If your child likes donning a cowboy hat, roping pretend cattle and galloping on his or her toy pony (or even a real one), a cowboy party may be the perfect birthday party theme. Jennifer Carver, from Spaceships and Laser Beams, is here sharing her tips on how to throw a great cowboy-themed party. From invitations to party décor, activities and cowboy confections, Jennifer has rounded up a great herd of tips just for you!
How to Throw a Wild West Party
Get your guests excited to “giddy-up on over” for your cowboy party. Whether you spin it as a hoedown, cowboy cook-off, birthday round-up or a “spur” of the moment celebration, you will want to send out a creative invitation to prep them for your Wild West theme. WANTED style invitations are a fun invitation idea, but other printable invitations with paisley print, western style fonts and rope detailing would work well too. Be sure to let guests know all of the important details like when to saddle up to your house, what the cowboy dress code is and whether there will be any square dancing or grub to eat.
Bring in that western feel to your party space by decorating with ropes, bales of hay, bandanas and cowboy accessories (hats, boots, chaps, stick ponies, saddles, wagon wheels, holsters). Mix in cow print and denim on things like balloons, paper goods and fabric. Make “ghost town” inspired storefronts and saloon doors out of recycled cardboard and paint. In lieu of flowers, decorate tables with mini cactus plants and succulents.
Food and Drink:
Cowboys tend to work up a healthy appetite. Serve up a smorgasbord of barbecue and southwest favorites—meat (hot dogs, burgers, ribs, etc…) along with great sides like corn on the cob, watermelon, potato salad, fry bread/scones or corn bread and Cowboy Caviar (a corn salsa) and chips. Get creative with your cowboy confections. A cowboy hat cake, Rice Krispy treat hay bales tied with licorice, and horse cake pops would make one impressive dessert station. Don’t forget to set up a watering hole for your beverage station. Water and old-fashioned root beer or cream soda would be fabulous choices for beverages.
Games & Activities:
Cowboys love to play hard, so be sure to plan fun games and activities. Here are a few game/activity ideas:
– Cowboy Dress-Up Relay: Divide guests into teams. Provide a set of Cowboy costumes for each team. Each player runs to the pile of dress up clothes, puts them on and giddy-ups back to their team, removes the dress-up items and tags the next person on their team to follow suit. The first team to finish dressing like a cowboy wins!
– Boot Scoot Boogie: Turn up the cowboy tunes and teach your guests a line dance or square dance.
– Boot Toss: Have guests try to toss a penny inside a boot. Give them 3 chances! Award prizes to those who get the penny in the boot.
– Pin the Badge on the Sheriff: Similar to pin the tail on the donkey, have guests try to pin or tape a badge on a sheriff. You may be able to find a cowboy cut out or you can design your own sheriff on poster board.
– Make a marshmallow or rubber band gun: Using instructions found online, let guests make and shoot marshmallow or rubber band guns. You can set up a row of tin cans in a safe area for guests to shoot.
Yeehaw—we hope you love these ideas! We’re sure your cowboy party guests will be riding high with all of the fun you’ll round up for them!
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!