I always seem to be at a loss for what to do for my kids’ birthday parties. All of my kids have their birthdays in the span of one month. Of course, each of them desires to be unique. I’ll be honest in saying that I feel a sense of relief if one says they just want to watch a movie at the theatre with a couple of friends. It just doesn’t get easier than taking kids to a movie theatre! 😉 So, when my one daughter insisted she wanted an Amazing Race birthday party for her 11th birthday, I had some thinking to do!
So I did what every good parent does and looked to Pinterest and Google! 😀 I knew from experience that I needed the race to last more than just a few minutes. Ideally, I wanted the Amazing Race birthday portion to last between 90 and 120 minutes. We had done an Amazing Race themed party a few years ago and found the race went by way too quickly. The kids were all like, “That was fun! Now, what’s next?!?” after about 25 minutes. I needed to avoid that this time around!
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My requirements for this Amazing Race birthday party were as follows:
1. The activities had to be of a variety that would keep the kids engaged and play to various strengths.
2. At least some of the terms used in The Amazing Race would have to be used at the birthday party (eg. Detour, Road Block, Pit Stop)
3. There would have to be a mixture between ‘active’ parts of the race and ‘logical’ parts.
4. The race would have to be time-consuming, yet achievable and fun.
5. Use what is handy within the neighborhood, but ensure no kids would become lost getting to and from places. Because we live within a short walk to an outdoor soccer space as well as a rec center, I decided to use these spaces for the race as well.
My Amazing Race birthday party plan was as follows (Italicized portions are what was put on the cards for the contestants):
Make sure the kids are with a partner they are comfortable with. Note: I was prepared to play a game to determine this or to pull names from a hat if necessary. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the kids had decided partners on their own at school before the party.
Explain the rules of the race. I also use this time to explain directions the teams will need to take when getting to stations in the community.
Face-off time! Have a chair for each team set up in the yard. At the whistle, the teams are to do a relay race to run to their team’s chair, one at a time, pop a balloon by sitting on it and run back for their partner to do the same. When teams complete this face-off, they are to go in the front yard and look for a hidden envelope indicating their first challenge.
The first card reads as follows: Head over to the soccer field near the rec center. The first team to arrive is to challenge the second team to a game of soccer. The team that gets the first point will get their card for the next challenge. The losing team must wait and challenge the next team to arrive. The team that does not get a point but is last in this challenge must score at the opposing end of their field before they move on. Good luck!
Card 2 given to teams once they score – Road Block: Make your way over to the rec center and ask for a cup of water from someone who works there. Have the worker sign the cup with their name on it. You have $0.25 for this challenge.
Card 3 given once teams show their signed cup of water. Head back to the soccer field and find (insert person’s name here). There, you must guess exactly how many jelly beans are in the jar before receiving your next clue. The rules for this one are you guess as a team, then back up and go touch the soccer goal post before going to guess again. Other teams also have to be allowed to take their turns. Once you guess correctly, the person manning this station will give you the clue to your next challenge.
Card 4 Detour – Song or Dance:
If “Song” is chosen, the team is given the following card – Return to the house to memorize the lyrics of “One Green Jelly Bean.” You may listen to this song using a device on the back deck. Singing it with no errors will allow you to move to the next challenge.
If “Dance” is chosen, the team is given the following card – Return to the house to view and memorize the dance moves from 50 seconds in up to 1 minute 45 seconds of Eye of the Tiger on YouTube. Once all moves are done correctly, you will be allowed to move on to the next challenge.
Card 5 Nailed It! – For this challenge, you will head on over to the table in the side yard to create a person made of candy. Your candy person must have legs, arms, hands, feet, a head, body, and lots of hair! (Okay, I know “Nailed It!” is from another show, but my kids love to watch that too so I went for it!) One tip is to have rules with this one such as making it mandatory that the candy person can stand up on its own or that it resembles a pre-made model so the kids don’t just slap candy together and argue that all of the body parts are there with little to no effort.
Card 6 Road Block: Head over to the deck to build a card tower. It must go up at least 3 layers and contain at least 16 cards without falling over. Successfully build the tower for your next clue.
Please note: The above roadblock was a total flop. The kids struggled way too much with it. In the future, I plan to replace this challenge with 32 piece puzzles to complete.
Card 7 Make your way over to the front porch of the house to see Sherry at the Pitstop.
The jar of jellybeans was the grand prize for the winning team. This seemed to work as it gave a bit of “bragging rights” yet they all actually won in the end since the jellybeans were shared.
Amazing Race Portion Complete
That’s it! The Amazing Race portion took nearly 2 hours to complete by the time all was said and done, which was perfect! The kids remained engaged other than frustrations with building the card towers. I will definitely avoid that challenge in the future and replace it with a puzzle challenge instead.
Things to buy/have beforehand to prepare:
Sturdy Chairs for the Balloon Game
An assortment of candy for the candy people
Plates for candy people as well as food consumed later at the party!
Access to at least a couple of TVs that allow access to YouTube
for Eye of the Tiger
Access to a couple of devices that play music for One Green Jelly Bean
Cards to write clues on. As an added bonus, you may wish to purchase these Amazing Race Tear-Strip envelopes to make the party feel even more official.
Tables set up in the backyard as well as the deck
Party favor bags to stick some of the leftover candy in for the kids
People to man the stations – Please note this doesn’t take as many people as it may seem. We alternated between two people just fine although three people would have been ideal.
Extras you may wish to purchase as fans of The Amazing Race!
My kids love watching The Amazing Race! They know a good race involves a variety of challenges that require various skills to get through. Based on the laughter and comments from the kids that attended the party as well as the fact that my other children are now asking for an Amazing Race birthday party next year, I believe this was a hit! I hope you are now able to have a fairly stress-free Amazing Race birthday party at your house as well!
How About You?
What has been one of the best home birthday parties that you’ve hosted for your kids? Have you ever hosted an Amazing Race birthday party? Let me know in the comments below!
How cute is this!! Great job mama!
Thanks, Tashina! 😀
I am not a mom but I did help my brother organize a unicorn birthday party for my niece a few months ago. She enjoyed the party very much!
I’m sure your niece loved her unicorn birthday party! What a fun theme! 😀
Such a unique idea! I love it when moms think outside the box, especially for birthdays!
Thanks, Monica! It was a lot of fun for everyone! 😀
Oh my goodness, what a fun birthday party! I love the challenges you came up with. Also, thanks for sharing what didn’t work. That helps!
Thanks, Sonja! I didn’t know whether to include that or not so I appreciate the feedback. 😀
This sounds like so much fun! I love Amazing Race so it would be right up my alley! You are so creative with the clues and obstacles – I love it!
Thanks, Stephanie! I’m just glad it worked out so well! Creatively putting together a birthday party isn’t something that comes naturally for me. I have to really work at it, lol! 😀
I love your creativity in planning this party – if we have kids I would love to do this. I’m obsessed with The Amazing Race and last year for our anniversary my husband planned an Amazing Race scavenger hunt for me in a few different cities we were road tripping to and it was so much fun!
That would be incredibly awesome! Now that’s an anniversary gift that would be tough to top! Love it! 😀
This is awesome!
Such a neat idea for a birthday! Keeping the kids active is always a good thing for birthday parties!
It sure is! 😀
Pinterest and Google are my way to go whenever I need new ideas! 😛 This sounds super fun–great way to keep kids active with both their minds and their bodies!
Pinterest and Google are so handy, but I sometimes lose track of time when using them, haha!
I am so glad I found your site as my older son turns 10 in November and we are going to do an Amazing Race Party!! It will be 6 kids probably and I love your ideas so much!!! Thanks for posting them!
Awesome! It’s sure to be a great birthday party! 😀
This sounds so fun! Great way for them to use teamwork and stay active. Nice job.
It was sooooo much fun! 😀
This is such a great idea! I’m sure all the kids had lots of fun!
They sure did! 😀
Love this. Enough interaction and activities for the kiddos to have maximum fun AND different from the norm 😁
Thank you, Elize! It was different from the norm, but was definitely worth it! 😀
Wow I love how detailed this is. Great resource for future reference honestly 🙂
Thank you, Urwah! I hope you’re able to put it to use for an upcoming party. 😀
This is so cool. I’ve never seen that show- heard of it- but now I want to go watch it lol
It’s a fun show to watch and a great one for the entire family! 😀
This is a really cool idea. I would have never thought of having an amazing race birthday party. My best at home party was a Thomas the Train themed party with a trackless train that took the kids on a ride around the neighborhood.
I bet all of the kids loved the Thomas the Train party with the trackless train! What an awesome party idea! 😀
Great post! Thanks for sharing!