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10 Water-Themed Birthday Parties for Kids

Put on a party hat and blow out the candles—it’s time to party! Ingenious moms and innovative dads are always looking for creative ways to make their child’s next gathering unique and exciting. We say, ADD WATER!  When you’re looking for water party ideas, these 10 celebrations are sure to take the cake.

Luau Land

Tiki torches, grass skirts, leis and colorful drink umbrellas make for a grand hula hangout in luau land. Add some island music, a hula contest and poolside piña coladas (virgin slushes, of course), and guests will be saying aloha when the festivities end.

Pretty in Pink Flamingo Party

Plastic, pink flamingos are for more than yard art! Let them serve as the welcoming committee at the front door. Toss some giant flamingo floats into the pool and put up a plethora of pink balloons for the perfect backdrop for friends to fla-mingle! Use diving rings and plastic flamingos (yes, the ones from the front yard) to create a DIY ring toss, and decorate flamingo-shaped cookies with every shade of pink icing you can create. Don’t forget the sprinkles!

It’s Da Bomb Water Balloon Party

Forget blowing up balloons, fill them with water for an explosive water party. Here are a few games you can play with water balloons:

  • The Classic—Run for cover! It’s a water balloon fight!
  • The Toss—Set out buckets and see who can land the most water balloons without popping.
  • Water Pinata—For every balloon popped, the child up to “bat” gets a sugary treat!
  • Spoon Race—Fill balloons until they’re the size of an egg, set them on a spoon and run through a backyard obstacle course without letting your balloon drop.
  • Hot Potato/Balloon—Who will be the last child holding the water balloon when the music stops?
  • Water Dodgeball—Try not to get hit in this wet-n-wild spin on the classic game of dodgeball.
  • Back-to-Back Race—Grab a partner and turn back to back. Stick a water balloon in between you and see which team can cross the finish line first with their balloon still intact.

Fish Friendly Fiesta

It’s the big one (or two or three)! Whatever age you’re celebrating, this water-themed party is o-fish-ally awesome! An inflatable pool makes a great lake escape for little fishermen (and women) to drop in magnetized plastic poles and see how many plastic fish they can catch. Use a marker to jot down a prize or goodie bag number that they can win. Need snack ideas? Fill a fishing net with bags of chips and goldfish crackers for a little “fish and chips,” top off a bucket with gummy worms, and bring out a pitcher with blue and green beverage choices—one is sea water, the other is lake water. If adults are joining, serve fish tacos fresh off the grill. Finish off the festivities with a fish-face photo contest or a photo booth with fishy photo props. 

Poppin’ Bubble Blowout

Let’s give ‘em something to pop about! Water parties are hardly complete without BUBBLES! Set up a bubble maker to fill the air with iridescent delight, and string white and clear balloons of all shapes and sizes on a fishing line to hang about the party space. Fill a play pool with homemade soapy water and use a giant bubble wand to let kids get right in the middle of the magic. As kids float home, send them out the door with cake pops, bubble gum and soap for a bubble bath.

Under the Sea Mermaid Mania

Twist green streamers up the walls and spread seashells around for an under the sea spectacular. Invite merfriends to come dressed as mermaids and mermen, and spend the afternoon crafting prince and princess sea crowns with shells and pastel purple, pink, aqua and sea green beads.

Sports-Themed Pool Party

Bigger kids can have a ball with a sports-themed pool party. Water birthday party ideas can include pool volleyball, basketball or capture the flag. Decorate with beach balls by creating an archway over the back door. Need a little extra entertainment? Plan the party around the next big game and watch it outside from the comfort of the pool.

Swim-In Movie Night

When the sun goes down, the fun comes up! Line the pool deck with spectacular swim snacks and set up a movie projector outside. Sing to The Little Mermaid, swim alongside Nemo, or keep your toes tucked in a tube with Jaws while you swim the night away.

Slip, Slide & Celebrate Non-Pool Party

Don’t have a pool in the backyard? That’s ok! Backyard water party ideas can be as simple as a classic slip-n-slide. Follow up the slippery fun by blowing up individual inflatable pools, spread them across the lawn (the dry part!), and fill them with sleeping bags and pillows for an out-of-the-water spin on a swimming slumber party.

DIY Pool Party Snacks and Party Favors 

If you’re less inspired by themed pool parties and just want to throw a neighborhood swim gathering, here are a few snack and giveaway ideas that’ll make a splash!

Swim Snacks

  • Submarine Sandwiches—Fill hungry tummies with all the classic sandwich fixings.
  • Floating Teddy Graham Jello Cups—Fill individual cups with blue jello. Once set, add a teddy graham cracker with a gummy peach ring around its middle. It’s like floating on a sea of sugar!
  • Swimming Takes the Cake—Create a one-of-a-kind pool cake by cutting out the middle, lining it with foil and adding blue jello. Decorate with graham cracker crumbs for sand, teddy grahams for swimmers, gummy lifesavers for pool floats and mini umbrellas for poolside decor.
  • PB Flip Flops—Use a thin stream of icing to draw the straps of flip flops on the end of Nutter Butter cookies.


  • Goggles
  • Beach Towels
  • Flip Flops
  • Bubbles
  • Beach Balls
  • Pool Noodles
  • Bathtub Toys
  • Water Squirters
  • Sunglasses
  • Lifesavers
  • Goldfish
  • Diving Rings
  • Sand Pails
  • Free Swim Lesson Certificate—Visit your local Aqua-Tots Swim Schools and request cards for a free swim lesson. This is the ultimate way for your guests to experience safety first and fun every second!

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