Please Feed The Animals: A Zoo Themed Birthday Party


A few months ago, a friend of mine asked me to style her son’s first birthday party. As a busy, working mom, her life is insanely hectic. She had zero time to plan any sort of event, let alone a kid’s birthday party AND the party was just a couple of weeks away! She needed help, and FAST. The first item on the agenda was picking a theme! Since their family had just enjoyed a fun-filled day at the zoo, we thought that a zoo themed birthday would be the perfect theme for the big family celebration.


The Setting

The large zoo party took place at their home, both indoors and out. A jungle themed jumpy house placed outside kept the little ones entertained, while the adults enjoyed socializing. A buffet table was set up indoors with all sorts of zoo themed goodies and for those hungry hippos jumping around in the jump house, a little snack table nearby with bottled waters & animal crackers.

The Decorations

A zoo themed first birthday can go a couple of different routes when it comes to decorations. You can go more safari with animal prints & peacock feathers or you can go with pastel colors & baby animals. I decided to do a little of both. My goal was to have guests feel as though they entered a small family owned zoo, complete with handmade details and fun zoo themed treats for the kids.

I designed custom printables using some animal print details & made the centerpieces, planters and animal cages all out of craft wood sticks. A number wild animals were made out of paper plates & hung all around the party, including the buffet table. I also attached butterflies everywhere, including the utensil sets. And a zoo birthday party just isn’t complete without a handmade zebra print birthday hat, adorned with real feathers!

The Food

The hostess was serving DIY submarine sandwiches for the adults & pizza for the kids, so the buffet table contained sweet treats and healthy snacks, all with a wild animal theme, of course. I placed Cheez-It Snack Mix into brand new dog bowls that I found at the Dollar Store, which became the perfect container for the ‘Lion Kibble.’ I also drizzled melted white chocolate onto store bought brownie bites & turned them into Zebra Treats. Then I filled paper cups with ranch dressing, carrots & celery sticks for a quick, easy & healthy snack for the kids.

The Cake

The adorable monkey cake was for the birthday boy to enjoy all on his own & believe it or not was picked up at the local supermarket. He was a little scared to dig in to the cake at first, but once we took off the plastic details he was all over it! The rest of the guests enjoyed individual cupcakes, which is a great way to serve cake at a large birthday party. Cupcakes are much easier to serve, as you don’t have to worry about cutting & plating each piece and your guests will appreciate not having to wait ages for their plate to be passed around!

Another Impromptu Party

Unfortunately, not everyone has time to spend months planning ever last detail for a kid’s birthday party, especially overly stressed, working moms. This zoo themed party is a perfect example that you can still have a stylish party, without a lot of prior planning. It just takes a little creativity, some hot glue & a few pre-made items with some added handmade details.

I absolutely love styling crafty homemade-looking kids’ birthday parties, but when you do it all within a two week time frame, it’s even more amazing when everything comes together so perfectly!

Want More Zoo Party Ideas

Check out our Zoo Themed Party Ideas Pinterest Board for more great ideas on decorations, party favors, food, games, etc.


Printables, Styling, Food, Decor & Photography by Impromptu Parties

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