Best Backyard Birthday Parties

There's nothing like a classic backyard birthday party for a birthday boy or birthday girl. But they can include more than sheet cake and a couple of rounds of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. Read on for some backyard birthday party ideas that will surely be a hit.

Water Party

Nothing is better on a hot summer afternoon than a water-filled birthday party. A tub full of water balloons, a super soaker for every kid and a sprinkler is all kids need to have a good time. To get the grown-ups in on the fun, set up a backyard obstacle course for the kids and have the adults hit them with super soakers while they complete the course. Just be sure to provide plenty of towels for soaked little party guests.

A Day at the Carnival

Nothing's more fun than a summer carnival, so recreate one in the backyard. Provide a menu of popcorn, cotton candy, candied apples and corndogs. Set up classic carnival games in the backyard like a beanbag toss or a sack race or three-legged race and ask the kids to, "Step right up!" To create an unforgettable memory, call companies that do moonwalk rentals and let the kids spend the afternoon bouncing off their cotton candy sugar high.

Pirate Party

Provide mini swashbucklers with pirate hats and eyepatches and send them off on a treasure hunt. Give the kids a map of the backyard and send them on a hunt for a treasure that could be lunch, cake or their favor bags. Drag out the fun by providing specific instructions on the map like, "Turn left at the three and take 10 paces," or "Go down the slide and make three big jumps forward." Don't forget to have an X mark the spot!

Art Party

The backyard is the perfect place to get messy with an art party. Scatter poster board canvasses on the lawn, driveway or fence; provide tubs of paint; and let little party guests go nuts. They can paint with their hands and feet or leaves and sticks they discover in the backyard. They can even ride through pools of paint on bikes to create one-of-a-kind art. Just be sure to use washable paint so the backyard isn't permanently technicolored.

Around the World

Expose party-goers to new cultures by having an around-the-world themed backyard party. Represent Mexico with a piñata, provide a pastry table to represent France, let the kids try hula dancing to experience an unfamiliar US culture -- ideas are only limited by the imagination.

For moonwalk rentals, contact a company such as Rentals And More Inc.