Tons of little boys and little girls would love nothing more than a barnyard party! Whether you have the party at a local petty zoo, bring the animals to your backyard, or skip the livestock altogether, there are tons of options for throwing the best barnyard party.
Below you’ll find imaginative ideas for emulating the barnyard and farm life at your party. There are tons of options for themes and decorations, snacks, and activities that will entertain your party guests and have them tuckered out from an afternoon on the farm and ready to hit the hay.
Planning the perfect barnyard party is as simple as choosing a (more specific) theme, locating a venue, finding the right invites, choosing a few great snacks, and finally, planning several activities for your child and their friends to enjoy. Let’s get started!
When it comes to the location of the party, there are several things to consider, here are a few options and the type of party that the area would suit best.
- The local petting zoo or farm – If you can reserve a spot to have your party at a local farm or petty zoo, you may just be able to have the most immersive barnyard party here. There may be some animals wandering around like ducks and geese, and others available for your guests to pet and interact with.This location is best if you’d like to show up with your guests and get the party started without too much trouble or prep. Some venues will be set up for parties, and others may require that you do the work or clean up, so be sure to check when reserving your party slot.
- A local park or recreation area – If you’re not worried about bringing in animals for the party but would like more room for games and activities than your yard can provide, a local park could be the right choice for you. Large families and extra friends aren’t a big deal when you choose a park since there’s typically plenty of room.
- Your backyard – If you have a smaller number of guests or your yard is accommodating, it’s easy to bring the barnyard style to your home for a party your kids won’t forget. In the comfort of your yard, you also have the option of bringing in a petty zoo.
Whether you want to bring in some animals or not, backyard parties are an excellent option for families who may wish to indulge in adult beverages or those who like a more intimate affair.
Once you know where you’d like to have your party, it’s time to start thinking about getting more specific with your theme!
Themes & Decorations
As far as themes go, you’d be surprised how many barnyard party ideas spiral into more niche themes. From all-out farm life to livestock and crops, there are plenty of ideas for bringing in something specific your child loves about the barnyard.
- Barnyard Bash – For an all-out barnyard bash, it’s easy to get into character and pull of decorations that set the tone. From little red barns, hay bales, and livestock, there are tons of decorations to make your barnyard party come to life.If DIY isn’t your style, you can easily find pre-made decorations like these farm animal banners that can be hung around your yard, park, or venue with easy setup and clean up. There are also tons of ready to party sets that include a variety of balloons and decorations like this farm animal party set.
- Moo All the Way – If your little boy or little girl loves cows the most out of all the farm animals, you may want to make cows the center of your barnyard themed party. You can pick up cow printed decorations to mix in with the usual barns and hay bales. We like this cow party supply set combined with this fun farm backdrop.
- Cowboys & Cowgirls – Another way to bring the farm to your party is to add cowboys or cowgirls to the mix, or both for coed parties! You can pick up bandanas for the kids to wear, grab a few hay bales for seating, and still keep barns in the mix decoration wise.It’s also easy to find party sets like these straw hats and bandanas to help kids get creative! It’s simple to ask that kids come dressed up for the party and add touches of farm life and cowboy or cowgirl fun to the party. You can find inspiration here.
- Animals Galore – If your little one is a big fan of the animals on the farm, you can make them the center of attention quickly. The best way for this theme would be to have your party at a local farm or petting zoo that will give you access to seeing the animals.If you don’t have a local farm that does parties, you may be able to get a small petting zoo to come to you. If neither is possible, there are tons of farm animals decorations and toys to help bring the magic of animals to the party. We like these farm animal treat bags and these cupcake wrappers.
- Rustic Barn – Some kids love the classic red barn, which makes party planning easy. If you were able to grab a party location that’s in a barn or has a real barn in view, you’re already set. But, bringing the barn to your yard is simple too.For those wanting to go all out, this big barn photo op makes a great addition to a barn themed party, but a simple barn backdrop like this one works just as well.
- Vintage Farm – Another fun way to celebrate a barnyard party is to give it a rustic or vintage feel. You may even have supplies ready to use from around the house that makes the vintage themed barnyard party a breeze.If you have any mason jars, candles, milk jars, classic picnic table clothes, or burlap fabric to use, you’ve got this one in the bag. If you’re starting from scratch, there are endless possibilities. There are all-in-one party sets like this 1st boy birthday vintage farmhouse, or you can round up your decor and choose pieces that you can keep and use after the party, here are a few we like for this theme.
- This galvanized steel tray stand for the cake, cupcakes, or other treats
- These rustic table runners to add the perfect touch to the treat or gift tables
- This set of reusable glass bottles with lids and straws for the party guests
- Tractors on the Farm – Tractors are a staple on most farms, so if your child is a big fan of farm life, they may love it if you make tractors the main decor of their barnyard party. The great thing is that you can mix and match plenty of the decorations above, keep your color scheme open for boys and girls or narrow it down to the traditional green farm tractor.To get started, here’s a tractor and Barn cupcake stand, which goes great with this Happy Birthday tractor garland. Of course, if you want to make clean up easy, you can opt for this tractor plate, cup, and napkin set.
- County Fair – If you’ve ever seen the movie Charlotte’s Web, then you know that the county fair and farm life go hand in hand. For a little twist on the traditional barnyard theme, you can deck your party out county fair style. The best thing about the county fair theme is that you can piece together items you already have and repurpose them into party decorations.If you’re feeling stuck or don’t think you have anything on hand, you’d be surprised at just how simple it is. For example, you could purchase a colorful banner garland like this one, but you could make one with only some string or rope, and some old T-shirts. Cut the shirts into triangles, and make two holes along one edge, several inches apart, and string the colored triangles onto the rope.Your treat table will look just like the food court at the fair when you use any of these fun disposables for snacks and food.
- Printed bags for hot dogs, popcorn, corn dogs, peanuts, or pickles
- Red striped printed popcorn boxes
- Disposal carnival-style food trays for anything you may be serving
By now, you should have a few good ideas about how your party theme might go and what direction you’d like to take. If you didn’t see something you had in mind on this list so far, remember to have fun, use what you already have, and get creative! Your child will likely be thrilled at any party you throw!
Some people like to send paper invitations still, and others don’t feel like it’s necessary. If you’re okay with sending a mass group text out to those who are invited to the party, then you can skip to the next section.
If you’re interested in invites, you have quite a few options. You can purchase ready to fill in printed invitations that match your theme well enough, you can create your own at home on the computer, or you can go into a print shop and do them. Lastly, there are plenty of templates to use online.
If you need to notify family and friends far enough in advance so that they can come in from out of town, we recommend inviting with plenty of time and sending a follow-up text if you don’t get a timely RSVP just to make sure they’ve received your invite.
Here are our top 8 ready to fill invitations to match the themes above. Even if you want to create your own or use a template, these are great to look at to get some inspiration for your creation!
- Barnyard Bash – This set of 25 invites has the traditional barnyard theme with animals, a windmill, grain silo, tractor, and barn
- Moo All the Way – This set of 12 cow invitations is printed on satin-matte cardstock and makes the perfect invite for a cow-themed party
- Cowboys & Cowgirls – These cowboy invitations or these cowgirl invitations should do the trick for inviting little cowboys and girls out to your party
- Animals Galore – We liked these invites best for the animal-themed party since they feature a range of farm animals
- Rustic Barn – The rustic barn theme is one of our top favorites, and these invites go along perfectly, the set includes 20 cards, envelopes and stickers to seal them with
- Vintage Farm – These invites have a western vintage feel for them which makes them an excellent pair for the vintage farm theme
- Tractors on the Farm – For the all-things-tractor themed party, we enjoyed these cute tractor invites
- County Fair – To kick off your county fair themed celebration, consider these custom printed county fair invitations
So far, you’ve gathered some ideas for the location of your party, themes and decorations, party invites. We’re going to move along to snacks and foods that will go well with any of the above themes!
Planning a party menu of snacks, foods, and treats is easy. Here are some of our top favorites.
- Popcorn Corn on the Cob Bags – All you need are small snack-sized baggies, popped popcorn, green tissue paper, tape, and scissors to make the kid-approved treats. Start by filling each baggie with some popped popcorn.Fold the zipper of the bag behind the popcorn and in the corner of a green tissue paper square. Wrap the right side over, the bottom up, and the left side above. You can twist the bottom tight and tie off with string, or cut short enough to fold under and tape. You can find a helpful video here.
- Hay Bale Rice Crispy Treats – You can never have too many hale bales at a barnyard party! For this treat, make rice crispy treats as you usually would. Tie a small string, such as jute or twine around each one to give it tied bale look. You can arrange them on the back of a toy tractor or set among little plastic farm animals! You can find some inspiration here.
- Cupcakes – Cupcakes, a cupcake cake, or a regular cake can work here. Decorating cupcakes to match your party is super simple since you can frost them with whatever colors you like and add cupcake wrappers, toppers, or decorative liners to help them blend in with your party. We mentioned a few above in the themes and decoration section.We also love cupcakes that are easy to decorate, like farm animals. You can find the instructions here, but all you’ll need to create sheep cupcakes is white-frosted cupcakes, a bag of mini marshmallows, and a little bit of fondant or black icing for the face, whatever you’re comfortable using. Simply add a sheep’s face to the frosted cupcakes, and then press mini marshmallows all over the top. Voila!
- Marshmallow Cow Dippers – With a few ingredients and a little bit of time, you can make marshmallow cow-themed dippers that your party guests are sure to love. Start by placing each marshmallow on a stick, and then you can dip each one uniquely into chocolate to make spots like a cow. Don’t be afraid to dip a little haphazardly to make the chocolate “spots” more cow-like.Now you can roll these in candy crumbles, sprinkles, or crushed nuts. To go along with your farm theme, stick your marshmallow pops into a small decorative hay bale to set on your treat table! You can see an example here for inspiration.
- Don’t Forget the Setting – Remember that just about any snack foods and party treats will work for a farm party with the right setting. Choose a burlap tablecloth, a classic red and white picnic tablecloth, cow printed tablecloth, or whatever other colors or prints you like. Add some farm decorations and labels to your foods. Here are some ideas.
- Oreos – Tractor Wheels
- Rice Crispy Treats – Hay Bales
- Rolled Plastic Wear – Carrot Patch (green plastic wear rolled in an orange napkin)
- Petting Zoo – Farm animal shaped and decorated sugar cookies
Your guests will have plenty of treats to choose from. Let’s add some fun activities for kids and adults alike.
Activities to entertain your barnyard party guests are endless. Check out these fun games and activities.
- Scavenger Hunt – What better way than to get everyone moving and “working” on the farm than to have everyone team up for a scavenger hunt. Depending on how many people you have, you can have little ones join up in teams of two for support or divide the whole group into two bigger teams.Give each team the same list of items to find around the venue. You may need to plan ahead and hide these things around the yard or park. Use items like small plastic farm animals, eggs, small garden tools, or get creative and come up with other items.The first team to find everything on their list and bring it back wins!
- Bobbing for Apples – You can also use smaller items like marshmallows in case your guests are too little to use apples successfully. Since this activity requires a large bucket of water, you’ll want to keep water safety in mind and never leave children unattended. With just a pale, water, and apples, you can entertain both adults and kids for ages with this game!
- Charades – This game is especially fun for young children. You may need to help them read the slip of paper they pick. Start by writing the names of all the farm animals and maybe some farm tools/equipment on sheets of paper. Have the kids split into two teams and allow one child to choose a slip of paper at a time. They can act out their animals, and someone must guess correctly to move on.
- Duck Race – Another game that both children and adults can play begins at the designated starting line. Everyone lines up and squats down. With arms bent under and held like wings, each person must stay low and waddle to the finish line.
- Farmer Says – Most everyone has heard of the game “Simon Says,” and knows how to play. Change “Simon” to “Farmer,” and you now have the farm-themed gay to fit your party. Have everyone line up and choose the Farmer. The Farmer will be the leader and will lead the group just like in “Simon Says.”
- Pin the Tail on the Donkey – You’ll need a big poster board and some decent drawing skills, or you can purchase this game to make it easier. No themed farm party would be complete without an old-fashioned game of pin the tail on the donkey!
- Duck, Duck, Goose – There are plenty of variations of this game that you could play as well. You could play Pig, Pig, Piglet, Chick, Chick, Rooster, or even Apple, Apple, Pear. Any way you choose to play it, the kids will have fun running around and playing.
- Sack Race – Other variations you can do are a sack race, three-legged race, or the egg and spoon race. No matter which way you play, little ones and grown-ups can play together, double up in teams, or go as a free for all race.
Depending on how long you’d like your party to run, you can choose several of these along with some free time to mingle, or time with animals if you were able to wrangle a petting zoo for your party. You can’t go wrong with any of these fun barnyard themes, activities, and treats.
As you can see, there’s no wrong direction to go when it comes to barnyard party ideas. You’ve got tons of inspiration above to pull together just the right party for your little one. You can easily mix and match themes, decorations, snacks, and activities to suit your guest of honor and their friends. We hope your perfectly curated barnyard party turns out with success!