Top kid’s birthday party themes for fall

We all want a birthday party that clicks off a few boxes: It must be fun. It must be fabulous. It must be something everyone remembers. These latest party trends will make your child’s big day all that and more.

Bolder, brighter color palates are in

Lindsey Mensch, owner of Lili Marie Parties, predicts that color schemes will get bolder in the months ahead. “The summer of 2019 was definitely the summer of pastels,” she says. “All adorable and looked beautiful, however, I foresee the color scheme at parties getting brighter over the winter.”Primary colors pair well with some of the more popular trends, including rainbow parties, Coco and the ubiquitous Baby Shark.

Better balloon options

Many parents already know that there’s a helium shortage. Mensch has heard of parents scrambling between many Party City stores or even buying expensive tanks to fill balloons themselves. It’s time-consuming, expensive and not great for the environment.“Helium is a non-renewable resource. Companies like local Luft Balloon Store make air-filled balloon installations, like the ones you see all over Instagram, at a range of price points. Even better, their balloons are organic and biodegradable,” says Candice Blansett-Cummins, chief experience officer of Wishcraft Workshop in Chicago. “We moved away from having balloons at our venue until this planet-friendly option came along.”

Make the birthday boy or girl the team captain

Sports-themed parties are really popular. Whether your child is inspired by the U.S. Women’s National Team capturing the World Cup, a huge Cubs fan or an aspiring Bulls guard, kids want to run and play as they celebrate. The West Suburban Sports Complex in Lisle, which hosts more than 100 parties each year, says parents love that kids are worn out when the party is over. Baseball and basketball are their two most popular sports, according to manager Kelly Williams. 

Incorporate seasonal touches

Doughnuts are popular as treats and even as party themes for kids who really love them. Highlight the flavor of the season by offering apple cider doughnuts with cider.

Blansett-Cummins says that creating leaf animals is always a hit with her partygoers. For those born in chillier months, consider celebrating with a snow-themed party. Have a hot chocolate bar with parents acting as baristas. For a craft, make DIY snow globes.

Interactive gaming parties are big

Gaming parties are perennial favorites, but a recent trend of incorporating physical movement adds new levels of interaction and exertion. 

Stop hunting for a theme for bigger kids and go with an escape room

For tweens and teens, escape rooms are popular options. As an added bonus, kids are unplugged, using their brains and working together to beat the clock and earn their freedom. If you don’t want to handle transportation, Mobile Room Escape Chicago brings the challenge to you.


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This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of Chicago Parent. Read the rest of the issue.

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