Baby’s first birthday is the most momentous one! They transition from Baby to Toddler, can enjoy the sweets and fun, and are surrounded by friends and family who feel like there’s no way it’s already been a year. Celebrate your little “one” in style with a cheeky first birthday party theme that fits their likes and your aesthetic. Make sure to pick a theme that you love this year, because once your kiddo gets into cartoons and characters, you won’t have as much of a say in future parties! Here are some of the cutest first birthday theme ideas around.

One-Derland First Birthday Theme

Alice in Wonderland-themed first birthday cake on a table with a banner in the background reading “Mila’s Onderland”

Photo: @nurys_cake

Whether you take it in a fairy-tale direction with lots of Alice-inspired elements, or skew more seasonal for a November-February birthday with a “winter one-derland” of snowflake motifs and white faux fur, this is a luxe baby birthday theme with lots of possibilities. For a girl, we’re envisioning lots of florals, sparkle, and tulle. If you’re celebrating a “one-derful” little man, go dapper and storybook with little woolen overalls and a fun hat on him, and enchanted forest elements throughout the space. 

One in a Melon First Birthday Theme

Food cart draped with a pink and green balloon arch and a banner that reads “one in a melon.”

Photo: @sweetcreationspartydecor

In addition to providing a delightful pun, melons create an intrinsically bright color scheme to work with. You might consider a full-on watermelon theme with bright pink details to match, as it’s fresh, fun, and easy to shop for. If your little “one in melon” needs could use more color variety, a combination of melon tones (and snacks, and games!) would burst with fun. 

Hole in One! First Birthday Theme

Banner reading “happy birthday Jack Ryan” hung over a buffet with a golf-themed birthday cake and other golf-themed treats.

Photo & Decor: @TBBembroideryCo

The tiniest linksman is ready for their first birthday. This theme will score high marks with golf-loving parents and be a blast to plan. Oversized, squishy “golf”-look balls will be a must for the area where the babies are playing. Golf ball balloons and party favors are a must, and a soft palette of white and blue are the perfect backdrop for any pops of green you bring in. 

One in the Sun First Birthday Theme

First birthday party table displaying sun-shaped mylar balloons, a yellow cake, and sun, cloud, and rainbow cookies.

Photo: Elizabeth Doodah Blog

Your only sunshine is turning one! It’s time to have some fun in the sun. Sunny yellow, white, and coordinating pastels or brights are a perfect palette. Create a tablescape and balloon arch to match with a yellow sun at the center, get the kids outside to play, and serve lemonade and beach snacks. Yard games and a sprinkler setup would also be on-theme! 

Sweet Little One First Birthday Theme

Pastel-colored first birthday balloon display featuring peppermint and donut-shaped mylar balloons.

Photo: @balloonoccasions  

For a lot of babies, the first birthday is also the first time they try cake. Why not expand on that idea to an all-out sweets theme that will charm and impress all of your guests? Poster-board-sized candies or cookies, lots of cheerful color, and puffy white balloon bunches to create the feeling of “whipped cream” are some easy ideas. This is a theme that lends well to not serving lunch, too. Invite everyone over from 3 to 5 for a desserts party and don’t forget to include a candy display table and baggies as the favor. 

Berry First Birthday Party Theme

Pink first birthday cake decorated with fondant strawberries.

Photo: @chelseagilbert1 

Strawberries will never not make an adorable birthday theme, and for your little one’s absolute first, they’re “berry” sweet. Luckily, this birthday party theme is not super unique, so you’ll have no problem finding strawberry-themed paper goods. Consider a red velvet cake with strawberry icing to thrill and delight the littles. 

First Bee Day Birthday Party Theme

Food table for a bee-themed first birthday party that features honey candies, cookies, and a cheese plate.

Photo: @raisingbradfordsblog 

A cute gender-neutral first birthday theme that plays on natural elements and can go boho bright or super minimalist. You choose your yellows and dedication to the theme — mini honey pots or honey candy are a sweet favor idea. This dessert table is flawless inspiration. 

Wild One First Birthday Party Theme 

Animal- and leaf-print balloons used for a “wild one”-themed first birthday.

Photo & To Purchase: Etsy/OhhHowCharming

It’s an open-ended idea with tons of possibilities from a jungle aesthetic to inspiration from the book, Where the Wild Things Are. If you choose jungle, make sure to bring bright colors and faux greenery in, and add lots of sweet jungle animal motifs throughout the space and on the cake. A “lagoon” or blow-up pool for splashing in would also be sweet. 

If you’re taking it in the literary direction, fashion the woods from the book with brown construction paper and simple line drawings or paint to create a moody tree scene. Dress Baby in Max’s all-white fuzzy outfit with a simple crown from Etsy to complete the look. 

Baby’s Rookie Year First Birthday Theme

The back of a toddler boy wearing a baseball uniform standing in front of a baseball-themed party table.

Photo: A Touch of Pink

Your little slugger’s “rookie” year has been a smashing success, so deck out the space with ballgame inspired elements and watch your guests gush over every detail. Encourage friends and family to come in the jerseys of their favorite athletes and the kids to come in their own sports uniforms if they have them. Serve stadium snacks and play fun, lively music. These details alone will knock this first birthday theme out of the park.

One-der the Sea First Birthday Theme

Ocean-themed first birthday party treats, including starfish-shaped sugar cookies.

Photo: Hostess with the Mostest 

An ocean-themed first birthday would make a splash for your little guy or gal. Whether you stick with fish or add in sharks or mermaids, we’re seeing lots of blue, paper streamers as seaweed, balloons as bubbles for a sea-nsational soirée the kids will absolutely love. Pictured are some yummy food ideas to enhance the theme.

Mr. (or Miss!) One-derful 

 Cute baby boy celebrates his first birthday with a birthday crown and pastel blue decor

Photo: @ourlifeinrosegold

Celebrate that special addition to your family with a glam fete that feels more upscale than cutesy, with a simple palette of blue or pink, a crown for the birthday child, something sparkly for a toast, and a few sweet treats to eat. Keep it classic and beautiful, because in the next year or so, you’ll likely be deep in kiddie-character party territory.

ONCE Upon a Time First Birthday Theme

 Little Golden Disney Books packaged to be favors for a fairytale-themed first birthday party

Image: Inspired By This

If your little one is already about that Disney life, celebrate with all the enchanted characters you (or your little) adore for a royally beautiful soiree that doubles as a bit of a coronation. Your littlest prince or princess deserves the very best!

Baby’s First Trip Around the Sun Birthday Theme

Balloons and sign welcoming guests to a space-themed first birthday party 

Photo: Kara’s Party Ideas 

Planets, moons, and stars collide for a first birthday party theme that’s out of this world! Baby–and all your guests–will be utterly charmed by this decor, which is easy to pull off with the right balloons and paper goods.  

Some Bunny Is One First Birthday Theme

Decorative chalkboard that says "Hop in to celebrate Adelaide's 1st birthday!"

Photo: Kara’s Party Ideas

Aside from your little cub, there’s nothing cuter than a baby animal. A bunny themed first birthday party allows for neutral colors, farm-to-table foods, and lots of easy and charming touches throughout the space.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go First Birthday Theme

 Dr. Seuss "Oh, the Places You'll Go"-themed first birthday party

Photo: Hostess with the Mostest

The beloved Dr. Seuss book is a graduation party favorite, but did you ever think of using it for a first birthday? So filled with hope and promise, this is a darling gender-neutral first birthday theme that can be executed in primary colors or pastels to fit your aesthetic. 

(Another) Once Upon a Time Fairytale First Birthday Theme

One-ce Upon a Time fairytale first birthday party theme

Image: A Touch of Pink Blog

Throw your prince or princess a fairy-dusted fete to celebrate this once in a lifetime event. Here, gold, glitter, tulle, and roses do a lot of heavy lifting for a storybook-worthy bash.  

First Rodeo Western Birthday Theme

First rodeo themed first birthday party

Image: Samantha Plans to Decorate

Your little one will undoubtedly have plenty of not-first rodeos ahead of them—so lean into the wordplay for their inaugural b-day shindig. Be sure to stock up on plenty of cow print and boot décor, then let the good times ride!

Unicorn-Themed First Birthday Party

Unicorn-themed first birthday party

Image: Pretty Little Details

Celebrate your one-year wonder with a one-horned wonder! Unicorns are likely to spark your little one’s fancy a few years down the road…but why hold back on the magic until then? It’s the perfect excuse to roll out pretty pastel, glittery, and iridescent décor. 

Beary First Birthday Theme

Beary first birthday party theme 

Image: Samantha Plans to Decorate

Sometimes the simplest first birthday themes speak the loudest. Here, the humble teddy takes center stage for a cuddly and timeless motif (one that would make our SNOObear feel right at home!)

More first birthday inspiration:

About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

View more posts tagged, birthday

Have questions about a Happiest Baby product? Our consultants would be happy to help! Submit your questions here.

Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.