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Anyone that knows me will tell you that I love to plan things. I have lists for my lists. The night after my 11th birthday party I told my mom the theme I wanted for my 12th birthday party. I am a planning junkie!
So of course just a few weeks after having my daughter, I told my husband I needed to start planning her 1st birthday party! Planning a good theme for a baby’s first birthday is a bit overwhelming! It has to be good because 1.) it’s her first birthday, and 2.) she’ll be choosing her own theme at a certain age so I only get a few years of deciding on her birthday themes!
After much research, I’ve managed to compile a massive list of 1st birthday party ideas that are PERFECT for a first birthday! A lot of these are specifically 1st birthday themes, but there are quite a few that can go for any age!
I’ve included photos, decor, food, and other base ideas to get you started!
Also, because I love y’all, I’m letting go of my ULTIMATE party planner for free!
So without further interruption, here is my MEGA LIST OF 1ST BIRTHDAY PARTY THEMES!
1st Birthday Specific Themes
1. Alice in One-Derland
Throw a mad tea party for your little Alice or Hatter!
- Decorate by using paper mushrooms, playing cards, & clocks for centerpieces!
- Pin giant paper flowers & “Here, There, Go Back” direction signs to the wall.
- Hang thrift store teapots & teacups from light fixtures using fishing string for a whimsical effect!
- Serve tea sandwiches, berries, & petit fours. Use “Eat Me” food picks & “Drink Me” water bottle labels.
- Have your little wear an Alice in Wonderland tutu or a Mad Hatter costume. I recommend Etsy for adorable outfits!
2. One Sweet Peach
What could be sweeter than a peach party? Fuzzy, sweet, & such a soft, lovely color!
- Decorate using real peaches in apothecary jars & glass bowls! You can also use faux leaves for pretty accents.
- Focus on decorating with peach & white decor with subtle hints of light green for a bright, clean look.
- Serve peach themed goodies! Peach cobbler, peach jam, or cupcakes decorated to look like peaches.
3. Donut Grow Up Sweet One
This particular theme is a favorite of mine! I’ve always been drawn to the candy & food themed decorations in the Christmas aisles at Hobby Lobby, and this theme is sure to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth!
- Decorate with donuts! There is actually a donut garland at Hobby Lobby right now that I’m obsessing over!
- Use giant DIY sprinkles for table decor!
- Print out some donut themed printables for wall decor.
- Be colorful with sweet colors such as pink, lime green, orange, & purple!
- Serve donuts & milk!
Head over to Party with Unicorns & get several adorable Donut themed party printables including invitations & party hats!
4. First Flamingle
How CUTE is this theme?? With tons of pink & lots of feathers, this party idea is sure to be bright & festive!
- Decorate with lawn flamingos & throw a few flamingo pool floats around.
- Use pink feather boas to stretch across the tables for a great, cheap centerpiece!
- Serve tropical type food or fruit! Pineapple kabobs & watermelon slices are yummy & kid-friendly!
5. First Fiesta / Taco ‘Bout Turning One
With everyone’s current obsession with tacos (myself included), this theme couldn’t be any more perfect!
- Decorate with a taco piñata!
- Centerpieces: Place faux cactuses & succulents on top of serape table runners
- Hang colorful paper fans around or use as the cake table backdrop.
- Serve tacos, of course! You can also have a chips & dips station with salsa, guacamole (no extra charge), & queso. Taco ’bout a yummy party!
6. Fairy First Birthday
This theme is great for a girly girl without being a typical princess party.
- Decorate by hanging fairy twinkle lights (I find them a lot at Target) around & place them on the tables under some white or pink tulle. Fairy figurines are great table fillers
- Hang glass terrariums with fairy gardens (mushrooms, sticks, flowers, etc.)
- Serve fruit kabobs in the shape of wands & cupcakes decorated like mushrooms.
- Give fairy wings (Dollar Tree!) & felt gnome hats as favors.
7. First Trip Around the Sun
I may go with this theme just so E.K. can wear her galaxy pattern bow!
- Decorate with hanging honeycomb balls in different sizes & colors for planets & a large yellow paper fan for the sun.
- Hang star garland around the room. Stretch it from one corner of the room to the other for a nice overhead effect.
- Be colorful by using an orange, blue, silver, purple, & black color scheme.
- Serve sandwiches cut into star shapes. Set a bowl of Starbursts on each table.
8. Our Little Sunshine is One
There’s no better way to celebrate the little light of your life than by throwing a sunshine themed party! Bonus points if you sing “You are my Sunshine” to your little regularly!
- Decorate with lots of yellow! Use streamers, balloons, banners, & table cloths all in a bright, sunny yellow.
- Serve anything yellow of course: lemonade, popcorn, or bulk yellow candy for the tables. You could also serve rainbow fruit kabobs!
- Give out sunglasses as party favors (they have packs at the Dollar Tree)
Check out this ‘You are my Sunshine’ party over at Aileen Cooks for decor ideas, invitations, & more!
9. Wild One
Kiddos can be a handful, but we love them to pieces! Embrace your child’s wild side by throwing a ‘Wild One’ party!
- Decorate with greenery, gold accents (balloons, confetti, etc.), & feathers!
- Put up a canvas teepee & decorate the entrance with flowers or leaves. Use this to house gifts or as a photo backdrop!
- Serve veggies with dip, fruit salad, “twigs” (pretzel sticks), & have a DIY trail mix station.
- Give mini stuffed animals as favors.
10. Holy Cow, You’re One!
If you’re able, have this party in a barn!
- Decorate with cow print balloons! Cover the tables with red gingham table cloths.
- Centerpieces: place some sunflowers in a mason jar
- Use denim, gingham, & burlap to make a DIY tassel banner.
- Serve milk (regular, chocolate, & strawberry) with giant cookies. Arrange a platter of veggies for a vegetable patch.
- Dress your little in a gingham shirt & overalls or a denim jumper! Pair with a cow print bow or bowtie.
11. Happy Hallow-One / Spooky One
If your soon-to-be one-year-old was born in October (or you just love Halloween), this theme would be great for you!
- Decorate in all things Halloween! Pumpkins with happy faces, caldrons with candy, & fun, cute ghosts keep the mood light without losing the theme.
- Keep it colorful with lots of orange, purple, & black/white stripes!
- Serve caramel apples, veggies with dip in a hollow pumpkin, & mummy dogs.
- Give fake vampire teeth as party favors!
12. Winter One-Derland
Throw a winter birthday fit for a snow queen or king!
- Decorate with light blue, white, & silver. Hit up the after Christmas sales & grab some snowflake ornaments & icicles!
- Use tinsel trees as centerpieces & sprinkle fake snow around them.
- Serve winter favorites such as soups & chilis, hot chocolate & coffee, & cold cuts with cheese balls.
13. A Sweetheart is Turning One / One Love
Celebrate your Valentine’s baby with this theme!
- Decorate with pink & red. Use hearts everywhere! Hang paper heart garlands from the ceiling behind the cake table.
- Centerpieces: candy hearts in apothecary jars
- Serve chocolate-covered strawberries, heart-shaped sandwiches, & have a waffle bar with heart-shaped waffles.
14. Diamonds, Pearls, & Tiaras are Fun! Darling Come Celebrate Me Turning One! (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
Classy & elegant, use this theme to honor your little lady’s birthday!
- Decorate with faux diamonds & pearls scattered on the tables.
- Centerpieces: tiffany blue gift bags with white & black balloons attached to a weight inside each bag
- Serve fruit, little muffins, mini pancake skewers, & tiffany blue punch!
- Have your girl wear a black fluffy dress with a tutu! Flip her hair (if she has any yet!) into a bun & finish with a tiara!
15. One-der the Sea
Life is the bubbles when you turn one!
- Decorate with LOTS of clear balloons! Tie some to a long strand of fishing string & hang them from the ceiling throughout the room.
- DIY some clusters of coral by cutting pool noodles into spirals.
- Use paper plates to create a scale effect behind the cake table. Buy them from the Dollar Tree to get more bang for your buck!
- Serve shell pasta salad, goldfish, & croissant sandwiches (crab-wiches)
16. Come One, Come All to the Greatest Birthday on Earth!
My life feels like a circus most days, so why not go all out & celebrate the crazy?
- Decorate with red & white stripes. Hang banner flags across the room.
- Use elephant & lion figurines for table fillers.
- Serve popcorn & peanuts, corndogs, & animal crackers.
17. Little Mr./Miss One-Derful
This theme makes it all about the birthday boy or girl! Honestly, this theme gives you free rein to do anything you want with decor, but as a start, just use your favorite color scheme & go from there!
- Focus on the little guest of honor! Make a garland with their face on it!
- Centerpieces: frame photos of their first year & tie balloons to the frame!
- Make a giant number one & plaster it with their pictures!
This theme is all pun & games!
- Decorate with traditional ‘Uno’ colors: red, yellow, green, & blue. Accent with black & white.
- Make a garland out of Uno cards to drape across the highchair for that long-awaited cake smash!
- Serve red foods (cherry tomatoes, Twizzlers), green foods (cucumbers, broccoli), yellow foods (squash, banana pudding), & blue foods (bleu cheese dip, blueberries). M&M cookies have all the colors (and they’re yummy)!
19. Sweet One (Sundae Funday)
Can we bring back ice cream socials? That needs to be a thing again.
- Decorate with fun, sweet colors such as pink, mint green, lavender, teal, & yellow!
- Throw chunky confetti on the tables for a sprinkle effect.
- Make some DIY ice cream cones with balloons & a paper cone!
- Serve an ice cream sundae bar, of course!
20. A Whole Llama Fun when You’re Turning One
Llamas are in now. Why? They’re cute! And so is your almost toddler. A match made in heaven? YES!
- Decorate with a festive color scheme (hot pink, teal, green, orange, & yellow)
- Place some faux cacti for centerpieces & hang fringe garland on the wall behind the cake table!
- Serve cactus pretzel rods (dip in green candy melts & dust with white sprinkles), cactus donuts (green icing with white sprinkles), & have a taco bar!
21. A Royal One
Make your little one a king or queen for the day!
- Decorate with glittery crown cutouts & crown garlands.
- Centerpieces: sprinkle gemstones around candelabras & crowns
- Drape plastic table cloths from the Dollar Tree around doors & windows for a regal look on a dime!
- Serve sandwiches cut in the shape of crowns, pretzel swords, & cupcakes topped with tiaras.
If you’re a hunting family, consider this a-deer-able theme!
- Decorate with antlers dipped in gold glitter on top of log slices placed on tables
- Hang greenery behind the cake table.
- Serve a “grazing” station with handheld snacks.
23. Peter Rabbit (Somebunny’s Turning One!)
If your birthday bunny was born in the spring, this would be an adorable seasonal theme to celebrate!
- Decorate with florals, greenery, & of course, bunnies!
- Use a light neutral for the base color such as tan.
- Serve berries, veggies with dip, & pie!
Check out this absolutely adorable Peter Rabbit themed first birthday party over at U Ready, Teddy for more fantastic ideas & decorations!
24. One-Der Woman
Superheroes deserve super parties! Honor your little hero’s first year with this super theme!
- Decorate with red, white, blue, & gold with lots of stars!
- Print out some ‘BAM’, ‘POW’, & ‘KABOOM’ comic expressions on cardstock, cut them out, & hang around the room or hot glue onto skewers for some food picks.
- Hang gold star garland behind the cake table.
- Serve watermelon cut in the shape of stars, yellow Twizzlers ‘lassos’, & fruit salad made with blueberries, strawberries, & mini marshmallows!
25. The Chosen One (Harry Potter)
It matters not what someone is born but how they celebrate their first birthday. Or something like that.
- Decorate with your favorite house colors, owls, “floating” candles, & “flying” keys.
- Use a red brick backdrop behind the cake table with “Platform 9 3/4”.
- Serve gummy snakes, chocolate frogs, pretzel “wands”, & Golden Snitch gumballs. Make some homemade butterbeer for refreshments.
- Give DIY wands as party favors.
Character Themes That aren’t the Norm
Using a character theme makes decorating easy: just plaster the characters everywhere!
26. Curious George
Monkey around with an adorable old school Curious George party!
- Decorate with fake bananas & faux banana leaves!
- Use three banana leaves to create a banner to go across the birthday boy or girl’s high chair & add ‘ONE’ in paper letters.
- Serve banana flavored items: banana pudding, banana Laffy Taffy, & banana chips.
Head over to Hunny I’m Home for a complete how-to on throwing your own Curious George party, plus a free printable!
27. Baby Shark
Try not to lose too much sanity putting this party together.
- Decorate with clear balloons for bubbles, green twisted streamers for “seaweed”, & hang fishing nets behind the cake table.
- Tie clear balloons to fishing string at different lengths & hang from the ceiling.
- Serve goldfish and gummy sharks.
28. Peter Pan
Peter Pan is a lesser-used Disney party theme that I think should become more mainstream!
Head over to One Thousand Oaks for a full post on how to throw a perfect Peter Pan first birthday party!
29. Thing 1 & Thing 2
This theme would be fantastic for either twins or a shared sibling party! Think “Things 1” or “Thing 1 & Thing 3” for a shared first & third party!
- Decorate with lots of pastels & the iconic red & white stripes!
- DIY some truffula trees with items from the dollar store!
- Serve goldfish (1 fish, 2 fish…), cotton candy (Lorax trees), & Poodle’s Noodles pasta salad.
If you’re anything like me, you love food. I’m a simple girl. Here are some adorable food-centered themes!
30. Teddy Bear Picnic
Little ones love the classic Teddy Bear Picnic song. Why not center their party around it?
- Decorate with red gingham table cloths, picnic basket centerpieces, & of course, teddy bears!
- Serve classic picnic food & Teddy Grahams!
What kiddo doesn’t obsess over their Cheerios?! This is a party theme truly based on what the guest of honor loves
Hurry over to The Gifted Gabber for a full post on how to throw this absolutely adorable first birthday party!
32. Strawberry / Strawberry Picnic
A sweet summertime theme, strawberries are so bright & cheery!
- Decorate with faux strawberries in glass bowls.
- Serve strawberry goodies such as pie & ice cream.
- Give mini jars of homemade strawberry jam as favors.
Head over to Tikkido for a complete setup for a 1st Strawberry Bash!
33. Farmer’s Market
This theme is great for junior foodies, especially if their birthday is in the fall!
- Decorate with gingham table cloths, galvanized steel tubs to hold drinks, & mason jars with baby’s breath
- Use baskets filled with fruit for centerpieces
- Serve fresh fruit salad & fresh veggies with dip!
34. Chick Fil A
Be sure not to throw this party on a Sunday!
- Decorate with red, white, & cow print!
- Centerpieces: red & black tissue paper balls & cow figurines
- Print out some cute Chick Fil A printables.
- Serve nugget platters & fries from Chick Fil A! Don’t forget the sauce & jugs of tea!
35. PJs & Pancakes
Nothing makes a party better than not having to get out of your pajamas to attend!
- Decorate with fluffy DIY cotton clouds, sticky stars, & hanging moons!
- Centerpieces: Fill mason jars with colorful cereal & stick a faux flower in the middle
- Keep it colorful with pastels such as baby pink, baby blue, mint green, & sunny yellow.
- Serve a pancake & waffle bar with fresh fruit, a variety of flavored syrups, whipped cream, & chocolate chips! Don’t forget other breakfast goodies such as bacon & sausage.
36. Taco Belle
My husband would love for this to be our daughter’s theme. He’d probably want his own party with this theme!
- Decorate with a taco pinata, faux cacti, & sauce packets used as confetti.
- Keep it colorful with purple, white, & the sauce packet colors.
- Centerpieces: Use party pack boxes stuffed with purple tissue paper & poke 2-3 balloons on sticks into the center
- Serve Taco Bell! Soft tacos, nachos with cheese, & cinnamon twists are great foods for a crowd.
37. Party Animal
Perfect for your little wild child!
- Decorate with lots of animals with party hats!
- Keep it colorful with bright colors such as aqua, lime green, orange, hot pink, & yellow
Check out this fabulous ‘Party Animal’ first birthday over at U Ready Teddy for a full post with a complete menu, decor ideas, & much more!
Dinos are a common love for kiddos! They’re sure to love this prehistoric party!
Run over to Where the Smiles Have Been for invitation ideas, cakes, & more!
Check out Minnesota Mama for DIY decor, party hats, & other goodies!
Head to Making Time for Memories for a free printable banner!
This is quite the trending theme & for a good reason! It’s so doggone cute!
- Decorate with buffalo plaid, tree slices, & stuffed forest animals.
- Keep it colorful with red, black, & natural colors.
- Serve homemade trail mix & let guests take some home for favors.
Check out Lanham Creations for a complete how-to on how to decorate for this theme.
40. Mermaid & Pirates
If you have boy/girl twins, this could be the perfect combo theme!
- Decorate with plastic coins, faux gems, & pearls.
- Serve island-themed treats such as pineapple kabobs & coconut macaroons.
Go to Lanham Creations for food, favor ideas, & more!
Celebrate your little wildcat with a jungle party!
- Decorate with loads of animal print, faux jungle leaves, & jungle animal figurines
- Centerpieces: Pour 3-4″ of sand in tall glass vases & add faux leaves
- Serve animal crackers, zebra cakes, & fruit vines
- Highchair: Banner with 3 jungle leaves; attach paper letters (O-N-E) to each leaf
- Favors: mini stuffed jungle animals with adoption cards
Check out Fabulous Habits for a full post on how to set up a Jungle themed dessert table!
42. Little Monsters
I mean could there really be a more perfect theme for a one-year-old?
- Decorate with DIY paper monsters, lots of googly eyes, & paper fangs!
- Keep it colorful with tons of bright, playful colors
43. Bookworm / Library
I personally love this theme as I’ve always been one to bury myself deep in the library even as a kid.
- Decorate with worm stuffed animals, reading glasses (check Goodwill), & stacks of your kiddos favorite storybooks
- Centerpieces: theme each table by a book (i.e. “Beauty & The Beast” table with a red rose, books, teacup, & character figurines
- Serve gummy worms, tea, or book-themed goodies
Run over to The Gifted Gabber for a totally adorable Bookworm party post for a complete how-to which includes food ideas, games to play, & so much more!
Owls have been in for a while & it doesn’t seem to be a trend that’s going away any time soon! HOO’s to say you shouldn’t pick this theme?
- Decorate with loads of owl stuffed animals & owl cutouts
- Centerpieces: place faux twigs (check Hobby Lobby) in the center of the table & add a cute stuffed owl
- Serve gummy worms & deviled eggs
Fly on over to The Purple Pumpkin for some super cute Owl ideas including decor, cupcakes, & DIY owl balloons!
I am definitely the girl geeking out over every sunflower field. This theme is adorable.
- Decorate with sunflowers, of course! Burlap is a good filler for some extra texture & interest
- Centerpieces: use galvanized buckets & fill them to the brim with faux sunflowers
- Favors: fill baggies with candy-coated sunflower seeds for guests to take home
My nursery was done in a carousel theme, so this one has a soft spot in my heart.
- Decorate with bunting, carousel horse figurines, & bundles of faux hydrangeas
- Keep it colorful by using soft pastels (baby pink, lavender, mint green, & light blue) with pops of gold
- Centerpieces: make DIY paper carousels & accent with faux roses
- Serve carnival foods such as cotton candy, kettle corn, & soft pretzels; place cupcakes on a ferris wheel stand
47. Hot Air Balloon
Your baby is growing up, up, up! My cousin’s 1st birthday was all about hot air balloons & I loved it!
- Decorate with DIY lantern hot air balloons, colorful bunting, & cotton clouds.
- Centerpieces: Tie a jumbo helium balloon to a little basket (don’t forget to weigh the basket down!); fill the basket with flowers
- Serve fruit & veggie trays arranged in the shape of hot air balloons
48. Bee-Day Brunch
Have you heard the buzz? It’s time for a party! (I’ve got to stop with the puns…)
- Decorate with honey bees (check Hobby Lobby), DIY hives, & yellow paper honeycomb balls
- Serve honey themed treats like honeybuns, homemade honeycomb, & honey sticks; and it’s brunch, so of course, serve yummy breakfast foods!
- Favors: give mini jars of local honey
49. Oh the Places You’ll Go
We all want our children to go far in life & ultimately live a happy life! Set them in the right direction by throwing this party.
- Decorate with balloons attached to mason jars or baskets with tulle or balloon string & DIY trufella trees
- Keep it colorful by using the colors featured in the book (yellow, green, orange, blue, etc.)
- Serve roast beast sandwiches, green deviled eggs, & cotton candy clouds
50. Favorite Pet
Why not make the theme something you know your child will love? This mama’s kiddo loves his kitty, so she centered his entire party around his favorite thing!
- Decorate with photos of the favorite pet; bonus points if you Photoshop party hats onto them!
- Serve goodies themed or decorated like the pet!
Soft, feminine, & oh-so-Springy, this theme would be great for a March through May baby!
- Decorate with tons of colorful flowers! Make garlands, wreaths, or bundle in vases for an array of decor
- Serve tea cakes, honey lemon tea, & dainty cupcakes!
Fly high in the sky on this incredible first birthday ride!
- Decorate with fluffy cotton clouds, model airplanes hanging from the ceiling, & DIY printable vintage travel tickets
- Centerpieces: vintage suitcases with model planes
- Serve bagged trailmix, bananas, & oranges: classic in-flight snacks!
Check out Dresses & Dinosaurs for a full look at an Airplane party!
Wow! I sure hope this long list has inspired you in your party planning! I am excited for my baby girl’s birthday, but it sure does tug at my heart to see her grow so quickly!
Enjoy those little ones, mamas! And, as always, I’d love for you to leave a comment! Let me know what theme you are choosing or chose for your kid’s 1st birthdays!
Don’t forget to snag your FREE party planner printable!
And remember: You’re killin’ this mom thing!