Small Birthday Party Ideas for a Larger-than-Life Chicago Celebration

formal outdoor birthday party in tent

The saying, “go big or go home” definitely applies to Chicago parties. When a more intimate small party is more appropriate, these small birthday party ideas can make a larger-than-life impression on a small guest list.

Find a “big” venue for a small guest list.

A small birthday party demands a venue that makes a big impression. Fortunately, there are plenty of outdoor Chicago venues available for rent, including an option many don’t consider.

Tents are year-round party venues that can be kept warm on the coldest days, cool when Chicago temperatures soar, and provide shelter from snow and rain. These outdoor party venues are available in almost any size, fit over concrete pads and driveways, and can be installed at almost venue (including in a backyard or next to a building for additional space). If party planners want to bring the outdoors in, tents are clear or come with clear sidewalls.

Use a theme to tie together all the details.

A theme guides every detail and gives party planners direction. For children parties, themed entertainment and yard games are a fun way to engage kids and keep them entertained. Fortunately, there are plenty of themes kids love, such as fairy garden parties, carnivals, and character parties.

Adult parties range from a formal gathering to a casual picnic, but with themed details that can be played up for an incredibly fun and enjoyable event. (Choose an adult party theme from this helpful list.) A carnival with elaborate games bring out the kid in guests. A garden dinner party is a more sophisticated event with formal details. A wine tasting is a fun event where guests can gather around a unique tasting station. The right birthday party theme entertains guests and pays homage to the birthday honoree’s favorite tastes.

Be creative with seating.

Creative seating arrangements add a touch of whimsy to a formal event and make an impression on guests. Dinner tables can be arranged in unique layouts, interspersed with lounge areas, or in family-style seating that make guest feel valued. Seating arrangements contribute to guest experience and event flow, making it an important detail even at the most intimate gatherings. For a truly unique layout, confer with an event planning professional for seating ideas.

Focus on guest comfort.

When the guest list is smaller, it’s important to make every guest feel like family. This can be accomplished by focusing on every detail. If the birthday party is outdoors, it’s important to give guests a covered area to relax and keeps them out of the elements. Because Chicago temperatures can be extremely cold and hot, party planners should make sure the space is comfortable. (If the space is a tent, it can be climate-controlled with a thermostat.)

In addition to a comfortable environment, party planners should also focus on comfortable seating and the birthday party menu. The latter can be a key detail of a themed small birthday party, such as cotton candy at a carnival birthday party. In essence, every detail should coordinate together into a positive birthday party experience that makes guests feel valued.

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