A hot air balloon birthday party is a fun and popular theme for a child’s birthday party, especially those in spring or summertime. Hot air balloons bring to mind lightness, color, playfulness and most of all, voyage and adventure. What better way to celebrate life’s journey than with a theme that is so perfectly adorable and completely versatile. The theme can work for nearly any party, from a baby shower to a first birthday to a tween’s party. A hot air balloon party doesn’t necessarily only have to be for a child’s birthday. Going a step further and adding steampunk or vintage nuances can make an impressive look for an adult birthday party or even a bridal shower or wedding.
For this post, we take flight with a child’s hot air balloon birthday theme. Parents often struggle with a theme for a kid’s birthday party and want to make it an event that is distinctive and unforgettable. A hot air balloon birthday party makes it effortless to convey the concept of how love lifts you up with happiness and there is always celebration in a child’s special day. Get ready to go up, up and away on a birthday adventure.
LET’S TAKE OFF!
With a bit of imagination and ingenuity, a hot air balloon birthday party can blow away family and friends, yet avoid a sky-high budget. Fortunately, the party can almost organize itself once the theme is decided. Your invitations will obviously set the tone of the party. The designers at Party Simplicity have come up with an array of gorgeous hot air balloon themed invitations that can suit any style. From whimsical to illustrative, from simple to complex, you’re sure to find one that speaks to you.
Party decorations are where the adventure begins to fly. The theme can be represented in so many ways that it’s only a budget that keeps it in check. Much of it can be DIY so, really, the sky’s the limit.
- Use helium balloons or paper lanterns and attach small baskets underneath to hang from the ceiling or trees (if it’s an outdoor celebration). Alternatively use these as centerpieces on tables to hold flowers, favors or even tableware such as paper napkins or cutlery. If you’re not up for the DIY thing, opt for ready-made hot air balloon paper lanterns or centerpieces.
- Use an array of cotton balls to create clouds to hang around the party area.
- A small assortment of items such as toy propeller planes or paper maché or origami hanging birds can enhance the theme
- Helium (or even non-helium balloons) by the dozen are always a big hit at any child’s birthday party since every parent knows how children play with balloons endlessly. They are an inexpensive decorative addition as well a great activity/game. Just take into account the ages of the children as many babies and toddlers will bite or put popped balloons in their mouths.
- If a budget allows, renting vintage props such as old steamer trunks, antique suitcases, antique maps or globes, and compasses helps the theme of the party go the extra mile.
- Kids love piñatas and rather than going with a premade hot air balloon piñata, it’s fairly easy to do-it-yourself. UCreate Crafts has a great tutorial on making a whimsical hot air balloon piñata.
- Party bunting always adds to the fun, especially when it’s a FREEBIE! Don’t miss the chance to download this gorgeous free party bunting printable made by our lovely and talented contributor Noted Occasions
- Speaking of freebies, we offer not one, but TWO FREE PRINTABLES related to a hot air balloon birthday theme. This cupcake wrapper printable comes courtesy of Star Stream Design (yours truly). We’d love to see how you use any of these freebies, so if you use them, send us your photos!
The food you serve at a party is always a matter of taste, but the hot air balloon theme can really take off when it comes to dessert! A hot air balloon themed cake is an amazing way to top off a party. Unless you are particularly creative in the baking arts, a custom hot air balloon cake can get pricey. Other options would be cupcakes with cupcake toppers inserted in them, fondant balloon decorations, printed hot air balloon edible images, individual hot air balloon cake pops or decorated cookies. If it is to be a larger gathering, a dessert buffet is absolutely gorgeous and you can incorporate a hot air balloon cake. Expand on the idea with other themed sweets such as meringue or marshmallow-based treats to represent clouds.
Setting up games and activities really depends on the ages of the children and other guests in attendance. For the younger set, put a twist on “Pin the Tail on The Donkey” by making it a “Pin the Basket under the Hot Air Balloon” or streamers to the very top of the balloon.
BACK TO EARTH
Kids and other guests can’t go off without a goody bag. Punch balloons are great fun as favors and keep in line with the theme. Extend the theme even more with favor stickers that thank the guest for coming. Most kids love stickers so hand out hot air balloon themed sticker sheets to each guest to take home.
Childhood goes by in a flash, so make sure their birthday parties are something special. Before they grow up and go up, up and away, get set for adventure and celebrate.
Thank you to the following websites and blogs for their photographs:
Ilene Sternbach Aldridge is the designer and owner of Star Stream Design, an independent design firm specializing in paper goods, gifts and apparel for any occasion. From weddings to graduations to holiday parties to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, we pride ourselves in the wide variety of styles and occasions for which we design. Through a number of Print-on-Demand sites and Etsy, most of our products are customizable in some way. It's smart design, customized by you.