How to Throw a Birthday Party

How to Throw a Birthday Party

Looking to change things up this year by throwing a birthday bash in your own backyard? Whether you are planning a party for the children or the adults in your life, when you have fantastic outdoor lighting, your backyard lends itself the perfect entertainment space.


Here are some fun ideas from the experts at The Perfect Light Company to get you started.


Party Themes

There are so many creative ways to plan a birthday party in an outdoor entertainment space and picking a theme can sometimes help you focus your vision for décor, lighting, food, and entertainment. Here are some ideas.


Movie Under the Stars Birthday Party:

This is a theme with endless possibilities! To achieve this party theme, consider the following:

  1. Entertainment

You will need a blank surface/wall or an area to hang a white sheet, a projector, and portable speakers. You can even rent inflatable outdoor movie screens from your local party planning or A/V store.

  1. Food

What’s a movie night without snacks? Set up a popcorn station with plenty of sweet and savory topping options. Add a candy bar to give everyone even more snack options. If you really want to amp up your popcorn game, look into renting a popcorn truck!

*Pro Tip: Look for vintage popcorn containers and LED marquee signs to add an “old Hollywood” aesthetic to the evening.

  1. Décor and Ambiance

Add a magical touch by hanging market lights along the boarder of your outdoor space. If you are planning a child’s birthday, add some whimsy with fairy lighting and hanging lanterns. Make sure to have plenty of fluffy blankets and pillows for your guests to relax and enjoy the movie!            

Bonfire Birthday Party

                Ideal theme for an Autumn birthday! To achieve this party theme, consider the following:

  1. Entertainment

Whether it’s professionally built or a DIY project, set up a fire pit with plenty of comfortable seating and cozy blankets and pillows around it for your guests. Make the perfect party playlist that you can play on wireless speakers to set the mood and allow for the conversation to flow.

  1. Food

You can’t have a bonfire without s’mores! Set up a s’more’s bar with plenty of toppings so your guests can build their own s’mores and roast their marshmallows by the fire. You can also set up a weenie roast with hotdogs on skewers, or just grill some hamburgers.

  1. Décor and Ambiance

For a more rustic and cozy aesthetic, hang lanterns or mason jars with candles in them from trees to add a touch of cozy mood lighting. You can also add mini lanterns to your s’mores bar to help illuminate the options for your guests.

Children’s’ Peter Pan Birthday Party

This is a great theme for a little boy or a little girl’s birthday! Here are some planning tips:

  1. Entertainment

You can rent an inflatable movie screen from your local party or A/V store so the kids can watch “Peter Pan” with their favorite candy treats and popcorn. Have them come dressed as their favorite Peter Pan character and set up little “lost boys” Tepees for cute photo ops.

  1. Food

Set up little stations for the kiddos to decorate their very own cupcakes with Peter Pan themed toppings. If you decide to turn it into a movie night under the stars, you can also rent a pop corn truck and have a popcorn bar with fun toppings.

  1. Décor and Ambiance

Hang twinkle lights, lanterns or fairy lights from trees to add a touch of magic to the party. Make it look like Tinker Bell and all her fairy friends are in attendance by hanging or placing mason jars with LED string fairy lights inside.

Creating Aesthetics with Your Landscape Lighting

With excellent landscape lighting already in place, it will be that much easier to transform your backyard into the perfect entertainment space. Keep reading to learn how to achieve your desired aesthetics with your landscape lighting.

  1. Silhouetting:

This is a way to instantly create some drama! Highlight dramatic shapes in your landscape such as trees by placing the light source (usually spotlights or well lights) behind the object, and a light toward the main vantage point.

*Ideal Lighting For: A bonfire birthday bash. This will provide the perfect subtle undertone to the evening, without taking away from the natural lighting from the bonfire.

  1. Moonlighting:

A great effect for an outdoor space with larger trees – place spotlights high up in the tree, aimed down to wash the branches and ground beneath with light. This is particularly effective with open-branched trees. 

*Ideal Lighting For: A children’s Peter Pan party. This will not only bring out the enchanting twinkle lights and lanterns adorning the trees, but it will provide good illumination on the ground, which will make it a safer party environment for all.

  1. Grazing:

Perfect for a yard that has more hardscape features – place well lights or hardscape lights close to the flat surface you want to highlight (this is especially effective with uneven flat surfaces like stone or brick walls). Aim the light up or down the surface to create dramatic light and shadow play. This can instantly add an upscale look.

*Ideal Lighting For: A bonfire party. This will provide more substantial lighting along the sides of your house and perimeter of the yard without taking away from the glow of the bonfire.

  1. Washing:

Perfect if you are looking for more ambient lighting in your outdoor entertainment space – place a wide-beamed flood light between the main vantage point and surface to evenly illuminate an entire area. You can also try flooding a large wall or hedge with light.

*Ideal Lighting For: A movie under the stars or a children’s Peter Pan party. This is another way to illuminate a large area and make the entertainment space safer. This is also a good option for a movie under the stars themed party.


Now that you have learned about some fresh takes on throwing a fun outdoor  party, you are ready to start planning! Personal touches on décor, entertainment and food will be an essential way for you to make the festivities special. But your party will only be as spectacular as your outdoor and landscape lighting. If you are ready to step up your outdoor lighting game, contact the experts at The Perfect Light Company and allow us to help make your outdoor entertainment space perfect for any occasion.



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