don your favourite’s outfit
  • Magical, fairy or garden party – dress as fairies and decorate the garden
  • Nerf gun party – best to run this past the parents of all the kids first

Which kids’ party ideas will you try?

party venues sunshine coast feature

When it comes to kids’ parties, ideas aren’t hard to come by. You can splash the cash if you want to by letting someone else take care of everything. Or outsource certain elements to make life easier. 

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

6 thoughts on “Kids’ Party Ideas: Planning an Awesome (& Affordable) Party”

  1. We love a good crafting party. You can keep it to a theme if you like and whatever the children create they can take home in place of a goody bag.

  2. I think one of the hardest things to do is decide who to invite. Kids always have different ideas of numbers to parents.


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