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How to Plan the Ultimate Race Car / Racing Themed Birthday Party

A Guide to Race Car Themed Birthday Parties

a racing themed party in a party room at k1 speed

Photo Credit: Coffee and Confetti Mom

Are you trying to plan the ultimate race car or racing themed birthday party, but need some help? We’re here for you! We’ll discuss the different kinds of themes your party could have, the types of decorations you should display, what party activities you should include, and where you should host your racing themed party. So without further ado, here’s how to plan the ultimate race car themed birthday party for your kid!

Themed Birthday Party Ideas

If you’re planning a themed birthday party, it can be difficult to narrow down your choice, as there are many different themed birthday parties to choose from. Some of the most popular birthday themes for kids are pirates, dinosaurs, space, princesses, superheroes, 80s, 90s, and others. But our favorite has to be the race car / racing themed birthday parties and events.

Types of Race Car Themed Birthday Parties

Here are some of the best types of racing themed birthday parties:


  • Indy 500 Themed Parties
  • Cars Themed Parties
  • Formula 1 (F1) Themed Parties
  • NASCAR Themed Parties
  • Vintage Race Car Themed Parties


As you can see from the list above, there are many different types of racing themed parties you can choose from. Obviously, you’ll want to select the party that best fits your birthday boy or girl. Most often, it’ll be Disney’s Cars franchise which includes the characters of Lightning McQueen, Mater, and Doc Hudson. But your child may be into IndyCar, F1, or NASCAR – so check with your child to see if there’s a particular kind of race car he prefers for his/her theme.

Car Racing Decorations for Parties

The theme you go for will decide the kinds of race car decorations you’ll want for your birthday party. Obviously, if you go for a Cars themed party or F1/NASCAR/IndyCar, you’ll want to include some character decorations, mini diecast vehicles, famous drivers/teams, and more. But here are some universal racing decorations that can suit all of the different racing themes, no matter which one you decide to go with:

a checkered flag that can be used for a race car themed birthday party

Checkered Flags

Buy at Party City
checkered flag pennants for kids birthday parties

Checkered Flag Pennant Banner

Buy at Party City
checkered flag napkins reading welcome race fans, a perfect racing themed party accessory

“Start Your Engines” Napkins

Buy at Oriental Trading Company
checkered flag balloons for racing themed parties

Black & White Checkered Flag Balloons

Buy at Oriental Trading Company
checkered flag napkins, plates, and cups

Checkered Flag Party Pack (Serves 30)

Buy at Amazon.com
racing themed party photo booth props like a helmet, steering wheel, wrench, etc.

Photo Booth Race Car Props

Buy at Amazon.com
3d car cake pan for racing themed birthday parties

3D Car Cake Pan

Buy at Amazon.com
checkered flag party favor boxes

Party Favor Boxes

Buy at Amazon.com

Racing Themed Party Activities

So the room is all decorated now in the awesome items we listed above. Now what? Now it’s time to prepare some entertaining racing-themed activities that the kids can enjoy! Here are some racing themed party activity ideas for you.

a hot wheels drag racing set, perfect for a racing themed party activity

Hot Wheels Drag Racing!


Here’s a simple activity to set up. Just get the Hot Wheels Super 6-Lane Raceway, a dozen or so Hot Wheels cars (they’re still only a buck!), and watch the ensuing fun!

Buy at Target
mini slot car racing set for a racing party activity

Slot Car Racing


Slot car racing has been a favorite hobby for racing enthusiasts for decades. Now, really good slot car sets can be expensive. Those nice slot car sets are great if you think it’ll get use long-term. But if you just want an extra activity for the birthday party, you can get a set for cheaper. Try this MicroScalextric set on Amazon. Scalextric is one of the big guns in slot car racing and makes the expensive sets we were talking about earlier. But this tiny version is under $50 and appeals to young kids with a “Justice League” superhero theme.

Buy at Amazon.com
a freeze frame of the movie Grand Prix from 1966

Watch Racing Movies or Old Races


To ensure no guest is ever bored at your kids birthday party, put a movie on in the background. This will allow any guests to watch when they feel like it. Plus, it’ll really add to the ambiance when you see and hear racing.


Here are some favorite racing movies for most ages:


Cars Trilogy

Ford v Ferrari

Speed Racer (movie or TV show)

Grand Prix (1966 film that’s perfect for F1 and vintage racing themes)


In addition to racing movies, you can also pull up YouTube and put on some classic races. This is especially handy if your party is NASCAR, IndyCar or F1-themed.


Old Races:

1992 Indy 500 (IndyCar)

1994 Australian GP  (F1)

2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400  (NASCAR)

kids playing mario kart at a racing themed party

Play Racing Video Games!


Or include some racing games! If you own a current console (Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch) then hook it up and offer some head-to-head racing for the guests. You never know, the adults will probably join in too!


Our Favorite Racing Games:

Mario Kart (Nintendo Switch – perfect for kids)

Forza Motorsport (Microsoft Xbox – good mix of arcade/sim for older kids)

Gran Turismo (Sony Playstation – best for teens/adults)

The Cheapest Racing Themed Activity


You don’t have to spend money to have a fun racing-themed activity at your party. Just have the kids play a classic game of “Red Light, Green Light”! Here’s how you play it:


First, select one kid to be the “stoplight”. Then, have all other kids line up at the other end of the party area. The kid who plays the “stoplight” faces away from the other players and then shouts out “Red Light” or “Green Light”.  When the kid says “Green Light” all players will walk towards the “Stop Light”. When the “Stop Light” says  “Red Light”, all players need to stop. The “Stop Light” can turn around after saying “Red Light”, and if anybody is caught moving, they’re out.  The game is over when either all the kids are out, or when one of the players reaches the stoplight. Here’s an extra tip: when the kid shouts “Green Light”, they can name an activity, such as jumping, walking, dancing, etc.

The Ultimate Race Car Themed Birthday Party Activity

photo of kid in a go kart at k1 speed

Go Kart Racing

When possible, you have got to include go kart racing at any racing or race car themed birthday party. Go kart racing will put your guests behind the wheel for a real racing experience against their friends and family. But not every go kart place is the same. Which takes us to the next bit of advice.

Where to Host Your Race Car Birthday Party

If you’re wondering where to host your race car birthday party, there’s only one choice that stands out amongst the rest. The best venue for your racing themed party is K1 Speed.

Why K1 Speed is the Best Race Car Birthday Party Venue

As we just mentioned, go kart racing is the ultimate racing themed party activity. And the best place to go kart race is K1 Speed. And there are many reasons why this is the case.

Kids racing

Battery Powered Go Karts

For starters, K1 Speed uses Italian all-electric, battery powered go karts. This means you and your guests will not be inhaling dangerous exhaust fumes. Plus, the electric go kart motor delivers instant torque – or power – so these karts accelerate much faster than a typical gas-burning kart. The kids in your party will love racing each other in the fastest thing they’ve ever driven. They’re going to feel just like a real racing driver!


Read More: Benefits of Electric Karts vs Gas-Powered Go Karts

It’s Safer to Race at K1 Speed

Unlike traditional family fun karting operations, K1 Speed regularly maintains the go karts, tracks, and amenities to ensure you have an experience that exceeds your expectations. And if a child cannot handle the speeds of our go karts or follow the rules, we can remotely turn down the power to their go kart. We also use the safest go kart track barriers in the business, use DOT-spec helmets, and so much more.


Read More: Reasons Why It’s Safer to Race at K1 Speed

K1 Speed Buffalo Grove Lobby

A Racing Themed Atmosphere That’s Indoors

Why host your racing themed party at a random party place? It only makes sense to host your race car themed birthday party at K1 Speed, where you’re immersed in a true racing environment. There’ll be go karts racing around on a giant indoor track, racing-inspired decorations all over the building, and racing-themed party rooms.


And at most of our locations, we showcase authentic race cars, and suits/helmets once used by famous racing drivers. K1 Speed is like a racing museum in it itself!


And if all that wasn’t enough, since we are an indoor birthday party venue, you don’t need to worry about weather spoiling your day.


Read More: A Clean and Safe Kids Birthday Party Venue

Blow Up Your Social Media Likes!

Kids in racing helmets going wheel-to-wheel against each other on a go kart track – that’s Instagram material for sure! Share videos of your kid setting a fast lap or making a pass on his best friend. Share a picture of them sitting behind the wheel. Take a picture of the kids by areal race-used IndyCar. Group pictures of everyone on our podium. These can all be done at K1 Speed! Watch the likes explode on your social media posts with the awesome content you can capture and share at our track.

Racing Themed Party Favors

k1 speed gold trophy

Now, what about race car themed party favors?


At a K1 Speed party, every kid will leave with at least a colorful racing headsock. It may sound weird, but kids seriously love wearing those things here! Additionally, the top 3 winners of the final kart race will receive a medal or trophy, and the birthday boy or girl will receive their own birthday medal. Plus we sell t-shirts and hats to commemorate the experience! And make sure you ask about our tire trophy. This unique trophy is an actual unused go kart tire that can be signed by everybody in attendance! It’s a unique takeaway item that’ll remind your child of the fun he/she had for years and years to come.

The Choice of Hollywood Celebrities for Over 17 Years

beyonce poses in a face mask at k1 speed

Beyoncé poses at K1 Speed

Many of Hollywood’s finest celebrities have enjoyed their birthday at K1 Speed. Nickelodeon star JoJo Siwa recently had her Sweet 16th birthday at K1 Speed. Christian Bale celebrated his birthday at K1 Speed shortly after wrapping his role as Ken Miles in the film Ford v Ferrari. Supermodel Heidi Klum and ex-husband musician Seal hosted their child’s racing party at K1 Speed. And even Jay Z and Beyoncé attended their family’s birthday party at K1 Speed and enjoyed some racing.

Easy to Plan and Manage

Hosting a kid’s birthday party at your house isn’t without its headaches and risks. You’ve got to cook things, clean things, watch out for kids breaking things of yours, running all over the place, etc. And then when things are over, it’s back to cleaning things again.


When you host your party at K1 Speed, it’s as easy as it gets. Our event planners will help you choose the best race package, party room, and catering options. So all you have to do is attend the party and enjoy yourself. We’ll handle the rest.


Get in touch with a party planner today by calling 1-855-517-7333 (1-855-K1-SPEED) or by submitting an online event request form.

On Your Marks, Get Set, GO!

You’re now ready to start planning the best racing themed / race car themed birthday party any kid has ever had! Here’s our recommended plan of attack:


  1. Book Your Party at K1 Speed
  2. Invite Your Guests
  3. Purchase Racing Decorations
  4. Choose Other Racing Activities to Offer
  5. Have the Time of Your Life
  • Irene Palmet

    Don’t see any pricing data. Thanks.

    • Staff Writer

      Hello Irene! Thanks for your interest in hosting a party at K1 Speed! For pricing, please visit the page of the location you’re interested in visiting. You can find your nearest location here: Locations . Once you select your location, click on the “Groups and Parties” tab near the top next to “Pricing”. That should point you in the right direction for our event pricing. Or simply call give one of our event representatives a call at 1-855-K1-SPEED! Thanks again!

  • Speed Hut

    This is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in learning more about car racing.

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