Fun Western Activities for a Kids' Party
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 8 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. His was 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
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 Duck tape
- Watercolor sets with brushes
Just prop the poles up, tie them together at the top with cord or tape, and wrap the material around the frame.
Fold the material back where it comes together to make an opening for the door.
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.
How to Make a Simple Tepee
We rotated the kids with the activities, so all of the kids were kept busy and not too many were doing one thing.
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.
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
- Each person steps into a burlap sack and holds it up with their hands.
- 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.
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
- 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.
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?
- 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)
- Cactus or boot lights
- Scene setters
- Crepe streamers
- Western Party Supplies
- Red bandannas
- Decorated birthday cake
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!
- Hot dogs (and trimmings)
- Baked beans
- Potato chips
- Root Beer, tea, water
- Birthday cake & ice cream
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
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