A tea party is a really unique kind of party that can be great fun for anyone from kids to adults, to whole families. As they are so fun, many people choose to have tea parties when celebrating their birthday.
If you know someone who is really into their tea, enjoys tea parties, or are planning your own tea party, then keep reading our article to learn about tea parties as well as lots of great ideas for a birthday tea party that could inspire your next get together.
It’s time to spill the tea on tea parties!
What Is A Tea Party?
First things first, what actually makes something a tea party, beyond simply serving tea?
In Britain, the tea party was the height of aristocratic bliss, a sophisticated occasion where the higher end of society could enjoy the finer things in life.
While its traditions date back to Ancient China, the historic home of tea, it became popular in the Victorian and Edwardian periods of Britain, and the ‘Gilded Age’ of the US, as well as continental Europe.
In the modern day, the tea party is a way people of any class or nationality can simply embrace some civility and sophistication in their lives.
Tea parties usually have tea, of course, as well as other soft drinks, and usually light food such as finger sandwiches, scones, cakes, biscuits, and other treats.
For those who want a quiet, civil occasion to celebrate, it can be ideal for a birthday party.
Teddy Bear’s Picnic
If it is your child’s birthday there is perhaps no better celebration than a Teddy Bear’s picnic.
Originating back in the UK along with the nursery rhyme, that is worth looking up, it’s a really fun way to get lots of kids together and in the fresh air celebrating not only the classic tea party but also their teddies.
The idea is that each child brings their favorite teddy bear to the tea party (see also: Tea Party Food Ideas)with them, parents in tow, and has a tea party, usually outside.
You can have all sorts of kid-friendly sandwiches, and tea for the adults, (see also: Best Tea Set For Adults)but many kids will be happy sipping whatever out of their tea cups, rather than actual tea.
A Madhatter’s Tea Party
One of the most famous tea parties that most will recall is the Madhatter’s tea party in Alice in Wonderland.
While the connotations of the original tea party are a little dark, if your kids, or even an adult you know, is really into the whole Alice in Wonderland vibe, you could have a great birthday party where everyone dresses up and you stage your own Madhatter’s tea party.
For adults, this could be a fun way to theme a birthday party itself, although perhaps without tea in those cups, but for those who want something civil it helps bring a little fun and silliness to what is a quaint occasion, making it perfect for a birthday party.
Traditional Tea Party
If you or a friend enjoys dressing in vintage Victorian or Edwardian style and want to have an immersive experience, gather a few of your friends who are into it and you could sit and drink tea just like the quaint English did back in the day, dressed to the nines.
As this requires the extra effort to dress up, albeit something your guests may enjoy, it makes it ideal for a birthday party where your guests will be willing to put in the effort.
You could even go as far as sourcing tea that was popular in that period, or even curate a menu that is traditional and indulges some old-timey food.
Bring Your Own Tea Cup
One reason someone might be into the tradition of tea parties is because they like decorative (see also: Best Tea Party Decorations)teapots, or tea cups. If this describes you well, it could be a great idea for a party.
Many of those who collect these vintage tea cups or bespoke creations may actually enjoy having a chance to use them and talk about their favorite bits of china with a friend.
This would be a very civil occasion that fulfills the traditions of the tea party pretty well.
Along with their favorite tea pots people may have interesting tidbits about history, their family history, or other cultural stories. If it’s your birthday you may even be gifted a tea set yourself.
Asian Tea Party
While we are basing most of our tradition and ritual on the Westernized ideas of a tea party, in China, Japan, and other Asian countries their idea of a tea party can be slightly different. For example, they may drink matcha rather than tea.
It can be fun and interesting, and certainly civil, to celebrate the cultures that originally owned these rituals pre-colonialism.
If you have a friend who identifies with these cultures and understands the specific tea culture of an Asian nation, it can be a fun day to embrace and learn about another culture and tradition, especially if you love tea parties.
Fairy Tale Tea Party
Another cool idea, for kids or otherwise, is to have a fairytale tea party. Again, on someone’s birthday people are happier to dress up for an occasion.
With a fairytale tea party you can really let loose and get creative, whether that is dressing up as a fairy, forest nymph, or satyr, you could go a whole bunch of routes and this can let the boys have a little fun too.
Disney Tea Party
One fun way to get kids involved, or just adults who love Disney is to dress up as your favorite Disney princess or Disney hero.
We’re talking Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and more. This is a great way to get the kids outside and in the sun, and is something everyone can get involved in should they choose to dress up.
There are plenty of Disney themed tea sets out there and fun little food items and cakes you can serve, whether a children’s party or for those who want a real immersive role playing experience – you spend your birthday how you want.
Fantasy Tea Party
Fantasy is a purposefully broad term here. The tea party has been interpreted by many different authors and in many different genres.
For those who like dressing up you can really have a tea party within any world you can imagine. Steampunk, pirates, under the sea, even a tea party in space.
For those who want something that feels like an occasion, but isn’t a raucous college party, the tea party is a great way to push your own desires and fantasies onto, whatever they may be.
Similarly, this is why they are so good for kids parties because children relate tea parties with fiction, and they love to immerse themselves in these worlds alongside families and friends.
In the modern day the tea party can often be a great excuse to dress up for both adults and kids, but is certainly an ideal occasion for a birthday party.
Whether you simply want to celebrate tea, the crockery related to tea parties, or use the tea party as a framework to let your imagination loose, there’s so many directions you can go!