Every parent hopes their child’s birthday is as fun and as memorable as possible. But if you’re throwing a party in the cooler months or can’t be outdoors for one reason or another, you may be wondering how you’ll manage to keep a group of kids engaged and entertained while indoors.
Don’t worry! We’ve rounded up 16 ideas you can use for your kid’s next indoor birthday party, from classic games and themes to some out-of-the-box ideas.
Indoor Birthday Activity Ideas You Can Do at Home
1. Kids’ Painting Party
If your child loves to get creative, a paint party could be perfect. Beyond being fun, painting is great for kids, building their self-confidence and supporting their emotional well-being. Some supplies you’ll need for a kids’ painting party include a canvas, easel, acrylic paints, brushes, aprons, and painting instructions.
It’s easier than ever to throw a kids’ painting party with Painting to Gogh. We provide everything you need: safe, nontoxic art supplies delivered to your doorstep, as well as an easy-to-follow video tutorial to keep your partygoers on track and inspired. All you need to do is let the birthday girl or boy choose their favorite piece of art from our kid-friendly painting options, like Starry Night.
Of course, you can set the kids up with their mini work stations and let them do their thing. Or, you can paint with them! Painting is a nice stress-reliever for parents and caretakers too.
2. Hula Hoop Competition
Looking for an activity that taps into your kid’s energy? A hula hooping contest is a good place to start. Kids will compete to see who can keep their hula hoop moving the longest, and they’re out if their hoop touches the ground. The last kid hooping is the winner.
This is an ideal game if you have a good amount of space and can be fun for a small- to medium-sized group of kids. Keep the age group in mind, as a group of 4-year-olds may not be as interested in (or skilled at) hula hooping as a group of 11-year-olds may be.
Have a group of kids who are hula hooping pros? You can make the game more challenging by calling out instructions every couple minutes, such as, “Stand on one foot” or “Hop!” You can also hold multiple rounds with challenging twists to make the game longer and create more winners.
The only gear you’ll need for this game is a set of hula hoops, which can be purchased inexpensively online or in stores. You can also have music going during the competition to make it exciting and help kids keep their rhythm.
3. Candy Olympics
Looking for an indoor birthday party activity that provides tons of entertainment and sweet prizes? Consider hosting a Candy Olympics. This is a unique party game and perfect for your little sports-lovers or candy fanatics (bonus points if it takes place during the actual Summer or Winter Olympic Games).
The Candy Olympics are often made up of three candy-themed games. Station ideas include:
- Bobbing for marshmallows: See who can grab the most marshmallows out of a bowl with only their mouths. (Set up individual bowls to keep games safe and hygienic.)
- Smarties chopstick challenge: See who can pick up the most Smarties and place them in a bowl or bucket across the room — using chopsticks!
- Licorice relay race: Using licorice as a baton, set up a relay race. This could be long or short, depending on the size of your indoor space.
For a “closing ceremony,” consider bringing in a piñata. Then, kids can create their own goodie bags from the candy they pick up.
This activity keeps kids engaged because they’re doing several different tasks, each not taking too long, and there’s candy — what kid doesn’t love candy? For parents, the activity does require some oversight, but setup and cleanup are minimal.
Materials needed for this event include candy, bowls, chopsticks, and winner’s medals.
4. Hot Lava Monster
Have a large living room area or finished basement? Hot lava monster is a fun indoor birthday party game that puts this space to good use.
For this game, you take pillows or pieces of scrap fabric and arrange them around the room. Players have to jump from space to space without touching the floor, or the “lava.”
One child will be the “Hot Lava Monster,” moving around on the floor and trying to catch players and tag them. You can set up obstacles using household items to make it hard for the monster to get to players. Also, some safe spots can be bigger than others to allow more players to wait there.
If someone gets tagged, or they step or fall into the lava, they’re out! The last person who remains wins the game and becomes the monster. This is a perfect game for kids to do on their own, and is also a great way to expel some energy.
5. Spa Day
If you have a group that’s into all things spa, like manicures, pedicures, bath bombs, and face masks, look no further than a spa day-themed birthday party. You can customize the activities of the day based on your individual child’s interests and the ages of the guests. Some ideas include:
- Manicure and pedicure stations with nail polishes, nail files, and cute toe separators
- Facial station with face masks, headbands, and slices of cucumbers for guests’ eyes
- DIY bath bomb and lotion creation station (which also act as party favors)
- Foot soak station with epsom salt, warm towels, and foot masks
Kids will have a blast moving between the different stations and feeling a little like grown-ups for a day. Parents can also get involved in the fun. As the host of the party, you could invite a few of the other parents to chaperone and/or wear comfy clothes and put on face masks along with the kids.
Materials will vary for a spa day depending on which activities you choose to include. In addition to materials for the spa “services,” you can decorate with flameless candles, create a relaxing lounge area, play kid-friendly spa music, set out spa-themed snacks and drinks, and offer some dress-up options like fluffy robes and slippers for each guest (or encourage kids to bring their own).
6. Supervised Food Fight
Does your child dream about having a food fight like the scene in their favorite movie? Will you be hosting some “rough and tumble” kids who love getting their hands dirty? A supervised food fight could be the perfect birthday party.
In order to ensure a safe, minimally destructive food fight with easy cleanup, you’ll want to prepare an indoor space with wall and floor coverings, while removing any furniture items. Have party guests dress in clothes they don’t mind getting dirty, or provide disposable ponchos and gloves for everyone.
You’ll need to set some ground rules, like only throwing from a certain distance, throwing softly, and stopping immediately if someone says “Stop.” For these reasons, this party idea is best for older kids.
For the actual food fight, provide foods that won’t hurt very much. Think soft or liquid things like ice cream, mashed potatoes, marshmallows, or juice. Be sure to ask about food allergies as well.
Give each kid a set amount of food, play some music, and let them go wild! A food fight doesn’t necessarily need to have a “winner.” But if you’re with a group of kids who want to make the game competitive, you can say that the person with the least food on them when the music stops wins.
7. Music and Listening Birthday Games (Freeze Dance, Simon Says, and Musical Chairs)
Kids party games involving music and listening can be great for all ages, and can be done in pretty much any environment. Some indoor games you can incorporate into your kid’s indoor birthday party include:
- Freeze dance: Play music and have the kids dance around. When the music stops, they have to freeze in place. Whoever moves is out, and the last person standing after several rounds is the winner.
- Simon Says: A game of Simon Says can be perfect for any age group. If the kids are old enough, encourage them to take turns playing the role of Simon.
- Musical chairs: Go with a classic game of musical chairs. This is a great way to incorporate music that the birthday girl or birthday boy loves.
Music and listening games are very simple to execute, are familiar to most kids, and let everyone participate at once. They can also be modified for a mixed-age group or different skill levels.
8. Stomp the Balloons
For a group of older kids — who won’t be scared of the sound of popping balloons — Stomp the Balloons can be an exciting indoor party game.
Here’s how it works:
- Blow up a large amount of balloons and scatter them across the floor.
- Give each kid a small paper bag, play music, and let the kids go to town popping the balloons with their feet.
- For each balloon a kid pops, have them pick up the popped balloon and put it in their paper bag.
- When all the balloons are popped, have the kids empty their bags and count up how many they each popped. The one with the most balloons popped is the winner!
This game is great because it doesn’t require a lot of supplies or much clean-up, as the kids do the “cleaning” as they go. All you need are balloons and some music.
(If there are some kids who want to play but don’t like the loud popping noises, you can give them some earplugs or headphones to dull the sounds.)
9. Indoor Photo Booth
An indoor photo booth lets kids capture wonderful memories. You can set up a photo area by using a backdrop (tying into the birthday party theme) and including some accessories to take photos with.
For the camera, you can either have a camera set up on a tripod, or have a parent or chaperone act as the photographer. Kiddos will be especially excited if you have an instant film camera like a Polaroid, where they can see their pictures immediately.
After all the photos are taken, you can give them to kids to take home as a party favor. Even if you don’t have a Polaroid, you can create printables from your phone or computer before the end of the party.
Materials needed for an indoor photo booth include the decorations and props for taking pictures, as well as a camera and picture paper.
10. Baking Party
If your kid is a baker in the making (or just loves sweet treats), a baking bash is a fantastic choice. You can go in so many directions with a baking party depending on the age group.
If you’re hosting a younger group or kids, or want an activity kids can do with minimal direction, have them focus on decorating. For example, you can bake cupcakes or buy them, then simply lay out all the decorations (sprinkles, frosting, toppers, etc) for your partygoers.
Hosting an older group of kids? Then, have your child choose a recipe, provide the ingredients, and supervise as they follow instructions to make their treat.
Kids and adults alike will enjoy a baking party, as there is always a tasty dessert at the end of the party to enjoy together. Make it even more fun by baking treats that match your party theme, like Halloween, Disney princess party, or LEGO.
Materials needed for a baking party vary greatly, and depend on what you’re making, so be sure to double-check the recipes beforehand. Other items you could have for the party include aprons and chef’s hats.
Indoor Birthday Ideas That Get Kids Out of the House
11. Escape Room
Want to provide a unique indoor game experience for your kid’s special day? Take your party to an escape room. Escape rooms can be found in just about every city these days, and come in a variety of themes and difficulty levels, making them a great option for most age groups.
An escape room party can be ideal for both kids and parents. For kids, they are in a totally different environment that piques their curiosity and gets them thinking and working together. For parents, you don’t have to worry about providing entertainment. In many cases, you can simply wait outside while solve each challenge.
12. Day at the Trampoline Park
Have a group of adventurous, energetic kids? A day at the indoor trampoline park could be just the thing! Similar to escape rooms, trampoline parks have become increasingly popular in recent years, and many have separate rooms to rent for parties.
Kids will absolutely love a trampoline park, where they can run and jump freely while parents monitor from afar. Some of these play places also have ropes, ball pits, arcades, and more. Have the kids wind down and then do cake and birthday presents at the end of play time.
13. Bowling Party
Bowling parties have been around for decades but they never disappoint. It’s a fun, flexible option whether you have a small or large group because you can rent out as many lanes as you need. You can rent a separate party room where parents can hang out and kids can congregate for pizza, cake, and gifts later.
Some bowling alleys will even take special requests with music or lighting (like glow-in-the-dark lights) and give birthday shoutouts to make the day even more memorable.
14. Indoor Pool or Waterpark Visit
If an outdoor party is not an option but your kid still wants to get in the water, look no further than an indoor pool or waterpark party.
There are a few ways to go about this. In some areas, you can rent a local indoor pool for an afternoon of fun in the water and follow it with a trip to a local pizza shop. Another route, if you’d prefer an all-in-one option, is to host the party at a waterpark. Most waterparks have private rooms and plenty of food vendors to choose from. Kids will love the opportunity to swim around any time of year (especially in winter).
15. Indoor Soccer Game
If you have a group of sports fans on your hands, think about taking them to an indoor soccer game. Most cities have soccer teams that play indoors in the colder months. Look up soccer teams in your area and schedule your child’s party around an exciting match-up. Some indoor soccer stadiums may even have restaurants or party rooms to utilize for after-game fun.
16. Movie Theater Party
A tried and true option for an indoor birthday party is heading over to the movie theater. Odds are there’s a new movie your child is interested in or a theater nearby playing one of their favorites. Plus, there are plenty of ways to enhance this party idea. You can have kids dress up as characters in the movie, go to a theater that serves food during the movie, do a double-feature, and more. After the movie, you can keep the party going in a private room or at your child’s favorite restaurant.
Celebrate Your Child’s Next Birthday Party With Painting to Gogh
Party planning for your indoor celebration is a snap with Painting to Gogh. Simply choose from our kids’ paintings and then art supplies for all your guests will arrive on your doorstep. We’ll email you a link to the online video tutorial, which will walk kids through painting their masterpiece step by step. Just hit play, and pause and rewind whenever you need.
Ready to put your party together? Browse our kid-friendly painting kits now.
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