I recently created a Wild West first birthday party for my son, Wes, and everyone ages 1-72 really enjoyed the variety of fun birthday activities at the party. In fact, visitors at Ardenwood Historic Farm —where we held this fantastic western-themed first birthday party— thought our party activities were a part of the farm’s activities because they fit the theme and time period so well! There were too many activities to include in my main article about this Ardenwood farm birthday party so I’ve created this post just about the activities for you to check them all out and steal for your own get-together. Whether you’re hosting a Western, cowboy, or Wild West first birthday party, your guests are sure to love these activities.
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When I think of the Wild West, horses come to mind, and also apples! Having a fun “apple picking” station as a twist on bobbing for apples offers a simple activity for guests of all ages. At my son, Wes’ Wild West first birthday party, the apple picking station was located on one of the picnic tables and included apples in a stainless steel bucket of ice (it was warm out) to pick the apples from. The apple-picking station also included an apple cutter, sticks, marshmallows, caramel, chocolate, and sprinkles for guests to use on their apples for a tasty treat.
It’s only natural that you play horseshoe at a Wild West party, right? Because I wasn’t allowed to put anything in the ground or use any modern items at the Wild West first birthday party I created for my son, I brought two different options in place of the large railroad nail typically used in this game — a metal towel holder and the center wooden piece from MORI Baby’s Wooden Stacking Rings! For the horseshoes, I used the horseshoes that the on-site Ardenwood Farms Blacksmith engraved for me when my 11-YO and 5-YO were younger which was pretty special. If your Wild West birthday party is at a location that isn’t quite so rigid about things like this you could do a horseshoe variation like ring toss using safer items like plastic rings — or maybe rope starched in a circle — instead of real horseshoes.
Tug-of-war and knot making
What’s a Western party without rope? I found the perfect size tug-of-war rope on Amazon (affiliate) that also doubled as a rope for knot making for my son Wes’ Wild West first birthday party. When the kids (or adults) wanted a marker to see who could pull the rope the most on their side, we used the metal paper towel holder that I brought for playing horseshoe and continued to use just the wooden pole from a baby stacking toy that I brought for horseshoe as the “goal” for that game.
Bucket balance is such a fun and easy Wild West birthday party activity! Place little metal buckets in a line for guests to walk across without losing their balance. You can move the buckets closer together for younger guests and farther apart for older guests. The buckets could even be set down in a zig-zag or pattern to make it interesting. Plus, these buckets double as musical instruments for the acoustic music area or buckets for finding nature treasures (if you’re at a location where that’s allowed).
To buy items from this sustainable Wild West first birthday party via Amazon, check out the details in my Amazon Affiliate Storefront, HERE!
Acoustic instrument play
Acoustic instruments are a wonderful Wild West activity. At my son’s first birthday party, I had different Wander & Roam’s vegan leather mats on the grass and one of them had an assortment of acoustic instruments for the guests to play. Having acoustic instruments at the Wild West birthday party offers kids the chance to explore different sounds and work together as a group to try to create music together (without it being too loud). I went with metal cymbals, wrapped drums, wooden sticks, a wooden block, the metal triangle, and even a metal bucket or two.
Wild West-inspired stories
Including board books and regular storybooks at your Wild West birthday party offers smaller kids a quiet activity to enjoy, and something for the adults to do too! We included an activity area on a Wander & Roam vegan leather mat with a variety of Mudpuppy books (Amazon affiliate), books about cowgirls, books about the desert, and more at Wes’ Wild West first birthday. If a book didn’t include cowboys, it included the railroad, stars, or cactus. We also included a plant anatomy puzzle that had a cactus so the older guests could enjoy a quiet activity too.
Train rides are a wonderful Wild West activity for littles — it’s safe and they get to go for a ride! Depending on your location, this is an activity that the guests at your party can enjoy throughout the event. At the Wild West first birthday party I hosted, the train ran at specific times
Stacking blocks, rocks, and teething toys
Another fairly quiet activity for a Wild West birthday party is stacking blocks! Wooden blocks allow for a lot of problem-solving and collaboration with others when building larger pieces, too. If you’re in an area that allows for the stacking of rocks, that’s another fun option to include. On the third Wander & Roam vegan leather mat set out for activities on the grass at our Wild West first birthday party, I had some wooden teethers and wooden stacking rocks (wooden pieces shaped like rocks created for balancing on one another) for the kids to play with.
Animal education & feeding
Picking a location that already has animals on the premises helps a lot with thinking of activities to do. There are different services available that will bring animals to you that require a bit more research into the ethics of how they care for their animals and cost (they’re usually expensive). A working farm or sanctuary is a great option, I think. My son’s Wild West birthday party was at a working historic farm operated by East Bay Regional Parks, where the animals all had their own space and the guests could follow docents to learn about the different animals and then participate in feeding each one! My one-year-old loved following the chickens around the farm.
Simply walking around a working farm is a fun activity at a Wild West birthday party. Both kids and adults had so much fun seeing the historic and working farm equipment at our Wild West first birthday aprty location, Ardenwood Farm. This location also had historically accurate activities like learning about wool and making your own handicraft. Wes had fun walking through the garden, and my oldest daughter enjoyed the hanging laundry station that showed guests how to use washboards and hang clothes.
Wild West photos
Though there are plenty of natural photo opportunities at a Wild West first birthday party, offering Western photo props can add an extra bit of fun to the event. For this activity, we created a station at one of the tables with a stack of cowboy hats, some sheriff badges, oodles of mustaches, and WANTED frame (made using a square cardboard box). This activity was a hit with both the grandparents AND all of the kids. Everyone had fun seeing each other in their mustaches and hats, then taking photos of each other with grumpy mugs using the WANTED frame.
I hope this post provided some inspiration for your next birthday party or get-together. I have so many more ideas if you need some more, too! Reach out via Instagram or comment here!
To buy items from these sustainable Wild West first birthday party activities via Amazon, check out the details in my Amazon Affiliate Storefront, HERE!