When it comes to kids birthday parties, a magician is one of the top entertainment choices.
But why stop with just an act? If you want to host an event that your child will remember forever, try putting together a whole magic-themed party!
Whether your kid has watched The Greatest Showman a hundred times, loves to impress family members with magic tricks, or just deserves a really special birthday, a magic-themed party can be one of the most fun ways to celebrate their birthday.
Let’s take a look at some awesome magician birthday party ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
The main attraction of any magical birthday party will be the magician, of course, but there are lots of other things you can plan to ensure that the birthday boy or girl has a wand-erful day.
5 Steps to hire a magician for a birthday party
For any successful magic-themed party, you’re going to need a good magician.
Even if you have a friend or relative who’s good at illusions, you can’t really beat a professional show and everything that comes with it.
Hiring a kids’ entertainer isn’t without its pitfalls, so it would be foolish to just pick one at random and hope for the best.
Here are five things to consider when hiring a magician for a birthday party.
1. Find magician candidates
To find the best magicians in your area, ask around locally to see if people in your community have any recommendations.
Just because someone has a great looking website and shows up at the top of Google doesn’t mean that they’ll put on a great show. In fact, some of the best kids’ party entertainers don’t have websites at all as they get all their business from word of mouth.
If you don’t have any luck in finding a personal recommendation, you can then search online.
Just make sure you read the reviews carefully. Be mindful of testimonials that are all positive. Google and Facebook reviews are most reliable because businesses have no control over the publication of any negative feedback.
The best magicians will be able to send you videos of their past performances so that you can see them in action before you part with your hard-earned cash.
2. Determine your budget
According to HireRush, the average cost for a kids’ party magician is $150 to $230 per hour. The most elaborate magic shows could cost up to $300 per hour.
The price to hire a magician is generally the same whether you have five guests or 500, so inviting the whole class over isn’t an issue.
If you want extra services like face painting or balloon animals, your magician might have an assistant that can come along to do this for an extra charge.
3. Consider the party guests
Each magician is different in what they offer.
Some specialize in close-up magic and sleight of hand. Others work best on a stage.
The most important thing is that the magician that you choose is good with kids and can keep hold of their attention for the full show.
Kids aged three to seven tend to prefer magicians who are silly and funny. So a clown who also does magic could be ideal. Older kids are more likely to prefer an adult-style magician who has some impressive tricks up his sleeve.
No matter the age of your child, you might have kids of all ages at the party, so a magician who can keep preschoolers mesmerized at the same time as performing illusions that teens will find believable is your best bet.
4. Make sure the magician you choose is trustworthy
If you’re hiring a performer to spend time with your kids and their friends, you’re definitely going to want to make sure that they can be trusted.
Be sure to ask the magician if they have a current state background check. Most professionals should already have a copy of this as it’s a requirement for schools and daycare centers before they allow anyone around children.
You should also ask the magician how long they have been doing magic shows for children.
Even if they’ve been practicing magic for years, you’ll want your performer to also have lots of experience doing kids parties in particular. Since kids can be unpredictable, it’s important that the magician can anticipate what will go wrong and have a backup plan.
5. Check that your magician has insurance
Liability insurance is a must for performers like magicians, yet some still don’t have it. When hiring a magician this is definitely something that you should confirm before they set foot on your property.
Accidents can happen anywhere and if a party guest were to suffer an injury or damage to their property during the show, the performer’s insurance should cover it.
If you’re hosting the party in a hired venue, the venue owner will likely require a copy of the insurance policy as well.
Planning your magic-themed party
When planning a magic-themed party, hiring the magician should definitely be your first task. This is because many magicians also offer other party services, like sound systems, lighting invitations and party favors.
Make a note of what your chosen performer has to offer first, then you’ll know what’s left to arrange yourself.
If you want to get the party started with a snazzy invitation, you’ll find lots of magic-themed party invitations to buy online which feature top hats, wands, and white rabbits.
If you prefer to make your own party invitations, making them by hand adds a nice personalized touch. However, printing them off from the computer is certainly easier when large numbers of guests are involved.
For something really special, you could inflate a balloon and write the party invitation details on it, then deflate it and put it in an envelope.
Just be sure to use a balloon pump for hygiene reasons!
Magic-themed decorations are easy to find online, so you should have a good choice of things like paper plates and cups with pictures of magicians and rabbits in hats on them.
However, there are lots more things you can do to make your theme pop.
At the entrance to the party, consider a theater-style sign to welcome guests and announce that the show is about to begin.
Red, black and white are the most common magic show-themed colors to use, so keep these in mind when buying things like tablecloths, balloons and bunting. Anything with silver or gold stars on it will also fit well with this theme.
Scattering playing cards and fake coins is an easy, cheap and effective way to decorate a table for a party. You could also provide kids with some fun props like paper top hats, magic wands and paper mustaches on sticks.
Whether you’re making the food yourself or hiring a catering company, a magic-themed party offers some great opportunities for themed food.
Magical party food ideas:
- Magic wands: Take chocolate finger cookies or pretzels and dip each end into white chocolate
- Shaped finger sandwiches: Make these easily with cookie cutters in the shape of rabbits, top hats or stars
- Sparkly fruit: Sprinkling chopped fruit with edible glitter will make it much more appealing to kids
- Magic potion: Add a dash of blue food coloring to lemonade to create a magic drink
- Popcorn: Served in theater-style boxes, this is the perfect snack to eat at a magic show
The most elaborate magic-themed birthday cakes are full-sized three-dimensional top hats with rabbits poking out, surrounded by playing cards and a magic wand.
For many kids, this would be their top choice for a magic-themed cake.
If your budget doesn’t allow for something so fancy, or you’d like a magic cake that you can bake yourself at home, consider a traditional round cake with a flat picture of a rabbit in a hat, made from icing.
A tiered birthday cake could also work well – you could decorate it with hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs. You could also add stars perched on top of cake wires or even add real playing cards.
Activities and games
Most kids’ party magicians will include activities and party games as part of their performance.
However, if your magician is just there for the show, then you’ll need to have some themed games planned.
Take a look at this list of magic-themed games for ideas.
Most traditional party games like musical chairs or pass the parcel involve music. So why not create a Spotify playlist of all the best magic-themed songs. Just make sure you find the clean versions for young ears.
Magic themed party playlist ideas:
- 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
- Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic by The Police
- The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
- Could It Be Magic by Take That
- Black Magic by Little Mix
- Magic by Kylie Minogue
- A Kind of Magic by Queen
You can use these songs for the usual party games, or just to have a magic disco.
There are so many options for themed party favors for a magic party. Rather than the traditional plastic bags, you could put candy, treats and a slice of birthday cake inside a paper top hat.
Another fun option would be to gift each child with a book of magic tricks. Or perhaps you could give them each a color-changing silk scarf, pack of magic cards or some other small illusion that they can perfect at home.
And of course, a magic wand would always make a great party favor.
A magic-themed party is one of the best themed party ideas for boys and girls of all ages. A magic party with a magician is sure to be an event that your child will remember for the rest of their lives.
Hiring a magician can be expensive, but some magicians may also arrange the party games, invitations and favors, which means less work for you.
When choosing a magician, be sure to do your research carefully to pick one that you can trust to keep the kids happy and entertained throughout the show.
A magic-themed birthday party has so many opportunities for themed food and decor. Like any kids’ party, there’s a lot of planning involved.
But seeing the look on your son or daughters face when they’re having so much fun is sure to be, well, magical!
Before you go, check out some more fun guides like:
- Activities to do with a toddler at home
- Games to play in the kitchen with kids
- How to make your yard kid-friendly without grass
Hope this helps!
(And a big thanks to Los Angeles magician Joe Skilton for research help with this post.)