Fun Western Activities for a Kids' Party

Updated on September 13, 2019
Faye Rutledge profile image

Faye has lots of experience planning all types of parties for her children and grandchildren. She worked as a cake decorator for 24 years.

Ideas for a Western Party

Need ideas for a Western theme party? Over the years, I have planned several of these and will share my ideas with you in this article. The Western theme is perfect for an outdoor birthday party, hay ride, harvest celebration, Halloween, or for just a fun get-together with friends.

My grandson, Scottie, had a Western party when he turned eight years old. The kids, and adults alike, had a great time! In this article, I'll show you the ideas we used for his party, including three activities, food, and birthday cake, plus a few decorating suggestions. Scottie had an outside party, but almost everything could be adapted for inside as well.

Western Party Activity Ideas

1. Tepee Painting

2. Panning for Gold

3. Sack Races

The kids had lots of fun painting the tepee!
The kids had lots of fun painting the tepee!

1. Tepee Painting

The kids' favorite activity was tepee painting. This is when they paint their own Native American design on a simple homemade tepee. As you can see in the photo, the kids really got into this! They also loved playing inside the tepee. You will only need a small child-size tepee, so it will be fairly easy to put together.

Tips for Making Your Tepee:

  • We used bamboo for the poles, but you could use dowels, or long, straight sticks from the woods. You can usually find bamboo and dowels at a craft store.
  • For the outside, use a heavy cloth or canvas material. Remember, it needs to be smooth enough for the kids to paint on. This tepee doesn't need to be waterproof or professional.
  • My grandchildren have made many tepees since then by using long sticks from the woods and an old sheet or blanket.

You Will Need:

  • Heavy, smooth cloth or canvas
  • Bamboo poles, dowels, or straight sticks
  • Rawhide, heavy cord, or duct tape
  • Watercolor sets with brushes


  1. Just prop the poles up, tie them together at the top with cord or tape, and wrap the material around the frame.

  2. Fold the material back where it comes together to make an opening for the door.

Alternative Idea:

For an indoor party, make some small tepees ahed of time using popsicle or craft sticks, twine, and cloth (or have kids make their own). They can paint their own tepee while sitting at a table. Then they can take them home as party favors.

The kids loved having a Pow Wow inside the tepee.
The kids loved having a Pow Wow inside the tepee.

How to Make a Simple Tepee

Party Tip!

We rotated the kids with the activities, so all of the kids were kept busy and not too many were doing one thing.

Panning for gold in the Old West!
Panning for gold in the Old West!

2. Panning for Gold

Another Western party activity we included was panning for gold. This simply involves adding treasures to a sandbox and having the kids use toy sifters to find them. We put new sand in the kid's sandbox and hid lots of "gold." We made fake gold nuggets by painting small rocks with gold spray paint. We also included other interesting small stones. We provided several sand sifters, pails, and shovels for the kids to "pan for gold." Since there were quite a few kids, they took turns panning. This is an outdoor activity.

What You'll Need:

  • Sand box filled with sand
  • Sand sifters
  • Plastic pails & shovels
  • Fake gold nuggets (small rocks painted gold)
  • Other small stones

Note: This activity could also be done in a small kids' swimming pool.

A sack race is a fun game for a Western party!
A sack race is a fun game for a Western party!

3. Sack Races

A sack race is a fun activity for any outside party, but especially for a Western-themed one. The rules are simple and almost any age can participate. Any number of people can join the race, but you'll need at least two.

You Will Need:

  • Burlap sacks (kid size)
  • Tape or ribbon for the finish line


  1. Each person steps into a burlap sack and holds it up with their hands.
  2. Someone starts the race. The first one to hop to the finish line wins!

This activity would be best to do outside, but it can be done inside, if you have a room that is large enough.

Party Tip!

Be sure to purchase kid-size burlap sacks or both kid and adult sizes if adults will also be participating.

A Few More Activity Suggestions

A few more Western-theme activity suggestions would be:

  • Pony rides
  • Horseshoes
  • Stick horse races
  • Pin the tail on the donkey
  • Square dancing

How to Make Invitations

You're Invited to a Boot Scootin' Western Party!

On the party invitations, we suggested that everyone come dressed in Western clothes. Some suggestions were cowboy, cowgirl, or Native American. Most of the kids wore costumes, and the adults wore denim or Western shirts, jeans, and cowboy hats, if they owned one.

Party Tip!

We had red paisley bandannas on hand for anyone who didn't have anything Western. Some of the guests wore the bandannas tied around their neck, but others chose to be a bandit. Every Western party needs a bandit, right?

Decorating Ideas

  • For an outside party, decorate with hay bales and lanterns for a fun Western scene.
  • Other ideas include banners, garlands, signs, and scene setters. You can go as simple or as extravagant as you want.
  • Balloons and crepe streamers always make festive decorations.
  • A Western design for your party tableware can be a decoration in itself. Red bandannas can be used as decorations, napkins, or favors.
  • The birthday cake can be a decoration for your table. Any party supply store and most discount stores will have plenty of Western party supplies.

Choose Any of These Decorations:

  • Hay Bales (real or fake)
  • Lanterns
  • Cactus or boot lights
  • Garlands
  • Banners
  • Scene setters
  • Crepe streamers
  • Balloons
  • Western Party Supplies
  • Red bandannas
  • Decorated birthday cake

Use your birthday cake displayed on a red bandanna for a decoration.
Use your birthday cake displayed on a red bandanna for a decoration.

Cowboy Grub: Menu Suggestions

For the party, choose simple foods that relate to the Western theme. We decided a cook-out would be a good idea. We used an outdoor grill, but a fire pit would be even better. We served hot dogs with all the trimmings, plus potato chips, tortilla chips and salsa, baked beans, and slaw. Chili beans would also be a great idea for a Western theme party. You could call it Chuck Wagon Chili!

We served tea, root beer, and other soft drinks for beverages.

Birthday cake and ice cream were for dessert! And, of course, we made s'mores to finish it off!

Sample Menu:

  • Hot dogs (and trimmings)
  • Baked beans
  • Slaw
  • Potato chips
  • Root Beer, tea, water
  • Birthday cake & ice cream
  • S'mores

I made a Western birthday cake by laminating a picture of Roy Rogers and Trigger that I found on the internet. After laying it on the cake, I bordered it with icing.
I made a Western birthday cake by laminating a picture of Roy Rogers and Trigger that I found on the internet. After laying it on the cake, I bordered it with icing.

Western Birthday Cake Idea

I love the Western birthday cake below. It includes a tepee, a cowboy, and Indians. The video shows how to make and decorate the tepee using cake layers and buttercream icing. Just add the figures of your choice. It's easy and inexpensive!

End Your Western Party With S'mores!

Make them over a campfire, fire pit, or grill. Yum!

How to Make S'mores

Have Fun!

This article has ideas for three Western-themed party activities: tepee painting, panning for gold, and sack races. There are also ideas for decorating, party food, and birthday cake. I hope these suggestions will help you have a fun Western party! Our party was held outside, but you could adapt most of these ideas to use for an indoor party.

Questions & Answers

    © 2010 Faye Rutledge


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      • Richard1988 profile image


        5 years ago from Hampshire - England

        These are all really cool ideas! I'd have loved this when I was little :)

      • Gypzeerose profile image

        Rose Jones 

        6 years ago

        Love this wonderful, wholesome lens. Pinned to my party board and linked as related to my own lens: Great job!

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        Nice lens. Really good ideas.

      • CoolFool83 profile image


        6 years ago

        These are some awesome ideas. I love western theme parties. Way too cool.

      • Faye Rutledge profile imageAUTHOR

        Faye Rutledge 

        7 years ago from Concord VA

        @Elsie Hagley: kiwinana71, Thanks so much for your visit, comment, and blessing. :)

      • Faye Rutledge profile imageAUTHOR

        Faye Rutledge 

        7 years ago from Concord VA

        @KimGiancaterino: Thanks Kim. I love a western party...there are so many fun things you can do. Thanks for your visit, comment, and blessing. :)

      • KimGiancaterino profile image


        7 years ago

        I grew up in a cowboy town, and love western themed parties. Great ideas, as usual!

      • Elsie Hagley profile image

        Elsie Hagley 

        7 years ago from New Zealand

        Nice lens, great ideas. Thanks for sharing. Blessed.

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        Awesome lens, great job!

      • mueedahmad profile image


        7 years ago

        Thanks for sharing excellent ideas.

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        Also, congratulations on your purple star!

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        I love all the smiles inside the the Tipi and you have western themed fun for everyone here for sure, a summer that will never be forgotten!

      • sukkran trichy profile image

        sukkran trichy 

        7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

        great kids party ideas here. love that funny sack race picture.

      • iijuan12 profile image


        7 years ago from Florida

        What fun ideas! We did a Western themed party when my oldest son turned 5. Everyone had a blast. I love the idea of the tepee!

      • Faye Rutledge profile imageAUTHOR

        Faye Rutledge 

        7 years ago from Concord VA

        @LaraineRoses: Yes, a western party is good for any age child or adults. Everyone had a lot of fun with the tepee painting.

      • Faye Rutledge profile imageAUTHOR

        Faye Rutledge 

        7 years ago from Concord VA

        @norma-holt: Thanks so much for your visit, comment, and blessing!!

      • Faye Rutledge profile imageAUTHOR

        Faye Rutledge 

        7 years ago from Concord VA

        @anonymous: I'm glad you found these party ideas helpful, yeguamom

      • Faye Rutledge profile imageAUTHOR

        Faye Rutledge 

        7 years ago from Concord VA

        @iijuan12: Western parites are so much fun any time of the year! Thanks so much for your visit, comment, and blessing!!

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        Thanks. i thought it would be easy but i had forgotten about a lot of these ideas, thanks for the refresher a wide variety of fun for all ages,,

      • norma-holt profile image


        7 years ago

        Great ideas here and nicely presented with some interesting pics. Blessed, hugs

      • LaraineRoses profile image

        Laraine Sims 

        8 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

        Some great ideas for a kids party .. actually for older children also. I liked the tepee idea.

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        Nice Squidoo. I really enjoy reading what you wrote about. Chris

      • Sylvestermouse profile image

        Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

        8 years ago from United States

        I love this idea! I laughed over the phrase "boot scootin." I wondered if we were about to boogie. lol I think your pictured bandit should hire out. You know, like a clown. Every good western party needs a trustworthy bandit!

      • charder profile image


        9 years ago

        Good compilation here, enjoyed it. Check out my lenses if ya have time for some costume party ideas.

      • profile image


        9 years ago

        Great ideas. Congratulations.

      • Janet2221 profile image


        9 years ago

        Love the Tepee painting! How creative! Thanks for adding this to the Kid's Birthday Party Club. :)

      • VSP profile image


        9 years ago

        Very cute, I love theme parties. Congrats on the purple star.

      • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


        9 years ago

        Congratulations on the Purple Star.

      • SusanDeppner profile image

        Susan Deppner 

        9 years ago from Arkansas USA

        Oh, how fun! We never had a western party theme, but my boys would have loved it! Great ideas. Love your cute pictures, too! Congratulations on your purple star!

      • bechand profile image


        9 years ago

        AWESOME - I love parties with great themes and well planned out - thanks for sharing !!!

      • capriliz lm profile image

        capriliz lm 

        9 years ago

        So much fun! My grandson would have a great time with the activities like paint a tepee and pan for gold! Congrats on your purple star - well deserved!

      • Faye Rutledge profile imageAUTHOR

        Faye Rutledge 

        9 years ago from Concord VA

        @Lady Gotrocks: Thanks for the blessing, Lady_Gotrocks! :)

      • KarenHC profile image


        9 years ago from U.S.

        What a fun idea for a party! I'll have to wait for grandkids though, to throw a party like this. Congratulations on your purple star! Great lens!

      • Lady Gotrocks profile image

        Lady Gotrocks 

        9 years ago

        Cute Lens! Blessed

      • aka-rms profile image

        Robin S 

        9 years ago from USA

        What a fun party idea!


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