Believe it or not, in less than a month, I’m going to have a five year old. How that even happened is beyond me. It is true when they say, the days are long but the years are short. As much as I hate how fast the kids are growing up and I do love the baby phase so much, I have to say, each year does get better. It’s so fun watching your kids turn into little people who you can play with and enjoy in new and different ways. In the past, we’ve kept our birthday parties pretty low-key: backyard (or in the city, deck) parties with pizza and cake. I enjoy having a theme and planning a party, but when they’re younger, they’re really just happy to run around and eat some cake. But after Covid canceled so many of our celebrations over the last year and a half, I’m hoping we can do something really fun for James’ fifth birthday. I’ve been desperately searching for 5 year old birthday party ideas, and funnily enough, there’s tons of ideas for birthday party themes, but not so much for entertainment.
I have learned that activities are key for a birthday party. Kids can run around for only so long before someone gets hurt, and you don’t want that on your watch. I’m not saying you need to get super crazy or fancy. Last year, we did some fun fall activities for James’ birthday — pumpkin painting, pin the tail on the pup (there was a Paw Patrol theme), and other cute fall crafts — and the kids had a blast. The key is to have something fun planned to do before you eat cake. If you’re like me and trying to figure out fun activities to keep a bunch of five year olds entertained and not coming up with lots of options, I did the research for you and here are some fun 5 year old birthday party ideas kids will love.
Foam Party: These look like so much fun. It’s basically like bubbles, so it’s supposedly safe for your backyard and kids are obsessed.
Rent Out a Movie Theater: Most theaters let you rent them out now and it’s not ridiculously expensive. You can order concessions for each kid as your goodie bag and show the latest kids movie. The Paw Patrol movie is coming out around James’ birthday, so we may do this for him. Or get a projector and screen and host an outdoor movie night at your house.
Laser Tag: James recently went to a party that had laser tag outdoors and it was a blast. I think a lot of companies are offering to do it in your backyard or a nearby field.
Karate: Hire a karate instructor to come to your backyard and teach a fun class, or many studios offer birthday parties if you feel comfortable hosting one inside)
Ninja Warrior: Our club recently set this up for kids this summer, and it was a blast! It’s like an obstacle course for kids and they love it.
Swim Party: These are always fun and perfect for summer birthdays.
Soccer: You can hire a coach to play with the kids outside and run them through fun drills.
Tennis: If your child is really into tennis, you could hire the instructor at your club or local park to set up a fun game for the kids.
Ice Skating: Rent out a local rink.
Magician: Always a classic form of entertainment.
Petting Zoo: Hit up your local farm or many companies will bring the petting zoo to you.
Bounce House: With or without a water slide, these are always a hit and endless fun for the kiddos.
Playground: Host the party at your local playground or park and the kids can run around on the jungle gym and then enjoy some cake.
Pirate Party: Have them walk the plank by putting a piece of wood over a baby pool, bury gold coins and have them go on a treasure hunt, and have them make pirate flags.
Cooking: Teach the kids how to make their own pizzas or another fun, kid-friendly dish like pasta.
Cupcake or Ice Cream Bar: Set out all the ingredients and let the kids go to town making their own cupcakes or sundaes.
Face Painting: Kids love face painting and it can be so much fun, especially if you’re doing a themed party.
Legoland: One opened by us and it’s apparently a very fun place for littles. Would be good to take a small group.
Balloon Making: Hire someone to create fun balloons for all the kids.
Ballet or Dance: You could do this at a studio or hire an instructor to teach the kids in your house or backyard.
Tie Dye: Kids love fun crafts and this is one they can take home so you don’t have to worry about goodie bags.
Painting: Rent out a pottery making spot or set out mini easels for all the kids and let them paint.
Superhero: Have kids decorate their own capes and masks.
Nerf Gun: Set up a nerf gun range for kids to shoot or if you’re brave, set up an obstacle course and break them into teams.