Outdoor Themed Bear First Birthday Party

In honor of Emerson’s birthday month and since we can’t throw her a real party this year due to COVID, I thought it would be fun to share a couple of my favorite parties to plan – Walker’s outdoor themed bear first birthday party and his happy camper third birthday party!

One way to raise hikers and outdoor kids is to brainwash them from the beginning…even before they are born! We were thrown an outdoor themed baby shower for our daughter, Emerson. Plus, our son, Walker, had an outdoor themed nursery and of course an outdoor themed first birthday party. We laid it on thick because we were determined to have outdoorsy kids—and so far, it’s working. If you are interested in an outdoor, hiking, camping, birthday party for any age, check out our son’s bear first birthday party décor and ideas!

Collage of photos with text that reads Outdoor themed bear first birthday party

Decorations for a bear first birthday party

The party invite sets the tone for your party so that’s where I started. I found this super cute bear invite from Etsy. We went with the digital image and sent out an email invite. We also printed it out and hung it on the front door and around the house for some extra decorations.

Invitation for bear first birthday party
Pictures of Etsy favorites

Since I am currently at the Etsy stage of the party planning this is a good time to admit that I am NOT a DIY’er. However, I think most of these ideas could be replicated on your own if you fancy yourself a DIYer. I do not, and therefore most of the decorations were purchased (or stolen from other areas of our house and specifically Walker’s outdoorsy themed nursey). I am happy to pass along the links if you are less of a DIYer and more of a B-U-Y-er like myself. With that said I will start off with the decorations that I DID make, because obviously I am most proud of those (cue brushing my shoulders off).

My favorite party decoration was the monthly baby photo banner that I made to go on our stairway mantle as guests entered. How cute is that little face?! I printed black and white photos from his monthly photo shoots, glued a triangle party hat with brown cardstock, then glued on a cut out of a bear shape from green bear print wrapping paper I found at a paper store, wrote each month on it, and glued a little pom-pom on top. Voila! It is so fun to see the progression and growth from birth to age one, side by side.

Birthday banner and mantle for bear first birthday
mantle and birthday banner

I used the same bear paper to make a “O-N-E” banner for Walker’s cake smash session. Boy did he smash that cake. I also glued some paw print paper around a party hat and wrote the number one. For the cake itself I made an inside out cake (I’m sure from a box) and put a bear figurine on top. I used a birch tree party straw from a set I bought on Amazon and made a little “One” flag for the bear to hold. The straw flag was mostly to keep the bear standing as he had a tendency to nosedive.

Cake smash at bear first birthday party
Bear on a cake for bear first birthday party

Next to the cake on the food table, most everything was purchased on-line. We used a rustic wood table cloth, hanging green lanterns, camping and mountain themed party napkins and matching cupcake toppers with trees, bears, and tents. I also snagged a bunch of theme-y items from around the house like little pine trees from my Christmas decoration box, a vintage camping lantern from Walker’s nursery, and wooden chargers (like these) and wooden place setting stands from our wedding.

Bear first birthday party cupcakes
Food and decorations at bear first birthday party

When planning a first birthday party, have some fun with puns! For example, we gave away “happy trails” trail mix party favors and served “beary” lemonade. There are endless possibilities!

Happy trails trail mix party favor
Beary lemonade

Entertainment for a Bear First Birthday Party

Be sure have some entertainment. We purposely had our party downstairs in the playroom so the kids could go wild. We set up our mini, indoor trampoline and a slide into a ball pit with a tent we moved from Walker’s nursery. We used both of these items for Emerson’s first birthday party too, so they have been a success for first birthday entertainment! Plus, it gave the activity of cleaning up the balls, which is a never ending “game” when you have a ball pit.

Tent with ball pit
birthday boy playing in the ball pit at his bear birthday

Photo Booth for a Bear First Birthday Party

Lastly, every good party NEEDS a photo booth, so we made our own using Walker’s bedroom comforter –not that he was sleeping with a giant comforter at age one, it was purely decoration at that point so no need to worry! We nailed up the comforter to the wall, added a few party streamers and set up a tripod with our camera on a timer. I purchased these Happy Camper photo booth props from the big A.

Birthday boy in photo booth
Sister in photobooth

One lesson learned if I were to do this again is to buy 2 sets of the props and glue them together, or if you are a DIYer you could create your own and print out one regular and one flipped image of each design on cardstock. If you are purchasing two sets, It won’t work for all of them but it would work for the symmetrical ones and would seriously increase your success for a good pic because trying to juggle 1) look at the camera, 2) smile, 3) don’t fall off that chair, 4) stand up taller so you are in the frame, 5) turn the prop around so I can see it, and 6, 7, 8—other challenges, this would at least help with the #5. Given the aforementioned challenges that go along with organized group kid photos (and by group I mean any photo with at least one kid in it), the pictures didn’t exactly turn out as I had planned. These are the best ones we got with the group. I know, I know, totally Insta-worthy! LOL! And doesn’t birthday boy look SO HAPPY in that first pic? Yep, just as happy as his little friend right behind him who is still having a hard time in picture three despite the suggestion that everyone is a “happy camper.” One-year olds are fun. 😉

Group of kids with choas, birthday boy crying
Photo booth with just heads
Boy crying in group of kids in photo booth

Even though we didn’t get the group kid photo of my dreams, the good news is that the parents were able to join in on the fun too and we got some fun friend and family photos!

Mom and Dad posing in the photobooth
Mom and baby in photo booth
Moms in the photobooth making silly faces

Happy Camper Birthday Party

Happy Camper Birthday Party

Fast forward a couple of years (exactly!) and Walker had a Happy Camper 3rd birthday party! We went camping on Camano Island for the weekend and threw a little party without many decorations, but with a beautiful backdrop. This one was pretty low key on décor. I got this happy birthday sign (that was missing the A in birthday, so I was really nailing the picture-perfect party! Ha!) and hung it on our vintage Boler. We used these plates, and had this little paper campfire on the cake table. Our party favors were these toy binoculars and these cute notepads for taking nature notes while on our nature birthday hike. We wrapped up the party with a camping themed Costco cake and of course s’mores!

Birthday boy standing in front of vintage Boler camper
Group photo of kids in front of vintage camper
Kids roasting marshmallows
Kids eating birthday cake at Happy Camper birthday party

Outdoor Themed Birthday Outfits

If you’re looking to dress your birthday boy or girl, here are a few of Walker’s styles from his outdoorsy birthday parties:

Birthday Gifts for the Outdoor Birthday Party

If you are headed to an outdoorsy kid’s birthday party and looking for some outdoor themed birthday presents, here are a few of our favorites!

There are also so many cute custom made outdoor kid outfits on Etsy as well! Check out my Etsy Favorites List for Hikers Kids

Pictures of Etsy favorites

I had a blast planning both of Walker’s outdoorsy themed birthday parties—his bear themed 1st birthday party and his happy camper party! I hope you enjoy planning your outdoorsy party too and be sure to tag me in your pictures if you used any of these ideas—I would love to see them! If you’re interested in camping with your birthday boy or girl to celebrate their big day, check out some of my suggestions for camping with kids!




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