1st Birthday Party Ideas

1st Birthday Party Ideas

As children’s entertainers, we understand the importance of making every celebration unforgettable, especially when it comes to those precious first birthday parties. Unquestionably, planning a party for a one-year-old may seem daunting, but with the right ideas and a sprinkle of creativity, you can create a magical experience that will be cherished for years to come. So, let’s dive into some delightful 1st birthday party ideas tailor-made for the little ones in the heart of London!

Party Location Ideas

First thing to remember, when planning a 1st birthday party in London, is that the weather is often unpredictable. So, deciding whether to host an indoor or outdoor is certainly important. Of course, this depends on the weather, number of guests, and mostly – personal preference.

Indoor Party Ideas
  1. Play Centres – indoor play centres offer a safe and engaging environment for children to explore and play, featuring soft play areas, ball pits, and interactive games suitable for toddlers.
  2. Community Halls – renting a community hall provides flexibility in terms of space and decor, allowing you to personalise the venue to suit your chosen theme. Also it offers indoor facilities in case of unpredictable weather.
  3. Children’s Museums – opting for a children’s museum allows kids to embark on an educational adventure while celebrating their special day. Furthermore, these venues often feature hands-on exhibits, interactive displays, and themed party rooms.
Outdoor Party Ideas
  1. Parks London is dotted with lovely parks and green spaces perfect for hosting outdoor parties. From Hyde Park to Regent’s Park, these locations offer ample space for games, picnics, and outdoor activities.

  2. Garden Party – consider hosting the party at your own garden. Perhaps, playing gentle games, having a picnic, and relaxed celebration, creating precious memories in the heart of nature.

  3. Zoos or Farms – hosting the party at a zoo or a farm offers a unique opportunity for children to interact with animals while enjoying fun-filled activities and attractions. From feeding sessions to animal encounters, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience for young animal lovers.

    Last of all, ensure that you acquire all necessary permits to host your event at any public space.

Party Entertainment

Generally, 1-year-olds are quite young to play games or take part in competitions. However, they would happily enjoy some of the below activities:
  1. Sensory Play – set up a sensory station with various textured materials like soft fabrics, smooth stones, and squishy toys hidden in separate boxes. Let the little ones explore different sensations through touch and sight.

  2. Bubble Fun – generally, babies are mesmerised by bubbles! Set up a bubble machine or have an adult create bubbles with wands. It’s a simple yet engaging activity that can keep them entertained for a while. Ensure to turn the bubble machine on for short periods of time to prevent the floor from becoming too slippery.

  3. Music and Movement – play some nursery rhymes or children’s songs and encourage the babies to move along to the music. You can have scarves or ribbons for them to wave around or simply clap their hands and stomp their feet.

  4. Mess-Free Painting – introduce babies to the world of art with mess-free painting activities. Place a large piece of paper inside a ziplock bag and add dollops of paint. After that, seal the bag and let the babies squish and spread the paint around without any mess.

  5. Baby-friendly Obstacle Course – create a mini obstacle course using soft play equipment or cushions. Babies can crawl over, under, and through the obstacles with supervision from adults, promoting gross motor skills development.

  6. Story Time – gather the babies and parents for a cozy story time session. Choose board books with colorful pictures and simple stories that capture their attention and imagination.

  7. Baby Ball Pit – fill a small paddling pool or playpen with soft balls and let the babies crawl and explore. It’s a safe and fun activity that stimulates their senses and encourages movement.

  8. Soft Blocks Play Area – create a designated play area with soft, lightweight building blocks that are safe for little ones to stack, knock down, and explore.

  9. Pass the Parcel – sit in a circle and pass the parcel while gentle music plays. When the music stops, the child holding the parcel unwraps one layer with adult assistance. The game promotes interaction and excitement in a toddler-friendly way.

  10. Parachute Games – place balloons (soft balls) on the parachute and sit one of the children in the centre. After that gather children and adults in a circle. Hold onto the edges of the parachute and move it up and down to create gentle waves. As a result you would create a mesmerising sight as the balloons rise and fall, accompanied by soothing music or nursery rhymes for a delightful sensory experience.

Food & Drinks

For a 1st birthday party, it’s certainly best to keep food and drinks simple, safe, and suitable for both children and adults. So, here are some ideas:

  1. Finger Foods – offer a variety of bite-sized finger foods that are easy for little hands to grasp and munch on. For example, mini sandwiches, veggie sticks with hummus, cheese cubes, and fruit slices.

  2. Mini Pizzas – serve mini pizzas with a variety of toppings. Furthermore, you can use cookie cutters to create fun shapes like stars or hearts.

  3. Pasta Salad – prepare a kid-friendly pasta salad with colorful veggies and a light dressing. Opt for small pasta shapes like macaroni or bowties for easy eating.

  4. Mini Quiches or Frittatas – bake mini quiches or frittatas filled with veggies and cheese. These make for a nutritious and convenient finger food option.

  1. Fruit Infused Water – keep guests hydrated with refreshing fruit-infused water. Simply add slices of fruits like lemon, lime, or berries to a pitcher of water for a naturally flavored drink.

  2. Diluted Fruit Juice – offer diluted fruit juice in small cups to prevent sugar overload. Mix one part juice with three parts water for a milder taste.

  3. Smoothies – blend up some kid-friendly smoothies using a combination of fruits, yogurt, and a splash of juice. Serve in small cups with colorful straws for added fun.

  4. Hot Beverage Station – for adult guests, set up a hot beverage station with options like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Be sure to keep these beverages out of reach of curious little hands, of course.


In order to have a simple yet charming 1st birthday party, consider these easy decorations:

  1. Balloons – use colourful balloons to brighten up the party space. Create balloon bouquets or scatter them around the room for a festive touch.

  2. Photo Garland – string together photos of the birthday child from their first year using twine or ribbon. Hang the garland along the wall or across the fireplace mantel for a personalised touch.

  3. Highchair Banner – dress up the birthday child’s highchair with a special banner or garland. Use ribbons, fabric scraps, or paper cutouts to create a decorative accent for their seat.

  4. Confetti – sprinkle confetti in the shape of number ones or colourful dots on the tables for a festive vibe. Also, you can scatter confetti around the cake or dessert table for added flair.

  5. Party Hats – provide guests with simple party hats in coordinating colours or patterns. Decorate them with stickers, pom-poms, or ribbons for added flair.

  6. Welcome Sign – welcome guests to the party with a handmade sign or chalkboard displaying a sweet message like “Welcome to [Child’s Name]’s First Birthday Party!” Place it near the entrance for a warm greeting.

These simple decorations will add a festive and celebratory atmosphere to your child’s 1st birthday party without requiring a lot of time or effort to set up.


  • Less is more – in order to have a successful 1st birthday party, don’t overstuff your event with decorations, activities and other distractions. Keep in mind that your guests are very young and their concentration span is quite short. Therefore, while they would love to enjoy the festive atmosphere of a birthday party, they would also be happy if you keep it simple.
  • Invites- above all, send the invites in a timely manner. Invite your guests at least 2-4 weeks before the event date. Make sure to touch base a few days before the party to confirm who’s attending.
  • Balloons – a point often overlooked is that your guests may not always know where exactly your party will take place. To avoid any confusion, place balloons outside your house/venue to make it easier for your guests to find you.
  • Enjoy – surprisingly, this is something most parents forget to do in the huge mess of organising the event. In general, parents tend to forget the purpose of the gathering – to celebrate the birth of your little one. So, be sure to bring your smile and positivity to your child’s 1st birthday!

Thank you for exploring these 1st birthday party ideas with us! We hope you feel inspired to create magical memories that will be treasured for years to come. Happy celebrating!

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