If you are planning an outdoor party, or you simply love being outdoors, then you already have the perfect party theme! An outdoor theme party is a great way to celebrate nature in addition to the actual reason for the party. If you’re not sure where to start when planning an outdoor-theme party, we have some ideas for you! Keep reading for inspiration!
Outdoor Party Themes
An outdoor party provides the opportunity to choose from a variety of themes. Your backyard or any outdoor spot of your choosing is the perfect place to completely transform! Below are some example ideas.
1. Luau Theme
An outdoor Hawaiian luau party will remind guests of a warm vacation night in Hawaii. Play Hawaiian music and offer your guests Hawaiian style luau food like kalua pork to make your guests feel like they’re a far-away island. Decorate with tiki torches and offer leis to guests to fully immerse them in your party!
2. Garden Tea Party
A garden tea party is a party that can be made sophisticated for a group or adults or done in a whimsical way for a children’s birthday! Your backyard could be the perfect setting to transform into a delightful outdoor tea party complete with fresh tea, tea sandwiches, and pastries. Decorate with umbrellas and parasols at your tables to provide shade on any pleasantly sunny day and encourage your guests to dress in their tea party best Make sure to bring out your best china tea sets!
3. Beach Party
Turn your backyard into a relaxing beach day for your guests. Bring out umbrellas, beach blankets, and beach balls. Any decor reminiscent of the sun, sea, and surf is sure to get your guests into vacation mode.
4. Movie Night
Bring out a projector and project any movie of your choosing onto an outdoor projection screen or a wall on your house. Guests could sit down on outdoor pillows, picnic blankets, or any outdoor seating. Pop some fresh popcorn and offering different seasonings and toppings to make it customizable for your guests. Just make sure to wait until it’s dark enough!
Outdoor Theme Party Activities
Outdoor parties provide the space for a variety of fun activities for guests!
5. Toasty Campfire
Create a campfire scene in your own backyard by using the top of a fake luau torch as the fire. Then you can place logs around it. If your guests are willing, you can even gather around the campfire and sing some songs and tell some stories!
6. Outdoor Beverage Bar
An outdoor beverage bar could mean a lot of different things! Your beverage bar could be a cocktail bar, a juice bar, or a lemonade bar. Different pitchers, toppings, and flavors would create a fun customizable activity for guests of all ages!
A piñata is definitely an activity that you would want to do outdoors! Choose one that fits your party theme and fill it with whatever you’d like.
Cornhole is a game that needs a good amount of outdoor space and will be perfect for your guests to play on a nice day!
Playing the classic game horseshoes outside provides a rustic touch to your outdoor party.
Outdoor Theme Party Decorations
Just because your party is outside, or is supposed to appear as though you are outside, doesn’t mean your decor options are limited. There are many different styles of outdoor decorations for you to choose from. The first section of this blog focuses on some of those decor options.
10. Tiki Torches and Lights
Whether your party is in the middle of the day, or if it goes late into the night, set up some tiki or garden torches or strings of lights. People will love how they create a magical and exciting atmosphere. If you would like to include more of the soft light they give, you can also use candles as centerpieces. Create a floating candle arrangement or purchase candles with tropical or springtime scents.
Have rainbow-colored leis available for everyone to wear. You can also put them on the tables as decorations, or string them from walls and trees. These are easy to find online or at your local party supply store.
12. Colorful Balloons
Purchase some balloons and fill them with helium. Attach them to tables and other spaces in the event. You can also attach weights to the balloons and use them as table centerpieces. Get some fun shapes like parrots, palm trees, or coconuts for a unique luau theme. Or, blow up about twelve green balloons and tie them together to create one large tree bush. Then, tie brown balloons together going straight down so that it creates a tree trunk. Get creative!
13. Fresh Fruit Centerpieces
Arrange some fresh fruit in bowls on all of the tables. Use different fruits such as kiwis, bananas, mangos, oranges, strawberries, watermelon, and other fun tropical or seasonal fruits. Provide food picks so that guests can snack on these delicious decorations.
14. Luau-Theme Décor
Purchase tablecloths, streamers, plates, and napkins that have a Hawaiian, or luau theme printed on them. You can also purchase mini ukuleles or fake coconuts to put around the event space for this fantastic theme.
15. Unique Drink Cooler
Fill an inflatable raft or children’s pool with ice. Put an assortment of drinks in the raft for an exceptionally fun cooler.
16. Flower Arrangements
Use tropical or seasonal flower arrangements as table centerpieces. If your party is inside, this is a great way to bring in a taste of the outdoors.
17. Straw Hat Centerpieces
You can find straw hats for a very low price at your local party store. Decorate the straw hat with flowers or beads and use this as a unique centerpiece. You can even let your guests take them home after the party.
18. Tropical Honeycomb Centerpieces
Visit your local party store to purchase luau-theme honeycomb centerpieces, such as flamingos, pineapples, palm trees, or hula girls.
19. Mini Grills
You can find inexpensive miniature grills at your local department store. Fill these with candy or small toys for children to play with and set them up as table centerpieces.
20. Traditional BBQ Decorations
Visit your local department store to search for outdoor neighborhood party décor supplies. Purchase tablecloths, napkins, plates, and utensils in matching colors. If your party is in the spring, consider using yellow or green color themes.
21. Leaf Table Settings
Trace leaves on pieces of cardstock or heavy-duty paper. Color and cut them out and use them as place settings. Alternatively, buy them online.
22. Wilderness Décor
Add some décor from the wilderness to your party by putting fire pits, tents, and wooden chairs in your venue.
23. Grassy Tables
Buy fake grass to cover your tables with. It will add to the outdoor theme, especially if your party is inside, and be easy to clean up later.
24. Lit Lanterns
Purchase lanterns used for the outdoors and camping and place them around the venue for lighting and decoration. If you don’t want to buy the lanterns, ask your friends and family if they have any lanterns you can borrow. You can use them during the party and send them home with the owners at the end of the party.
25. Outside Oasis
Use a giant umbrella to protect your guests from the hot afternoon sun. Hang lanterns around it once the sun goes down and use citronella candles to keep the bugs away. You could even give your guests light cotton shawls to stay warm when the evening breeze kicks in. The umbrella will create your own outdoor oasis.
26. Trail Signs
Make wooden signs as you would find on a hiking trail or camping grounds. Have the signs point to places like “campfire,” “tents,” “restrooms,” etc. It’s a clever way to help point guests in the right direction. There is a lot you can do with this, so be sure to get creative!
27. Light-Up Jar
Use paint or markers to stencil outdoor designs onto glass jam jars. The designs could include trees, tents, bears, etc. You can either put a flameless candle or real tea light in the jars to help light your tables.
28. Pinecone Décor
Place pinecones on your tables as decorations at your event. If your tables are already covered with fake grass and lanterns, it’ll feel like you are at an actual campsite. If you don’t want to use dirty pinecones from the forest floor, you can buy pine cone packages to give it the same feel.
29. Chalkboard Welcome Sign
Create a welcome sign by gluing or taping a chalkboard to a wooden stake and placing it at the entrance of your party. Write a welcoming note for your guests, and maybe even include the “daily fire risk level” or something else you might find at a campsite.
30. Log Stands
You can use logs to sit the snacks on and create a multi-leveled display on your table. The logs can also help display the cake or any main centerpiece that you want your guests to notice.
31. Picnic Blankets
Picnic blankets are an easy and decorative option for outdoor seating!
Teepees can provide shade for guests and somewhere to sit. They can also help add to the rustic, outdoorsy, adventurous theme of your outdoor party.
Outdoor Theme Party Favors
Once it’s time to put out the campfire and send your guests home, you will want your guests to leave happy. What better way to keep them happy than by handing them one of these outdoor-theme party favors?
33. Colorful Bandanas
For this party favor, you can either buy a different color bandana for each of your guests or get them all the same color. You can also give out two different colors at the beginning of the party to help distinguish different teams for games. You can even personalize the bandanas by using embroidery or iron-on lettering to put the guests’ names on them. It’s the perfect outdoor party giveaway!
34. Yummy S’Mores Trail Mix
This party favor works best if you make sure none of your party guests have food allergies. If they do, create a kind of trail mix they are able to eat or provide them with a different party favor. For the guests with no allergies, make trail mix with chocolate chips, mini graham crackers, and mini marshmallows. Separate the mix into individual bags and tie them off with ripped fabric. It is a campfire favorite for on the go snacking!
35. Water Bottle Spray Fans
Use puff paint to write the name of each guest onto a spray bottle. Then tie a ribbon around the neck of the bottle and hand them out at the beginning of the party. If your party is outside, this will allow your guests to cool off while playing games or while enjoying the picnic.
36. Go For A Hike
This party favor is especially great if you are expecting younger guests. First, place a juice box, apple, and animal crackers in the net of a butterfly catcher. Then, wrap the net up with fabric and tie a note on it that says, “Happy Trails!”
37. S’mores Kits
Buy s’mores supplies, chocolate squares, marshmallows, and graham crackers, and put two servings worth of each item in a plastic bag. Tie the bag closed with twine and small twigs to add to the outdoor theme. Alternatively, you can purchase proper skewers online. Your guests will be so excited to keep the outdoor party going at home with this delicious party favor!
38. Miniature Flashlights
Hand out mini flashlights as a party favor for each guest. They come in many colors and designs, including neon and camouflage. You can also hand out compasses and other camping tools that can be used on any outdoor adventure.
Outdoor Party Theme Menu Ideas
Your party theme doesn’t have to stop when it comes to the menu! Keep reading for a few ideas on how to incorporate the outdoor theme into the food you serve.
39. Nuts nuts nuts!
One of the animals most commonly seen at campsites is a squirrel. They are often seen eating all kinds of food, but they are most famous for their love of nuts! You can replicate that at your party by having an array of nuts for guests to snack on. This snack is not only delicious, but it is also a healthy source of protein and fiber. Check for food allergies before providing this snack! Some people may have an allergic reaction simply from being in the same room as nuts.
Why was the mushroom always invited to parties? Because he’s a fungi! Fungi is extremely important to the forest ecosystem, so why not include it on your menu? Bacon-wrapped enoki skewers would make a great appetizer.
41. Animal Toast
One fun menu idea would be to create a masterpiece out of toast. Use animal-shaped cookie cutters to create all sorts of animals. Then, bring out all the toppings you can think of to decorate the toast. You could include peanut butter, condensed milk, whipped cream, jams, and fruits. Use these toppings to spread across the bread to make it look like the different animals you find in the forest!
42. Owl Dip
This will take a lot of careful arrangement, but will be worth the attention to detail! Use two sauce containers for the owl’s eyes. Then, cut up fresh produce such as carrots, cucumbers, and peppers and arrange them around the eyes to make an owl. It could also be interesting to use chicken wings instead of vegetables for the owl’s wings. Of course, you can also experiment with making other animal shapes as well
43. Barbecue Food
Smoky, fragrant, and delicious, grilled food is the way to go for an outdoor-theme party. This will not only help replicate the smell of a campfire, but you will also end up with yummy food! Grill corn, meats, and vegetables for a variety of food for your guests.
44. Finger Foods
Finger foods such as chips and dip or vegetable plates are a great idea for your outdoor party! Guests will likely be mingling and walking around so having finger foods that don’t require plates or utensils is ideal.
Make cute treats for your guests that resemble iconic things from the outdoors. Some ideas include acorn candy cookies and acorn chocolate-covered strawberries. You can also get creative and frost different animals like a fox or owl on some cupcakes. There is no way to go wrong with animal-shaped sugar cookies. Don’t go overboard on the sweets; there’s a lot of healthy alternatives for dessert out there!
In the end, these ideas will certainly bring your outdoor theme party to life and excite all your guests! However, we do remind you of social distancing guidelines and that it is extremely important that you and your guests all stay safe. Make sure there are sanitizing stations and the tables are properly distanced from one another to minimize contact as much as possible.
For more party ideas like this one, check out our other blogs at easyeventplanning.com.
Written by: Kaitlyn Malcolm, Rachel Word, Shannyn Apolaro, Samantha Shek, Anna Wertman, and Camryn Yuen
Edited by Bryce Wadsworth 6/4/2020
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