My four-year-old son has never seen Jurassic Park. Sure, he’s seen a few scenes, in bits and pieces, but never the whole thing. Not even half. And he doesn’t have a dinosaur obsession like some kids do. He doesn’t even have a big interest in them, really. So when his answer to “What kind of birthday party do you want?” was a Jurassic Park birthday party, I was more than a little surprised.
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I even took him to the party store to show him all of the various themes and characters, in hopes he’d change his mind to something that made more sense to me. Something he could look back at and I could say, “You really loved X, Y, Z when you were four.”
And he did for a little while. First to Martha Speaks, an out of production PBS kids show which I love but would have been so much more difficult because there is NOTHING out there for it. And then he briefly changed it to The Incredibles, and was pretty excited for it.
But ultimately, he moved back to Jurassic Park. At dinner one night, when an aunt asked what his theme was, he said Jurassic Park. And it was unshakable after that.
Okay, if that’s what you really want, kid!
Jurrasic Park birthday party? Jurassic World birthday party? Dinosaur birthday party?
At first I was a little unsure how I wanted this to go. Do I do a Jurassic World party? That’s all that was at the party stores.
Do I just go straight dinosaurs, since he has no clue what Jurassic Park really is anyway? But that felt a little cheesier, especially since the chaos of the movies represented my little guy so well. And I honestly think that’s what he was drawn to in the scenes he saw; the mass hysteria, wild action of it all.
Plain dinosaurs felt too mild. Too without dramatic substance.
I considered going the classic route and just straight up, old school Jurassic Park, since Andy and I grew up with it and liked the first one best anyway. To paraphrase Lowery in Jurassic World, “That first Jurassic Park was legit!”
We ended up deciding to mix all three. After all, the Jurassic World movies are part of the Jurassic Park franchise. And the first movie starts out with palaeontologists at a dig site. So it all works together. No worries.
How to throw a super awesome Jurassic Park birthday party
A Jurassic Park birthday party, or dinosaur birthday party, are really popular themes. With a little creativity, they can easily be amazing. Ours was a combo of Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, and general dinosaurs. We worked with what we could find easily and make to get it to all work together.
If you’ve read my post on how to throw a Snoopy birthday party (and if you haven’t, you totally should), then you already know that I’m a believer in creating a party table, or area, to create an exciting focal point for the party.
This is where most of your energy goes with decorations. Ours was the back area of the garage that held the cake table and gift table.
The gift table had a Jurassic World table cloth* (this is the one we used, but there are other options), and the cake table held the homemade cake, had a themed backdrop* and some balloons behind it. If you’re interested in making a cake like mine, I searched “Dinosaur tier cakes” on Pinterest and modeled mine after a combination of tons of photos.
I bought a few packs of inexpensive dinosaurs* and some palm leaves* to set them on. I’m also a huge fan of being able to reuse things later, and not just buying items for the party alone. The dinosaurs can be played with later, and the palm leaves saved for a future project. We spread around some dinosaur footprints as well!
Above the food area, near the cake and gift tables, we hung a birthday banner. The banner was purchased and is part of the Jurassic World theme. It has numbers for the birthday that you can move and change to use again in the future.
This exact set isn’t the most recent, so it’s not as easily available, but there are other versions. Here’s a set of the napkins, plates, tablecloth, and banner* we used, available on Amazon. Otherwise, here’s the updated version*, which can be bought in pieces individually at this time and can be found in stores as well as online.
I chose theme colors to coordinate with the already designed backdrop we purchased to use throughout the party. We purchased tablecloths in those colors for all of the other tables. Then we added some of the palm leaves and dinosaurs.
Outside, we put up a few homemade Jurassic Park paddock signs, designed after the original movie. This works out perfectly if you have an area with trees like we do. They were crafted starting with this artwork from an artist on DeviantArt.
I considered putting a dinosaur sounds recording on an old iPhone and playing it from in the bushes, but I thought that might be too much. If you think your kids would love it though, definitely do it! They even sell dinosaur masks*, if you want to spend a little more, that I thought would look so cool peeking out from a bush.
Of course, there has to be something for the kids to do. Don’t feel like you have to go crazy here, though. Very minimal things can provide tons of excitement and entertainment. At this party, we had only two main activities; a Feed the T-Rex game and a dino dig.
You can make the Feed the T-Rex game one of two ways; spend a little more money or spend a little more time. Usually, I would opt to spend the time. This year, however, I had a lot less time to spend, so it was worth a few extra dollars to me.
I ordered a T-Rex photo prop* that had an opening for the mouth. We wrapped a camera tripod in old green tablecloth that we had a roll left over of from a party long ago. This isn’t a necessary step, we just thought it looked better. We then leaned the T-Rex against the prop and provided a bunch of small dinosaurs. The goal was to toss as many into the T-Rex’s mouth as possible.
As you can see, the T-Rex is also next to the Tyrannosaurus paddock!
We didn’t really operate it as a game, with a line of people waiting their turn, although that’s definitely an option. It was just there to play whenever the mood struck. Zach went over to it a few different times throughout the party to play with it and he thought it was not only fun, but hilarious to chuck tiny dinos into the big dino mouth.
Alternatively, you can draw a large T-Rex face onto a large piece of cardboard. Then, cut it out and color it in. Finally, cut out the mouth and voila. Homemade T-Rex.
A dino dig is not only fun, but perfect for a Jurassic Park birthday party. The kids can pretend they’re just like the paleontologists in the movie, cleaning off the fossils of the dinosaurs.
To create our dig site, we bought some dino dig streamer and wrapped them around three of the stakes we had leftover from making our paddock signs. Then, we took the dig hat we purchased and hung it there to use for some extra imaginative play fun. (We got our dig hat for really cheap at Party City, but it may not be around anymore so if you can’t find it, there is a link to a similar one above.)
We pulled out the kiddie pool and filled it with 3 bags of play sand we had purchased from Menards. They cost about $3.20 a piece and we are using them in his sandbox after the party.
I took some of the dinosaurs I had purchased and buried them into the sand for him to find. Then, I buried some dinosaur eggs I had prepared the night before. This was seriously a cool project and so easy. With just a few simple ingredients and a few toy dinosaurs, I was able to create semi-hard dinosaur eggs for Zach to break open. He thought this was awesome. I highly suggest checking it out at Hip2Save. The recipe she provides gave enough for me to be able to make 6 eggs.
I also bought a set of two geodes* because Zach had never seen them before and I think they’re really neat. I figured this would be a great opportunity to show him something cool. And he loved watching me try to crack it open. Dad eventually had to step in because I just wasn’t hitting them hard enough!
I also left in there a few of his sandbox shovels, paint brushes, and this cool set of dinosaur molds*.
There was also a really cool idea I saw for a dinosaur egg hunt. Kind of like an Easter egg hunt, but way more fun because…dinosaurs. We didn’t end up doing this, because our wooded area was a little overgrown and the mosquitos were already pretty bad. Plus, Zach’s currently in a “fear of bugs” stage, so we just skipped this one. But I loved the simplicity and fun of the idea.
What is a party without great food? For our parties, we generally do basic cookout stuff, as Zach’s birthday is usually during warm enough weather and coincides with the first picnic of the year.
In addition to the basics, we always add in a few fun theme-focused goodies. You don’t need a ton to have a big impact. This year it was a dinosaur head watermelon fruit bowl, a Nacho Volcano and a bowl of “raptor claw” Bugles.
I got the idea for the watermelon dinosaur from Pinterest, so I’m not really sure where the idea originated. This one, however, is the one I liked the best and most closely used as the basis for my own.
I found this nacho volcano idea, which I think originated at the site linked. There are tons of them on Pinterest, though. Either way, this is the one I started with. It was actually pretty easy and really impressive looking.
I have always loved to bake and make fancy cakes, so this is always the best part. This cake is made using two different sized round pans, with a layer of frosting between each, and stacked on top of each other off-center.
I bought a set similar to this one* that included dinosaurs, palm trees, and boulders to put on the cake. I colored the frosting and piped it on to look like sand and a waterfall. And I even found a cool bag of rock candy* that looked like little colored rocks to line the edges of the waterfall with. There are also these more realistic chocolate rocks*, but we opted for the sugar rocks since being vegan we can’t have milk chocolate and they just looked so cool anyway.
Planning a Jurassic Park birthday party is easier than you think!
Planning a Jurassic Park birthday party is super easy. I had so much fun with it! It doesn’t need to be expensive or overly time consuming to give any party theme just enough detail and pizzazz to wow party attendees and, most importantly, the birthday kid!
Zach’s face lit up at all of the cool decorations, food and fun stuff we added to really make the party fun. I don’t think he would have enjoyed it any more if we’d spent $1,000 or weeks planning. In the end, the day turned out great and yours can, too! Because even a dinosaur-sized theme like a Jurassic Park birthday party can be inexpensive and easy!
Let me know if you plan your own Jurassic Park birthday party in the comments below!