Cars Birthday Party {Welcome to Radiator Springs}

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cars and radiator springs inspired dessert table and customized drivers licenses

For all of you out there with little grease monkeys that absolutely love anything cars/trucks/zoom-related, this creative party will knock your socks off! Chrissy Trujillo of Vitalic Photo planned, styled and photographed this McQueen Radiator Springs Cars Birthday Party for her son, who’s going through quite the McQueen phase right now. One of the best parts? The birthday boy and his other race car driver friends each got their own Radiator Springs driver’s licenses and little wooden cars — perfect for speeding off into the sunset.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Customized Radiator Springs inspired backdrop + movie inspired photo booth props & thought bubbles
  • Pin the buck teeth on Mater, McQueen race car piñata + design your own license plate activities
  • ‘Cars’ inspired treats, like Maters Taters potato chips & Sheriff’s Stoplights fruit ball skewers
  • Bright red cardboard race cars, oil cans with birthday messages & Piston Cup trophy party favors

cars themed 3rd birthday party piñata and printables

mcqueen cardboard race car toy

doc hudsons dip sticks, maters taters and other cars inspired party food

DIY oil cans

radiator springs inspired party food

route 66 sign centerpiece with age

stop light fruit and melon balls

a party with cars inspired food including sally cozy cones

pixar cars party ideas and pin the buck teeth on mater game

house of body art face and body painting for kids parties

license plate designing party activity

traffic cone cups for a cars party

cars inspired photo booth props and word bubbles

trophy cup party favors


PARTY DETAILS as told by Chrissy

For my son’s 3rd birthday we knew we had to go with a Lightning McQueen theme, his current cartoon role model. Rather then going with the race car theme, we decided to incorporate all of the characters and scenery of Radiator Springs and Route 66.

After watching the movie a million times, I noticed a vintage billboard as you entered the town that said “Welcome to Radiator Springs,” so I adapted something similar for the backdrop of the dessert table which set the scenery for the entire party. We incorporated real cactus plants and other rustic elements to match the look and feel of the old fashion town. We also displayed food to match all of the characters like Sally’s cozy cones, Mater’s taters, Luigi’s tower of tires and Sheriff’s stop lights. I also created some custom labels for some soup cans to look like old vintage oil cans that said different happy birthday messages for Tanner. One of my favorite aspects of the party was the favors for the kids. We had little wooden cars that each held their own personal Radiator Springs driver’s license with their name and photo. They also received a trophy (Piston cup) with official cars pez dispensers and a little car.

For games we had pin the buck teeth on mater, a McQueen piñata, large cardboard cars to race with, a craft table to make their own license tag and everyone’s favorite, face painting at Ramone’s house of body art. We also had a photo booth, which I printed the images from and included in everyone’s thank you cards. My favorite moment was when we brought out the cupcake with a candle for him to blow out. His jaw literally dropped.

Vendor Credit
POSTED BY:Dayna GoldmanHi, I’m Dayna, the newest team member here at Hostess with the Mostess, where, as the Editorial & Design Assistant, I have been introduced to this amazing world of events for the first time.

28 responses to “Cars Birthday Party {Welcome to Radiator Springs}”

  1. Jenny McKenna Daily says:

    Fabulous!!! Where did you find the piston cup trophies? I will be doing the same theme this summer! Do you have printable a available?

  2. Thank you Jenny! I got them at Oriental Trading co. I do have the original files for everything too.

    • Emily A. says:

      Can we get/buy your files?! My little guy turns 3 in April and loves his Cars. Your party was absolutely perfect… I’d love to do a similar one!!

  3. Sarah says:

    Wow! What an amazing party. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Becci manies says:

    How would we find the printables for this? Etsy store?

    • Kristen McKinney says:

      Did you ever get the printables?!?! I am needing these for my son’s party!

  5. Karen says:

    I would also be interested in the printables please! Too cute!

  6. Cars Birthday Party {Welcome to Radiator Springs}

  7. Min Wu Liu says:

    It's super cute!! Same question as some people previously ask, can we get/buy your files?

  8. You can contact me directly at [email protected] if you would like to purchase the files :)

  9. Angie says:

    How much are you selling the files for?

  10. Christina says:

    Hi! I’m doing something similar for my son’s second birthday. I have a question regarding the backdrop you have. How big is the size of the backdrop and where did you print it?


  11. Keslee Forrester Richard says:

    I was wondering where you got the pin the buck teeth on mater from?

  12. Anita says:

    I’m dying right now! Posted both of your cars BDay’s on Pinterest and planning my son’s 3rd birthday….I’m looking at the sign and thinking, am I seeing things?!? My son’s name is Tanner! So fun…thanks for the ideas!

  13. Chrissy Trujillo says:

    Hi Everyone, you can contact me at [email protected] if you would like some of the printables! The trophies are from amazon or oriental trading

  14. Lisa says:

    Hi! I was wondering where you got the pin the buck teeth on Mater? My son would LOVE that for his birthday party!

  15. […] you to Hostess with the Mostess, Catch My Party, Karas Party Ideas, & Spaceships and Laserbeams for featuring his […]

  16. 25 Boys Birthday Party Theme Ideas | batonrouged77 says:

    […] Welcome to Radiator Springs Party – The trophies are a great party favor idea. […]

  17. Laura says:

    Hi! I emailed about the custom route signs the say turner is 3. Would also like to inquire about the pin the buck teeth on Mater game and the can labels. Thank you!

  18. How did you make the card board cars? Love them!

  19. Veronica says:

    Hi, I was just wondering where you got the welcome sign from? Is that part of the printables as well?

  20. Brooke says:

    How do I get these printables!?! I will pay for them. I need them for my party next month!

  21. Kristen Lourie says:

    Also wondering about the game. Pin the buck teeth on Mater. What a perfect addition to the birthday party. Where can I find this?

  22. Julia says:

    So cute! Love Disney cars especially Lightning and Mator <3

  23. Hey Chrissy!! My son's birthday is July 23 and I am hoping to get started ASAP. Would love to purchase your printables!!! Please let me know how!!!

  24. Did you ever get the printables?