Simple Outdoor Birthday Party Ideas

Updated on April 14, 2018
Vicki Perry profile image

With a family as large as mine, we often host birthday parties for family members. Keeping it simple is often the best bet.

Pick a Spot to Have the Party

Choose an outdoor party venue that is suitable for the number of people you wish to invite.
Choose an outdoor party venue that is suitable for the number of people you wish to invite. | Source

Simple Party Planning

As you plan your party you need to choose a spot according to the number of guests. In my case, we were having a simple birthday party for my daughter. It would be myself, my three daughters, and a granddaughter. The picnic table in a local park was the perfect spot. The weather was warm and we were able to easily secure a table.

We kept my daughter in mind during the planning process. She loves to be outdoors and the park is located between all of our homes to give each of us approximately the same driving time and distance.

Large evergreen fir trees grow throughout the park, giving us the perfect balance of shade and sun to meet any need.

Keep the Party Decorations Simple and Affordable

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A semi-elegant party held outdoors does not have to be expensive.  Keep the cost down by using less costly materials that look as good as the more expensive ones.We chose pizza for our party.  Simple, something the birthday girl loves and easy to serve outdoors with very little cleanup.
A semi-elegant party held outdoors does not have to be expensive.  Keep the cost down by using less costly materials that look as good as the more expensive ones.
A semi-elegant party held outdoors does not have to be expensive. Keep the cost down by using less costly materials that look as good as the more expensive ones. | Source
We chose pizza for our party.  Simple, something the birthday girl loves and easy to serve outdoors with very little cleanup.
We chose pizza for our party. Simple, something the birthday girl loves and easy to serve outdoors with very little cleanup. | Source

Inexpensive Party Items are Plentiful

It is not difficult to locate inexpensive party decorations. The Dollar Store or Ross stores are plentiful in most states and can accommodate the semi-elegant party ideas you come up with.

Purchasing a table cloth was a must since we were holding our party outdoors on a picnic table. A cloth cover was purchased in this case so it could be used over and over. My daughter will carry this table cloth in her RV to be used time after time.

The champagne glasses are actually plastic with a touch of glitter in each one. The glasses were purchased at Ross, a discount store in the local area. Once again, the glasses will be kept in my daughter's RV to be used while camping and traveling.

Plates were chosen at the discount store as well. For this party white plates with gold trim were chosen. Plain, simple design that can be used for other parties in the future.

Candle holders were purchased at the Dollar Store. These too can be used in the future. The cloth napkins added a bit of fall color because of the September birthday we were hosting.

The flower arrangement was a gift to the guest of honor, so of course it was higher in cost. A floral arrangement was chosen to match the colors in the rest of the decor.

Serving pizza out of a box would have taken away from the overall semi-elegant appearance. A nice serving plate was purchased with the dinner plates to accommodate the pizza. We ordered the pizza from the local pizzeria. Pizza was chosen for the guest of honor since it is a favorite.

The centerpiece here was purchased as a gift, but outdoor items or simple arrangements can be made to suit the occasion. Stringing green leaves together in a long line can create a green background for lemons that are placed along the line of leaves on the table. The citrus fruit gives a touch of color for summer parties and are inexpensive.

A simple grouping of candles surrounded by plastic gourds and miniature pumpkins create a beautiful fall centerpiece. The discount stores are a great place to begin your search for a good party plan.

Christmas-Themed Centerpiece Idea

A silver tray, silver candle holders and groupings of pine cones spray painted silver makes a beautiful Christmas centerpiece.
A silver tray, silver candle holders and groupings of pine cones spray painted silver makes a beautiful Christmas centerpiece. | Source

Centerpieces for Seasonal Parties

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Place several pumpkins, either real or plastic inside a glass bowl and create a wonderful centerpiece for any fall wedding or party.Strips of burlap with glued on artificial leaves is a great background for acorns that are painted with colorful fingernail polish.  Burlap strands or ribbons make a wonderful bow on pumpkins.  Add a few candles and your centerpiece is simple yet beautiful.Add bling to white pumpkins, strands of leaves and a couple of lanterns to add light and color to any area of your party.Painted acorns, gourds and groupings of candles create light and an attractive centerpiece.Instead of a centerpiece, try laying a sheet of paper down on your table.  Leave pens and pencils lying along the table to give guests a place to write how thankful they are or to wish the guest of honor happy birthday.
Place several pumpkins, either real or plastic inside a glass bowl and create a wonderful centerpiece for any fall wedding or party.
Place several pumpkins, either real or plastic inside a glass bowl and create a wonderful centerpiece for any fall wedding or party. | Source
Strips of burlap with glued on artificial leaves is a great background for acorns that are painted with colorful fingernail polish.
Strips of burlap with glued on artificial leaves is a great background for acorns that are painted with colorful fingernail polish. | Source
Burlap strands or ribbons make a wonderful bow on pumpkins.  Add a few candles and your centerpiece is simple yet beautiful.
Burlap strands or ribbons make a wonderful bow on pumpkins. Add a few candles and your centerpiece is simple yet beautiful. | Source
Add bling to white pumpkins, strands of leaves and a couple of lanterns to add light and color to any area of your party.
Add bling to white pumpkins, strands of leaves and a couple of lanterns to add light and color to any area of your party. | Source
Painted acorns, gourds and groupings of candles create light and an attractive centerpiece.
Painted acorns, gourds and groupings of candles create light and an attractive centerpiece. | Source
Instead of a centerpiece, try laying a sheet of paper down on your table.  Leave pens and pencils lying along the table to give guests a place to write how thankful they are or to wish the guest of honor happy birthday.
Instead of a centerpiece, try laying a sheet of paper down on your table. Leave pens and pencils lying along the table to give guests a place to write how thankful they are or to wish the guest of honor happy birthday. | Source

Get Creative with Party Ideas

Parties do not have to be extravagant to ensure your guests have a great time. We have had many parties outdoors, kept them inexpensive and have had a wonderful time together. As a family, we have created many great memories together from the simplest of parties. Remember, it is not how beautiful you make the party, but how much fun you make the party that will give party goers the best experience.

Use your imagination. Nature provides some of the best party venues we can imagine! What season is it in your area? Plan your party around the season and your guests will be up for a good time.

Nature Can Supply the Best Party Rooms!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Heading to the mountains to enjoy the snow for a birthday party was one of our fondest memories.  Even during the winter, hosting parties outdoors can be beautiful and fun!Snowball fights kept guests entertained.Everyone had a blast playing with dogs, talking and eating.My daughter brought along snow paints for guests to show their creative side.  The snow paints were made from Kool-Aid and water.Hot dogs and sausage dogs, chips, hot cocoa, coffee and marshmallows fed everyone while leaving very little cleanup.A large boulder gave us a makeshift table top to hold condiments, chips and buns.Doughnuts were given to guests and to the birthday girl.  Bringing doughnuts instead of cake relieved us of having to bring along plates, forks and a knife to cut into the cake.Discs were used to slide down the hill.  Even the dogs had fun with this activity.  They could chase sledders and were able to run around.This party idea brought to you by my family.
Heading to the mountains to enjoy the snow for a birthday party was one of our fondest memories.  Even during the winter, hosting parties outdoors can be beautiful and fun!
Heading to the mountains to enjoy the snow for a birthday party was one of our fondest memories. Even during the winter, hosting parties outdoors can be beautiful and fun! | Source
Snowball fights kept guests entertained.
Snowball fights kept guests entertained. | Source
Everyone had a blast playing with dogs, talking and eating.
Everyone had a blast playing with dogs, talking and eating. | Source
My daughter brought along snow paints for guests to show their creative side.  The snow paints were made from Kool-Aid and water.
My daughter brought along snow paints for guests to show their creative side. The snow paints were made from Kool-Aid and water. | Source
Hot dogs and sausage dogs, chips, hot cocoa, coffee and marshmallows fed everyone while leaving very little cleanup.
Hot dogs and sausage dogs, chips, hot cocoa, coffee and marshmallows fed everyone while leaving very little cleanup. | Source
A large boulder gave us a makeshift table top to hold condiments, chips and buns.
A large boulder gave us a makeshift table top to hold condiments, chips and buns. | Source
Doughnuts were given to guests and to the birthday girl.  Bringing doughnuts instead of cake relieved us of having to bring along plates, forks and a knife to cut into the cake.
Doughnuts were given to guests and to the birthday girl. Bringing doughnuts instead of cake relieved us of having to bring along plates, forks and a knife to cut into the cake. | Source
Discs were used to slide down the hill.  Even the dogs had fun with this activity.  They could chase sledders and were able to run around.
Discs were used to slide down the hill. Even the dogs had fun with this activity. They could chase sledders and were able to run around. | Source
This party idea brought to you by my family.
This party idea brought to you by my family. | Source

Keep Food Choices Easy and Simple

Our family has always kept our guests well fed while keeping it simple. Gatherings should involve everyone in fun conversation and activities rather than making the food the big event.

Hosts can feed people according to the party theme. For instance, the outdoor party in the snow revolved around cooking hot dogs and marshmallows in the fire pit. We supplied hot chocolate and coffee and doughnuts for dessert. The guests had a blast using hot dog forks to cook their food like they do when camping. We had plenty of good food to eat even though it was simple.

Pizza and cheesecake for the party in the park tasted wonderful and left us with little cleanup detail. Even though it was simple, it fit the occasion and the theme.

Party food can consist of easy appetizers or can be as extravagant as cooking a turkey and slicing it up to make sandwiches to make a great meal even while outdoors. Roasting a ham or roast beef can be used in place of turkey and can make many sandwiches to feed a group of hungry guests.

Cut up veggies to go with your sandwiches or serve on a platter with ranch dressing or hummus to keep things healthy or to accommodate vegetarians in the group. Get creative with food to make items to go along with a theme.

Movie-Themed Party for Teens

Click thumbnail to view full-size
After a limo ride, my granddaughter was brought to the house for a movie-themed birthday party for her 13th birthday.A projector was set up in the backyard, along with many chairs for movie viewing.Simple chalk boards were set up around the yard and food table.The "concession stand" was ready to go with Red Vines, popcorn, soda, candy bars and more.The popcorn machine was perfect for the theme.Inexpensive popcorn boxes added to the movie theater theme. The chalk boards were purchased in a few of the local stores.Cupcakes were topped with marshmallows and heated with the blow torch to give it a popcorn appearance.Plenty of junk food for a large group of teenage girls, grilled burgers and soda, chips and a limo ride on top of a night of movies left us with memories we will have forever.
After a limo ride, my granddaughter was brought to the house for a movie-themed birthday party for her 13th birthday.
After a limo ride, my granddaughter was brought to the house for a movie-themed birthday party for her 13th birthday. | Source
A projector was set up in the backyard, along with many chairs for movie viewing.
A projector was set up in the backyard, along with many chairs for movie viewing. | Source
Simple chalk boards were set up around the yard and food table.
Simple chalk boards were set up around the yard and food table. | Source
The "concession stand" was ready to go with Red Vines, popcorn, soda, candy bars and more.
The "concession stand" was ready to go with Red Vines, popcorn, soda, candy bars and more. | Source
The popcorn machine was perfect for the theme.
The popcorn machine was perfect for the theme. | Source
Inexpensive popcorn boxes added to the movie theater theme.
Inexpensive popcorn boxes added to the movie theater theme. | Source
The chalk boards were purchased in a few of the local stores.
The chalk boards were purchased in a few of the local stores. | Source
Cupcakes were topped with marshmallows and heated with the blow torch to give it a popcorn appearance.
Cupcakes were topped with marshmallows and heated with the blow torch to give it a popcorn appearance. | Source
Plenty of junk food for a large group of teenage girls, grilled burgers and soda, chips and a limo ride on top of a night of movies left us with memories we will have forever.
Plenty of junk food for a large group of teenage girls, grilled burgers and soda, chips and a limo ride on top of a night of movies left us with memories we will have forever. | Source

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    © 2018 Vicki Perry

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