A Simple Mario Themed Birthday Party

My kids have recently become totally and completely obsessed with all things Mario. It started with a couple of random Happy Meal toys, followed by winning a prize from the school treasure chest by completing a reading log that also resulted in a Mario toy, and then the Mario Run app segued into playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the Wii…and now they’re #obsessed.

My 5 year old, despite having his birthday at the beginning of the year, is always talking about his birthday party theme. So far this year it’s been Octonauts and Mario, and his birthday is still several months away. When my then-2-year old heard big brother talking about how he wanted a Mario birthday party, he hopped on the bandwagon and shouted that he wanted a Bowser birthday party.

Yeah, that doesn’t exist.

But thankfully he wants to be just like his big bro and switched to full Mario, and that I could make happen.

We don’t do big extravagant parties. We aren’t #PinterestPerfect around here. We try our best and usually end up with a solid 90s style birthday party. A few decorations, an awesome cake, and some yummy snacks with punny names. With my youngest having a summer birthday, we throw the kids in the pool and do cake and presents and that’s about it.

Here’s how to have a Mario themed birthday party for less than $50:


Scour Party City and Target for the best priced decorations. We got our treat bags, tattoos, balloons, and invitations from Party City and the swirl decorations, napkins, and table cloth from Target. We used red and blue generic plates for snacks and cake. I ordered some Mario coins from Amazon for the treat bags, but then found the same coins for a fraction of the cost from Party City, even though it wasn’t on their website. I did store pickup so I got that day’s guaranteed price but didn’t have to drag my kid’s through the grab-it-I-want-it-zone.

It’s one of my favorite traditions to always make a number (the age they’re turning) out of photos of them from babyhood on.

Treat Bags

Our treat bags were fairly simple. I really hate coming home from a birthday party with a dozen tiny plastic pieces of nonsense that my kids will play with for an hour and then clutter the floor for three months. So to spare my parent friends that feel the same, we avoided that and included the following in our treat bags:

  • Temporary tattoos
  • Coloring sheets rolled up like a treasure map and tied with ribbon
  • Mario Coin
  • Star rice crispy treat
We made the rice crispy treats by making star shaped rice crispies (add yellow food coloring to marshmallows while they melt and they’ll be yellow!) and then we added two chocolate chips for eyes. We wrapped them in clear plastic wrap and tied with a ribbon.

Here’s a printable of the coloring sheets I made.


 Piranha Plants: Grapes and strawberries on a skewer.
Fire Power: Cheese Puff Balls
Fire Power Flower: I made the stalk out of celery, the leaves are cucumber, and the flower is carrots and grape tomatoes. I put a ramekin of ranch in the middle as the face.
 Question Blocks are colby cheese cubes, and I made a Ritz cracker coin.
We used Boom-Chicka-Pop for the Bob-Omb pops
We love Costco cakes, but they don’t come in themes. My plan was to put our Mario themed toys (a 1-Up mushroom, Mario, and Yoshi) on top of the cake…but I forgot in the excitement of the moment. Since Bowser is often on a pirate ship, I got the pirate ship option from Costco. I was going to put Mario on the ship, Yoshi on the beach, and the 1-Up mushroom up on the flag.
Here’s a printable for the food pun labels. I don’t have a color printer, so I made them in black and white and then colored them with colored pencils. If your kids are older, it could be a fun way for them to be included.
For drinks, we served juice boxes for the kids and watermelon lemonade for the adults.
The kids all had fun, and got plenty of chocolate in them before hitting the pool again. The birthday boy loved his Mario party, and that’s what really counts.


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