20 of Our Favorite First Birthday Themes - Baby Chick
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20 of Our Favorite First Birthday Themes

Celebrate your little one's special day in style! Find 20 fun first birthday themes from classic carnivals to darling forest friends.

Updated April 29, 2024

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A first birthday is a significant milestone for your little one and you as a parent! Where does the time go? And what better way to celebrate making it through the first year than with a fun-filled party?! Whether planning an intimate gathering with family or a huge party with all your friends, picking the perfect first birthday theme can be challenging. We’ve rounded up 20 of our favorite first-birthday themes to help make your party planning a breeze. From classic carnivals to darling forest friends, there’s sure to be a theme here that will make your baby’s first birthday celebration one to remember.

20 First Birthday Theme Ideas

1. O-Fish-Ally the Big ONE

The Big One Fishing Party
via Amazon

For the little one who loves animals and the outdoors, this under-the-sea-themed party is a fin-tastic option! For decorations, start by hanging a fishnet across the wall or ceiling. You can also add some paper fish or other sea creatures around the room. Balloons in ocean colors will add a festive touch, and don’t forget to include a big “1” in the decorations. There are so many options for sea-themed food. Serve some Goldfish crackers, peanut butter and “jellyfish” sandwiches, blue “ocean” Jell-O, and sushi or other seafood treats. Don’t forget a birthday cake or cupcakes decorated with a cute ocean theme.

2. Alice in One-der Land

Don’t be late for this important date! You can easily transform this whimsical theme into a magical first birthday. You can decorate with toadstools and playing cards, set up a giant inflatable caterpillar sprinkler or slide, and provide guests with hats and bows to get in the spirit of things. For an interactive keepsake, a “mad hatter” photo booth with funny signs will captivate guests of all ages. This Alice in One-der Land-themed party will surely transport your guests down the rabbit hole for an unforgettable experience!

3. Winter One-derland

For the baby celebrating in the colder months, this winter-themed first birthday party is sure to be a cozy event. Transform your home into a mini enchanted forest full of snowflakes, polar bears, and evergreen trees. Fill it with white decorations, whimsical music, and even some fake snowflakes. Let your child explore their first winter world while enjoying presents and cake—all without braving the chilly temperatures outside. Throw in some hot cocoa or marshmallows to complete your winter ONE-derland first birthday party.

4. Wild ONE

Welcome to the jungle with this fun animal-themed party! From lush decorations and cake designs to fun games, there is something for everyone. The little ones will love going on a safari scavenger hunt. You could even have a Lion King sing-along or DIY some mini binoculars for them. Serve up some treats like buffalo wings, panther pizza, and cheetah chips with safari salsa. Don’t forget the animal crackers!

5. ONE Happy Camper

one happy camper birthday theme
via Amazon

With this fun and easy outdoor-themed party, your little one will surely be ONE happy camper. You can create a fun outdoor atmosphere that everyone can enjoy and provide an opportunity to participate in great bonding activities such as camping crafts or listening to stories around a pretend campfire. Keep the menu simple with hot dogs, chili, trail mix, and a s’mores station!

6. Hole in ONE

For golf enthusiast parents, “Hole in ONE” is the perfect first birthday party idea. Celebrate like the pros by hosting a fun miniature golf tournament at your local course or setting one up in your backyard. Decorate with golf balls, tees, and clubs. Your guest can enjoy yummy treats like PAR-fait, BOGIE hoagies, and doughnut-HOLES-in-one. Don’t forget to add some sweet TEE to the menu.

7. What a ONE-derful World

What a ONE-derful world it is with your little one in it. This sweet and subtle idea would be perfect for a boy or a girl. Decorate with streamers, globes, airplanes, and hot air balloons. Keep the food simple with a cake and elegant charcuterie board. And make sure to have a baggage claim station where your guest can collect party favors.

8. How the West was ONE

Ready to saddle up for your little buckaroo’s first birthday? A western theme is always a hit with kids and parents. Cowboys and cowgirls of all ages will feel right at home among horseshoes, hay bales, and bandana decorations. Serve some chow on tin plates and cups and rev up the fun with cowboy hat piñatas and barrel races. From line-dancing to prairie roping, getting your guests both cheering and yee-hawing for hours is easy.

9. The Rookie Year

Your little one’s big day will surely be a home run with a baseball-themed party. From bats and balls to fun apparel, all the perfect decorations and supplies are easy to find that will leave all your guests in awe of your first birthday party. Decorate with the traditional red, white, and blue, and dress your little one in a baseball uniform. Make sure you get those typical baseball snacks like popcorn, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks. Add a little competition to the party with a friendly game of home-run derby. Don’t forget to play “Take me out to the ballgame” for everyone to sing along.

10. Come ONE, Come All

come one come all birthday party theme
via Etsy

Circus-themed first birthday party ideas are all about creating an atmosphere of wonder and amazement. Impress your guest with clowns, cotton candy, and a tightrope show featuring your little one. Decorate your venue with colorful streamers and balloons, whip up carnival-themed snacks, and get everyone ready for high-energy party games. Who knows—your baby’s first birthday party might end up being the greatest show on earth!

11. You’re ONE in a Melon

A watermelon-themed first birthday party will be a hit with your little one and your guests. Everything from the cake design and decorations to the foods, games, and favors can reflect a watermelon’s vibrant colors and juicy sweetness. Plus, there’s no better way to incorporate silly, first-year photo ops than setting up a watermelon patch full of props like beach balls, straw hats, and beach towels.

12. Time Flies

It sure is true that time flies—especially when it comes to the first year. Why not consider an aviation theme if you want to make your little one’s first birthday party soar? You can deck out the venue with airplane and travel decorations—think of adventurous banners, clouds, streamers, and mini suitcases. Get into the theme by dressing as flight attendants and pilots. For the menu, themed cupcakes or a cake shaped like an airplane and lots of in-flight snacks would be perfect. Use plane-themed plates, cups, and napkins for an extra touch of flight-related fun.

13. 3-2-ONE Blastoff!

3-2-1 blast off first birthday party theme
via Etsy

If you’re looking for a first birthday theme with an out-of-this-world twist, look no further than a space-themed bash. Decorate your venue to look like a galaxy far, far away with star balloons and twinkling fairy lights. Whip up some cosmic cupcakes and alien cookies for a snack. Unleash your inner astronaut with a moonwalking competition, or have everyone dress up as astronauts and aliens.

14. Lucky ONE

If your little ONE was lucky enough to be born in March, celebrate with an Irish-style St. Patrick’s Day-themed birthday bash. Have everyone dress in green and invite them to a pot-luck-style party. Decorate with shamrocks, pots of gold, and rainbows, and don’t forget to dress the birthday boy or girl like a cute little leprechaun. You can give out bags of Lucky Charms for party favors because what kid doesn’t love marshmallows?

15. First Year Down

For the baby born in the fall, what better way to celebrate than a tailgate-style party? Decorate your venue in the colors of your favorite team with footballs, goalposts, and banners. Have your guests wear jerseys and partake in fun games like cornhole, ladder toss, and football throwing competitions. For the menu, serve some classic favorites like hamburgers, nachos, and pickles.

16. Some Bunny is ONE

some bunny is one themed first birthday party
via Amazon

Peter Rabbit is the way to go for a sweet and classic first birthday party. Bring this beloved character’s world alive with simple decorations like a beautiful balloon arch, stuffed rabbits, and a copy of the book. The kids will love doing bunny crafts, hunting for carrots in the garden, and playing hide and seek. Serve up homemade carrot cake or cupcakes, and everyone will have a magical time.

17. Little Miss or Mr. ONE-derful

mr onederful first birthday theme
via Target

What better way to celebrate your little prince or princess than with the perfect fairy tale party? Decorate your venue with characters from their favorite movie, make crowns or tiaras for everyone at the party, organize storytelling time, and have an optional dress code where guests can dress up as their favorite characters. You can even hire a prince or princess to make an appearance. Serve up some tea and cookies next to their magical cake, and everyone will live happily ever after.

18. Numero Uno

When it comes to first birthday party ideas, there’s nothing more festive than a fiesta-themed celebration! Decorate with bright and colorful balloons and streamers, sombreros, and maracas. Serve classic Mexican meals such as tacos, burritos, and tamales for your guests. Don’t forget the chips and salsa, guacamole, and queso. No fiesta party is complete without a piñata—it’s practically a first-birthday tradition!

19. Sweet ONE

sweet one first birthday party theme
via Amazon

The possibilities are endless and so sweet with this fun first birthday party theme. From sweet cupcakes topped with delicious candies to towering homemade ice cream sundaes, this delightful theme will create magical memories they’ll remember long after the party. If you feel extra creative, you can have a make-your-own candy bar. Choose whichever combination of treats your guests love most, and let the sugary goodness be your guide. The best part is all these yummy treats can double as your decorations. Just be prepared for the sugar rush!

20. Dinosaurs

one-a-saurus first birthday theme
via Etsy

If your child loves dinosaurs, why not make their first birthday special with some dino-inspired first birthday party ideas? From dinosaur-themed cupcakes and piñatas to decorations featuring their favorite prehistoric creatures, you’ll find plenty of creative ways to bring the prehistoric world alive at your event. Colorful and creative decor featuring images of dinosaurs, volcano cakes, and T. rex-shaped balloons will give the room a roar! Your tiny T. rex can enjoy special birthday activities, like pin-the-tail on the dinosaur. You could also have a mini archaeological dig by burying some toy bones in a sandbox or boxes filled with play sand. Everyone is sure to have a roaring good time!

So, what will you do for your little one’s first birthday? There are so many themes and ideas out there that it can be hard to choose one. No matter which theme you choose, we hope this list has given you some ideas for throwing a fantastic celebration for your little one.

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  • Author

Nicole is a former elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home mom and blogger who lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with her husband and 3 young kids, and teenage stepson. She graduated… Read more

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