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Last Minute Birthday Party Ideas

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LAST MINUTE Party Decor DIY Ideas

Written by Shutterfly Community Last Updated: Dec 7, 2021

Weve all been there holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries are just around the corner, your schedule starts getting more chaotic, and you still havent picked out a gift. You think you have plenty of time to get the perfect present and then suddenly the occasion is just days away and you still need a gift. Whether it just slipped your mind or you decided to give a gift impromptu, weve got you covered. Last minute gifts dont have to be totally impersonal, and if youre in need of last-minute gift ideas for the holidays, a birthday, or any other occasion, then youve come to the right place. There are plenty of easy-to-get and easy-to-make presents that are thoughtful and unique from easy personalized gifts to clever subscriptions and everything in between. Were sharing 46 last minute gift ideas that will give you both inspiration and DIY tips.

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Kids’ Birthday Party Logistics

Timing is everything. Plan your party from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., says Danielle Walker, author of Against All Grain: Celebrations. After lunch and before dinner is the best time to party, when guests don’t expect a full meal.

If your kids birthday falls close to a buddys, consider a dual party. You and the other childs parents will split the cost and responsibilities. Just make sure each kid gets her own cake and presents!

Opt out altogether for younger children. When kids are still little, consider skipping a traditional birthday party altogether, suggests Simple Matters author Erin Boyle. My husband and I celebrated our daughters first birthday with a picnic.

Price out kids’ birthday party venues. Not up for hosting at your casa? It may be more cost- and time-effective to let a venue do the work. Check out our top kids’ birthday party places here.

Read Also: Jack Daniels 160th Birthday Price

Host The Party At Home

You dont need to book a venue for your childs birthday party. Having a birthday party at a gym, bowling alley, or other site has only grown in popularity in recent years. Host your childs birthday at your home.

Set up your childs party right in your living room, or if its a nice day and you have a backyard set up the party outside. If the weather isnt cooperating, turn off the lights, pop some popcorn, and put on a fun movie for your child and their friends to have an at-home movie party.

Dont Think Of Baking A Cake At Home

Fret Not! Here

We understand to bake a birthday cake for your loved ones is less of a task and more an emotional gesture. But if its last minute birthday party planning, it is best to order a special birthday cake instead of baking one at home. All you need to know their favorite flavor and the best bakery in the town.

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Create Your Own Bar Crawl

Choose your favorite cocktail or craft brew, whether it be mezcal margaritas or tiki drinks. Then, decide on a fun neighborhood and map out a walkable or ride-share route to various breweries or bars that serve the best of your chosen tipple.

Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

Some boutiques will actually let you throw your birthday soirée on-site . Do you love shoes? Ask to have your fête right in the footwear department.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Tell your friends to wear their favorite party outfits, and then call an at-home beauty concierge service like Blo, Dry Bar, or Glam Squad to come do hair and makeup. If you decide to go out, greatif not, no worries. Just make sure to snap some photos for posterity… and Instagram.

Easy Party Planning Tips

Here are 8 amazing stress-free tips to help you plan a party in no time!

1. Invitations – With email and Facebook so widely used this day and age it is becoming more acceptable to send out invitations online. When throwing a last minute party together this can help get the word out quickly and you will have just as great of a turn around time on the RSVP. If a lot of your friends are on Facebook, you can easily create an event there and invite friends. They can let you know easily if they are going or not, too. Evite is also another quick, free and easy email invite option. Don’t forget that some of your friends may not use the computer and for those a quick phone call will work. See How To Print Party Invitations and Signs.

3. Decor – Do not waste valuable time and money on buying a ton of decor for your party. Using too many decorations in a small space can tend to be a little overwhelming so stick to some simple vases of fresh cut flowers and throw in a little ambiance with lighting. White Christmas lights can do wonders for dressing up an area indoors or out. If digging through your ornament box seems a little to stressful you can pick up strings of white lights at your local craft store. Easy Decor Ideas: Dino Party Ideas, Beverage Bar Party , 1 Hour Party Decor.

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Tweens And Teens Ages 11 To 17

  • Gamer – Give the gamer in your life a party he or she will never forget. Host a home tournament with multiple stations or collect your quarters and visit an arcade for an afternoon of fun.
  • Teatime – This birthday party is totally insta-worthy. Dress up in your fanciest teatime attire and channel your inner royalty. Serve warm beverages along with finger sandwiches and bite-sized desserts. Pick up vintage cups and saucers from a local antique shop and let guests take them home as favors.
  • Pool Party – Find a neighborhood pool or YMCA where the birthday boy or girl can spend the day splashing and having a blast with their peeps. Serve poolside snacks, pizza and an ice cream cake for the win.
  • Cook Off – Up for some tasty competition? Host a cook off party. Split into groups of two or three and give each team a mystery food basket. Pick a theme like appetizers, pasta or baked goods and see what treats they whip up.
  • Movie Night – Cue the popcorn, snacks, comfy clothes and takeout its movie night. Start early in the day to allow for plenty of time for all their favorite films.
  • Make Pizza – Purchase dough, sauce, cheese and lots of topping choices and let the group get creative.
  • Escape Room – Can your birthday crew decipher the clues and get out in time? Visit a local escape room or order an online kit and host your own.
  • Camp Out – Take the party to the great outdoors with a camping party. Start the day with tent races and finish with hot dogs, smores and songs around the fire.
  • Adult Birthday Party Ideas To Celebrate Any Year

    Last Minute Dinner Party | Quarantine Birthday Ideas
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    Whether you love celebrating your birthday every year or you dread the thought of turning another year older, birthdays are one of those rare opportunities to gather your friends and family in one place and celebrate. And let’s face it, you should be doing something fun for every milestone you hit, because what better excuse is there to get all of your favorite people in one room and reminisce about the past year or more youve spent together?

    When you were a kid, it was so easy to pick a favorite theme or place to host your party, but as an adult, it can be trickier. As we got older, the themes tended to dwindle and it became Meet me at that bar we love! or Lets just all do dinner. And even if its not a particularly special yearaka one of the big onestheres nothing wrong going all out for an adult birthday party.

    All out of ideas? Make every year a milestone year with these 35 adult birthday party ideas.

    Have everyone come in their favorite pajamas or athleisure and bring their go-to board game from way back when, like Dream Phone or Guess Who? And for an extra dose of nostalgia, have goody bags for the winners.

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    Diy Concert At This Spacious Artistic Venue

    A favorite for party-goers now that concerts are still limited due to the pandemic. You can give a private concert safely at a rental space on Peerspace. Find a space that suits your invite list, hook up some speakers , and get the dancing and raving started. Made-up concerts are best suited for close friends, those who you know personally, and while practicing safe social distancing. Get some good food and drinks lined up on a table and get the concert started! Check out this venue in Atlanta, which boasts a full A/V system, bleacher seats, and a community bar.

    Last Minute Party Ideas

    Sometimes time gets away from you and the next thing you know its almost birthday time and you have nothing planned. Its OK. It happens to even the best party planners sometimes. I know a few amazing gals who throw tremendous parties for a living and yet sometimes get down to the wire throwing together a party for their own kids. LOL. Ive even been known to throw together last minute party or two myself. At the end of the day, if your birthday party makes the birthday boy or girl feel special and celebrated, then youve done a great job! Here are some Last Minute Party Ideas to help you throw together a great birthday party in just a short amount of time.

    Classic Party Ideas work very well as Last Minute Party Ideas

    Polka Dot Party with printables

    Pool Party a table of food, a pool for fun and you have the makings of a great party

    Ice Cream Bar with free printable popsicle banner ice cream parties come together pretty quickly. Everyone loves ice cream! It just takes some color and some great toppings to pull together a great dessert table.

    Cupcake Party Great idea! Let the guests be bakers and bake their own cakes! Such fun!

    Slumber Party make a Pancakes and Pajamas Party

    Movie Night substitute regular cookies for fancy cookies and you could pull this movie night party together fairly quickly

    What are your favorite last minute party ideas? Share them in the comments below!

    Recommended Reading: 14 Boy Birthday Party Ideas

    Mobile Video Game Trailer

    New on the scene, mobile video game trailers bring the party to you. These long haulers have huge TV screens and plenty of age-appropriate options. The kiddos hang out in the trailer and binge several different gaming systems. These trailers are outfitted with significant lounging areas that make it comfortable for everyone to play and watch.

    Organize A Home Cinema Night

    How to Throw a Last Minute Birthday Party for Young Kids ...

    Obviously, the most straightforward go-to in our playbook is the at-home cinema night. Wed even set up a handmade popcorn bar where the children can include chocolate, treat corn, or some other most loved nibble to their popcorn blend. Its the simple details that make these gatherings exceptional.

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    Go To A Local Sporting Event

    Get a small group of your kids friends together, purchase some nosebleed seats, buy some fun snacks and have a blast at a local football, hockey, basketball game. Even if you dont have a pro team in town, you can take your birthday kid and some of their friends to watch a minor league or college team play.

    You can have the kids decorate signs and posters to support the home team and see if the venue will add your childs name and a happy birthday message to the jumbotron.

    Our BDTD tip: check with local businesses like banks or grocery stores to see if they have discount last-minute tickets for their customers we did, and were able to take my sons friends on the cheap to a baseball game.

    Related: 12 easy party planning tips, tricks and time-saving hacks.

    Visit Some Local Sport Games

    Get a little gathering of your childrens companions together, buy some seats, get some fun bites and have an awesome time at a nearby football, hockey, ball game. Regardless of whether you have a big game going on nearby, you can take your birthday child and a portion of his buddies to watch a local game or even a school match.

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    Last Minute Party Food Recipes

    Need some last minute ideas and recipes for party food? Whether you need to bring something to a potluck or friends BBQ or you are hosting a get together and have simply run out of time and ideas, we found some amazing party recipes that you can whip up in a hurry. From dips to salads to the cutest little mini burgers ever, these easy appetizers, snack and desserts are going to be crowd favorites. Check out the easy to follow step by step recipes to learn how to make these impressively easy and quick party pleasers.

    Last Minute Birthday Party Planning Tips

    Last Minute Gift Ideas

    Lets face it: life gets busy. Youve had your kids birthday party planning on your to-do list for weeks, but other things have taken priority. Or maybe you have had everything planned out, and the invitations are all sent, but everyone waited until the last minute to RSVP.

    Suddenly, your party guest list has grown from five to fifteen, and youre wondering how the heck you are going to feed and entertain everybody! Take a deep breath you can do this. Just follow this list of last-minute birthday party planning tips, and I promise youll be fine.

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    Ad Fun Themed Children’s Parties

    Last minute birthday party ideas for 11 year olds. Ad fun, themed children’s parties! Bowling is a sport that even the least athletic, uncoordinated person can do, so its perfect for teens that are just growing into their bodies. We will run your party from start to finish.

    See more ideas about birthday party, party, birthday. Some of them will surely fulfill their dream of celebrating the birthday in a joyful manner.

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    Gift Card To Their Favorite Music Streaming Service

    Sometimes the simple, practical route is the way to go when it comes to last-minute gifting. If theyre one for spontaneous at-home dance parties or screaming their favorite songs in the car, a free month of their go-to music streaming service can prove to be just as thoughtful as a gift thats purchased weeks in advance.

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    Brunch With The Besties

    Celebrate your special day with a long table, out on a beautiful sunny day, and some brunch with your favorite people. Plan a menu of breakfast and lunchtime staples. You can host this brunch out in a backyard or on a farm where your view would include gorgeous greenery. Alternatively, you can rent a restaurant and have all your favorite brunch dishes served to you and your nearest and dearest. You can find all of these options right on Peerspace!

    Last Minute Birthday Surprise Idea

    182 best Last Minute Birthday Party Ideas images on ...

    I love my best friends. I love them for their individuality, their wisdom, their loyalty, and their unconditional love. I want them to know that. Now that we are older, we dont usually buy presents for each other on our birthdays. We figure that wed rather spoil our kids. We do, however like to get together and go out to dinner with the girls and celebrate over a martini or four. But recently, for one of my best friends, the best friend who is always busy, I wanted to do something special so I came up with this last minute birthday surprise idea.

    I hardly bake ever. If I do, its straight from the box. I craft, not bake. So, I drove to our local supermarket bakery and found this beautiful little blue cake. It had jenny written all over it. Jenny was busy on her birthday and had to attend her daughters softball game. I picked up the cake, a balloon, some plates and napkins, and plastic forks.

    When I got home, I took the plate, napkins, and forks out of the plastic wrap and tied them up in a white bow. I also cut out a little tag and wrote birthday girl on it.

    My husband, daughter, and I drove to the game and dropped it off. We figured her family of six and the grandparents could enjoy it together on their own time with as little clean up as possible. It was a simple gesture that literally took minutes to do. I hope it made her feel a little special on her birthday.

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