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5 Fun and Easy Backyard Birthday Party Ideas for Kids

Kids drive-in movie night birthday party

Everyone wants to make birthdays memorable for children, especially in those all-important early years. And taking the joy to the backyard really expands the range of activities you can include for the gathering, thus making the event all the more of a resounding success. Thanks to ever-improving technology like advanced portable projectors, there’s a lot parents may consider doing for the kids’ backyard birthday party. That’s especially true during the summer, of course, or perhaps year-round if the weather where you live permits.

But what to do exactly when having an outdoor birthday party? Well, we have some ideas to enhance your campouts, pool party, and other outdoor slash backyard fun activities. Let’s take a closer look. 

Kids Drive-In Movie Night

The young ones love playing outdoors, and have an immediate attraction to big and bright screens. The passion kids hold for playing and watching movies makes this activity an instant favorite and pretty much a guaranteed success. It’s also very easy to arrange if you have a portable projector, and additional costs are low. All you need are cardboard boxes to stand in for cars (kids love sitting in cardboard boxes), paper plates for headlights, and maybe toy steering wheels if you can find those. There are ways to upscale the experience if you wish to invest more in it. As for the surface onto which you’ll project the movie, a wall or garage door will do just fine, and if you’re in the backyard those should be readily available. We’re not trying to assume that you have a portable projector or a projector in general. But portable projectors are really awesome for backyard birthdays and similar activities. They certainly beat trying to push your 75” TV from the living room to the backyard without breaking the poor thing.


For the movie night, you can go the whole nine yards and create the cineplex vibe for the children, many of whom may not know what a movie theater is, sadly. So you can have parents play the role of ushers, maybe print out tickets with stubs, and certainly have a little concession stand where kids get movie theater candy, drinks, and popcorn.

Camping Adventure

For this one, take into account the age of your target audience. Are your kids really young? Then the adventure should take up an afternoon. If you feel they’re mature and grown enough, then an all-nighter could be an option. Nothing gets kids excited like staying up all night to play.


The idea here is to create a campsite right next to your house. So, it’s time to build a bonfire and a couple of tents. Roast marshmallows, chat and get to know everyone, eat some hot dogs, sing songs, tell stories (particularly scary ones), or add excitement with a scavenger hunt around the backyard. This brings us back to geocaching quests, which we covered as a fun family activity a while back. You can do a similar thing but on a smaller, more intimate scale for the backyard birthday party. The scavenger hunt may be as simple or as tricky as you wish, up to your design. Portable projectors prove themselves again, as you can show treasure hunt maps or tips for finding the treasure on a large screen, adding to the experience. We’re pretty confident the event will go down a storm, resulting in everyone asking for “s’more”. 

Mud Run

Kids, running, and mud. A recipe for mischief and fun. Partly inspired by Warrior Dash mud runs, which sadly have been on pause since 2019, this option is excellent because it involves physical activity. Kids who are inclined towards sports will love this. Pro tip: you don’t need to be hardcore like an extreme sports TV show. Just build a basic obstacle course with anything handy. Tires, colorful traffic cones, boxes, small benches and tables, and so on. Also, you don’t really need mud, but if you can somehow turn your backyard a little muddy, that would sure get the kids in the spirit of things. Unleash the munchkins and see them run around with gleeful abandon. For extra challenge, you can place items for them to reach, like pinatas on the low branches of trees or on top of fences. But please do keep safety in mind first when doing that. 

Water Party

Don’t do this if your area is experiencing a drought or other kind of water shortage. If not, then what’s better than splashing and spraying cool water on each other on a hot summer day? For this activity, we don’t necessarily have a pool in mind, as that could be risky and involves a whole set of logistical arrangements. Rather, water balloons and water guns or just the garden hose will do the trick nicely. The “who gets totally drenched first” challenge has been a classic since the earliest days of humanity.

Couple this with a tropical theme and you have a winner. So, bring in fruity drinks and actual healthful fruits as snacks, and it’s a wrap. 

Artsy Birthday Party

Grab your berets, time to get artistic and haughty. Or not. Maybe just real messy, which is probably what the kids will prefer. How do you get them creative? There are as many ideas as there are children, we think. Decorate tote bags, make t-shirts, or draw specific things on craft paper. You can ask the kids to form groups or work on their own, whichever works best for you. If you have a large canvass to act as a focal platform for your birthday artwork, then that’s better. Kids love having more space to work on. Also, portable projectors pair very nicely with art activities as we’ve learned before. 

Better Than Just Cake!

We didn’t mention cake, come to think of it. Maybe we take the cake for granted. In any case, we hope you have a wonderful summer and wish everyone a happy birthday as applicable. We hope the five exciting activities we highlighted help you out, and don’t forget to consider a portable projector if you don’t have one already. They prove their worth in so many ways.


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