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planning bat mitzvahs

Bar & Bat Mitzvah Party Ideas

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Your child is now of age and ready to celebrate via their bar or bat mitzvah…congratulations!  Now it’s time to celebrate with friends, family and the community.

From party themes and decor to food, activities and favors, we’ve pulled together a collection of ideas that will inspire you and help you create the ultimate bar or bat mitzvah.

Mitzvah Party Themes

The party theme sets the stage for the entire event.  Theme options are truly limitless and you can really go big or small, depending on your budget, with any theme.

Here are some of our favorite themes for bat mitzvahs:

  • Candy Company or Candy Land
  • Academy Awards or A Night at the Movies
  • Camp Sarah (use your child’s name of course)
  • Social Media
  • Color Theme (use your child’s favorite color for this theme)
  • Karaoke or Pop Star
  • Artist
  • Graffiti
  • Dance or Ballet
  • Baking or Cookie Castle

Here are some of our favorite themes for bar mitzvahs:

  • Football, Baseball or Soccer
  • Graffiti
  • Color Theme (use your child’s favorite color for this theme)
  • Science
  • Star Wars
  • Rock Band


Now that you have your theme, it’s time to create your invitations.  Today’s invitations can be almost anything from a traditional paper invite to a backstage pass, a decorated cookie, to even a digital invitation.

Whichever way you opt to go, just remember to have some fun, be sure to include all the basic details for the party, and make sure it supports your theme because your invitation is your guest’s introduction to the event ahead.



Mitzvah Decor

As with any planned event, you’ll want to create a seating chart.  When your guests arrive, you can provide them with their seating details.  A fun way to handle this task is to create a seating station where guests can find their seat locations for themselves.

A creative way to do this to create seat cards that go with your theme.  You can add a card to a paintbrush, a cookie cutter, or even put the information on a baseball.  This way it supports your party theme, is fun, and gives your guest a keepsake memento from the event.

Centerpieces are amazing additions to your overall decor and really help to tie everything all together.  They can also be used as raffle prizes for your guests to take home at the end of the event.

Centerpieces can including lighting, candy and treats, lightsabers, photo frames, flowers….you name it!


Having your party guests leave a message in celebration is a tradition…but who says that it has to be done in a book?

Today’s bat and bar mitzvah allow for true creativity when it comes to the event ‘guestbook.’  You can do something that supports your theme or that will just make a unique and creative keepsake for your child.

Here are a few of our favorite ideas:

    • A large mirror where guests can sign with a paint pen or permanent marker
    • A photo frame where guests can sign the photo mat
    • A football or helmet
    • A graffiti wall where guests can sign or paint their thoughts


Gifts and favors are a great way to tell your guests how much you appreciate them coming out and celebrating with you.  When it comes to deciding what to give your guests there are two things to consider: your theme and your budget.

You want your gift to be something nice, but you don’t want to break the bank.  Come up with something that also supports your party theme, that way they have a memento that will remind them of the day and that will be fun…something for them to enjoy later.

Mitzvah Party Food & Exit Treats

While it’s not a requirement, menu boards are a fun way to add to your decorations and overall theme, while also letting your guests know what their food options for the party will be.

Food boards are great to display at the front or entry point of your buffet or food station.  You can include what’s on the menu as well as what snack and drink options guests have available to choose from.

If your snack, dessert, or beverage stations are located someplace other than next to the main food course or buffet area, include arrows or directional information on your menu board.  You don’t want your guest missing out on anything!


While cakes are the tradition, today’s bat and bar mitzvahs are open to modern interpretations.  You can set up a cupcake tower or cake pop display, allowing guests to grab and go with the perfect serving.  You can also pre-cut your cake instead of having guests wait in line.

When it comes to the type of cake, every flavor is on the table as an option and the decorations should match your theme.

If you have any guests with food allergies, then you can offer a separate gluten-free or vegan option.

When your guests are leaving the party, it’s tradition to offer them a snack to take with them.  There are tons of really cool and unique ways to handle this part.

Donut trays or walls are classic and are snacks that just about all kids enjoy.  Why not put a spin on this classic by creating your child’s very own donut shop?  You can create a free-standing shop or tables with signs.  You can make it as small or over the top as you want!

And while it’s perfectly acceptable to have the wait staff handle the distribution for you, why not let your child run the show and say goodbye to everyone as they leave.  This will provide a more personal touch.


Want to handle the exit snacks a little differently?  Then think outside of the donut box!

You can set up a newsstand, complete with candy, donuts, granola bars, and magazines for guest to select from on their way out.  You could also create a ticket booth or concession stand where guests can pick up prepackaged goody bags as they leave the party.

No matter which way you opt to go, the important thing is to have fun and let your guests know how much they are appreciated.

Mitzvah Stations and Activities

The candle lighting ceremony is part of the bat and bar mitzvah tradition.  However, create an area that supports the party theme and that becomes a special place for your child.

Surrounding the candles by the cake or a series of your child’s favorite candies or treats.  Incorporate photos or a small video screen that plays memories from your child’s early years.

Place the station in a corner or separate area so it doesn’t get knocked over or overly touched during the party itself.  Remember, this is your child’s sacred space and where they will officially transition, so protect it and put in the extra effort to make it something special and uniquely them.


Photo booths and photos stations are amazingly popular at parties and events these days.  They are a fun way for guests to get to express themselves, cut loose, and get a one-of-a-kind party souvenir.

If you opt to go with a traditional booth, make sure there are tons of accessories guests can use when taking pictures.  Everything from silly mustaches on sticks to hats and boas.  If you can tie it into the party’s theme, even better!

If you’re doing more of a station, you’ll want a colorful background and plenty of room for the kids to spread out and jump into silly poses.  You can also give them signs or oversized picture frames to pose with.

And finally, create an area for games and karaoke for the kids.  This can be anything from Twiter and Simon Says, to a baking or crafting station.

The goal here is to provide a secondary option to dancing — an opportunity for them to have some fun and just cut loose a little.

Games and karaoke stations are great places to get some support from a host, MC or DJ.  They can keep the activities moving for you so you can enjoy the party with your child.

Need a little more inspiration?  Check out our EBE Bar/Bat Mitzvah board on Pinterest and then contact our EBE Event Planning Team and let them help you create a truly one-of-a-kind event your child.

Planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah

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The Bar Mitzvah is a joyous Jewish celebration where the young man is celebrated as he comes into the age of accountability. As a boy turns 13, he is celebrated with this Jewish rite of passage ceremony and is surrounded by his loved ones, family and friends on this special day and this special occasion. The Bar Mitzvah celebration is geared towards the boy while the Bat Mitzvah celebration is geared towards the girl.

Planning the best Bar Mitzvah celebration is going to depend on what the likes or dislikes the honoree may have, the budget for the celebration, where the event will be held and what gifts or accolades will be bestowed upon the honoree.

Choose a Facility

The first thing to do in planning the Bar Mitzvah is to decide on where to hold the party. It may be held at the synagogue, but it’s going to be very important to secure whichever facility well in advance so that you’re assured that you’ll have the best place to celebrate this special time. Most synagogues assign Bar/Bat Mitzvah dates when the child enters fourth grade, so you should have ample time to find and book the venue that will be perfect for you.

Outfit for the Occasion

Purchasing the Bar Mitzvah boy’s suit is almost as much of a rite of passage for the parents as the Bar Mitzvah itself is for the boy. Fortunately, there are still many great clothiers in the area who specialize in this. Of course, you can always go to one of the major formal wear chains or a department store in the mall. Don’t forget that this is a Bar Mitzvah, though, and that there is more involved than just purchasing a suit. Make sure that you secure his first tallis (Jewish prayer shawl) and do this in a sufficient amount of time so there aren’t any surprises as the Bar Mitzvah approaches. Oftentimes parents will order custom yarmulkes that commemorate the day, so remember these too.

Food, Drinks

Food and drinks for a Bar Mitzvah ceremony will likely be party style food, along with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Make sure your reception venue has a liquor license, enough so that they are at least able to serve alcohol as many adults at the reception will want to consume alcoholic beverages. The food will likely consist of culture specific style foods and/or any food items that the Bar Mitzvah honoree likes and wants to have for his special day. In the case with the foods and drinks, it may also be a good idea to secure the services of a caterer or food service company to help with preparing and serving the food, especially if there are going to be a lot of people in attendance.


The Bar Mitzvah ceremony is likely going to be controlled by the Rabbi and Cantor at they synagogue, unless you are doing your own private ceremony at the reception hall, where you will need to rent your own. If that is the case for you, you are in luck in that there are many reputable Rabbis to hire in the area. In either case, do not be shy if there are any specific details you want to make sure are included. It might even be a good idea to design your own short checklist to make sure that everything is done as it should be. Also, check with your Rabbi to make sure the young man’s attire and accessories are correct, placed correctly, and to ensure there are not items missing that will be needed.


Gifts for the honoree are up to the invited guests to determine what to give, but you can always give suggestions on items that he would like to receive. For instance, electronic items are always a hit and always a welcomed item. Anything like iPods, iPads, laptop computers, speakers or DVD players are a good idea. The Bar Mitzvah young man would probably also like to get things like video games, gift cards for their favorite game store or cash gifts as well. If you do give the young man cash gifts, be sure to do so in increments of 18. Eighteen is the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew word Chai, which means “life.” Since this is such a defining moment in a young Jewish boy’s life, this is the traditional amount given. Always account for your entire family when giving any gift, because you want to give a gift that reflects how many of you are coming.


The ceremony is over and now it is time to party! What entertainment should you choose for the reception? What kind of reception are you envisioning? Some people just like an elegant luncheon, while others want a bash that rivals Times Square on New Year’s Eve. As with choosing your venue, you have the time to find exactly what is the right fit for you and your family. However, don’t wait too long because if there is a specific band or DJ that you “have to have,” the longer you wait to book the more you run the risk that someone will snatch them up before you. At EBE, we have the right entertainment for every budget. This not only of course includes our talented bands and DJs, but our event enhancements, which are sure to kick your party up a few notches to the next level.

As the newly bestowed Bar Mitzvah honoree is celebrating with his family, friends and loved ones, it’s also worth noting that this is a time of fun and light-hearted celebration as well. After the ceremonial part is over, the partying will begin in earnest and with EBE as your entertainment source, everyone in attendance is sure to have a joyous time.