Planning A Train Themed Birthday Party

Use these ideas to create a train-themed birthday party.

Plan a train-themed birthday party any little engineer would love with this planning guide.


The party theme starts with the invitation. Purchase or create invitations with trains to let everyone know they are in for a day full of railroad fun.

Use this sample invitation wording to set the tone for a train birthday party:

All Aboard for Ian's birthday

Please meet at track (child's age)

On (day, date)

Party train departs at (start time) and returns to the station at (end time)

Lunch will be served in the dining car.

Come dressed to have fun!

Please respond to Station Master Sue at (phone number)


Use chalk to draw train tracks on sidewalk and driveways leading up to the house. Place a welcome sign on the front door with the track number.

There are great train party decorations readily available at most party stores, or create your own. Use a white paper tablecloth with a plastic coated back to cover the dining table. Use a wide marker to draw an oval train track around the table. Decorate the rest of the room with white and blue or red and white balloons and streamers. If you have a toy train, use it as a centerpiece or place it on the gift table.

Consider having railroad engineer hat favors for each child to wear for the party.

Food and Drinks

Cut simple sandwiches - peanut butter, turkey and cheese, plain cheese - into individual train cars; the easiest way to do this is to use train car shaped cookie cutters. Serve these along with finger vegetables, chips and cut-up fruit. Keep the food familiar and straightforward to appeal to the most children. Hot dogs, chicken nuggets and goldfish are all safe party foods, as well.

Train Cake

For a quick train cake, make or purchase a rectangular white frosted sheet cake. Use decorating gel or thin licorice laces to create a railroad track along the cake's surface. Place a toy train on the track; party stores carry train themed cake toppers for just this purpose. Fill in the areas around the tracks with green sugar or sprinkles to look like grass.

Games and Activities

A fun activity while everyone is arriving is to play "Station Master Says." Have an adult or older child give instructions to all of the children: "Station Master says go choo-choo", "Station Master says move along the train tracks to the backyard" and "Whistle like a train." When the instructions don't start with "Station Master Says" the players should stand still and not follow the instructions.

For a great outdoor party activity, set up a train race. Before the party, collect four medium-sized moving-style boxes. Cut the tops and bottoms off of the boxes and decorate them to look like train cars. Attach each pair of two boxes together with a 10-inch piece of rope or strong string, punching a hole into each box and knotting it on the inside. So, each train will have two cars, tethered together by a piece of rope. Divide the children into pairs; two teams will race at one time. Each child on a team will stand inside one of the cars of a train and will race against another train. This is harder than it sounds, since both children in a train need to run in step with one another in order to be successful.

Use another cardboard box to create a "coal" bean bag toss game. Seal the box, and cut one hole in it approximately a foot across. Give each guest a turn to stoke the coal by tossing the bean bags into the firebox of the train.

Goody Bags

Send each little engineer home with some more train fun. In addition to the engineer's cap, some great goodies include: train whistles, toy train cars, stickers, train puzzles and train books. Bundle the goodies into a red bandanna and tie it up into a sack.

© High Speed Ventures 2011