Need some ideas for a Nerf birthday party?! We’ve got you covered. Here is everything you need to know to throw off the most epic Nerf birthday party ever!
Jack turned eight-years-old this year, and he asked if he could have a friend birthday party.
We don’t have them every year, and since eight is a big year in our family (it’s the year you get baptized in our religion), I thought that it would be fun for him to have one.
He talked about different ideas for the party, and we finally settled on a Nerf-themed party.
What better for a bunch of little boys with tons of energy to get out!? I can’t think of anything else.
We tried to keep most parts of the party simple and not super structured. This was a pretty good idea in the end, because the boys LOVED running around and doing some free-for-all games.
However, we did organize a few stations, played some Nerf Capture the Flag, had some yummy snacks, and it all turned out really well.
We were lucky enough to partner with our friends at Shindigz, and they sent us some fun supplies that really made this party even more fun – and it made my life easier.
I hope that this post will be helpful to anyone trying to plan a really fun (and simply) Nerf party!
We did a couple of different things for invitations. First, I made an Evite and sent it to all the people that I had email addresses for.
However, my son’s class didn’t have a class list this year with emails, so we also wanted to have an invitation that we could print off for him to hand out after school.
I purchased an invitation on Etsy – it was just a couple of dollars, and the person customized it with the information for the party.
I could have probably designed something myself, but this was just simpler. There are a lot of fun options on Etsy.
However, if you want to keep it even simpler, Shindigz has a great invitation option for a Nerf party – just write in the information and you’re good to go!
I do recommend putting on the invitation “please bring a Nerf gun if you have one!”, unless you plan on having enough for everyone in attendance. We did have a couple of extras just in case, but this worked out pretty well.
Where to Hold a Nerf Party
This is the first question to ask – where should you hold it?
Obviously, unless you have a huge basement, you will probably not want to hold it indoors. That would just be a recipe for disaster (unless you don’t have any Nerf gun shooting…but what fun is that?
If the weather is going to be nice outside, just hold it in your backyard or at a local park. That will give you plenty of room for the kids to run around.
Jack’s birthday is at the beginning of March, and where we live, this can mean super cold and snowy or really nice out. We played it safe and reserved our church’s gym, which was free. If you have access to a gym that’s free or inexpensive, that’s a great option, too.
Games and Activities
I really stressed out about having enough structure that the kids didn’t run wild…but not enough that they couldn’t have fun.
It’s certainly a fine balance to maintain. I looked around Pinterest for different ideas that were simple.
I just asked Jack tonight what his favorite part was, and he said, “Our giant battle at the end!” Clearly, free play is important!
Here is a list of everything we did:
- Free Play – we had some really fun barriers setup, and the boys loved them. We were in a gym at our church that also had a stage with some classrooms, which they boys REALLY liked. Lots of places to hide! Jack made these tags for the teams beforehand.
- Capture the Flag – here are some great instructions on how to play Nerf Capture the Flag. We got some cheap, colored dish towels for the flags.
- Balloon Target Practice – we tied helium balloons at varying heights to chairs and the kids were able to shoot at them. They loved this! We just bought some at Party City beforehand.
- Cup Shooting – I printed off the targets available on this website and set this up on a table.
- DIY Dart Shooter (more information on that below)
- String Pinata – we got this from Shindigz. I think a string pinata is an awesome option for younger kids, but seeing as we had some rowdy boys, they wanted to smash it…which we were still able to do. Huge hit!
- Photo Booth – this was a lot of fun. We got a personalized photo booth poster from Shindigz, and we also got these fun cutouts of Jack’s head. The kids LOVED it! I also made some cut-outs using my Cricut (I nee
- Opened presents
It was a very simple party, but it turned out great. I am finding more and more that kids are okay with simple!
Here are some other ideas I found for games:
- This post has three fun ideas – Army Men Knockdown, Target Practice with Cardboard Box, and Balloon Knockdown
- Tiered Target with ladder bar frame
- Mini obstacle course
- This post has a really fun punch-a-cup game (nerf themed)
- This post has a ton of fun Nerf-inspired game ideas with instructions
Obviously for a Nerf party, you need to have Nerf guns. However, it can be tricky asking people to bring them because not everyone will have one!
But they are also pricey, and it can be hard to say you are going to provide them for everyone.
I do suggest putting on the invitation something about having people bring one if they have one. You could even say, “If you don’t have a Nerf gun, please let us know when you RSVP!”
We ended up picking up some from a local consignment store that were a lot cheaper. I also really love these Nerf Jolt guns. I have been able to get them for $5 a piece when they are on sale on Amazon.
We did buy a new package of darts. You can get these for super cheap on Amazon – just buy an off brand!
You definitely want to have dart reload stations!
I always like to have some kind of hands on activity for the kids to do. I looked around at different ideas, and we came across this Nerf bullet launcher.
Forrest played around with making it for a while, and it turned out great. I do recommend assembling before the party, as it can be a little tricky. We just had all the boys decorate theirs with markers, and they were able to launch them.
All you need are:
- PVC Pipes – 3/4″ diameter (we got a 24″ pipe at Home Depot and Forrest cut it down to smaller pieces).
He roughly followed this tutorial. He did not feel like he needed to use duct tape. Here is a little TikTok video we did demonstrating them. The boys LOVED them.
Here are some other Nerf themed crafts/DIY projects:
Jack said his second favorite part of the party was the food…which I was happy to hear, because we kept it very simple.
He requested GH Cretor’s cheddar/caramel popcorn mix from Costco, which was easy enough. We just put out a bunch of cups with this popcorn in them.
We also made some lemon cupcakes (Jack’s favorite!) and decorated them to look like targets. Originally I was just going to use Nerf colors, but we didn’t have enough of the right colors. But I did make a few like that. I would recommend buying some M&Ms in the orange, blue, and yellow in bulk at a party store or online (unless you just want to buy a couple bags of M&Ms and dig through them!).
I bought lemonade but forgot it at home…so water worked just fine.
I’m sure there are plenty of other things you could do for food, but I thought keeping it simple was best.
Here are some other Nerf themed food ideas I found:
- Edible Nerf Darts
- Nerf cake push pops
- Fondant Cupcakes
- Nerf Ice Cream cone cupcakes
- Nerf Party Cake
- Orange and blue cupcakes with darts on top
You could also have foods that are blue and/or orange to match Nerf colors:
- Cutie clementines
- Cheese puffs
- Orange slice candy
- Blue and Orange gumballs
- Tropical orange jello salad
- Blue and Orange popsicles
- Orange creamsicle fudge
- Orange dreamsicle jello squares
- Orange Dreamsicle Cookies
- Shindigz has lots of blue and orange colored candy you can buy in bulk
We did have a lot of fun decor, thanks to Shindigz. They really have everything you need for an amazing Nerf party – from paper settings and table cloths to large 3D setups for hiding, it’s definitely the best place to go for a hands-off party.
Here are some of the barriers we got. I do recommend making sure you give yourself PLENTY of time to set these up. 30 minutes before the party was not enough.
Here is everything that we got:
- 2 ft. 6 in. Nerf Battle Zone Deflection Cover
- 18 in. to 26 in. Battle Zone Stacked Barriers
- Nerf Personalized Photo Booth Background
- Nerf Dessert Set for 8
- Nerf Plastic Table Cover
- Nerf Battle Zone Tunnel
- Nerf Battle Zone Defensive Barrier Wall
And here a few other things I was tempted by:
I’m honestly not the biggest fan of goody bags as a parent, just because I think they are usually kind of useless!
But I know kids love them, so we did have them. Haha! Here are a few things to help put together a Nerf Goody Bag:
- Nerf Favor Bags – fill these with any type of treat that you want.
- Under Eye Stickers (we got some of these, and they were a hit!)
- Nerf Mini Disc Shooters (also a hit)
- Nerf Personalized Candy Tubes – fill with fun candy!
- Nerf Personalized Candy Wrappers – put these around fun sized pieces of candy
- Nerf Personalized Kids’ Cup
- Nerf Personalized Ear Buds
- This is a really cute idea with a printable and water balloons
- Nerf Personalized Milk Chocolate Lollipop
- Shindigz has a wide variety of candies you can get to use in some of the items listed above
- I have seen some people do eye protection. This is a kit you can buy on Amazon for eight kids that comes with eye protection, 20 darts, ammo holder, and a camo bandana
- Badges – These are some fun personalized badges you could print off and put in lanyard name tag holders.
Phew! That was a lot. I would love to hear any ideas you had for your Nerf party. Be sure to tag us on Instagram at @clarkscondensed so we can see yours!
More Party Inspiration
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.