Do you squee with delight at the very thought of human babies dressed up like cuddly critters? You’re in the right place—because there’s no better way to make sure the beloved parents-to-be in your life end up with a bevy of tiny monkey and koala infant onesies than throwing them an animal-themed baby shower.
Animals are a classic baby shower theme, from Peter Rabbit-inspired enchanted garden parties to jungle-themed baby showers that have guests swinging from ceiling vines (at least in spirit). Animal baby shower ideas are limitless, but they’ve all got one thing in common: they’re totally adorable.
Whether you’re on the prowl for the perfect baby shower invitation, baby shower decorations, baby shower menu, or actually fun shower games, read on to find out how to throw an animal-themed baby shower for parents and their little bunny-to-be.
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How to plan an animal-themed baby shower, step by step
Alright, you little party animals, it’s time to take a walk on the wild side. Here’s a 6-step checklist for planning an animal-themed baby shower.
Image by Daiga Ellaby; “Baby Doodle” by Hello!Lucky for Paperless Post.
Step #1: Select your habitat
Picking the best location can have an elephant-sized impact on which decorations, activities, and foods you choose to bring to your momentous get-together.
For an animal-themed baby shower, consider hosting your event at:
— A zoo: A little on the nose, but nothing drives home your theme like hosting your baby shower amongst actual zebras and primates. While it’s a quintessential destination for kids’ birthday parties, many zoos also have slightly more grown-up rooms or halls where adults can rendezvous for special events like baby showers. Plus, if any little ones will be accompanying their parents to your event, they’re sure to be delighted by the locals (pandas, penguins, pygmy marmosets, etc.).
— A park or botanical garden: For a slightly more elevated spin, stage your baby shower on the grounds of a local arboretum, botanical garden, or green space. Baby showers often have parents-to-be sitting on the floor flanked by gifts—and that floor is all the cozier when it’s made of cushy picnic blankets and a lawn chair or two. What’s more, the natural light will give you some beautiful photos to cherish long after the baby’s been born.
— A farm-to-table restaurant: When you’re hosting a large group, holding your shower at a local eatery is a tasty way to treat your guests—and take a welcome step back in terms of your own hosting duties. Any restaurant up to your tastes (or the expectant mom’s cravings) will do, but farm-to-table restaurants might make guests feel slightly more in touch with another mother—Mother Nature. It’s eco-friendly, too!
— The ole stomping grounds (home): If you love to go all out with your party themes, hosting at home will give you the most freedom to experiment with décor, activities, and snacks. You can also start decorating and prepping for the shower as far in advance as you’d like, and experiment with your setup.
“Jungle Shower” by Paperless Post; Cookies by Katherine Endom Davis.
Step #2: Pick your animals
Before you plan an animal-themed baby shower, ask yourself one question: Should I stick with one species, or do I invite the whole jungle?
There are estimated to be between 3 to 300 million species of animals in the world, which can make choosing the right mascots for your baby shower a head-scratcher. Assuming we can rule out a lemming-themed party, the following species are animal kingdom royalty when it comes to baby showers:
— Elephants: Ever since “Dumbo” (and perhaps long before), an elephant baby shower has been a classic go-to for parents-to-be. A baby shower elephant theme also puts you ahead of the menu planning—the more salty-sweet, peanut-buttery snacks you serve, the more on-theme you’ll be!
— Giraffes: The link between a baby and a giraffe isn’t as straightforward—until you see a little onesie with a tiny giraffe on it. Vegans and vegetarians can easily arrange a plant-based spread with plenty of crudité and creative salads befitting this African herbivore.
— Monkeys: As members of the primate family ourselves, baby monkeys may be one of the most appropriate animals to invite to your baby shower. There are plenty of monkey-themed games you can incorporate with this theme, from playing Pacifier Pick-up with a Barrel of Monkeys to making DIY banana splits. As for that blackening bunch of bananas sitting in your freezer—what better time than to whip up some delicious banana bread for your guests?
– Bees: Guests will be buzzing at the thought of a bumble bee-themed shower. What better way to celebrate the parents-to-“bee” and fete the arrival of their sweet little honey? In that vein, serving anything honey-related and playing a soundtrack of Beyoncé (Queen Bey, herself) are also givens.
– Rabbits: Rabbits have always been associated with babies, likely because they’re so adorable—and maybe also because they’re known for having so many kids, themselves! Whether you’re modeling your baby shower after a favorite childhood rabbit character, like Peter Rabbit, Thumper, or Miffy, or just cute cottontails in general, it’s a timeless animal theme that’ll have guests scrambling for some carrot cake.
Can’t choose one adorable baby animal? No prob. The more lion cubs, tiger cubs, and bear cubs (oh my!) you can incorporate, the more freedom you’ll have regarding décor, invitations, and games. Did someone say safari-themed baby shower? Or maybe a woodland animal baby shower? Jungle animal? Farm animals? Ants? (Kidding—or are we?) The opportunities are endless.
Image by Kara’s Parties; “Jungle Love” by Little Cube for Paperless Post.
Step #3: Choose your décor
Creating the ambiance for your animal-themed baby shower is all about assembling wild, inspired décor. You can’t go wrong with:
— Balloons: Whether they’re bear-shaped inflatables, animal patterned balloons, or simple spheres to go with your color palette, balloons can elevate any baby shower. For more jungle-inspired events, set them free to bob along the ceiling. Or bundle them together and use them as a decorative accent for a slightly more refined feel.
— Botanicals: If there’s one decoration you can’t go overboard with for animal-themed baby showers, it’s plants. Floral arrangements are traditional for baby showers, but lush, leafy greens are slightly more aligned with call-of-the-wild themes—and if you already have a bunch of houseplants at home, you can save a little cash. You can even turn party decorations into party favors by letting guests take home their own potted plant as swag.
— Stuffed animals: If you’ve never quite been able to part ways with your childhood collection of plushies, there’s no better time to show them off than by using them as décor. Replace sofa throw pillows with big, cozy, squeezable stuffed animals, or get creative and hang some huggable monkeys and parrots from the ceiling.
If you’re an animal and nature lover through and through, consider going that extra mile to make your themed shower eco-friendly. Opt for paper-free online invitations rather than stationery (zero waste, and a breeze to assemble and personalize!) and biodegradable bamboo flatware or compostable cutlery made of wood.
Step #4: Craft creature comforts
From our perch at the top of the food chain, we humans have endless options when it comes to animal baby shower-themed food.
Whether you’re having your baby shower catered or providing the nibbles yourself, each approach has its advantages for keeping your menu on theme:
— Restaurant or catered baby showers: If you’re leaving the food up to the professionals, focus on animalizing your beverages to keep things cohesive. Trick out cocktails and mocktails with vibrant flamingo-inspired straws (1) or ask the team to include animal candles (2) before the dessert rolls out. If you want to make a lasting impression, a specialty animal cookie table and themed cake would put other centerpieces to shame. Finish it off with an animal print table cloth for good measure.
— Potluck baby showers: When your friends and family are in charge of the food, staying on theme is all about adding your own pizzazz. Food and cake toppers (3) swiftly transform basic desserts into a charming garden display. Or, opt for plates (4), napkins (5), and cutlery that drive home your animal theme.
— Cook-it-yourself baby showers: When the menu’s entirely up to you, sticking with staple crowd favorites like pasta salads, sandwiches, and cupcakes can take much unnecessary ado out of party planning. If that’s the case, try leaning into some animal-themed snacks to double as décor. Fill translucent vases or mason jars with animal crackers and gummy worms, or whip up a nectar-inspired sweet mocktail for social butterflies in attendance. Complete with animal-inspired napkins (6) to tie it all together.
Step #5: Go wild on your invitations
Choosing animal-inspired invitations will set the tone for any baby shower from the jump. Our animal-inspired invitations run the gamut from adorable to witty and will undoubtedly make a slam-dunk first impression on your guests.
— Forest Fun: This charming card features adorable forest friends like hedgehogs, foxes, and a Bambi-esque fawn, with sparse wording that gets to the main gist, quick:
Join us for a baby shower
diapers & drinks
Sunday, July 18th
at 1 in the afternoon
— All the Buzz: A punny card that’s sure to get a giggle out of loved ones on the guest list, this invitation greets guests with an evergreen, spring-fresh feel:
You’re invited to
A baby shower
For the glowing
MAMA TO BEE
Saturday, June 4th
At 2 P.M.
— Country Critters: If you’re hosting a celebratory baby shower parade with as many stuffed animals as you can fit in the car, this cheerful little invitation is for you:
Honk, Cheer, and Spread Joy At A
BABY SHOWER CAR PARADE
FOR DOROTHY QUIMBY
Saturday, July 12th at 3 P.M. | Dorothy’s Driveway
Finally, if you’re an animal lover, you might even want to open your doors to any pets your guests may have in tow. There’s nothing to drive home your animal theme like having a few real-life furry friends around to shake things up—as long as they aren’t stealing all the food off your table spread.
Step #6: Wild out with baby shower games
One of the most delightful portions of the baby shower agenda are the games—and with an animal theme, they’ll be a roaring success.
Check out these three classic baby shower activities with an animal-centric twist:
— Blindfolded Diaper Race: The diaper challenge goes a little something like this: two teams of grown-ups each line up. Their task is to take off a baby doll’s diaper and wrap it up on a new one—blindfolded—then pass it off to the next contender until the baby makes it down the chain. For an animal-themed baby shower, try going with a stuffed baby animal instead! Those Pampers may not fit great, but it’s sure to spice up the competition.
— Piñatas: We love any opportunity to break out a piñata, and lucky for us this party standard is already on-brand. Go the traditional llama route or opt for a model that’s a little more fierce (a cheetah, perhaps?).
— Name That Baby Animal: Quick! What do you call a baby manatee? If you answered “calf,” you’re already ahead of the competition. Round up your guests for a trivia-style rapid round of “Name That Baby Animal.” Award prizes to the winner if you like, but the loser must wear the baby bonnet—or animal ears—for the rest of the party.
“Shower Time” Flyer by Paperless Post.
Get the safari party started with Paperless Post
Paperless Post offers a range of un-bear-ably cute animal-themed baby shower invitations. Our invites are stationery-inspired but paper-free, and each design is fully customizable to include all of your party details.
Whether you’re sticking with cuddly bunny rabbits or opening your doors to the whole animal kingdom, you’re sure to find a card that suits the parents’-to-be style—and your budget. To start herding your flock of loved ones to celebrate the new additions, browse our cuter-than-life baby shower invitations today.
Editor’s note: Party Shop shipping is only available in the continental US.