first birthday ideas

Your baby’s first birthday is a very special event and one you will want to celebrate.  

However, at the ripe old age of one, your little one isn’t going to remember the big day so how should you mark the occasion, so that there are memories for you all to treasure.  

Here are 5 first birthday ideas for your baby, that may help:


This has always been a popular idea but with the world starting to go back to some kind of normality and families being allowed to reunite, this could make for a very special day indeed.  

This is exactly what I did for my youngest’s’ first birthday.  

I supplied a guest book for everyone to write a little message in, so that Katie could read them when she is older, and one of my photographer friends came along to capture the day.


Jack Rabbit’s Pottery Café in Leeds has been a favourite place to visit since my girls were born. 

I have created mugs, coasters, plates and plaques with their footprints, handprints and drawings.  

You certainly don’t need to be an artist to create a. very special keepsake.  

The staff are brilliant and will happily help you decorate your item and add your baby’s name and any other personal details.  

first birthday ideas


Originating from America, Cake Smash portrait sessions have become very popular in the UK, in the past 5 years.  

I can totally see why! 

These are my favourite sessions to shoot as they are great for capturing your little one’s personality AND all the smiles and giggles while they have fun with their first birthday cake.

In addition to this, they are great for giving you a variety of portraits.

In fact, every Cake Smash is divided in 3 parts: the “clean” simple portraits (before the cake), the “messy” ones, when we bring the cake in, and… bubbles!

The “splash” part of a Cake Smash is normally done using a mini bathtub, for more relaxing fun!

Without much effort on your part, you will create lovely, fun, and lasting memories for all the family to enjoy.  

When you get your final gallery, you can often choose to have the digital files, prints and even photo books and wall art.  

The list of what you can do with your images is endless!


As places are opening again after almost two years of restrictions, there are some amazing places to go in and around Yorkshire.  

Some of my favourites for little ones are Piglets (meet pigs & goats, play mini golf or ride go-karts in a farm attraction with on-site cafes), Yorkshire Wildlife Park for a day out in nature (you can find over 400 animals and around 70 different species of animal!!), Cannon Hall Farm (on your website you can even adopt an animal!) and Yorkshire Maze (for an unusual maize farm escape!). 

A lot of these places have photographers ready to take family portraits, so you have a reminder of the special day.  

This can be a particularly good idea if you have other children.


A first birthday celebration is the perfect excuse to get away with immediate family, especially after such a difficult year during the pandemic.  

If you live in the city, you may want to head to the seaside for a couple of days, especially if your baby hasn’t experienced the beach before.  

The Lake District is another option with activities for all the family.  

We all loved the The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction which we did as part of Katie’s birthday celebrations. As we live in Leeds, we did the trip in a day.


Of course, you could even plan more than one of these activities and it’s good to remember that a Cake Smash photoshoot can be done ahead of your little one’s birthday.

In fact, it SHOULD be done ahead of time, so on the day you have images and prints that you can share with family and friends.

If you want to know more about how a Cake Smash session can make your little one’s first birthday special… get in touch!

My studio specialises in baby and newborn photography, with plenty of props and setups that we can customise for your Cake Smash photoshoot!

first birthday ideas

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