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Unique First Birthday Party Themes. 100 Creative Ideas to Celebrate Your 1 Year Old!

Unique First Birthday Party Themes. 100 Creative Ideas to Celebrate Your 1 Year Old!

Looking for unique ideas for baby’s first birthday party? We’ve pulled together a massive list of original 1st birthday themes for both girls and boys. Happy celebrating!

Can you even believe that your baby is almost ONE?!

Getting to the 1-year mark is a momentous occasion, and definitely one to be celebrated – not only to shine a light on your sweet babe for hitting a new milestone, but for YOU for surviving that first year!

Throwing a fun 1st birthday party for your little girl or boy is a wonderful way to celebrate with friends and family, and although they won’t remember it…you sure will!

Choosing the theme for baby’s first birthday party can be a hard decision, especially if you don’t want to go with the more traditional ideas of princesses and trucks.

Luckily, that’s where we come in.

We’ve rounded up some of the most unique and creative ideas for a 1st birthday party, with themes that are baby-friendly, but also fun for grown-up guests. These party ideas include themes with a play-on-words of “one” and “first”, plus more unique ways to celebrate for both girls and boys. And we’ve included lots of inspiration images to give you ideas for food, cake, venue, supplies and more!

So whether you want to host a backyard bash, or will be stuck inside in the winter, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect 1st birthday party theme for your big 1-year old!

And remember, take lots of photos and videos – because they won’t remember the big day when they’re older, they can still have memories of it.

PIN for when you’re ready to choose your baby’s first birthday party theme:

First Birthday Party Theme Ideas for boys and girls
Play on Words

1st Birthday Party Themes using “One” or “First”

These clever themes are some of our favorites for a first birthday party because they use a cute play-on-words with “one” or “first”. I mean, you only turn one once, so why not make it the star of the show!

First Bee-Day Party / Fun to BEE One

This rustic Honey Bee theme will get everyone buzzing! Incorporate lots of honey comb, bee and hive motifs, plus plenty of sweet treats.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas 1 & 2, Inspired by This, Fashion & My Fellows, Blushing Drops (Etsy), Kudzu Monster (Etsy)

Winter ONE-derland

Having a celebration in the dead of winter? Embrace it with a Winter ONEderland 1st birthday party, with lots of muted blues or pinks paired with pretty metallics. Create a hot cocoa bar to keep all your guests warm and toasty.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas, Pretty My Party, Mia St. Clair, Kay Buell

ONE-ce upon a time

Turn your space into a real life Fairy Tale with enchanted details from your favorite storybook. A fresh take on a princess party!

Photo sources and inspiration links: A Touch of Pink, Hostess with the Mostess

Alice in ONE-derland

Inspired by the childhood classic, Alice in Wonderland, invite your guests to fall down the rabbit hole into a fantastical tea party full of magical details.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas, Catch My Party

One Sweet Peach

Is your little one’s birthday during peach season? This first birthday party theme centers around the sweet fruit, and can include rustic details like peach baskets, pies and jam.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Whiskey & Lace, Kara’s Party Ideas 1 & 2

It’s a ONE-derful World

Playing off of Louis Armstrong’s beautiful song, “It’s a Wonderful World”, plan a travel themed first birthday bash, full of globes, maps and passports. This theme is an especially good fit for those globe-trotting families brave enough to have traveled with their little one over the course of their first year!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Project Nursery, Amazing Parties & Events

one in a melon

This sweet theme will show your baby they’re “one in a million”, with a fun watermelon twist! Perfect for a summer outdoor bash with juicy treats and bright pops of color. And the photo opp of the birthday boy or girl eating a huge slice of watermelon is just too good to pass up!

Photo sources and inspiration links: The Samantha Show, Kara’s Party Ideas, Soiree Love

ONE-der Woman

Girls can be superheroes too! Show your daughter she can rule the world with this Wonder Woman themed celebration. Use lots of gold, blue and red, and don’t forget to dress up mom too…she’s the original Wonder Woman after all!

Photo source: Legally Crafty

Peter Pan in One-derland

Forget Neverland, take Peter Pan and Tinkerbell straight to One-derland! Tie-in Captain Hook, crocodiles and treasure for an epic party adventure.

Photo source: Kara’s Party Ideas

Fairest ONE of all

This modern take on a Snow White theme centers around the famous line “Who’s the fairest one of all”? The answer: your birthday girl!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Catch My Party, Project Nursery, Kara’s Party Ideas

Wild ONE

This super versatile theme can revolve around the classic children’s story, “Where the Wild Things Are”, or simply be a fresh take on a Safari/Jungle theme.

Photo sources and inspiration links: The Chirping Moms, Catch My Party, Oh Happy Play, Shabby Mint Chic Party

She’s Magic that One

Turning one certainly is magical, so put together a celebration full of rainbows and sparkle to showcase their inner light.

Photo source: The Celebration Stylist

Some Bunny is ONE 

This sweet bunny theme will elicit plenty of “aww”s from your guests, the cuteness level is just through the roof!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas 1 & 2

O-Fish-ally One / The Big One

Got a future fisherman on your hands? This fishing theme is sure to make your party-goers smile – hook, line and sinker! 

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kristen Fotta Photography, Print A Party Co, Kitchen Door

Mr. ONE-derful

Celebrate your own Mr. Wonderful by making your little man the king of the party. Crown or bowtie required!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Christy and Co, Catch My Party, Kara’s Party Ideas

1st Down / First Year Down

Touchdown! Calling all football fans and future Quarterbacks, this “1st Down” theme is perfect for your soon-to-be one year old. Grab some faux turf, pennant flags, concession snacks, and of course, lots of footballs to decorate.

Photo sources and inspiration links: One Sweet Party, Leah with love, One Stylist Party, Kara’s Party Ideas, Beth Kruse CC (Etsy)

Rookie Year

We love this theme for sports enthusiasts as it can be used for a variety of different sports including Baseball and Basketball. You can even customize it to your favorite sports team, using their colors and logo.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Bashery and Co, A Touch of Pink

Sweet One / Sweetest One Of All / Sweet to be One

Turning one sure is sweet, so why not celebrate with some delicious confections like candy, donuts and ice cream?! Yum!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Shop Party Haus, Intuition Backgrounds, The Party Buddy, Bird in a Cage Creations

My First Rodeo / How the West was ONE

Yee haw! Grab your cowboy hat and lasso to celebrate with a Western-themed party with the cutest play-on-words!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Redlocks and Shamrocks, Catch My Party, The Britt Kit, Hostess with the Mostess

Lem-ONE-ade Stand

Turn Lemonade into Lem-ONE-ade with a bright and cheery lemon-themed celebration for your special 1-year old. Set up a fun lemonade stand and “squeeze the day”!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Michelle’s Party Plan It, Sugar Moon Bloom, Black Twine, Fun 365

ONE Happy Camper

With this darling camping theme, the birthday camper can try their first S’more, while guests enjoy a create-your-own Trail Mix bar, and hang out in glamping-style tents.

Photo sources and inspiration links:  Peaches and Pine Home, Kara’s Party Ideas, Gathered KYc, Inspired by This

First Trip Around the Sun

Celebrate your child’s first trip around the sun with a fun space-themed first birthday party. Use planets, stars and rockets as your inspiration.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Davis & Scout, The Southern Trunk, Rhea Ashlynn Photography, Kara’s Party Ideas

Hole in ONE

This golf themed party is perfect for the family who likes a good round of 18 holes. Customized golf ball favors and a putting green elevate the celebrate to “hole in one” status.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Zazzle, A Midwest Mamahood, Medicine & Manicures

ONE-derful Waves / The Big One

Hang Ten with this gnarly surf themed 1st birthday party. Decorate with brightly colored surf boards, lots of blue for the ocean waves, and even a shark or two!

Photo sources and inspiration links: 100 Layer Cakelet, Kara’s Party Ideas, Around My Family Table

“One I am”

Throw a whimsical party inspired by your 1-year old’s favorite Dr. Seuss books like “The Cat in the Hat” and “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Jennifer Matteo, Pretty My Party, Kara’s Party Ideas

Home ONE

Hit a “Home ONE” with this baseball themed first birthday party, complete with peanuts, popcorn and Cracker Jack’s!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas, Joyfully Prudent

Berry First Birthday

Use lots of gingham with reds, pinks and greens + berry motifs to pull-off this berry sweet theme.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Zazzle, Pins & Petals, Navy Berlin, Kara’s Party Ideas, Ashley Brooke Nicholas

One Cool Dude

The perfect theme for your burgeoning hipster!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Party Your World, Design My Party Studio (Etsy)

Lucky One

Whether your babe was born close to St. Patrick’s Day, or is your sunshine after a storm, this “Lucky One” theme expresses just how grateful you are to be parents.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Cher Can Do It, Brielle Kaschak Photography, Allison Shumate

First in Flight

Grab your boarding pass and hop aboard your baby’s First Flight for an uplifting aviation-themed party.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Arts & Crackers, Kara’s Party Ideas, Hostess with the Mostess

ONE-der lust

This unique concept is based around Wanderlust, the desire to wander – or in this case, to go on a summer’s holiday! It’s a creative theme that can be taken in many directions, including celebrating your family’s past vacations or desire for future travels.

Photo source: Inspired By This  

First Launch

3, 2, 1, blast off! Host a rocket-themed first birthday bash that will take your guests to infinity and beyond!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Perfete, Bubby & Bean, Kara’s Party Ideas

First Fiesta

Your child’s first celebration should be aptly labeled, with this “First Fiesta” theme. Bring out all the bright colors and Mexican inspired décor to make it a party to remember.

Photo sources and inspiration links: This Mama Loves Life, Nico & Lala, Design My Party Studio (Etsy), Kara’s Party Ideas 1 & 2

Creative Unisex/Gender Neutral 1st Birthday Themes

Whether you have a boy or girl turning one, these unique first birthday party themes can work for both! 

Burger Bash / Diner 

How creative is this Diner-inspired theme for your “small fry”?! Food will take center stage at this party, but luckily it needn’t be fancy – a simple BBQ with burgers, dogs and fries fits the bill. Or simply order take-out from your favorite local diner!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Arin Solange at Home, Hostess with the Mostess, Miss Party Mom

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

Turning one is just the beginning, and this theme celebrates your child’s future adventures, based on Dr. Seuss’s classic book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”. Have guests sign a copy of the book as a special keepsake.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas 1 & 2, Cherish 365, Oriental Trading, @kerenprecel

Cute Little Cactus

The first year sure can be prickly, so why not celebrate getting through it with a Catcus/Desert themed bash?! Utilize lots of greens, beige and hints of pink, with pretty succulents and cacti.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Cammeo Head to Toe, 100 Layer Cake 1 & 2, Smash Cake SoCal, Jade Maria, Hooray Magazine

Hundred Acre Woods

Create your own magical Hundred Acre Woods with this Winnie the Pooh inspired theme. Include all of Pooh’s friends, and don’t forget the huney pot!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas 1 & 2, Birthday In a Box, 100 Layer Cake

Let’s Paw-ty

This party is any puppy-lover’s dream! Decorate with dog treats, balls, leashes + send guests home with an adopted stuffed animal puppy of their own.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Two Twenty One, Kara’s Party Ideas, Project Nursery, Catch My Party

Go Wild! / Welcome to the Jungle / Safari

Your one-year old will go wild for a bright and colorful jungle-themed party. Decorate with lots of greenery and African animals to turn your space into a real life safari.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Bizzie Bee Creations, 100 Layer Cake

Pancakes & Pajamas

You had us at PJs! Guests can cozy up in their pajamas and dig into a fun pancake “bar” with lots of toppings.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Project Nursery, Thoughts by Brandi, For Rent, Style Me Pretty, We’re the Joneses, Kara’s Party Ideas

Time Flies

You’ve likely heard the saying “time flies”, but it’s not until you have kids that you really realize how true it is. Celebrate how fast the first year has gone with this vintage aviation theme, with planes, suitcases, maps and globes.

Photo sources and inspiration links: The Hive Blog, Queen of Fire, Kara’s Party Ideas, Hostess with the Mostess, Ven’s Party Ideas

Party Animals

Celebrate your own party animal with this vibrant theme that can incorporate all their favorite creatures and a touch of humor.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Jessica Presnall, Kara’s Party Ideas

Noah’s Ark

Have a child that loves boats and animals? A Noah’s Ark theme combines both of them into one epic celebration. (Also a must if you happen to have a son named Noah!) 

Photo sources and inspiration links: Catch My Party, Kara’s Party Ideas 1 & 2

Circus Carnival / Under the Big Top

Come one, come all, to the most fantastical 1st birthday celebration! Incorporate plenty of black/white, red and gold + a sea of circus animals and balloons to create your very own Big Top. You could even dress up your child as the Ringmaster!

Photo sources and inspiration links: The Ashmore’s Blog, Natalie Buck Photography, TCB Style, Catch My Party, Kara’s Party Ideas

Down on the Farm

This barnyard theme is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Decorate with gingham, burlap, hay bales and baskets. Bonus points if you can pull off a real live petting zoo! 

Photo sources and inspiration links: Spaceships & Laser Beams, Pop Sugar, Bird’s Party, Kara’s Party Ideas, Hostess with the Mostess

Hawaiian Luau

Aloha! Your little surfer guy or gal will love this cheery and colorful theme full of bright flowers, surfboards, palm trees and coconuts.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Miss Nutritionista, Wyles Travels, Catch My Party, Kara’s Party Ideas, Meg McMillin

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Get lost in the clouds with this sweet star-themed party inspired by the nursery rhyme “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Baby & Breakfast, Pretty my Party, Thinking Closet

Whole Llama Fun

Bring out the macrame, cacti, and pretty blooms for an amazing Llama-themed first birthday party. Top it off with a Llama piñata and you’ve got a celebration that will get a whole Llama-love!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Gina Humilde, Inspired by This, Kara’s Party Ideas 1 & 2

Wheels on the Bus 

For all those vehicle loving babes, this bus-themed party based on the classic kids’ song, will be a match made in heaven. Create a cityscape backdrop and turn your dining room table into a huge bus!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Simply Made with Sam, Kara’s Party Ideas, Midwest Blonde

Do-nut Grow Up

What could be more fun than a party all about donuts?! We also love that the theme incorporates the sweet sentiment about slowing down time, because didn’t that first year go by in the blink of an eye?

Photo sources and inspiration links: Hope Heart & Home, Kara’s Party Ideas 1 & 2, Carlos & Brenda

Very Hungry Caterpillar

Based on Eric Carle’s best-selling children’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, this party is all about the transformation into a butterfly…and lots of yummy food! Just don’t eat it all at once, or you’ll end up like the caterpillar – with a very full belly!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Catch My Party 1 & 2, The Blondie Locks, Kara’s Party Ideas 1 & 2

Milk & Cookies

Channel your inner Cookie Monster with this darling Milk & Cookies theme. It’s bound to be a crowd pleaser!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Blog Spot, Lovely Lucky Life, Catch My Party, Mint Event Design, Crate & Barrel, Kara’s Party Ideas

Let’s Have a Ball!

This unique theme is all about having a ball with balls! Create a ball pit for the kiddos, blow up plenty of beach balls, and send them home with a bouncy ball.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Dani Marie Blog, See Vanessa Craft, My Mommyhood Tales

Sky’s the Limit / Up, Up and Away

Show your birthday boy or girl that there’s no limit on what they can do, with a whimsical hot air balloon celebration. Use vintage details, plenty of color and lots of balloons to set the scene.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas 1 & 2, 100 Layer Cake, Sweet Designs

Going Bananas! 

This theme holds meaning for both parent and child – on one hand, the parents are “going bananas” because they now have a 1-year old, on the other, the child is “going bananas” for their birthday party! Either way, it can’t help but make you smile!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Shin Digz, Oh Happy Day, Hostess with the Mostess, Life Love & Sugar

Rubber Ducky 

You’ll be singing “Rubber Ducky, you’re the ONE” with this vibrant theme full of ducks and bubbles. Bath time has never been more fun!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Baby & Breakfast, Kara’s Party Ideas, Biz Bash

Art / Paint Party 

While this theme could work with any age, your little one will love all of the bright colors and opportunity to get messy! Set out a finger-painting station with smocks and a big roll of paper, and have all the kids create their own masterpiece.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas, Birthday Party Ideas 4 U, Craving Some Creativity

Polka Dot

Incorporate colorful polka dots into your decorations, cake and treats to pull off this simple, yet stunning theme.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas, Love the Day

Bubbles

What 1-year old doesn’t love bubbles?! Use lots of blue balloons, circles and balls to give that bubble vibe, and don’t forget to set up a bubble station for the kids!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Crowning Details, Get Creative Juice, Oh It’s Perfect, Hannah Matthew, Kara’s Party Ideas

Sprinkled with Love 

You can’t help but smile with this rainbow sprinkle theme. Fill up vases with sprinkles for centerpieces, and make sure that the cake is covered in them!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Ashlee Marie, Pretty My Party, Kristine’s Kitchen, Kojo Designs, Pizzazzerie

Unique 1st Birthday Party Themes for Girls

Don’t get us wrong, these themes can certainly be used for boys too, but they all have a heavy dose of pink and all the sparkly things!

Cherry Blossom

As your child turns one, they really start to blossom, which inspired this gorgeous Cherry Blossom themed celebration. Tie in Japanese cues and lots of pink and red décor. 

Photo source: 100 Layer Cake

Peacock

Aqua, purple and gold unite to create this ultra-creative Peacock 1st birthday bash.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Smart Party Planning, Catch My Party, Giggles Galore

Floral

Drench your home in flowers of all varieties to pull off a beautiful floral party. Use a mix of paper flowers, felt flowers and real blooms, and send guests home with a pretty bouquet.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Love Love Love Blog, Katie Crenshaw, 100 Layer Cake 1 & 2, Pretty My Party, Style Me Pretty

Girl Power

Who run the world? Girls! We just adore this Girl Power themed party full of bright colors and positivity.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Momo Party, Inspired By This, Shop Karson Butler Events

Let’s Par-tea

Throw your sweet girl’s first Tea Party with dreamy pastels and flowers, plus tiny sandwiches, buttery scones and tea pots galore!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Momo Party, Brie Bemis Rearick, Craft my Occasion, Party Pieces  

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Lead guests into this 1st birthday party along the yellow brick road, and into the magical world of the Wizard of Oz. Incorporate plenty of gingham, burlap, bright primary colors and don’t forget the costumes!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas, Catch My Party

Boho Rainbow 

Swap out the traditional rainbow colors and go for soft neutrals to create this trendy Boho Rainbow celebration.

Photo sources and inspiration links: One Stylish Party, Kara’s Party Ideas, Aspy Novard, Catch my Party, Bixby & Pine

Merry Go Round / Carousel

Take the joy and wonder of a child riding on a Merry Go Round, and transform it into a magical celebration with elegant horses and pastel colors.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas, For the Life of the Party, Project Nursery, Celebrate with Cake

Paris Patisserie

Greet your guests with “bonjour” and usher them into this pretty Parisian party. Decorate with plenty of soft pinks with pops of black, plus the Eiffel Tower, poodles and plenty of French treats (macarons, mmm!).

Photo sources and inspiration links: The Bash, Kara’s Party Ideas 1, 2 & 3, 100 Layer Cake, Catch my Party

Sophie the Giraffe 

This creative theme celebrates the popular teething toy, Sophie the Giraffe with Parisienne touches mixed with giraffe motifs.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Ashley Brooke Nicholas, Kara’s Party Ideas

Little Red Riding Hood

Over the river and through the woods, to Grandma’s house we go! Pull together this sweet Little Red Riding Hood celebration with woodland touches to create your very own fairytale.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas, Pretty My Party, Hostess with the Mostess 1 & 2

Secret Garden

Based on the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, this Secret Garden celebration creates a whimsical world with lots of greenery, and hints of pinks and whites to whisk guests away into an enchanted world.

Photo sources and inspiration links: The Gray Ruby, Catchy My Party, Piazzazzerie, Kara’s Party Ideas

There are many other popular ideas to consider for a Girl’s First Birthday Party theme, including:

  • Unicorn
  • Under the Sea / Mermaid
  • Castles and Crowns / Princess
  • Butterfly
  • Fairy
  • Flamingo
  • Ballerina
  • Teddy Bear
  • Peter Rabbit
  • Minnie Mouse
  • Hello Kitty
Unique First Birthday Party Themes for Boys

Now onto the boys! These creative first birthday party ideas for boys will celebrate them turning from a baby into a toddler (and yes, of course they can be used for girls too!).  

Lumberjack

Include lots of rustic details and plenty of flannel and logs to pull together this manly lumberjack party.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Hostess with the Mostess, 100 Layer Cake, Gray House Studio

Farmer’s Market 

Create your own market stand and stock it with fresh fruits, veggies and flowers. Invite guests to go home with some of the farm fresh produce, U-PICK style.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas, 100 Layer Cake, Ashley’s Dream Décor

Little Blue Truck

If your child loves the Little Blue Truck books, this party is the perfect celebration. Incorporate lots of blue touches with trucks and farm animals.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Just Jessie B, Gastro Senses, Emily Crall, Key Ingredients, Mami Vida, The Happening Housewife

Little Man / Moustache 

Combine moustaches and bowties to celebrate your own little man. Use playful food & drink names, like “Manmosas” and “Manwiches”.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Catch My Party 1 & 2, Sugar Crush Co, Candy Bar Sydney, Hostess with the Mostess, Kara’s Party Ideas

Grand Prix

Get your party engines started with this vintage Grand Prix inspired first birthday bash. Checkered flags, race cars and gas pumps can be incorporated into the décor to make your little speed demon feel like they’re really on the race track!

Photo sources and inspiration links: Kara’s Party Ideas 1 & 2, Hostess with the Mostess

There are many other popular ideas to consider for a Boy’s First Birthday Party theme, including:

  • Construction
  • Dinosaur
  • Car/Truck
  • Nautical/Boats
  • Mickey Mouse
  • LEGO
  • Superhero
  • Woodland/Forest
  • Monsters
  • Shark

Whatever theme you choose, your child’s first birthday party will be more than memorable. Just remember to take lots of photos and videos so they can re-live the fun when they’re old enough to remember!

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