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Race Car Theme Party for Kids

If you ask any little boy what he wants to be when he grows up, you'll usually get an answer of "firefighter, astronaut, or race car driver".

My little boy loves cars, so for his birthday I decided to plan a race car theme party full of four wheeled centerpieces and car themed activities.

Invitations: Get creative with your race car theme party invitations. It's the first impression people will get of your theme party!

I scanned a picture of my son with my dog, Lulu Flynn, onto my computer. I had my friend, who is a graphic designer, take the photo and place it inside the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car to make it look like they were flying in the car. You can make your own unique invitations with your computer, too.

Use a yellow invitation with red writing to keep with the race car theme. Create yellow labels with red writing to use for mailing and return address labels.

Be creative with your text. Try using phrases that incorporate the theme like:

Start your engines and race on over to John's 2nd Birthday on (date)
Main event starts (time) at John's Speedway (address)
Pre-registration (RSVP) due to Pit Chief (Phone Number)


Transform your race car theme party space into a decked out race track! Decorate your party with these fun car themed decoration ideas at are so easy.

Use racing flags for added fun and excitement. To play up the racing flags found at a track, I used a black & white color scheme and accented with bright red and yellow. It's super easy to find party supplies like tablecloths, cups, plates, and flags that go with this scheme. Triangle checkered flags all along the perimeter of the yard add an authentic touch.

Create a life-size racetrack for kids to run around in if you have the space. Using black and white checkered flags, outline a large "racetrack" in the yard and use spray paint to draw the Start/Finish line.

Use loads of black and white in your decor. Balloons and streamers in black and white are cheap and super easy to find.

Finish line flags and orange cones scattered throughout your space create that racetrack feel.

Set up a "hospitality tent" area to serve the food buffet style.


Have fun with your guests and get everyone involved in a birthday party activity. Below are some fun race track themed activities to work on at your race car theme party.

Make your own Drivers License with Photo and/or Pit pass.

Make VIP PIT PASSES for all of the kids. I designed them on my computer and printed them out. Each pass had the race date and their title. I had them laminated and punched a hole in the top of them and tied a string through it so the kids could wear them around their neck.

Give each kid a racing helmet and take an instant Polaroid picture of them.

Have a car race! Line the children up at the start line of the "racetrack." Fire off a cap gun, or blow a whistle and have them take three laps around the track.

Reward all contestants with novelty medals at the end of race. If you don't have enough space to create a life-size track, make a miniature track for racing toy cars.

Play popular children's "racing" games like Red Light Green Light.

Hang a race car pinata in the yard. Don't forget to buy candy to stuff it with!

Don't forget the cruising tunes! The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Soundtrack, Disney CARS soundtrack and related music were perfect. Load all of your favorite Kid's CDs onto your computer and make a mixed CD or playlist on your IPod.

Rough riders need ink. Temporary racing tattoos for everyone to put on.

Race Car Menu

In the spirit of the racetrack, stick with simple party foods in bite-size portions you might find at a racetrack. Be sure to add in some healthy alternatives as well! Remember to have something for the adults as well!

Grilled Cheese - Made with organic cheeses and whole wheat bread. Cut off the crust and use a cookie cutter to make them in fun shapes. You can order cookie cutters for almost any theme online!

Cheeseburger - Small sliders with an organic turkey burger and cheese

Hot Dogs - Mini sized and made with organic turkey.

Peanut Butter & Jelly - Sugar-free jelly and your choice of peanut butter or organic banana slices on whole wheat bread or a pita.

Pretzels and Goldfish crackers served in themed bowls.

Fish or Chicken Fingers - Made with whole wheat breading

Turkey Wafflewiches - Organic turkey with an organic cream cheese cranberry spread served on a crisp Waffle

Racetrack cake: Make two round cakes placed side by side and frost them with green icing. place a bowl in the center of each cake and sprinkled chocolate sprinkles around the bowls to make a figure 8 track. The bowls protect the inside grassy part of the track from getting sprinkles on them. You can put white Good and Plenty candies on the track to make a center line. On the top of the cake you can also add toppers like matchbox cars, racing flags or a trophy. Party Land has some great toppers.

Party Favors

Keep with the theme of party when picking out your party favors. Since kids at this age aren't the most responsible, don't worry about spending too much time or money on the favor.

A simple gift bag with race car temporary tattoos, racecar themed activity book, and maybe a few other car themed trinkets will do.

Find more party planning inspirations for Kids Birthdays

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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