Party Central

A Boy’s Retro Bowling Themed Birthday Party

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Planning a bowling themed birthday party and have a few minutes to spare? It’s Jen Carver of Banner Events here, and I’m highlighting my son’s retro bowling themed birthday party. I’m thrilled to share tips for getting the ball rolling with this exciting party theme! In the hopes I can bowl you over, I’ll detail my complete party plan. From sending out unique invitations and deciding on decorations to styling the dessert table and dressing the dining table, no details will be spared.  I’ll even hit the topic of bowling themed birthday party favor ideas! Come check out the party magic as captured by A Fresh Take Photography.

Retro Bowling Birthday


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Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Invitation

Generating hype for a party is easy! Sending out a cool invitation definitely gets things started because there is nothing quite like receiving a creative invitation delivered on your doorstep!

These bowling invitations, designed by Anders Ruff and printed by Driftwood Printing are well-designed, impressive and clearly showcase the theme. The red and aqua tones help give it a retro vibe.

In lieu of the traditional envelope, I chose to go with unexpected invitation packaging, opting to use black jewelry boxes filled with red paper shred. Custom deliver-to and return address labels were added to dress up the outside of the box.

I love throwing in an element of surprise and included a mini tabletop bowling game with the invitations.  Other options could include a small treat, toy or even confetti.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Dessert Table

With excitement for the party building, I quickly got to work on planning decorations to coordinate with the retro bowling theme. There is nothing I love more than treating guests to a fully decked out party space, complete with personal touches.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Dessert Table

For this party, I began with plans for the dessert table.  The fabulous Anders Ruff created a large party logo, complete with personalization that I could use as the focal point.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Dessert Table

I hung coordinating fabric on my DIY PVC pipe backdrop stand to create a backdrop and attached my party logo with pins. Table linens from my stash were used to cover the table and provided a blank canvas for testing out a variety of color-coordinating cake stands and serving pieces from my inventory while visualizing party prop and treat placement.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Game Decorations

After the bare bones of the dessert table were in place, I put my orders in for desserts and additional party supplies like the polka dot balloons and small bowling pin sets to add a little festivity to the design.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Cake Ideas

Dessert planning is always an exciting part of party prep, and my go-to cake designer, Christina Goff of 4 Kids Cakes, is always at the top of my list to call. I can always count on her to create something original that looks as amazing as it tastes.

Don’t you just love the extra care that Christina took on this cake, combining fondant and molding chocolate to achieve a cake that coordinates with the graphic designs?

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Cake Cupcake Ideas

Cupcakes are an easy, child-friendly cake option at parties. I loved topping Christina’s cupcakes with bowling pins from mini bowling sets and black gumball “bowling balls”.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Cookie Ideas Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Cookie Ideas

A dessert table staple at our house, these beautiful sugar cookies from Sugary Sweet Cookies are inspired by the Anders Ruff printable décor. I’m obsessed with the detail on the logo cookies, but can’t get over the cuteness of those bowling pins!

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Cookie Ideas Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party Food Ideas

Dreaming up creative themed treats is just one of the many gifts of Nicole from Bella Bakery. We loved the creativity of her chocolate covered Oreo bowling balls and rice krispy bowling pins.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party Food Ideas Candy Pops

Guests always go crazy for candy bobs made by Sweets From Heaven Orange. Made from a combination of candy and edible embellishments, they were the perfect choice for rounding out our sweet table offerings.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party table ideas

Number two on my favorite party elements to style is the dining area.  I enjoy decorating a party space that results in party guests feeling special.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party Table Decoration Ideas Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party Table Decoration Ideas Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party Table Decoration Ideas

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party Table Decoration Ideas

Because I like my party tables to have a custom look, I often commission the creation of personalized printable designs that can be added to party table essentials such as plates, napkins, cups, water bottles, various food containers, party favor packaging and centerpieces. A quick look at my bowling birthday party tablescape reveals a variety of printable logos and labels attached to popcorn boxes, paper straws, fruit cups, paper plates and water bottles.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party Table Centerpiece Decoration Ideas

I even used cute printable bowling themed centerpiece picks to create a simple centerpiece using paper straws, paper shred and a black basket.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party candy ideas

A “gutterball” gumballs label turned an ordinary candy tube of black gumballs into a genius bowling party favor! I love how printables can help tie the theme and overall look of a party together.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party Table Decoration Ideas

A couple of my favorite elements from the table include the bowling pin sippers from Shindigz and my simple bowling pin inspired cutlery transformation. A little red electrical tape made the project quick and mess-free.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party favor ideas

When it comes to party favors, I prefer choosing practical items that will extend the fun of the party. Maureen (Anders Ruff) had a genius idea for birthday favor “bowling bags” easily made by attaching a custom printable label and tag to glossy black gable boxes from Nashville Wraps.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party favor ideas

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party favor ideasBoys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party favor ideas

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party favor ideas

Inspired by Maureen’s lead, I filled our bowling bags with an assortment of bowling themed items (paddle balls, bowling pin pens, bowling pin stress “balls”, a bowling trophy), coloring books and a bag full of “spare sweets” for the road.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party favor ideas

Guests even received a larger sized bowling set to take home, providing plenty of future practice opportunities.

Boys Bowling Themed Birthday Party Food Party shirt ideas

To work off the sugar rush, we paid a visit to our local bowling alley where these bowling novices had fun sporting their custom bowling shirts from Brenda at GreatStitch.com.  Custom team logo stickers were added to the back to help the boys stay in the correct lane.

How do you gauge the success of a party? With no time to spare, a crew of smiling faces, tummies full of treats and hands full of party favors, this bowling themed birthday party was deemed a success!

Planning a boy’s bowling birthday party?  Check out these party sources put together by the Spaceships and Laser Beams crew.

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Jennifer Carver

As the mother of 4 children, 3 of whom are busy boys, much of Jen's free time is spent at the ball field, brushing up on video game terminology and building Lego towers. Jen is the owner and creative mind behind Banner Events. With a passion for event planning & party styling and an obsession with the little details that take an event from ordinary to extraordinary, Jen wakes up every morning excited to get to work.