20 of the Most Popular First Birthday Party Themes

Golden 'One' Sign Graced by a Toddler in a Cheerful Polka-Dotted White Dress. A Charming Cover for '20 of the Most Popular First Birthday Party Themes'.
Golden 'One' Sign Graced by a Toddler in a Cheerful Polka-Dotted White Dress. A Charming Cover for '20 of the Most Popular First Birthday Party Themes'.

Can you believe that September is one of the most common months for birthdays within the United States?

No matter when your child’s birthday is, turning one year old is just as special as a sweet sixteen. The first birthday allows you to pick the themes and make something your child can look back on when they’re older. Later on they’ll have tastes of their own, but this first year is your time to shine as a parent with endless creative possibilities.

Delicate Light Pink Balloon Illustrations Grace the Invitation, Forming the Word 'One' for this Birthday Celebration.

Create a gorgeous birthday party invitation

Use our easy-to-use editor to create a stunning 1st birthday invitation!

Create a gorgeous birthday party invitation

Use our easy-to-use editor to create a stunning 1st birthday invitation!

Delicate Light Pink Balloon Illustrations Grace the Invitation, Forming the Word 'One' for this Birthday Celebration.

Plus, you can celebrate this milestone with your friends and fellow parents whose kids will grow up to be best friends with your baby.

Are you wondering what kind of themes can spark their growing imaginations? Keep reading to learn all about the most popular first birthday party themes.

1. Butterflies

Butterflies are inspiring creatures that soar high in the skies. If you want to celebrate all of the freedom and beauty that lies ahead of your child, then butterflies are the perfect symbol for their first birthday party.

Since butterflies come in a wide range of colors, your party should be bursting with excitement. The centerpiece can be a gorgeous cupcake arrangement shaped like a butterfly or you can fill a cake with butterfly toothpicks.

You should also consider getting butterfly masks for all of your guests so you can take the cutest group photos. If your guests end up bringing slightly older kids who enjoy doing crafts, then you could even set up a table where everyone can decorate their own unique butterfly masks.

Butterfly-Themed First Birthday Party Invitation: Featuring Butterfly Illustrations, a Center Photograph of the Baby, and Pink Text. Complemented by Butterfly Wall Decorations for a Whimsical Touch.
Butterfly – Birthday Invitation

2. Wild One

Lots of babies start walking by their first birthday, which means that parents are starting to get a taste of all the adventures their child will bring them on. While some babies seem to love getting into trouble, we all have to admire how curious and determined they are to learn and grow. This is why wild one will forever be a beloved first birthday party theme.

Wild one can highlight your baby’s unique personality. Some babies are brave like lions and others seem destined to become world travelers due to how much they explore. Your wild one party can be about wild animals, wild travels, or anything else that represents your baby.

The party environment should be set up to make everyone feel like a kid again, back when anything and everything felt possible. Your child will love looking at photos of this event when they’re older and reflecting on how far they’ve come.

3. Unicorn

Nothing is prettier than a unicorn, which means that this theme will give you the ability to plan a gorgeous first birthday party. As soon as your guests receive their unicorn invitations, they’ll be thrilled to attend the festivities.

To set the scene, your decorations need to be colorful and sparkly to catch everyone’s eye. You can buy special unicorn hats that guests can put on their heads or you can use regular cone party hats and wear them on your forehead instead of the top of your head.

One party food that’s sure to get a laugh is unicorn poop. These rainbow cookies are a lot easier to make than you might imagine and they can pull your whole theme together.

Enchanting Unicorn First Birthday Invitation: Gold Unicorn Against a Pastel Background with Golden Stars, Accented by Gold Text. The other Side Features a Sprinkle of Purple Confetti for a Whimsical Touch.
U and Unicorns – Birthday Invitation

4. Zoo

The zoo is many kids’ favorite place because they get to see strange animals they’d never encounter elsewhere. Animal names are also some of the first words that babies learn and they love to mimic their silly sounds.

On your party invitations, you can ask every guest to arrive dressed up with their favorite animal ear bows or even animal-print clothing. Parents could also have the option to dress up as zookeepers since they’re responsible for taking care of their cute little animals! Make sure you set up a face painting station for anyone who forgets their costume.

To make your zoo party unforgettable, you could arrange for a petting zoo to come to your backyard so all the kids can meet some cool creatures.

5. Mermaid

Having a baby is a magical experience, so why not make your child’s first birthday as mystical as possible with a mermaid theme? To make everyone feel like they’re underwater, you should shop for decorations shaped like seashells, jellyfish, starfish, turtles, dolphins, and seaweed.

Your baby’s outfit will be the highlight of the party, so you’ll want to spend some time shopping for the perfect clothes and accessories. Their comfort is the top priority, so it’s best to shop for onesies or poofy skirts that won’t make them feel like they have a real tail. There are plenty of patterns that can mimic scales.

When it comes to snacks, you can serve classics like Goldfish and Swedish Fish. If you’re up for some baking, you could make seashell sugar cookies or cake cones shaped like mermaid tails. In fact, you can shape all kinds of foods into sea-themed shapes, like clams, fish, and even scrumptious chum buckets filled with colorful fruit

6. Space

Space and Dinosaurs Themed Birthday Party Invitation: A Celestial Space Theme with Black Background, White Text, and 'Out of This World' Excitement!
Space Dinosaurs – Birthday Invitation

It’s wonderful to imagine that your child not only has a whole world to explore, but also an entire universe. Youcan treat your baby to a rockin’ outer space party.

There are so many directions you can take with this theme. From friendly aliens to colorful galaxies and space stations, you should choose whatever inspires you the most. No matter where you blast off with this theme, the party won’t be complete without the freeze-dried goodies that astronauts in space eat, like freeze-dried ice cream and fruit.

To make your party feel weightless, be sure to get lots of balloons. You can even set up a galaxy backdrop where your guests can pose for photos as if they’re floating in space.

7. Moon and Stars

If the universe and space travel seem too big and overwhelming, then moon and stars could be a cozier but still dreamy theme. Lots of parents bond with their babies by singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” reading Goodnight Moon, and even watching them sleep underneath their moon and stars mobile.

There are all kinds of ways that you could decorate a moon and stars party. You can hang up a giant backdrop of space, stick glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, buy moon lamps, hang star and moon string lights, and get space balloons.

One activity idea is to set up a craft table where kids and adults can make their own moon and stars t-shirts. You can buy black shirts in bulk to save money and stock up on fabric paints and paintbrushes.

8. Circus

Circus-Themed First Birthday Party Invitation: Featuring Playful Circus Elements Surrounding a Center Photograph of the Birthday Baby.
Circus – Birthday Invitation

What’s more exciting than a circus? Although your baby may be too young to go to a real circus, you can bring them on an adventure during their first birthday party.

No day at the circus would feel complete without staple snacks like popcorn, peanuts, hot dogs, and snow cones. While everyone munches on their treats, they can admire the fun decorations. You should have elephants, lions, a merry-go-round, trapeze artists, and some goofy cardboard cutouts that people can stick their faces in.

For entertainment, you can set up some simple games like ring toss, duck pond, and guessing how many items are in a jar. Be sure to hand out prizes to the participants.

9. Boho-Chic

The boho-chic style has been booming in popularity recently. If you’ve also fallen in love with this trend, then you can throw an Instagrammable first birthday party by creating some retro vibes.

Boho-chic is all about being relaxed while combining natural and vintage elements. This means that there aren’t many rules when it comes to designing the party environment. You can dress your baby up in earth-tones and flowing fabrics for an ethereal look.

As for decor, you can count on plants, wooden serving dishes, rustic boxes, and enchanting items like dreamcatchers. Your party menu should feature simple dishes with wholesome ingredients. You can get inspired by the Mediterranean diet.

10. One-derland

If you want to wow your guests, then you should plan a one-derland party to celebrate this major milestone in your child’s life. One-derland is also a theme that’s up for your interpretation, so feel free to get creative.

You could take the approach of Alice in One-derland by having a wacky tea party. Around your tea party table, you’ll need giant clocks, playing cards, mushrooms, and other whimsical decorations. You could even think of the smaller details like swapping out normal spoons for keys to stir the drinks.

If your baby was born during the winter, then you could also throw a winter one-derland party. Since it’ll be too cold outside, you’ll have to recreate the glory of this season indoors. Giant paper snowflakes, blue and silver balloons, string lights, and white trees are a few ways you can transform your venue.

11. Rainbow

Vibrant Rainbow Birthday Party Invitation: A Sparkling Watercolor Rainbow Design with a Golden 'One'. The Colorful Background Sets the Stage for Rainbow Cupcakes on the other Side.
Colorful Sky – Birthday Invitation

One aspect of nurturing a healthy baby is exposing them to all kinds of colors and textures that tickle their senses. What better way to celebrate your baby’s first year on earth than by throwing a rainbow party? Rainbows teach us that you can always find beauty in life since rainbows often appear after it rains.

Your baby and guests will love the cheery environment. You could ask guests to arrive in rainbow clothes or one color of the rainbow. When you take group photos, everyone can stand together so that they create a happy rainbow.

Not only can the centerpiece cake have rainbow decorations on the outside, but you could even create colorful layers on the inside if you’re feeling ambitious. You should also serve foods that evoke rainbows. One perfect example is this rainbow pizza and a rainbow fruit and veggie platter.

12. Woodland

Babies and little forest animals are both cute, so why not pair them up for an adorable woodland theme? You can use nature as your master decorator or bring your party indoors with some lush houseplants or forest wallpaper stickers. Hanging potted plants like ivy will add depth and volume.

Along with your regular guests, you’ll also need to invite some friendly critters to join the celebration. Rabbits, deer, squirrels, foxes, bears, raccoons, owls, and other birds will make the event feel complete. You can add their presence with stuffed animals, wall art, and even balloons.

To create a clever cake, you can bake a roulade and decorate it so that it looks like a log. You can entertain the little ones with games like pin the tail on the fox, a woodland animal memory game, and even an outdoor scavenger hunt.

What’s great about this theme is that you can change it into a winter theme just by adding white to the color palette, including spraying some artificial snow on pinecones and elsewhere.

13. Rodeo

Everyone will agree that baby shoes are some of the cutest things on earth. Imagine how precious your baby would look geared up with some boots. You can complete their look with a pair of rugged jeans, a cow-print shirt, a vest, a bandana, and a big hat.

If your family has a pet, then you should get them involved in the festivities by giving them a matching bandana. Be sure to have plenty of treats on hand so the pets can sit still for a heart-warming photo with the babies.Your kid will cherish those pictures when they get older.

To create an authentic western vibe, swap out chairs for barrels, set out stacks of hay, and have a saloon where adults can get a cold beer and kids can enjoy root beer.

14. Floral

20 of the Most Popular First Birthday Party Themes one baby nature outside flower themed
Mak, Unsplash

Whether your baby has a summer birthday or you’re just a fan of flowers, it’s easy to host a floral first birthday party. This theme may be simple, but the results are sure to be elegant.

Depending on your preferences, you can surround your party area with fresh bouquets, dried bouquets, or even craft bouquets. To go all out, you could create a flower wall where guests can have a photo shoot.

Everyone should arrive wearing their nicest floral prints. After you’ve dressed your baby, you may want to put on a bumblebee headband since they’re the sweetest flower of the bunch.

As a fun-filled activity, you should give your guests the opportunity to decorate frames using a medley of artificial flowers so they can put their adorably baby photos in them and hang them up wherever they’d like.

15. Superheroes

Every parent wants to raise a child who knows that they’re strong enough to take on the world. You can make your baby feel unstoppable by treating them to an exciting superhero party. Though they may not be old enough to have a favorite, every other guest will be pumped to dress up as theirs.

In addition to the costumes, you’ll need decorations that are straight out of a comic book. A city skyline is the perfect backdrop so all of the heroes can watch over the citizens and protect them. Signs that say “Bam!” and other action words will amp up the action.

You should also set up a photo booth area to commemorate the event. The adults can hold up the kids so it looks like they’re flying. You should have a fan turned on so that their capes can flap in the wind. You should also shop for some cardboard cutouts of heroes so the kids can feel big and strong.

16. Prince and Princess

Parents would do anything to keep their babies happy and healthy, which is why so many of them refer to their kids as their little princes or princesses. To give your child the royal party that they deserve, you’ll have to start by creating some impressive Princess invitations.

You could host a ball and set up a red carpet area where all of the other princes and princesses can take glamorous photos when they arrive. The parents can dress their kids up in standard regal attire or they could also choose their favorite fictional character.

From the decorations to the food and entertainment, the entire event should feel as fancy as possible. You should try to stick with a color scheme that includes red, purple, white, and blue because these are the most royal options.

17. A Day at the Beach

Colorful Balloons Dance in the Clear Blue Sky, while a Close-Up Reveals a Child's Blue Bucket Brimming with Sand on a Sun-Drenched Beach.
Diya Pokharel, Unsplash | Hello I’m Nik, Unsplash

Lots of parents look forward to bringing their babies to the beach for the first time to see how they react to the sand and waves. If your baby lit up when you took them to the beach, then you can rock their world by creating a beach birthday party. Although this theme works best for babies born during warmer months, you can still create a tropical ambience indoors if you’re creative.

It’s up to you if you want to keep your beach theme simple or add some flair with a luau twist. While you’re setting up the party outside, make sure that there’s plenty of shaded area to protect the little ones from becoming too hot or even getting sunburns.

If you don’t have a pool, then you can buy an inflatable one or set up some sprinklers where people can cool off. Be sure to keep your menu simple by serving beach staples like sandwiches, fried chicken, fruit, pasta salad, chips, crackers, dips, and even some barbecue if you feel like firing up your grill.

18. A Garden Party

Anyone who enjoys relaxed and sophisticated events should consider a garden party theme. Not only are these events intimate, but they can also help everyone feel connected to nature.

You may want to set up a sitting area where people can get comfortable on a giant blanket with cushions and gather around a table to eat some fresh dishes. Roasted vegetables, finger sandwiches, charcuterie boards, quiches, flatbread pizzas, and pastries will allow you to create a gorgeous spread.

To have the most fun in the sun, you should prepare games that people of all ages can enjoy. Bean bag toss, tic tac toe, bowling, and Twister will get the crowd giggling.

19. Nursery Rhyme or Story Book

Parents of infants spend tons of time reading or singing to their babies. If your baby loves a certain nursery rhyme or story book, then you can turn their dreams into a reality by hosting a birthday party based on that theme.

For example, you could have a nautical birthday that pays homage to “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” Sailboats, life preservers, anchors, life jackets, and paddles are a few of the many decorations that will elevate your venue.

If your baby loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar, then you should turn your party venue into a forest with plants, a sun, and a big green caterpillar. The most important feature will be the buffet table where the caterpillar and guests can eat!

20. Berry First Birthday

Invitation for a Berry Sweet First Birthday: Red Strawberry Illustrations with 'Berry Sweet' Text, and Hands Brimming with Freshly Picked Strawberries.
Strawberry – Birthday Invitation

Puns are one of dads’ favorite ways to communicate with others! You can make all of your guests smile by planning a clever berry first birthday. All you need to do to get your baby party ready is dress them up in fruity colors and patterns.

Since berries will be the star of your menu, it’s important to get fresh ones at the farmers’ market or even from an orchard if you’re lucky enough to live near one. If you’re worried about guests who don’t have a sweet tooth, there are plenty of savory berry recipes that will make everyone’s mouths water.

The decorations are what will make your party pop. You’ll need vibrant table cloths, plates, napkins, and balloons. To make an intimate picnic vibe, you can set out red and white checkered tablecloths, mason jars, and berry cartons.

Have You Fallen in Love With the Most Popular First Birthday Party Themes?

Learning about the most popular first birthday party themes can get you inspired to plan an event that fits your family perfectly. Choosing any of these fabulous themes will ensure that everyone has a blast and you can create memories that will last a lifetime.

Life is so much richer when we share it with our friends and family. If you want to celebrate the small and big joys plus everything in between, then Greetings Island is here to help you create cards and invitations for every occasion. Have a look at our extensive invitation designs so you can always surprise your loved ones.

🎈🎉 Discover the 20 Most Popular First Birthday Party Themes! From whimsical animals to enchanting fairy tales, find the perfect theme to make your little one's first birthday unforgettable. #FirstBirthdayIdeas #PartyThemes