Plan a birthday party by choosing a date and theme, making a guest list and sending invitations, planning food and activities, and preparing for the unexpected. Make small tweaks to the basic planning method to prepare for a party for an adult or a child.

  1. Choose the date and theme

    Plan a birthday party by starting with the basics: when is the party, and what is the theme? Decide on a date close to the honoree's actual birthday, and consider the age of the attendees when deciding on the time. The theme can be age-related, such as a sweet 16 or fabulous 40 party. Alternately, draw inspiration from the honoree's favorite character, team or food.

  2. Invite guests

    Make a guest list for the party. For children, invite class friends or teammates. For adults, friends and co-workers may make up the guest list. Send the invitations three to four weeks prior to the party. Include all the party details, such as start and end times, and an indication of the food to be served.

  3. Plan food and activities

    Decide whether to serve any food other than birthday cake. Consider the honoree and the time of the party when making this decision. Games, present opening and crafts often take up a good deal of time at children's parties. Adults may have a few games, or the activities may be limited to chatting or watching a sports event.

  4. Be prepared

    Be ready to handle any situation that may arise at the birthday party. Have a first-aid kit, extra ice and extra helpers on hand. Get phone numbers from parents dropping off kids. Keep pets away from guests.