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Around the World Theme Party

Jaynie has extensive experience with party and event planning. She has planned events for groups of 20 to 600 people.

Around the World Themed Party

Around the World Party

Hosting an Around the World theme party is a great opportunity to celebrate the traditions and cultures of different countries and expose your guests to a completely unique party experience. I planned a large party for my daughter’s eighth birthday and it was a great success!

The countries we featured were chosen based upon the ideas we cultivated for great food, games and music that we thought our guests might most enjoy. They were: America (Hawaii, to be exact); Italy; Mexico and China.

Due to the number of countries and activities we featured, a larger venue was required, however, you may choose to focus on only one or two countries or to feature four countries, but host an outdoor party to give yourself ample space at your own home and still have a wonderful time.

Because my party was focused on children in the 7-10 year old category, I enlisted the help of several adults to make sure that there was adequate supervision and assistance with the activities in each country.

Let’s start at the beginning.


The invitation to this party is the kid’s passport to a world of fun!! Creating a unique invitation will pique the party-goer’s interest and get people excited and talking about the upcoming event!

Our invitations were meant to serve as “itineraries” for each child and allowed the guests a hint of the fun that was to come. They featured a large map of the world on the front, and highlighted the countries that we were “traveling” to. The flags of each country were also featured on the invitations, and the header was a large banner that read, “Come Around the World with Ashleigh.”

The itineraries listed the times at which the various activities would be taking place, including “departure” and “return.”

Let’s Get This Party Started - Check In

Upon arrival, each child passed through the Check-In Gate and received their travel tote. I purchased the small tote bags, in a variety of designs to appeal to both boys and girls, from Oriental Trading Company. In each tote was a book of Traveler’s Cheques that would be used for purchasing food, beverages or souvenirs, or playing games. There were three or four cheques for each country and each had their own unique, colorful designs. Because we had nearly 100 guests, I could not offer gifts and food to everyone for a reasonable price, so the cheques were a great way to give the kids the chance to decide what they wanted to spend their travel money on. The totes also included personalized passports that were made from small, navy blue leather-bound notebooks. Each notebook was covered by a colored print of actual U.S. Passport cover art. The inside page was an authentic replica of an actual passport and included a photo of the child to whom it was being issued. I had photos of most of the kids already, but for those that I did not, I obtained them from a parent. Passports also include a page for each country that the children would be visiting and when visiting each country, the child would receive a colorful sticker (or stamp) in their passport. There was also a nametag for each child so that parents and chaperones could easily identify each child.

The tote bags were labeled with each child’s name and were a great way for kids to keep track of their passports and the souvenirs they purchased during their travels.

Hawaii - U.S.A.

What You Will Need

Tiki Bar (we rented ours from A to Z Rent All

8 ft. table

6 ft. table

Colorful plastic tablecloths

Hawaiian stickers (for passports)

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Cabana Shop sign ( I printed mine on a color printer and laminated it)

Hawaiian print napkins and plates (for fruit kebabs)

Plastic Cups (for smoothies)

Umbrella toothpicks (for fruit kebabs)

Platters for premade fruit kebabs


Grass Skirts (for the volunteers)


Ingredients for your favorite smoothies & for fruit kebabs

String, Needles and Fabric Hybiscus Petals (I got them from Oriental Trading Company)

Hawaiian wall murals

Limbo pole

Boom box & Hawaiian music CD

Selection of Hawaiian gifts for the Cabana Shop (I bought things such as small plastic tumblers with Hibiscus prints; colorful sunglasses; temporary tropical fish tattoos; flip-flop key chains; hibiscus hair clips; and leis)

Featured Activities

Each guest got a Hawaiian themed sticker for their passport. The volunteers wore grass skirts and Hawaiian or colorful shirts. They made fruit kabobs on long umbrella toothpicks and fruit smoothies for “purchase” by guests. The Cabana Shop sign was hung on the front of the 6 ft. table and the shop featured souvenirs that the kids could purchase with their traveler’s cheques. Other activities included lei making using needle, thread and hyacinth petals; Limbo dancing; application of tropical fish tattoos. Island music CDs can be found at local party stores or downloaded from i-Tunes. Music should be playing during the entire party.



What You Will Need

8 ft. table

2 – 4 small card tables

Red and White checkered tablecloths for each table (including 8 ft table)

Sign that says “Italy” to identify the country

Italy stickers for passports

Sign for Pizza and Italian Soda cafe

Large poster boards (1 each of Red, Green; Blue; Pink; Purple; Black and Yellow)

Duct tape or masking tape (to secure poster boards to the wall)

Variety of pre-made pizzas

3 Pizza ovens

Club Soda

Torani Syrups (i.e. Strawberry; vanilla; orange)

Italian Soda recipes

Cups, plates and forks

Italy stickers for passports

Boom box with Italian music

Featured Activities

Tables were draped in red and white checked tablecloths. Chaperones made Italian Sodas and pizzas. Guests used traveler’s cheques to pay for the pizza and sodas.

Each guest got an Italian themed sticker for their passports.

The featured game was Strega Commanda Color. The Chaperone tacked up large poster boards of different colors along a large wall with plenty of room for running. The kids lined up across the room. When the Witch (Strega) called out a color, the kids ran to the corresponding poster board and touched it before the Strega could tag them. The last child who had’t been tagged was the winner. Italian music played throughout the party. Good selections included music from the Godfather and Dean Martin tunes.


What You Will Need

Two 8 ft. tables (one for serving and one for dining)

Red or green tablecloth

Red and green napkins

Ingredients for making tacos

Nesco for keeping taco meat warm

Mexican wall murals


Digital Camera

Mexican wool blanket

Mexican stickers for passports

2 Pinatas (may only need one if you have fewer guests)

Pole for striking piñata & a blindfold

Souvenirs for the Mexican shop (I purchased things such as mini-maracas; chili-pepper key chains; extra piñata candy bags; etc.)

Boom box and Mexican music CD

Featured Activities

Guests got a Mexico sticker in their passports. The volunteers wore sombreros and manned the Make Your Own Taco Bar. We featured a portrait service in which kids and their families sat on an authentic Mexican wool blanket for portraits in front of the large Flamenco Dancer murals wearing sombreros. Pictures were later downloaded to a photo printer and sent to families in thank you cards. The kids used their travelers cheques to buy the tacos and in the Mexican shop they purchased souvenirs. The kids played two rounds of piñata. Mexican music played throughout the party.



What You Will Need

8 ft. table

Red plastic tablecloth

Chinese hats (for volunteers)

Chinese dragons & lanterns for decorations

Chinese souvenirs (I purchased fortune cookies; chopsticks; Chinese noisemakers; Chinese totebags; and Chinese fans.)

Chinese take-out boxes (for game)

Uncooked penne pasta (for game)


Rickshaw & driver

Chinese stickers for passports

Sign for the Mandarin Shop

Boom box with Chinese music CD

Featured Activities

Guests received a Chinese sticker for their passports. The chaperones wore black pants and red shirts with authentic Chinese hats and maned the game table and Mandarin Shop. The featured game involved kids using chopsticks to pull penne pasta pieces from one authentic Chinese box and place them into another Chinese box without dropping them. The souvenirs in the Mandarin Shop were purchased using traveler’s cheques. The table was draped in red tablecloths and accented with paper dragons. I hung 3 Chinese lanterns over the table to add to the ambience. The highlight of the party was the Rickshaw rides, which ran for the duration of the party. I obtained a Rickshaw in Madison from the Casbah restaurant. They didn’t charge for the Rickshaw, but I gave a handsome tip to the driver, who cycled travelers around the rental hall for the entire two hour time period. This was a highly popular event for which guests paid using traveler’s cheques. Because guests wanted to do it over and over again, and the driver was willing, we didn’t enforce the traveler’s cheques once they had run out. Music from China played for the duration of the party.



This was an admittedly expensive party to throw but there are options for getting a reduced price and having a wonderful time. Inexpensive options include:

Having the party at your home instead of a rental facility.

Purchasing all souvenirs from Oriental Trading Company which is very reasonably priced.

Featuring only 2-3 countries.

Making your own posters, tote bags, and traveler’s cheques.

Design your own Tiki Bar instead of renting one. It can be as simple as taping a grass table skirt around your own table after draping it with a pink plastic tablecloth.

Check out ethnic CDs from your local library.

Do not use leather-bound books to use as passports. You can make them from paper using cardboard covers for much, much less!

Have a wonderful time!

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© 2010 Jaynie2000


Jaynie2000 (author) on February 04, 2011:

Thanks. This was one of the most fun parties we ever threw. It was so fun and you're right, it was completely different. The rickshaw rides were ridiculous! People were talking about this one for months.

sarahpucci on February 04, 2011:

This is great. Not just the usual party themes, but something different.

Jaynie2000 (author) on October 07, 2010:

Thank you so much! We had an incredible time. I am a stickler for details so this party, despite the work involved, went off without a hitch. I highly recommend it. My daughter's friends still talk about it, and she's already 11 and a half!

Janice S on October 07, 2010:

What a great idea for a party theme! Lots of useful info here.

Scrapaholic on September 06, 2010:

This is such a clever idea. It seems like a great way to celebrate an 8th birthday, but also a fun way to enjoy adult gatherings, as well. Great post!

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