Birthdays

Whether it’s a milestone number, or just a day that marks another year older, birthdays are always special occasions. We have all the ideas and tips to throw a memorable birthday party, serve crowd-pleasing food, and choose the perfect gift. If you’re planning a bash for your child, there are plenty of things to account for—and it can get pretty stressful. Luckily we’ve simplified the process for you. Our at-home birthday party checklist will keep you organized and prepared, plus you can check out all the budget-friendly birthday party ideas for kids that will impress (and save you a buck or two). For adult celebrations, there are some unique ways to decorate a cake, as well as gift ideas for the friend who has just about everything. Plus, if you’re tired of the generic decorations at the store, we have some easy DIY ideas to make the party space worthy of the occasion.

How to Create the Ultimate Birthday Banner

Five simple steps to creating party garland with serious pop.

15-Minute DIY Party Ideas

Fast, foolproof, and surprising ideas for any celebration.

5 Party Desserts for Kids

Need a kid-pleasing party centerpiece or a whimsical sweet? Try one of these clever edible creations.

How to Stack and Frost a Layer Cake    

Get our tips and tricks for stacking and frosting a beautiful, professional-looking cake every time.

20 Quick Centerpiece Ideas

You’d be surprised by what you can make in no time.

DIY Cake Toppers for Every Celebration

In celebration of Real Simple’s 15th anniversary, we assembled an assortment of impressive do-it-yourself cake (and cupcake) toppers. These crafty embellishments will make any dessert look so special that party guests will probably ask where you bought them.

Yellow Cake With Vanilla Frosting and White Chocolate Chips

Say hello to your new go-to yellow cake recipe. The moist but light end result will have you swearing off the convenience of the boxed stuff for good. After baking and cooling two simple round cakes, you’ll layer then, with frosting in the center, before frosting the exterior, too. We covered the side with two cups of white-chocolate chips for a gorgeous, all-white effect, but you could also employ chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, or even small pieces of candy, to fit your party’s theme. But hey, no party required to whip up this simple but stunning cake. It’s that delicious.

How to Make a Piñata

This super simple DIY piñata—no paper mache required—is sure to make any party that much sweeter.

Child’s At-Home Birthday Party Checklist

Whether you’re celebrating indoors or in the backyard, with pin the tail on the donkey or an entire petting zoo, this timeline will make for a very happy birthday with all the bases covered.