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The Hottest Birthday Party Trends of 2017

The Hottest Birthday Party Trends of 2017

This year brought new movies, toys, and fun ideas for your child’s birthday party.

We scoured the mom blogs and studied our Instagram feed in search of the trendiest kids’ birthday party themes of the year. And what did we find? Plenty of unicorns, emojis, and Shopkins, among many other fun ideas. Here are our picks for the hottest birthday party themes of 2017:

Star Wars Birthday Party

pin the bun on princess leiaCourtesy Amy Friend

A Star Wars-themed version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey

With the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Movie late last year and the impending December debut of The Last Jedi, many kids will be wanting a Star Wars-themed party, complete with light sabers, storm troopers, and more. Blogger Amy Friend of created a Stars Wars spin on the classic Pin the Tail on the Donkey. “I found a picture of Princess Leia and my husband printed it out on nine sheets of paper that I taped together. I then covered the bulk of the poster with clear adhesive contact paper. The kids wore a C3PO mask that I made so that they couldn’t see and attempted to ‘Pin the Bun on Princess Leia.’ The bun is brown yarn wrapped and hot glued to cardboard,” she writes on her blog.

Unicorn Birthday Party

unicorn poop cupcake cones
Courtesy Trisha Haas

Unicorn Poop Cupcake Cones, a hilarious and easy-to-make treat for a memorable unicorn-themed birthday party

These mythical creatures are definitely having a moment this year. With the launch of the Unicorn Frappuccino at Starbucks and a unicorn horn store in Brooklyn, it seems like unicorns are everywhere, including very possibly at your little one’s next birthday party. Think pastel colors and lots of glitter to make this party extra special. You can create personalized horns for each child, or have them decorate their own as a fun activity. Trisha Haas, who blogs at, made fun Unicorn Poop Cupcake Cones that are as easy to create as they are hilarious. You just need some cake mix, ice cream cones, and food coloring to create this one-of-a-kind-treat.   

Emoji Birthday Party

The Emoji Movie was released this summer, and since then my 5-year-old has been running around the house screaming, “We’re number two! We’re number two!” So it’s no surprise we are considering an emoji-themed party for his next birthday. One easy-to-do idea is creating emojis out of clementines. It’s a healthy snack option and a creative way to let the kids make their very own emoji. Hand out clementines to each of the children and lay out permanent markers. You can hang some emoji print outs for inspiration. Less healthy but lots of fun, you can also decorate sugar cookies for fun, edible emoji (see main image). This party is also great for teens and tweens. Invite guests to play “name that movie” using only emojis. Or if you’ve got an avid texter—is there a teen who isn’t?—an emoji party is a fun way for Mom and Dad to play the “cool card.”

Pokémon Birthday Party

pokemon birthday cupcakes
Courtesy Nicole Gonzalez

Pokémon cupcakes round out a birthday party of Pokémon-themed activities.

No mobile devices are necessary to have a good time at this party. Manhattan mom blogger Nicole Gonzalez of threw a Pokémon-themed party for her son’s 5th birthday. “Lucas is Pokémon obsessed, and we wanted his party to be simple but true to the characters and theme,” Gonzalez says. “A highlight for the kids were the Pokéball cupcakes made by Chloe Sackett.” You can also create your very own Pokémon Go hunt right in your own home, sans cellphones. Just take a cue from the game and hide cut outs around the house. You can divide up the kids into teams and award points for each Pokémon found. Nothing like an old-fashioned scavenger hunt to keep the kids entertained.

Moana Birthday Party

moana themed birthday party
Courtesy Christy Bergerson

A colorful, Hawaiian-focused Moana birthday party

Thanks to Disney’s hit Moana, you can expect to see a lot of Hawaiian-themed parties this year and next. Parents can get creative by using tons of flowers for decoration as well as DIY costumes for the partygoers. Why not set up a designated area where kids can dress up like characters from the movie? Have temporary tattoos and straw skirts ready for your guests to get into the spirit. Christy Bergerson from Itsy Belle Studio, a Printable Party Shop in Washington state, used pineapple blow-ups for her daughter’s Moana pool party. “I was hesitant when my daughter first said she wanted a Moana-themed birthday party, but I decided to run with it and it ended up being one of our favorite events to date!,” she says. “Playing with bright colors and tropical touches instead of going strictly character based allowed us to really create a fun, playful event with just enough elements of her favorite movie included.”

Lego Birthday Party

lego party favor
Courtesy Victoria Saley

A fun idea for favors to top off a fun Lego-themed party

For endless options and ways to play, Lego is the go-to toy—and it can also be the go-to option for birthday parties. Create a “bricks station” where partygoers can make an original creation to take home. And baking a Lego cake is fairly easy for the not-so-crafty parent: All you need is a cake pan, cupcake molds, and colorful frosting. Blogger Victoria Saley of created Lego-themed party favors and put a mystery mini figurine in each one!

Shopkins Birthday Party

shopkins birthday party
Courtesy Natalie Lesnefsky

All ready for a Shopkins-themed birthday party

These delicious little toys are all the rage, and since they’re food-centric, planning sweets and treats for a Shopkins party should be a breeze. Create shopping basket party favors that kids can fill themselves. Fill several bins with toys, treats, and other party favor paraphilia. Give each kid a basket and have her take a treat from each bin—it will be like they are “shopping” for their own favors. Natalie Lesnefsky of created a balloon garland over the must-have dessert table. “We were deep in the Shopkins craze over here so the party theme was a no brainer!,” she says. “It was really fun because both girls were old enough to help a lot with the party details. I had a balloon pump and they worked together to pump up almost all of the balloons... even tying them on their own! Together we created a fun balloon garland for the Dessert Table that immediately made it a party! The secret to the arch is the chicken wire! It’s awesome because it’s lightweight and moldable. All you do is hot glue clusters of balloons together, then make a tape tail and attach it to the chicken wire that you shaped and attached to the wall. (I had two nails holding it up.) Then go in and add more with tape or hot glue.”

Main image: Sugar cookies easily become emoji cookies for a fun addition to an emoji-themed party.
Courtesy Alison Faulkner of


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