Are you looking to throw an AMAZING gymnastics party?
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When throwing a gymnastics party you have two options: have your party at a gymnastics center or have a gymnastics-themed party at home. If you’re having a lot of guests or want most of the work done for you while keeping your house clean, then having a party at a gymnastics center is for you. If, on the other hand, you’re having a smaller party with fewer guests and want to have more control over the way you customize the party then you can opt for a gymnastics-themed party in your home. Obviously you won’t have the full gym equipment in your home so the core of your party would be different than if you were to have it at a gym.
Regardless of which option you decide on, we’ve given you some things to think about when you plan your gymnastics party as well as ideas for you to consider when deciding on invitations, favors, and supplies. For more ideas and inspiration check out 20 Gymnastics Party Ideas.
With the 2020 Olympics coming up in Tokyo, you might even consider throwing an Olympic-Themed Gymnastics Party.
Things to Think About When Planning Your Gymnastics Party
Age: One thing to think about when you are planning your gymnastics party is the age of your guests. A gymnastics party for 2 year-olds will be quite different from a gymnastics party for older team girls. The decorations, invitations, and supplies will all be different based on the gymnast’s age as well as whether you even consider options like having a gymnastics slumber party or a backyard party at your home.
Location: As we mentioned before, it’s important to decide on the location for your gymnastics party. If you’re on the fence you should consider the pros and cons of having it at the gym versus at home. In addition, if you decide to have it at a gymnastics center you might need to shop around or visit different gyms to decide on your venue. While most gyms in your area should be similarly priced for a gymnastics party, some might include different package options while others charge more for these. It also might be important to you to have a party at a gym that feels clean and gives you a good vibe when you go in. You should definitely visit the gyms before deciding on one unless you’ve attended a gymnastics party at a particular gym in the past or your child is a current student at a gym. Most gyms are more than willing to answer any questions you might have about the party and it’s super important that you find out all the details before you book a party (including how much is required for an initial deposit, what their cancellation policy is, and if you have to guarantee a certain number of guests on the day of your party).
Have much work you want to do during the party: Let’s face it. Hosting a birthday party is often a lot of work for the parents of the birthday girl, regardless of whether you choose to have it at home or at a gym. But if you’re less picky about details and prefer to have someone else plan it for you then a party at the gym might be easier for you than throwing a party at your home. You’ll still be responsible for picking out certain details ahead of time but more often than not you’ll be able to chat with your guests during the party and enjoy yourself more if someone else is doing the hosting than if you’re playing hostess to guests in your home.
How much you want to spend on your party: While having a party at a gymnastics center can cost a pretty penny, so can hosting a party in your home once you add in all the details. If cost is a factor, consider how much a gym party would cost versus one at home (after you’ve added up all the details). Sometimes you’d be surprised at how much you actually spend when hosting a party in your home, especially if you have a decent amount of party guests or if you care about the little details.
Having a Gymnastics Birthday Party at a Gym
Purchasing a gymnastics birthday party package is great for many reasons. The activity/entertainment is provided, the gym takes care of most, if not all, of the details of your party, and the kids can have a lot of fun. Obviously you could have one of these parties even if it’s not for a birthday, but many gyms will expect it to be a birthday, so be sure to let them know if it’s not.
What to Expect?
All gyms structure their birthday parties slightly differently, but most of them have certain elements in common. The party will be at the gym and usually includes an hour of instructors leading the kids through activities followed by 30 minutes of food/cake in the gym’s party room. During gym time, most gyms do a fun warmup on the floor which might mean an obstacle course, stations set up on floor, or even a bouncy. If the gym has trampolines and pits then usually the instructors do these activities next, with each child taking a turn. Most gyms end the birthday party with a special activity for just the birthday girl which might mean something like “flying” in the belt over the trampoline while all her party guests watch and cheer her on or a fun parachute game.
Typically gyms play popular music in the background while the party is going on (if you have a special request for music most gyms will honor it, as well as if you’d prefer the music off).
While the kids are playing, parents can watch if they choose to from either inside or outside the gym (depending on gym rules). If you watch from inside the gym you will most likely have to remove your shoes, so keep that in mind. Also, some gyms only allow parents of younger gymnasts to enter while others are more flexible with their rules, although parents of the birthday girl are almost always allowed inside the gym (you HAVE to take pictures, right?!).
After the gymnastics portion of the party has ended, most gyms have the party guests wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before entering the party room. Some gyms have an entire room dedicated to parties while others just convert the lobby or cubby room into a party room with portable tables and chairs brought in to serve the guests. Typically the instructors who were in the gym leading the activities will then help out with the food in the party room although some gyms have a separate party room staff that sets up, serves, and cleans up the party room.
At this point most gyms serve pizza to the party guests but this may vary depending on the time of the party (i.e. bagels might be served for an early morning weekend party). After food is served, the gym staff will bring out the cake and everyone will sing Happy Birthday to the party girl. Then the gym staff will cut up the cake and serve it to the party guests. After cake is done, most guests will start leaving and if you’re handing out party favors or goody bags to take home this is when you would give them out. Presents for the birthday girl are typically collected by the gym staff at the beginning of the party and bagged up for you to take home after the party. More than likely, presents are not unwrapped during the party.
Some gymnastics centers, especially busy ones, will often schedule parties to overlap which means while your party is in the party room eating, the next party will be starting in the gym. If you have a sensitive child or prefer not to have your party guests walk into a gymnastics center and have to sift through other guests looking for the right party then you might consider booking the first party of the day. This ensures you are coming into an empty gym and limits confusion amongst guests. If you prefer a later party then know that most gyms do a great job of directing party guests to the appropriate place.
Some things to ask the Gym before booking your party:
- How much money is required as a deposit to secure the party and is it refundable? Most gyms require you to put down a deposit to secure your party date/time and most gyms will not refund the deposit but will allow you to reschedule the party with enough advance notice. So before booking a gymnastics party be sure that’s definitely where you want to have your party so you don’t risk losing your deposit in the case that you change your mind. PRO TIP: Get a receipt for your deposit and be sure to take home a copy of the party paperwork that shows your deposit subtracted from your party total. Sometimes gyms can forget to record that you made a deposit and double bill you at your party!
- How many children are included in the base price of the party package, how much is it for each additional child, and is the birthday girl free of charge? These are all questions that will help you figure out your total cost. Most gyms include the birthday child free of charge and some even give a special gift to the birthday girl (typically a t-shirt) as part of the package. Typical parties include 12-15 guests in the base price and then charge a certain amount for every guest above this amount. Be sure to check with your gym to find out the exact costs. PRO TIP: Some gyms will require you to pay for the number of party guests you tell them are coming when you initially book the party even if some people don’t show. You might consider low-balling the number of party guests by a few kids just to be sure you’re not stuck paying for no-shows.
- Do you provide food (usually pizza) and drinks and is this included in the party package price? Typically gyms include 1-2 slices of pizza per party guest HOWEVER most don’t include pizza for adults. So if you want to offer food to your adult guests, be sure to find out how much it is additional per adult pie. Typically gyms will add your extra pizza order to the pizza they order for the kids and will charge you for it. Also, if you’d rather offer fruit or salad to your adult guests, find out whether they can order it for you or if you have to bring it yourself. Depending on what relationships the gym has with local restaurants, they may be able to offer to order the adult food for you. Of course, you’ll be expected to pick up the tab which will add to your final cost. In addition, juice, water, and/or fruit punch is typically included. However, once again, these beverages are not included for adults so consider whether you want to offer drinks to the adults and/or coffee. PRO TIP: If you’re anti-juice/fruit punch you can ask the gym staff to only offer water to your party guests.
- Do you have to bring your own cake/cupcakes or will the gym order one for you? Again, some gyms will order a cake for you while others ask that you bring the cake yourself. Most gyms do not include cake in the party package price although check with yours to find out. Some gyms have different tiered packages that offer different things, including cake, for a higher package price. If you are bringing the cake yourself, most gyms have a refrigerator/freezer for storing your cake until it’s cake time. Just be sure to ask ahead of time in case you’re bringing an ice cream cake. PRO TIP: Remember to remind the gym staff how soon they should take out your ice cream cake in order to make sure it’s not too hard come cake time! Bigger ice cream cakes can take longer to soften than smaller ones.
- Do you need to bring decorations? Most gyms provide birthday party goods such as plates, napkins, cups, and cutlery in their package price. Some offer balloons to decorate the table with as well but not all gyms do. So ask whether decorations are provided and if not, ask if you are allowed to bring your own. Sometimes gyms have certain restrictions when it comes to party decor such as banners or balloons due to limited wall space or not wanting balloons getting stuck in their high ceilings. Also, gyms typically offer standard “birthday” party goods that say “Happy Birthday” but if you want to bring your own party goods you are often allowed. PRO TIP: One way to make your child’s party stand out is to come with gymnastics party plates like the ones in the picture below. Because guests are used to seeing the standard birthday party goods fare they will be very impressed by these little details.
- Are you handing out party favors? Most gyms don’t offer party favors but ask just in case! If you’re bringing your own party favors, find out whether the gym plans to add one of their coupons or flyers to your favor. Often gyms will give each guest a coupon for a free gymnastics class trial and might want to stick them in your goody bags (they usually stuff these in your favors themselves during the party). If you have sealed your favor bags or have a party favor that doesn’t include a bag then you might want to know ahead of time so you can make arrangements to add these coupons to your favors. PRO TIP: Always bring a few extra party favors in case unexpected guests show up or younger siblings crash the party!
Having a Gymnastics Birthday Party at your Home
Having a gymnastics-themed party at your home is another option and might be the right decision depending on the temperament of your child, the number of children you are inviting, the space in your home, and how comfortable you feel hosting.
What to Expect?
Planning a party from scratch can be a daunting task so be prepared to create a list and check tasks off as you go! Also, if you have a specific budget you’ll have to make sure you explore all your options in order to avoid going over cost.
Some Things to Consider When Planning a Gymnastics-Themed Party at Home
- Who are you inviting and how many guests are you expecting? Is this a family party of different ages or a children’s party with only your daughter’s friends? If it only includes your daughter’s friends will you invite parents to stay during the party or will it be drop-off? Are your child’s party guests all gymnasts or are some friends from school who have never done gymnastics before? Are you considering a slumber party with just a handful of guests. The answers to these questions will guide the way you plan your party. PRO TIP: If you’d rather not have parents attend the party, be sure to write “Drop Off” in your invitation.
- How long will your party be for and what time of day are you having it? When it comes to parties at your home there is definitely a sweet spot for time. If you’re having younger guests, opt for an earlier party so that you don’t run into afternoon naps or bedtime. If your guests are older and you are planning to watch a movie, aim for a later party. Also, how many hours will you host your party for? For younger guests, a 1 1/2 to 2 hour party is plenty of time. PRO TIP: When planning a party at home it’s advisable to include a start and end time on the invite to discourage guests from lingering all day and night (unless you want them to).
- What are you doing for entertainment? This is the ultimate question! Are you planning to play games, rent a bouncer, do a craft, or watch a gymnastics movie (or a combination of these things)? Consider things that your gymnast likes, but also consider what’s feasible if you are the one running the show. Sometimes what seemed like a good idea might be a nightmare once you are in the thick of things and realize the reality of doing a painting craft with 25 children! PRO TIP: Create a rough schedule for the party so you can be on top of time during the big day.
- What kind of food will you be offering? Will you be ordering pizza or pasta from a local restaurant or preparing the food yourself? If you are preparing your own food, how much time with this take and is it worth it? If parents are staying, do you have options to offer them? Do you know if any of your guests have allergies or are gluten-free? If you’re planning a movie, do you have popcorn or other snacks for them to munch on during the movie? PRO TIP: Think about the time of day when deciding on your party time. If you’d rather keep it casual with snacks and cake then opt for an early afternoon party right after lunch time.
- Will you have a cake or cupcakes (or something else altogether)? If you are having cake will it be an ice cream cake or a bakery cake? If it’s an ice cream cake, do you have room in your freezer to store it? Will you be baking your own cake or cupcakes? Remember to add cake/cupcake toppers and decorations as well for an extra special touch to your dessert!
- What kind of decorations will you have? Are you going for a certain color theme? Do you want to have balloons? Centerpieces? Banners? Will the party be outdoors or indoors or a combination of both? If it is outdoors you might have to consider different decorations than if your gymnastics-themed party was indoors only.
- Are you handing out party favors? If so, what will you give out? Do you want to include personalized favor tags? Do you have a few extra in case unexpected guests show up or younger siblings want one? Here are some gymnastics party favor ideas for you.
Gymnastics Party Invitations
Regardless of whether you have the party at a gym or at your house, you will need invitations! However, check with the gymnastics center first to see if they give you free invitations to mail to your party guests. Often times gyms have invitations that include a waiver form so that parents can fill it out and bring it on the day of the party. If you have a party at the gym but opt for your own invites then consider getting the gym’s invitations too so you can include the waiver portion with your invite. This makes things easier for your guests and the gym staff, assuming your guests fill out the form and bring it along to the party.
We created some free gymnastics invitations you can download below to print out and use. If you print them on card stock they will fit in envelopes that fit 4″ x 5.25″ cards like these.
If you want something different, here are some others that we think are cute.
Tumble & Play Polka- Dot Invitations: Cute “Please join us to Tumble & Play as we celebrate” polka dot invites are cute and come with polka-dot envelopes.
You’re Invited Gymnastics Shaped Invitations: These purple and green invitations would be great for a slightly older gymnast! I love how they have the gymnast cut out so they aren’t a regular rectangular shape!
Come, Flip Jump and Play! Invitations: These pastel-colored invitations are great for young gymnasts!
“You’re Invited!…” Multi-Colored Invitations: These multi-colored invitations say “You’re Invited! Come Tumble on over, we’re having a party!”
Let’s Party Invitations: These simple light and green striped invitations make party planning easy! Just fill out and mail.
Let’s Tumble, Jump & Play Invitation: Love this black handmade invitations where you can have your gymnast’s photo included if you would like. They can also be customized with all of our party information.
Flip, Tumble, Jump & Play Invitations: These handmade invitations can also be customized with your gymnast’s name.
Information to Include in your Invite:
- Occasion- Is it a birthday party, a team party, or some other occasion? Be sure to let your guests know.
- Dress Code- If it’s being held at a gym you can let them know what to wear- either a leotard or shorts and a t-shirt is fine. Check with your gym to find out whether socks are required or not. Let your guests know so you don’t have anyone show up needing a pair of socks.
- Date & Time – It’s always best if you include the day of the week (Saturday, Sunday, etc.) as well as an end time for the party so guests know how long they will need to be there (or when to come back to pick up their child).
- Location – If your party is at a gymnastics center include the name, address, and phone number of the gym in case guests need to call for directions. If it’s at your house be sure to indicate that on the invitation.
- RSVP number/email and RSVP by date – Mention whether you want guests to text or call you if including a number and be sure to include the date by which you prefer a response.
- If it’s being held at a gym you might also want to mention if the parents are allowed to stay and watch or not. Same goes for if your party is being hosted at your home so parents know whether they should just drop off or not.
Gymnastics Party Decorations
Now that you have guests coming to your party, you’re going to want to wow your guests with some awesome decorations. To make your gymnastics party extra special you might consider including gymnastics paper goods as well as decorative items such as banners, cake/cupcake toppers, centerpieces, and posters. Here are some gymnastics party decorations we love that you can use for a gymnastics-themed party. If you’re having a party at a gymnastics center, chances are they might provide you with paper goods but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your own instead.
Faux-Glitter Gymnastics Plates in Rainbow: These brand new, super cute plates are sure to be a crowd pleaser! They come with a matching cup and your choice of solid color napkin. If your gymnast loves rainbow then this is the perfect option for her. Plus you can easily find rainbow accessories to add to the table to match these paper goods.
Faux-Glitter Gymnastics Plate in Star Pattern: Similar to the rainbow plate above, these plates have rainbow colored stars and come with the same cups as above and your choice of solid color napkin. Since stars are relatively easy decorative pieces to find as accents, you could add star accessories throughout the table and your home to tie in this star theme.
Happy Birthday Gymnastics Banner: This super cute “Happy Birthday” banner with gymnasts on it is handmade and can be personalized with your gymnast’s age.
Gymnastics Garland: This gymnastics garland is a great way to add a gymnastics touch to your party and matches the Happy Birthday banner above. These super cute gymnasts are handmade and the banner comes with 16 pennants. Hang it from your fireplace, on the cake table, or in the party room at the gymnastics center for some extra pizazz.
Multi-colored Gymnastics Glitter Cupcake Toppers: If you want to add a pop of color to your cupcakes then consider these fun gymnastics cupcake toppers. They come in a 24 pack in assorted colors.
Gymnastics Cake Topper: Having a cake instead of cupcakes? Check out this adorable cake topper that can be customized with your child’s name.
Peace, Love, Gymnastics Cupcake Toppers: These cupcake toppers are a cute way to add some gymnastics decor to your party. Plus, they double as rings so your guests can take these home as favors.
Glitter Gymnast Cupcake Toppers: If you prefer glitter, then these glitter cupcake toppers are a cute addition to your party. They come in many different colors.
Gymnastics Party Snack Cups: If you want to offer snacks at the table then getting gymnastics snack cups is a nice way to tie in your gymnastics theme.
Gymnastics Drinking Cups: Add some style to the party table with these plastic gymnastics drinking cups. These come with matching straws.
Gymnastics Party Activities
If your gymnastics party is at home you’ll want to have a plan for what to do with your party guests. Here are some ideas:
- Play Gymnastics Bingo! We’ve created one for you here along with a few other party game printables.
- Watch a gymnastics movie: If you’re having a gymnastics party sleepover, a great activity is to watch a gymnastics movie like Full Out (rated PG), The Gabby Douglas Story (not rated), The Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar (Lifetime movie), or Stick It for older gymnasts (rated PG-13).
- Decorate a Gymnastics Pillowcase: You can have all of the party guests decorate their own gymnastics pillowcase, like the one pictured here, with different colored permanent markers. Or they can sign each other’s pillowcase to have a keepsake of their teammates’ signatures!
- Decorate Water Bottles: Grab some water bottles in bulk, some permanent markers or paint pens, and have your guests decorate their own water bottle. It can double as a party favor too (you can stuff it with gymnastics stickers or candy before they leave).
- Paint your nails and put on gymnastics decals: For older girls this is a fun activity. You can provide an array of different colored nail polish and give each guest nail decals to put onto their finished nails. The gymnastics ones below come in different colors.
- Color Gymnastics Coloring Sheets: What party would be complete without a little coloring (for those younger gymnasts). You can download and printout some of our most popular coloring sheet printables as a party activity.
Gymnastics Party Favor Ideas
You will want to send your party guests home with something to remember your party with! If you are doing some kind of craft activity at your party then your craft can double as a favor. If not you will want to have something else. Here are some ideas for party favors:
- Gymnastics PopSockets: These super trendy gymnastics pop sockets come in pink, purple, and neon green. Put them in a mesh bag and they make a cute gymnastics party favor to hand out to your gymnastics friends.
- Gymnastics Headbands: Any gymnast would love to go home with a gymnastics headband. These come in 3 different colors with fun gymnastics phrases such as I ♥︎ gymnastics, Gym Hair Don’t Care, and Don’t Wish For It…Work For It.
- Gymnastics Socks: Send your party guests home in these cool gymnastics socks. They’ll love you for giving them motivation they can wear!
- Gymnastics Water Bottle filled with Hair Ties, chapstick, and bobby pins: Every gymnast could use a cute water bottle AND good hair and lip supplies. These two items make a great party favor idea.
- Gymnastics Hershey Kisses stickers: Get these stickers and put them on Hershey Kisses as a fun favor or party decoration.
- Gymnastics Pins: What gymnast doesn’t love a good pin to add to her collection? These cute pink pins are great favors to hand out to your gymnast guests at the end of your gymnastics party! You can even pin them to a favor tag.
- Gymnastics Medal
- Gymnastics Stickers – What kid doesn’t love stickers?! You can add these to the favor bag for an extra special touch.
- Gymnastics Gift Bag Stickers: Grab these Gymnastics Stickers to add to gift bags for an extra special gymnastics touch. You can stuff these bags with your party favors so your guests can leave in style.
Check out more gymnastics party favor ideas here — Gymnastics Party Favor Ideas.
Gymnastics Thank You Cards
Of course once you have your gymnastics party, you will need to either thank your guests for attending, or thank them for their gift.
We created some free gymnastics thank you cards that you can print out and use.
Here are some different options for thank you cards:
Colorful Olympic Thank You Card: This colorful fill in the blank thank you card is great for little ones.
Tumbling Gymnastics Rainbow Star & Stripe Thank You Cards: These rainbow stripe thank you cards will be easy for your gymnast to fill out.
Gymnast Girl Star Thank You: These pink star thank you cards make it easy for your gymnast to fill in the blanks!
Whimsical Gymnast Thank You Cards: We love the different style of these thank you cards! They let your gymnast write a customized message to thank each guest for their gift.
Gymnastics Thank You Stickers: These stickers would be cute on your favor bags or to give out as the gymnasts are headed out the door.
Gymnastics Thank You Favor Tags: These tags would make any party favor bags look great!
I hope this information was helpful in helping you plan your gymnastics party–for more inspiration check out my gymnastics party pinterest board.