So, your little bundle of joy is turning nine! They’re leaving the land of childhood and entering their pre-teen years. This milestone deserves a celebration, but what can you do to make the day special?
Whether you’re planning a party for girls or boys, something indoors or outdoors, or looking for party games, we have forty 9th birthday ideas to inspire you. We’ve got great ideas for small get-togethers, a simple day with the family, or extravagant parties!
We’ll also share tips on how to throw a successful (and mostly stress-free) party for your nine-year-old. This day is important for them, but it’s also vital that you enjoy the time.
9th Birthday Ideas for Girls
Do you want to plan your daughter a party that is out-of-this-world special? Here are 10 ideas for themes, activities, decorations, and more.
1. Garden Tea Party
While this is quite a sophisticated theme, your nine-year-old will love it! She’ll feel like a proper grown-up, enjoying finger sandwiches, delicious cakes, and caffeine-free tea. Decorate the garden like a magical fairyland and encourage the guests to wear beautiful dresses.
2. Art Party
Making art together will create special memories. Set up a table with art supplies and an easel for each child, and teach them how to draw something. Using step-by-step instructions can help kids who aren’t as confident. Those who want to do their own thing totally can!
3. Let’s Go to the Movies
Take your daughter and her friends to see a new movie! At this age, you could possibly leave them in the theater and wait at the cafe while the film is on. Give everybody money for drinks, popcorn, and a snack — a totally awesome birthday party idea!
4. Dress Up Party
This is a dream theme for a fashionista! On a rack, put together some fun and fancy outfits for the girls to get glam. Once they’ve all chosen their favorite outfits, they can do a catwalk or a photoshoot together.
5. Balloon Party
You don’t have to do anything that out-of-the-box to create a memorable party. A simple balloon-themed party can be a hit. You can use regular balloons or paper balloon lanterns, which will look stunning.
6. Her Favorite Character
Who is your daughter’s favorite fictional character? Hilda, Hermoine Granger, or Princess Leia? Whoever it is — theme her birthday around the character! She will love it, and it will encourage her friends to share her interests.
7. Sports Tournament
Take your daughter and her friends to a sporting venue to play her favorite sport, whether that’s volleyball, gymnastics, or even bowling! This takes care of an activity and theme all in one — and then you can visit a restaurant afterward for a quick bite to eat.
8. Around the World
Does your daughter have big dreams of traveling one day? This special birthday theme idea reminds you that you see her and her biggest goals. With travel-inspired decorations, a globe cake, and food from various countries, guests can experience tastes from around the world.
9. Cloud 9
If she wants a pretty party, this fluffy and calming theme will be just the thing. Celebrate with a Cloud 9 party using cloud decor, lots of comfy pillows, white balloons, and tasty treats. For an activity, you can do a fun craft or a DIY spa.
10. Tie Dye Party
This is a cool party idea for summer or winter, as you can do it indoors or outside! Ask guests to bring a white t-shirt (so you don’t have to guess sizes) and start the tye-dying process. While the shirts are soaking, feed the kids — a buffet will work great.
Finish the tie-dying process after food. Once the shirts are done, everyone has done an activity, eaten some food, and has a favor to take home. Success!
9th Birthday Ideas for Boys
Here are 10 unique ideas that your son will love.
11. Magic Tricks Party
Hire a magician or teach your son some magic tricks to show off at his party! You could also split the kids into two groups and teach both groups different magic tricks so they can impress each other.
12. Visit the Arcade
An arcade is a wonderland for young boys! Give everybody a cash pot to spend at the arcade (instead of doing goody bags), and let them run wild. Make sure there are enough parents around to keep track of all the kids. After they’ve played all their coins, you can visit a diner for some grub.
This is a fantastic idea if you’re planning something at the last minute. You won’t need to book a slot at the arcade. Just show up with the kids and have fun!
13. Slime Party
Whether you’re nine or 90, slime is fun. Set the kids up with all the tools needed to make slime — they can choose their own color — and enjoy the silliness. You can also have slime-themed cookies and snacks to complete the aesthetic.
14. Mad Scientist
This is a fantastic theme if your son loves science, geeking out, and trying new experiments! You could teach some science experiments, don everyone in a lab coat, and do a periodic table quiz.
15. Movie Marathon
If your little boy is obsessed with a specific franchise — like Harry Potter, Marvel, or Stranger Things — host a movie marathon. This is a blast for large groups or simply a couple of friends.
If you’re looking for a fun theme, Lego is a great idea! It’s easy to decorate a party with Lego motifs. And a fun activity, of course, would be building a Lego set together.
17. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
There are many fun ways to interpret this theme, but if your son loves these stories, give it a go! Decorate with black and white balloons, lanterns, and banners, add cartoon-themed posters to the venue, and get kids to draw Greg with icing on a cookie!
18. Gingerbread House Decorating
If your son’s birthday is in December, gingerbread house decorating is an excellent Christmas-themed idea. Each child can build their own house, and the winner takes a prize! They can take the houses back to their home afterward or eat them together while watching a movie.
19. Indoor Rock Climbing
Let the kids hang out at an indoor rock climbing center! Whether the guests have tried this before or this is their first time, they’ll have tons of fun. If there’s a cafe or a function room in the center, chill out there for birthday cake and opening presents.
20. Harry Potter Party
It won’t be long until your little one gets their Hogwarts letter. But until then, they can still celebrate the wizarding world of Harry Potter. From magical flying keys decor to a “happee birthdae” cake, your son will be wowed by the magic.
9 Year Old Birthday Party Games
Now that you’ve got a theme, you need to plan party games! We have 10 ideas to keep guests entertained during the festivities.
21. Video Games
There are many video games that can entertain a small group of nine-year-olds. Mario Kart, Fortnite, or Minecraft are all great ideas. If you’re planning a retro theme, dig out your old console for the kids to try.
If your son or daughter is musical and loves performing, a karaoke party is a great way to celebrate with him or her! Buy a karaoke machine or book a venue that includes one and let kids put in song requests. While it’s not really a party game, you could turn it into a pop song battle.
23. Musical Chairs
This classic party game is a hit all the way into adulthood! It’s a good way to fill 15 minutes of your child’s birthday party between a few other silly games.
24. Egg Toss
This game is tons of fun and even funnier if you use raw eggs. Split the group into pairs — they have to toss the egg back and forth between their partners. Every time they both catch it, they take a step further away from each other and continue the game. The last pair without a cracked egg wins!
25. Treasure Hunt
Challenge your creative side, as well as the kid’s problem-solving skills, with a treasure hunt. Write out riddles for them to solve, leading them from one spot to the next before they finally find a hidden treasure!
26. Partners In Pen
This silly game will be new to many kids, making it extra exciting. Fill a bag with random objects from around the house. Split the guests into two teams.
Two members from each team play per round. One person takes an item out of the bag, where no one else can see it, and describes it to the other team member, who has to draw it. The person describing can’t say the item’s name or what it’s used for.
If the person drawing or the team figures out what the item is, they get a point.
27. Elephant March
This game will have all the guests cracking up! Stick a ball in a pair of tights. Players must wear the tights on their head as they swing the ball around, knocking over cups or bottles. This game can be played as part of a series of games in Minute To Win It.
28. Chocolate Game
Ask kids to sit in a circle and place a chocolate bar alongside a knife, fork, dice, and dressing-up clothes in the middle. Kids take turns rolling the dice, and when they get a six, they have to put on the clothes, cut up the chocolate using the silverware, and eat the chocolate — one square at a time.
The other kids continue rolling the dice, and the next person who gets a six has to put on all the clothes and start eating the chocolate. You have to be super quick to get the clothes on and start eating before the next person rolls a six.
The game is over when the chocolate bar is finished. There is no winner to this — it’s just a bit of silly fun!
29. Drama Bag Game
Fill two bags with random items: a book, earrings, chapstick, and so on. Divide the guests into two teams and give a bag to each team.
Each team goes into a separate room to look through the items. They have to create a skit that includes all the items in the bag. They have 10 minutes to prepare!
This silly game encourages creativity and, without a doubt — tons of giggles.
30. Mummy Wrapping
All you need is some toilet roll and a willingness to look silly! Split the kids into two teams and time them as they wrap one person from each team in toilet paper, creating a mummy. Whoever completes it first wins!
Split the group into three or more teams and give them a theme. If your party already has a theme, use that. For instance: princesses. Each team has to create a princess dress out of toilet paper. Whoever is the most beautiful wins!
Outdoor 9th Birthday Ideas
Celebrate your child in nature for their birthday! Getting outdoors opens you up to many exciting party opportunities.
31. Animal Party
Spend your child’s birthday surrounded by their favorite animals. Visit a petting zoo, an alpaca farm, or an aquarium. Wander around, learning about the animals, before enjoying a picnic or going to a restaurant.
32. Party in the Park
Have fun in the sun at your favorite playpark! Kids can run around for hours, making up their own games, playing tag, or just hanging out on the swings. You can set up a buffet or provide a picnic for all the guests before opening presents together.
33. On the Beach
If you’re lucky enough to live near the beach — why not celebrate there? At this age, kids will love hanging out with their friends at the beach, building sandcastles, getting a tan, or playing in the water.
34. Crazy Golf
Taking kids to party places is much easier at this age. If your child is interested in playing mini golf for their birthday party, there are plenty of outdoor spaces to have fun with friends!
35. Ropes Course
It might not be a parent’s first choice, but it’s an unforgettable and thrilling party idea for a nine-year-old. This is best for a small group of two or three friends. Make sure you choose somewhere with many safety protocols and that the kids remain sensible throughout the experience. But besides that, your daredevil son or daughter will enjoy spending the day high in the sky!
36. In the Wild
Take your child camping for their 9th birthday. You can go somewhere super beautiful with fantastic scenery. Whether you’re taking them alone or they’re allowed to bring a few friends, this will be a birthday they will never forget.
37. Swim Party
You can’t beat a pool party. Whether you have a pool in the backyard or you want to take the kids to a waterpark, this is an unbeatable way to celebrate a ninth birthday!
38. Maze Party
If you live near an outdoor maze, this is a fun and unique way to celebrate turning nine. Send the kids into the maze and let them figure out their escape. Teamwork makes the dream work! Once they succeed, reward them with a picnic in the park and some time to run around and play.
39. Ice Skating
Hey, just because your birthday is in the colder months doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate outside. Ice skating is a mesmerizing and exciting way to celebrate a nine-year-old. Let them invite a few friends and watch on the sidelines as they master the ice.
40. Ice Cream Bar
If I walked into a party with an ice cream bar at this age, my heart would have skipped a beat! Set up a table with various ice cream flavors, lots of toppings, and of course, sauce!
How To Throw a Fun 9th Birthday Party
The party will be fun: you have chosen a theme, organized yummy food, and planned a few activities. But if you’re still fretting about the finer details, we have some top tips for ensuring the party is a success.
- Consider a sleepover (or don’t): Your child might be asking for a sleepover party at this age. This is a great age for slumber parties and might make the party run smoother. The kids will have more time, you can provide a simple dinner and breakfast, and parents will stay out of the way. However, if it’s too overwhelming, explain this to your child and offer an alternative.
- Make it welcoming: Nine-year-olds are much more aware of their surroundings and might feel awkward upon arriving. So ensure the first five minutes of the party make them feel comfortable and welcome. Perhaps you have a welcome activity, like making a silly nametag or putting in a song request, which will break the ice.
- Offer refreshments immediately: When people enter the party, offer them a snack and a drink. Kids will feel a lot more at home with something in their hands.
- Play games: Nine-year-olds aren’t entirely ready to map out all their own fun. So have a few games planned to keep the momentum going. If you don’t end up using the games, that’s totally fine!
- Let the kids lead the day: Your presence is vital at the party, but you don’t need to get involved in everything as you once did. Be nearby, but don’t hover around the birthday boy or girl. Let the kids lead the day and be there when needed.
- Play music: Older kids love music, so make a playlist with your little one.
- Have a clean-up committee: There will be a mess when the party ends. So have a cleanup plan. Perhaps you, your partner, and your older kids can clean up. The grandparents may be happy to help once the guests have gone home. Having a plan makes the mess much more manageable.
- Planning the guest list: At this age, your little one might want to invite a lot of people. Maybe even the whole class! But you have to choose a manageable number. Anywhere between five and 10 guests are best. If your child wants more guests, consider doing an outdoor party, which will be less cramped.
- Plan the party length: If you are doing a sleepover, ask parents to drop off around 6 p.m. and pick up at 10 a.m. If you aren’t doing a sleepover, plan for the party to be around three hours long.
- Choose the day wisely: A Saturday party is best for a nine-year-old. This gives you Friday night to prepare and Sunday to recover. If you throw it on a Sunday, you’ll be tired going into your working week!