Tons of little boys and girls would love nothing more than a barnyard party! Petting adorable animals, going on hay rides, enjoying fresh, tasty treats, or just stomping around in rubber boots through wide-open spaces, there is a fascinating and magical world of possibilities.
But a barnyard party is not only an opportunity for children to have a blast, it’s also a chance for parents to join in on the fun as well. There’s something undeniably nostalgic and heartwarming about the charm of the farm, as it allows adults to relive their own childhood memories while creating new ones with their kids. From the smell of freshly cut hay to the sound of laughter echoing across the fields, it’s a way to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and embrace the simplicity and joy that the farm brings.
And we’ve got the perfect farmyard party ideas to make it a reality.
So, don your best overalls, channel your inner cowboy, and get ready to join the kids in a celebration that will bring out the childlike wonder in everyone. The barnyard is calling, and it’s time to answer with laughter, love, and a whole lot of party magic!
A number of factors need to be taken into consideration. Here are the top picks in accordance to style:
- The local petting zoo or farm — For the most immersive barnyard party experience, consider reserving a spot at a local farm or petting zoo. These venues offer the opportunity to have animals freely roam around. Gentle ducks and geese, friendly ponies and fuzzy rabbits, they will provide an awesome interactive experience for your guests. Opting for this location is ideal if you want to kickstart the event without extensive preparations or setup. Do note, some venues may already be equipped for parties, while others might require you to handle setup and cleanup. Make sure to inquire about the available facilities and arrangements when reserving your party slot.
- A local park or recreation area — If you don’t plan on having live animals but desire ample space for games and activities beyond what your yard can offer, a local park might be the perfect choice. They provide a generous area that can accommodate large families and additional friends without any concerns. With plenty of room to spread out and enjoy, a park can offer the ideal setting for your gathering.
- Your backyard — When you have a smaller number of guests or your yard is plenty adequate, it’s easy to bring the barnyard style to your home for a party your kids won’t forget. And in the comfort of your yard, you also have the option of bringing in a petting zoo.
Once you’ve decided the location, 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 options for bringing in something specific that your child will love.
- Barnyard Bash — To throw an authentic barnyard-themed party, simple decorations can help set the atmosphere. From little red barns to hay bales and livestock, there are tons of ornaments to make your event come to life. If DIY isn’t your style, find pre-made decorations like these farm animal banners that can be hung around your yard, park, or venue. These are much easier to set up and clean up. There are also tons of ready-made sets that include a variety of balloons and accessories, like this farm animal party set.
- Moo All the Way — If cows are your little one’s favorite farm animal above all others, you may want to feature those more prominently. 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 atmosphere to your event is by incorporating a ranch theme as well. Add cowboy and cowgirl elements for a coed party. Pick up bandanas for the kids to wear as neckerchiefs, and provide hay bale seating. It’s also easy to find sets like these straw hats and bandanas to help kids get creative! Request kids to dress up and add farm and cowboy/cowgirl touches for a fun-filled day. You can find inspiration here.
- Animals Galore — If your child adores certain farm animals in particular, make those the stars of the event. The best way to go about is hosting the party at a local farm or petting zoo, granting access to real animals. If farm venues are unavailable, consider arranging for a mobile petting zoo to come to you. Alternatively, use farm animal decorations and toys to bring the enchantment 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 planning easy. If you were able to grab a 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 big, this big barn door photo makes a great addition, but a simple barn backdrop works just as well.
- Vintage Farm — Another fun way to celebrate is to give your festivities a rustic or vintage feel. You may even have supplies ready to use from around the house, making setting up a breeze. If you have any mason jars, candles, milk jars, classic picnic table cloths, or burlap fabric to use, you’ve got this one in the bag. If you’re starting from scratch, there are endless possibilities. Plenty of all-in-one party sets to choose from as well, like this 1st boy birthday vintage farmhouse. Or you can round up your decor and select 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. If your child is a big fan of farm life, they may love to have it as background. You have the freedom to mix and match decorations (like the ones above), keeping the color scheme versatile for both boys and girls. Alternatively, you can go with the classic green farm tractor theme. 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, you know county fairs and farm life go hand in hand. For a little twist on the traditional barnyard theme, deck your party out county-fair style. The best thing is, you can just piece together items you already have and repurpose them into ornaments. You’d be surprised at just how simple it is. For example, you could purchase a colorful banner garland like this one, or make one yourself with only some string or rope, and some old T-shirts. Cut the shirts into triangles, 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 if you incorporate any of these fun components for snacks and food.
- Printed bags for hot dogs, popcorn, corn dogs, peanuts, or pickles
- Red striped printed popcorn boxes
- Disposable carnival-style food trays for anything you may be serving
By now, you should have a clearer picture of how to go about this barnyard shindig. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun together, your child will likely be thrilled at any party you throw!
For some people, sending paper invitations is still cute and charming. Others might think this is slightly outdated. But if you’re okay with sending a mass group text out to attendees, then just skip to the next section.
When it comes to invites, you have quite a few options. You can purchase ready to fill in printed invitations that match your theme well enough, create your own at home on the computer, or go into a print shop and do them. Lastly, there are plenty of templates to use online.
For out-of-town guests, send invitations well in advance. Also, follow up with a text if you don’t get a timely RSVP, just to make sure they’ve received your note.
Here are our top 8 ready to fill invitations that match the themes above. Even if you want to design your own or use a template, these are great to look at and get some inspiration!
- Barnyard Bash – This set of 25 invites has the traditional barnyard theme with animals, a windmill, grain silo, tractor, and shed.
- Moo All the Way – This set of 20 cow invitations is printed on satin-matte card stock 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 cowgirls out to your gathering.
- 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 to them, an excellent choice for the classic 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 hopefully gathered some ideas for the location, themes, decorations, and party invites for the event. We’re going to move on 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, placing it in the corner of a square green tissue paper. Wrap the right side of the tissue paper over the baggie, followed by folding the bottom up and the left side above. You can secure the bottom by twisting it tightly and tying it off with string. Alternatively, you can cut the excess tissue paper short enough to fold under and tape it. Here is a helpful video.
- Hay Bale Rice Crispy Treats – You can never have too many hay bales at a barnyard party! For this treat, make rice crispy treats as you usually would. Then tie a small string, such as jute or twine, around each one and give it the tied bale look. Arrange them on the back of a toy tractor or set among little plastic farm animals! For more inspiration, click here.
- Baked sweets – Cupcakes, a cupcake cake, or a regular cake should work amazingly here. Decorating cupcakes to match your party is a breeze. Frost them with your preferred colors and add cupcake wrappers, toppers, or liners to blend in with the theme. We already mentioned how in the themes and decoration section. We also love cupcakes that are easy to decorate, and in the shape of farm animals. You can find the instructions here, but all you’ll need to create sheep cupcakes are white-frosted cupcakes and a bag of mini marshmallows. A bit of fondant or black icing will be used to draw the face, whatever you’re comfortable using. Simply sprinkle mini marshmallows all over the top. Voila!
- Marshmallow Cow Dippers – You can easily create delightful cow-themed marshmallow dippers for your guests. All you need are a few ingredients and a bit of time. Begin by skewering each marshmallow onto a stick, and then individually dip them in chocolate to create spots resembling a cow. Feel free to dip them in a slightly random manner for a more authentic cow pattern. Afterward, coat them with candy crumbles, sprinkles, or crushed nuts. To complement your farm theme, insert the marshmallow pops into a decorative hay bale and place it on your treat table. You can see an example here for inspiration.
- Don’t Forget the Setting – Just about any snack foods and party treats will work with the right setting. Choose a burlap tablecloth, a classic red and white picnic tablecloth, a cow printed one, 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 delicious 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 – To encourage everyone to participate and engage in farm-themed activities, organizing a scavenger hunt is a fantastic idea. Whether you have a small or large group, the game can be adapted accordingly. Consider having younger participants team up in pairs for added support, or divide the entire group into two larger teams. Provide each team with an identical list of items to locate within the venue. To ensure an exciting scavenger hunt, it’s essential to plan ahead and strategically hide these items around the yard or park, making the game more challenging and engaging. Opt for items like small plastic farm animals, eggs, or miniature garden tools. Unleash your creativity and include other farm-related objects. The team that successfully finds all the items on their list and returns them first will be declared the winner!
- 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 pail, water, and apples, you can keep both adults and kids entertained for ages!
- Charades – Especially fun for young children, though 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 children split into two teams and direct them to choose a slip of paper at a time. They need to act out their animals, and someone must guess correctly to move on.
- Duck Race – Another game that both children and adults can play. Everyone lines up and squats down at the starting line. 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 alternative to fit your party. Have everyone line up and designate the Farmer. The Farmer will be the leader and will instruct the group on what to do, 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 screaming with delight.
- Sack Race – There are a few variations to try, the classic sack race, a three-legged run, or the egg and spoon course. No matter which one you settle on, 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, pick one or several of these activities, but leave some breaks for mingling. Time with animals should still be your priority, if you were able to wrangle a petting zoo for your event. You can’t go wrong with any of these fun barnyard themes, activities, and treats.
In conclusion, barnyard-themed parties offer a delightful and engaging experience for both children and adults. By incorporating a variety of activities, treats, and decorations inspired by the farm, you can create an unforgettable celebration. From scavenger hunts and charades to delectable treats and charming decorations, there are endless possibilities to make your barnyard party a resounding success. So gather your guests, put on your cowboy boots, and get ready to have a farm-tastic time filled with laughter, excitement, and memories that will last a lifetime. Yee-haw!