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Coolest Spy and Detective Birthday Party Themes

Here’s one of those birthday party themes you just can’t hide away from! It’s time to take the mystery out of party planning and head out for a Spy Detective birthday party!

You’ll find many of the coolest ideas for a Spy Detective birthday party right here on this page, so get your scrolling finger ready and start sneaking down this page!

Spy Detective Invitations

For the invitations of such Spy Detective birthday party themes, you can send puzzling information for the kids to solve. For example, make up a creative code and write the invitations in that code (example: $=H, @=E, %=L, *=O; $@%%*= HELLO). The day after you send them out, send the key to the code and that way the kid detectives will have to wonder for a little while what the invitations say before they can read them. For a learning experience you can also choose an already known code; for example Morse code. Here you can see how Morse code works:

Morse Code

Morse Code


It’s also a cool birthday party themes idea to take the original text and flip it so that the writing is written backwards. You can do this by using a program (such as MS Paint found under Accessories, or something like Photoshop). Type in the party information as text and when finished, use the select tool to select the block of text, then select image, flip/rotate, and then flip horizontally. This will make a reverse image of the invitation for the kid detective to decode by holding up to a mirror. You can add a little rectangle of plexiglas mirror to the envelope, that way the guest can decipher the invitation.

Another birthday party themes idea is to write the party invitations and cut them into puzzle pieces; then mail the pieces of the invitation puzzles one at a time, instead of all at once! You can also write the invitation with really tiny letters and send a magnifying glass in the envelope for them to understand what is written. You can write all the party details with invisible markers on a white piece of paper and with each invitation enclose a pen that makes the writing appear (make sure to tell the kids to color over the invitations to read the surprise information).

A really cool birthday party themes idea is to cut out letters from a newspaper so that it looks like a ransom letter. You can address it to “Detective” or “Special Agent child’s name”. On the invitation you can write, “Your secret mission is to help solve a birthday crime at _______’s (your last name) Detective Agency. All agents report to Head Detective” (that’s you) “should you choose to accept your mission”. Remember to add needed information as date, time (write the time like “1600 hours to 1800 hours”), headquarters (place), etc. You can end with writing “This message will self destruct in 3 minutes…”

Then place the invitation in a small manila envelope. Mark each manila envelope with “Top Secret”, “Confidential”, or “Highly Classified Information”.

Here are TOP SECRET printables. Just print out and cut each one separately, then glue or tape onto a manila envelope.

You can then seal it with red wax to make it more intriguing (drip red wax onto where you close the envelope, wait for it to get a tad harder – not as drippy, and stamp it with anything that is hard and that has an interesting or relevant design or texture). You can also dip your kid’s fingers in ink and have him/her make fingerprints all over the manila envelope. You can ask the guests to RSVP with a certain code name, or in a very particular mysterious way.

You can also create a more serious invitation. You can download the CIA logo from the internet and print onto paper. Then create the invitations as if they are very serious written letters. Here’s an example of what you can write:

“Dear Agent, I am writing to you today on behalf of Mr. David Walker, head of the Central Intelligence Agency. We have had a recent breach of security involving counter spying, otherwise known as double agents. We need new agents, which have not been corrupted, to apply in person to be trained as secret service agents and sent out on a highly dangerous mission. Should you wish to accept this invitation, please arrive promptly at the following address at the date and time given. CIA Special Training Headquarters, Utah (your kid’s city or state) Division (and add your address or the address of the party). Please be aware of the confidential nature of this invitation and send your prompt reply ASAP to Heather, Head of Special Training in Utah, at (your phone number).”

Then print out on Letter-sized paper, fold three times and put in a long envelope. Try making it look as serious as possible, as if it’s really real!

Check out these cool free Spy Detective birthday invitations we’ve created:

If you want to make mystery/surprise birthday party themes for your own child you can do the following: A week before the party, tell your child that he/she received a mysterious envelope marked Top Secret addressed to “Detective child’s name” (you can make it look like it was a real letter that was sent). In the envelope should be a letter explaining that they will be receiving a clue a day, and if solved correctly, they would learn clues as the what, when, where, guest list, etc. of the party will be. Some clues, such as the guest list can simply be names scrambled and the other clues should be harder so that your child really had to spend time deciphering, looking in books or on the internet for answers. For example pairing up the number a certain president was (which would be the date of his party). By the end of the week, your child will figure out everything (this is a nice way to get your kid excited about the party and getting him/her into the detective mystery sort of mood).

For extra fun with your birthday party themes, include a secret password with the invitation along with a secret handshake (your child can choose). That way everyone that comes to the party needs to say the secret password and handshake (the secret handshake) to get into the party. You can also invite your guests to come to the party wearing disguises, this can be great for photographs and a lot of fun!

If you have the time, patience, and adventure in you… a really cool birthday party themes idea is to create DVD’s with the invitation. Have someone dress-up as a secret agent or even the president (with a flag behind them and funny glasses). They can be really serious and talk as if he’s talking to detectives, telling their mission to them. At the end of the video possibly have a big beeping sound and something saying “This video will self-destruct in 10 seconds” – then have a countdown from 10 to 1 (you can download something like this from the internet and youtube), and then a big explosion at the end. If you don’t have a video camera, you can also create a CD. Take a famous song (like from Mission Impossible) and record yourself talking with the music (but loud enough so that whoever is listening understands what you’re saying).

The very best is to hand-deliver these birthday party themes invitations. You can be the driver of the ‘getaway car’ and your child can get dressed as a spy or dressed in complete camo. Drive up to each guest’s house, your child can sneak to the door, put the DVD on the floor in front of the door, ring the bell, run fast to the ‘getaway car’ and as fast as you can drive off. That way whoever comes to the door doesn’t see anyone, just the DVD, it adds a whole lot of mystery and your child will be so excited to get in the Spy Detective mood!


Spy Detective Decorations

For more of a detective-y mystery look for your Spy Detective birthday party themes, use colors like black, gray and silver for balloons and streamers. Hang crepe streamers from the doorways for a little added mystery. Put a black or gray tablecloth on your table; it would be best to have black, gray, or silver plastic plates and silverware.

Here are cool footprints you can print out (as if they are walking footprints – one after the other, right then left, et.).

Cut out footprints and question marks from construction paper and put them all around the kid birthday party area (even on the ceiling!). If you have a path that leads to your door or the party area, you can also put them leading to the party area.

You can also hang up question marks on doors, walls, or hang them from the ceiling.

You can also draw footprints with chalk on the sidewalk leading to the party area and also make outlines of corpses with chalk or masking tape (as if a murder has just taken place). To add to the murder scene you can also purchase caution tape from any local hardware store and put it around the area of the “murder” to look more authentic.

Here’s a selection of different kinds of question marks you can print out:

Arrange your fingerprints (by dipping your fingers in ink) on white paper. You can then enlarge with a copier and put them up on the walls. You can also use this already scanned and enlarged fingerprint.

You can put fake security cameras around the party area (there are fake ones that are motion and light sensitive – but don’t really record).

You can also ask a police officer or detective to visit the party to talk about police/detective work (or have a friend dress up as a detective and play the part!).

Another thing is to have WANTED signs all over (pictures of faces – even familiar – and a huge “Wanted” below the face; you can also add a brief paragraph explaining the wanted person’s crimes). Check out these cool Spy/Detective decorations:


You can also create big detective-related signs around the party area, like “Top Secret”, “Secret Agent Training Base”, “Detective Headquarters”, “Authorized Personnel Only!”, “Police Line, Do Not Cross!”, etc.

It’s also nice if you play Spy Detective theme music. You can create your own CD that has a combination of all kinds of spy music (from Mission Impossible, James Bond, The Pink Panther, Spy Kids, Charlie’s Angels, Austin Powers, etc.).

On each table, you can insert a little spy magnifying glass in each napkin. Put binoculars, telescopes, dark spyglasses, little handcuff, ropes, and mini black balloon “bombs” etc. on tables for centerpieces and all around the kid birthday area.

Put clues everywhere! You can put plant sticks in floral centerpieces with clues attached, on napkins, even under each plate.

A nice table centerpiece for such birthday party themes is to have a black briefcase filled with spy toys and accessories. Here are napkin holders and placecards made especially for Spy Detective birthday party themes. They’re nice to decorate your table with.


Anything detective-like goes: blazers, hats, long overcoats, etc. When each guest comes, you can give them disguises with wigs, sunglasses, hats, coats, moles, mustaches, rubber gloves, a camera (and other “crime-scene” items). You can also hand out magnifying glasses and little spy notebooks.

Here’s a binocular Spy Detective party hat you can print out:

All you have to do with the above printable hat, is print it out, cut around the half circle, roll it up and staple!

Spy Detective Icebreaker Activities

Detective ID Badges

On the day of the party, you can have a table set up possibly with a Spy or Detective Agency sign on the table. Also write something like “All agents report here”. Once the kids come, they can be given ID badges.

You can easily make them if you have a computer. Use all kinds of detective graphics (magnifying glass, dark spy glasses, etc.) and print them out on card stock. Then you can draw on as if there was a seal and a serial number on it to look more real. On the other side of their ID badge they can then write their name on and fingerprint it for more of a personal touch.

Mysterious Footprints

Give out a piece of paper to each kid and have them make outlines of their shoes and/or feet. When you have outlines of all the kids’ shoes/feet, write each kids name on the back of the paper (in pencil or something light that won’t show on the other side), and then mix up all of the papers and disperse them on the floor. The kids can then race to find their own footprints or as a group they can walk around with magnifying glasses and try to identify each footprint with each kid.

Mysterious Fingerprints

This can be really fun! You’ll need stamp pads, white paper and hand cleaning wipes. Let the kids put their fingers on the stamp pads and mark a piece of paper. Then let them examine everyone’s fingerprints (it can be lots of fun if you hand out magnifying glasses to everyone). Show them how each fingerprint is unique and authentic, that there is no other fingerprint like it in the world! You can also mix up the papers and see if the kids can figure out who’s fingerprint is who’s. It’s best to provide hand cleaning wipes so that the kids can clean their fingers.

Disguise Practice Spy Detective Ice-Breaker

This is a great activity if you have a digital camera and a printer. Take close up pictures of each child with a digital camera, and print them out in black and white. Then encourage the kids to design disguises, with crayons, markers, foam pieces, feathers, buttons, sequins, etc. onto the pictures.

Bomb Detonation

This is a really fun and simple game. Have lots of black balloons blown up, and in 30 seconds time all of the kids try and detonate as many bombs (balloons) as they could by squashing them in a seat.

Spy Detective Coloring Pages

A great ice-breaker for all parties are Spy Detective coloring pages! You can put out a few tables with markers, crayons, or anything else the kids can paint with and let everyone color in fairy coloring pages until all the guests arrive.

We’ve created a whole page full of free and original printable Spy Detective coloring pages, check them out!

You can also use the printable Spy Detective decorations on this page as coloring pages as well.

Mystery Sounds

Before the kid birthday party, tape-record noises from everyday life (the blender, the microwave, a car, a flush of the toilet) and at the party play-back the tape, and have the kids guess the mystery sounds. You can also download free sound effects from the internet.

Decoder Watch

You can cut out pieces of ribbon (enough to fit the wrist). Then give each kid match boxes (that are covered with white paper) and let them decorate each matchbox. Have the kids write the code (to put inside where the match box slides out; easiest to write on paper and paste in); the code is very easy: A=1 B=2 C=3… J=10 … Z=26. Help the kids and glue the two sides of the ribbon so that it fits on their wrist. Then have them attach Velcro to each ribbon end and draw the watch face on top of the match cover (using letters standing in for numbers).



Homemade Spy Detective Cakes

Take a look at all the coolest homemade Spy Detective birthday cakes.

Other than all of the above creative ideas for birthday party themes, here are extra cool and simple ideas that fit the Spy Detective birthday party themes:

It’s pretty simple to create a magnifying glass cake. Bake a cake in a round pan; frost the sides and the top rim of the cake in chocolate frosting. The middle part frost with light blue frosting, and for the magnifying glass handle you can use two long Twinkies. Then write a nice message for the birthday kid in the middle part of the cake (try writing it in magnified writing).

A very simple idea for such birthday party themes is to create a regular cake, frost it, and then draw little footprints on the cake with a different colored frosting. You can put a magnifying glass and write “Happy Birthday” backwards or using a secret code you may be using throughout the party.

You can also make a bomb cake from a sports ball pan for such birthday party themes. Frost the cake with chocolate frosting. For the bomb’s wick you can use a piece of red licorice or a real sparkling candle/decoration.

You can also write on the cake platter something like “BOOM” or “BANG”. A cool idea for the fuse on top of the bomb is to put a few tall candles bunched together or light sparklers.

A nice birthday party themes idea is to make a question mark cake. Make a rectangular kid birthday cake and cut the top of the question mark out of it. Then with the big piece of scrap that’s left over, cut out a circle to put on the bottom of the first shape you cut out.

Then turn over and cut out a piece of the bottom to stick a surprise toy in the cake, once putting the toy, stick the cut cake piece back over it. Then turn the cake back to it’s original position and frost the whole thing.

VERY IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to tell the little detectives that something is hiding in the cake and that they need to be careful when they cut the cake to put in their mouths.


Spy Detective Party Food and Drink

Ideas for Birthday Party Themes Food:

  • Spyghetti
  • Pizza Mystery (try cutting the pepperoni into question mark shapes).
  • Detective Dogs (hot-dogs)
  • Spyraled Spaghetti (spiraled spaghetti)
  • Mystery Soup: You can have each guest bring a can of soup with the label removed and then combine all the soups in a large pot, heat, and serve.

Tip: Blindfold the kids before serving the food and then see if they can DETECT what they are eating by either their sense of smell, taste or touch.

Ideas for Birthday Party Themes Drinks:

  • What-was-that? Drink: Turn an ordinary beverage into a mystery for everyone!! Pour any kind of beverage into everyone’s cup and then add a few Pop Rocks (without the kids seeing what it is) to each cup, it will then crackle, pop and spit. Then ask them if they know why this happens (since this candy is processed with carbon dioxide, it crackles, pops, and spits when it comes into contact with a liquid).
  • Mystery Punch: Tell each kid to bring a pitcher of their favorite punch, then mix them all together and see what comes out!!

Ideas for Birthday Party Themes Treats:

  • Magnifying glass cookies: Just bake round cookies, and then frost each cookie with white frosting and with black frosting create the rim of the magnifying glass. You can then add a long type of candy as the handle of each magnifying glass cookie.
  • Notepads with pencils: take graham crackers, frost them white, and with chocolate frosting create thin lines as if it was notepad paper. Serve them next to pencils (pretzel sticks).
  • Question mark peanut-butter: On a big plate create lots of question marks next to each other using peanut butter. Then decorate by putting lots of celery and carrot sticks all around for guests to dip into the peanut butter.
  • You can make brownies, cutting them into small squares and decorating each one with one letter. You can then put each letter in a row to form a word, creating a crossword puzzle effect (“Spy”, “Detective”, “Clues”, “Mystery”).
  • Mystery candy bars: Unwrap all kinds of known candy bars, cut them into small bite-sized pieces, and set them on a plate. Each of the kids gets to taste and guess all of the candy bars.
  • Private Eye Fortune Cookies: fortune cookies are always fun to eat and read. You can buy a bunch of fortune cookies, and with tweezers delicately take out the note in each fortune cookie, and put in your own (folding in half and stuffing back into the fortune cookie using tweezers). You can write all kinds of funny or mysterious things on each note, all spy-like and secret agentish.


Spy Detective Party Favors and Thank You’s

We’ve created these printable and foldable favor bags and favor boxes made especially for Spy Detective birthday party themes. They are blank and so the kids can decorate and fold them themselves. You can also create them before the party. We have large favor-bags, medium favor-bags, and favor-boxes for you to print out.

For the birthday party themes favorbox and medium Spy Detective favorbag – print out, color if needed (or print on colored paper) and cut out. Before you start gluing the favorbox and favorbag, fold along the dotted lines and assemble so that all the sides connect. Only then add glue and secure the folded flaps.

To create the large Spy Detective birthday party themes favorbag you’ll need to print out TWO designs. First, cut along the lines and fold along the dotted lines. Then, connect the two so that the left side of one is glued to the right side of the other.

The favor bags can also be simple brown bags that you can write “Top Secret” on them. You can also print these Top Secret signs out and tape each one onto a manila folder or small briefcase.

You can also make bomb goodie bags. Make papier-mâché balloons, pop the balloons once it’s dry, spray paint black, and put all the goodies inside the opening (you don’t want to papier-mâché all around, leave an opening). You can then finish it off by putting a red pipe cleaner in the hole (just like a bomb).

Another birthday party themes idea is to look for small briefcases (maybe at the dollar store). Or use black lunch boxes (ones that can look like detective briefcases). Then put all of the favors inside.

Any easy idea for such birthday party themes is to put favors in yellowish manila folders. Stamp on each folder “TOP SECRET” (preferably in red ink or marker).

You can put inside a small magnifying glass, small notepad or clipboard with pencil, mini flashlight, a badge, dark sunglasses, fake handcuffs, walkie-talkies, disguise glasses with nose, little cameras, puzzles, compasses, binoculars, fake mustache, play money, squirt guns, etc.

Here are worded and blank binocular and magnifying glass thank-you notes to print out:

Spy Detective Games and Activities

There are lots of great game ideas that fit perfectly with Spy Detective birthday party themes.

We’ve put together this complete Spy Detective game ideas section where you’ll find detailed instruction for games such as:

  • Mafia and Detectives
  • Detective Memory
  • Spy Training
  • And many more (including visitor-submitted game ideas)…

You should also read these VERY important tips to help you survive (and enjoy) game time!


Your Spy Detective Parties and Ideas

Some of our visitors have gone the extra mile and written up their complete Spy Detective birthday party story with photos and everything they did. We call these stories “Party Tales” and they serve as a great inspiration! Take a peek at other people’s Spy Detective Birthday Party Themes and Party Tales and you’re sure to find lots more outstanding Spy Detective party ideas:

Share your kid birthday party ideas here…

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