Does your compassionate kiddo want a party for their birthday? Want to make it the best vegan birthday party ever but not sure where exactly to start? PETA Kids has you covered! Most birthday parties include decorations, yummy treats, entertainment, and goodie bags. Use these animal-friendly party tips to throw your little one the best vegan birthday party in town!
First things first: Brainstorm with the birthday kid to come up with a theme for the party. Planning to buy a piñata? We have a great list of vegan candy to fill it with! And what partygoer doesn’t love balloons and streamers? Just be sure to find biodegradable options to help reduce the impact of plastic on the environment. And never release balloons outside—wildlife can eat them once they’ve popped, causing animals to choke or become entangled in the string. Also look for biodegradable plates, cutlery, and straws to use at the party, as these are more environmentally friendly.
Food is arguably the best part of parties—and the most versatile. First, decide whether you want to serve full meals or just snacks. If you want to keep your gathering casual, ordering vegan pizza from a local restaurant or buying and making a few frozen vegan pizzas can be an easy and delicious route. Or perhaps you prefer to offer an assortment of vegan snacks like chips, popcorn, and fruit. You could even make a variety of vegan sandwiches and serve them in bite-size form so your guests can graze throughout the party. Here are a few other great kid-approved party foods:
Don’t forget dessert—something sweet is a must at any party! Buy or bake your little one a birthday cake that matches their theme or opt for cupcakes, which can make serving your guests a lot easier. There are countless vegan bakeries these days—many of which would be happy to work with you on a theme, making the Frozen, Paw Patrol, or Minions vegan cake of your kid’s dreams totally doable! Alternatively, putting together a dessert bar or some tasty sweets like brownies, cookies, and candy can be a fun way to entertain your party guests while letting everyone pick their favorites. It’s a great way to introduce nonvegans to delicious vegan treats! We love these chocolate brownies, no-bake cereal bars, and chocolate chip cookies.
There are so many ways to have fun at a birthday party! Bounce houses, puppet shows, and face painting are always big hits. Clowns, magicians, and character actors are all fun choices, too—just make sure the entertainers are human animals (i.e., no bunnies in the magic show).
You’ll also want to avoid petting zoos and reptile encounters. These traveling exhibits are traumatic for the animals used in them and can be dangerous to your child and party guests. They often don’t provide the animals with proper diets, veterinary care, or environmental enrichment. In addition, children who visit petting zoos can bring home more than their parents bargained for. Health officials indicate that petting zoos are hotbeds of serious pathogens, including E. coli and salmonella. Experts warn that infections can be spread through direct or even indirect contact with animals. The area surrounding an animal’s cage can be teeming with bacteria, and children can even bring pathogens home on their clothing.
Jo-Anne McArthur | We Animals
You shouldn’t support pony rides, either. The ponies, similarly to animals used in hands-on encounters, are forced to travel from place to place and stay in confined areas for long periods of time. They can suffer from hoof ailments, saddle sores, and mouth and teeth problems, resulting from ill-fitting or carelessly rigged tackle. Water may also be withheld from them to prevent unsightly “accidents.”
Birthday parties don’t always include goodie bags, but if you plan to give them out to your kid’s party guests, we have lots of great ideas for how to fill them! This is a wonderful opportunity to send nonvegan guests home with some new vegan treats to try. Vegan candy or cookies, a coloring page or craft, and some idiom pencils are all fun ideas. We’d also be happy to send you some PETA Kids stickers to include—just e-mail [email protected].
While throwing a party can seem daunting, these ideas are sure to help you put together the best and most compassionate vegan birthday party for your little one! Have more vegan party ideas? We’d love to hear them! E-mail us at [email protected].