TOP Pixar CARS Theme Birthday Party Ideas

Cars is a charming Pixar movie about a talented but arrogant young racing car Lightning Mc Queen who gets stuck in a remote desert town, radiator springs and grows up as he forges friendships and gets to know the local cars.

This is a very funny, charming animation- super popular with kids! This post will guide you through some of the best ideas for games, activities and decorations at a cars-themed birthday party.

I’m Zoe, previously a professional party host and now director of the Parties Universe site where I share tried and tested tricks to simple, affordable kid’s parties. I had a great time developing this Cars party plan, and I hope you enjoy reading it!

Cars themed games

1. Backwards Racing statues!

Tow truck mater is awesome at backwards racing- because of his wing mirrors! This game copies his amazing backward talents.

The game is like musical statues, but rather than dancing between the music, children have to try and race backwards (moving backwards around the room either by walking or crawling or hopping or whatever way they choose!)

When the music stops, they have to freeze! Any kids who wobble can be sent out if you’d like to play that way, or, you can reward the best statues.

For this game, you can use the brilliant music in the movie soundtrack- such fun and so evocative for the kids who love it!

2. Fred the combine footsteps!

This game is like Grandmother’s Footsteps, but even more scary than a Grandmother is Fred, the Combine harvester, who chases Mater and Lightning McQueen out of the field when they go tractor tipping.

You can choose one child to play Fred. Fred stands at one end of the room and the children line up at the other. They have to creep forwards while Fred’s back is turned and freeze as soon as he stops so he doesn’t catch them moving. Anyone he catches has to go back to the start line.

The child to read Fred first wins, and then you can re-play with a different Fred. This is a classic party game- tried and tested fun, and extra great with the cars theme.

3. Race-car life

This is a fun, high-paced game. The facilitator calls the instructions below and the kids have to follow the associated actions. The last one to do the actions is out! (Or to avoid sending kids out you can also reward the fastest)

  • To the Stadium- Run to one side of the room
  • Pit stop – Run to the other side of the room
  • Car wash – Children spin in circles on the spot like one of those vertical spinning dusters in a car wash
  • Starting gun – Children reach an arm above their heads and pretend to shoot a gun upwards as though firing the parting piston
  • Race! – Children run around the room pretending to hold and steer a steering wheel in front of them

This is a fun and high-energy game, great to burn off a bit of extra energy they might have if the vibe is a bit restless!

Cars themes activities

1. Ultimate team race off!

This is a very fun activity- that will just need a bit of adult supervision to keep it safe and in order!

Take a vegetable crate, and let the kids, in teams, design their own race car- giving them paint, or coloured wrapping paper to cover the car in and some extra cardboard for steering wheels or spoilers!

The crates will be just big enough to fit one little human inside. Tie a string or thin rope around it (or have the child inside hold the string and have one of the team members pull them around a circle track (if you’re in a big enough space), or along a straight line, perhaps through a kitchen or hallway!

Perhaps one of the adults can commentate as each team take it in turn to race their car, while the other children applaud like crazy! For extra atmosphere- play a youtube race track background music playlist as well!

We suggest this be the main event of the party, depending on the age and concentration of your children, it could easily take 20-30 minutes to decorate the cars (with some race practising), and then 15 to take it in turn to race them.

2. Medal Ceremony

Medal ceremonies are always a fun part of a party. You can get very affordable ones off Amazon- maybe after the ultimate team race off you can bring each team up on a small podium, one by one to receive a medal.

We suggest designing this to each team wins a medal of some sort- for instance “best car design”, “most talented drivers”, “fastest cars” etc.

If you like the idea of a medal ceremony but don’t want to play ultimate car racing, then we suggest group car team relay races (with kids pretending they are driving on a track but actually running or crawling and passing a baton on to their teammates. Even better if the baton is something circular- like a steering wheel)

3. Neon signs disco party!

In the movie, the old town of radiator springs is in disrepair and Lighting McQueen helps switch back on all the neon signs, so the cars can catch a glimpse of how their town once used to look. The neon signs outside the shops all glow- which is the inspiration for this glow party.

In the movie, Cars enjoy a good boogie down the new road under the neon lights….start playing their boogie song and then let the kids have a full-on dance party with glow sticks, neon face faints and disco lights if you have!

You can add extra fun by having the lights on and the glow sticks hidden and then telling the kids to take them out all together, once the lights go down so you see the full transformation, just like the Cars in the movie.

Decoration Ideas for a Cars theme party!

We have curated a top 5 list of decorations suggestions to have maximum impact, and be most affordable for you!

  1. Massive Cars poster and photo backdrop! We always love some merchandise for a themed birthday party so we can get the faces of the characters we all love and refer to them during the party – especially for those kids who are less familiar with the movie. Here we love this poster off Amazon. It’s perfect and a great backdrop for photo shoots and the medal ceremony!
  2. Race track floor runner! This will be so evocative- it’s a real interactive decoration- kids will love running up and down it and if you choose to do some of the relay races – using this prop will bring the whole event to life and make it so realistic!!
  3. Yellow, red and Checker balloons. These are the ultimate colours for a racecar theme party- to save money on theme balloons, mix some of these black and white checker balloons with regular red and yellow ones. Balloons are our favourite way to bring festivity to a space- they are just so happy!
  4. Props: Medals! Interactive decorations are a perfect way to create an atmosphere in a space and get the most use out of your investments as these can also make great going-home presents for the children! If you really want to splash out we also suggest you can get these customisable kids racing caps! (But these arent necessary for a super fun time)
  5. Music! Finally, using youtube soundtracks from the movie and also generic tracks of racing cars during the racing parts of the birthday party will really create atmosphere- the ultimate goal of decorations!


We hope you’ve got some great ideas from this post and feel inspired for this amazing party!

I don’t know if you’ve already seen but we have extra help here on our site with a step-by-step guide with a timeline for kid’s party planning which includes this PDF party planning checklist, and a PDF list of tasks you can be delegating. These are ALL FREE, no email is required either, simply download.

This will be the cutest day ever- be sure to have plenty of people on hand to document it in photos and videos to cherish forever!

Best of luck, Zoe xx

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