Some people are dead against them, others are all for it! Gender reveal parties are definitely a new and polarising phenomenon. But if you ask us, why not go for it? It’s your baby after all! But where do you start? Here we explain what a gender reveal party is, what they involve and when people have them. We’ll also give you plenty of inspiration to put on your own.

What is a gender reveal party?

A gender reveal party is an event where the sex of a baby is revealed to family and friends, and often to the parents at the same time too. Whilst at a baby shower you celebrate the expected birth of your baby, at a gender reveal party you celebrate revealing whether you’re going to have a boy or a girl.

How do gender reveals work and what do they involve?

Gender reveal parties are all about the suspense before a dramatic reveal. After the guests have gathered, usually the reveal is done in a visually impactful way based on the traditional colours of blue for boys and pink for girls.

At some gender reveal parties, both parents already know the sex of the baby, which is then revealed to family and friends. Sometimes only one parent knows the sex, and the other parent is part of the audience.

Often neither parent knows the sex of the baby, and this information is only known by a trusted friend or family member called a "gender guardian". In this situation, both of the parents get to share in the excitement of the gender reveal with their guests.

When during pregnancy do people throw gender reveal parties in the UK?

Whilst gender reveal parties began in the US, they’ve become popular now in the UK. In order to have a gender reveal party you’ll need to first find out the sex of your baby. In the UK, this happens most often at your 20-week scan, usually offered between 18 and 21 weeks into your pregnancy. There’s also the option of paying for a private ultrasound scan which can reveal your baby’s sex as early as 16 weeks. You can also find out the sex of your baby via screening tests, such as blood and amniocentesis tests.

Once you know the sex of your baby, you can begin planning your gender reveal party. Take a look at our suggestions below for inspiration.

Remember, if you’re going to the party as a guest, gifts aren’t always necessary (especially if there are other events like a baby shower or you’re going to be handing over a gift when you first meet the baby), but they are always welcome. Nursery furniture can be a great gift but check with parents first to make sure there’s no crossover. Toys and play items are a great idea, just check that whatever you choose is age appropriate. Stairgates, safety equipment and playpens are less common gifts as they’re seen as less fun, but these are often gratefully received by parents.

Our fantastic gender reveal party ideas

Whether you’re a parent planning the party, or a gender guardian doing it on behalf of the parents, here are our favourite gender party reveal ideas for your inspiration:

1. A balloon reveal

Using balloons can be a visually impactful but simple way to reveal your little one’s gender. Pack a box full of helium-filled pink or blue balloons, and at the end of a countdown pull the box open to reveal the rising cloud of balloons.

You can also do the reverse. The box can be placed upside down above the parents, then pulled open to have the balloons fall down upon them. You can also fill the box with coloured glitter and confetti too, to really add to the visual display of the reveal.

2. Coloured confetti cannons

Talking of confetti - confetti cannons are like party poppers, but on a much larger and impressive scale. You can buy large hand-held confetti cannons to give to guests, or even bigger ones you fire from the floor. Whatever size you go for, you can buy ready-made gender reveal confetti cannons that fire a shower of blue or pink confetti to announce your baby’s gender.

3. Coloured smoke flairs

Similar to confetti cannons, and equally as visually impressive, you can buy hand-held smoke flairs that emit vibrant blue or pink coloured smoke that can be given to guests. Just make sure you use them outdoors, in an open space, and away from any possible fire hazards.

4. A silly string shower

Silly string is a brightly coloured plastic-like string you fire from a can. It’s harmless but creates a wonderful mess. You can hand each guests a neutral coloured can of silly string. At the end of a countdown, the guests can then all unleash their silly string upon the waiting parents, with everyone finding out at the same time if the string in the cans is blue or pink.

5. A gender reveal-paint fight

With this option, you have all the guests of your party arrive wearing white clothes, or old clothes they don’t mind getting covered in paint. You hand each guest a tube of neutral coloured paint. On the count of three, everyone squeezes their tube to fire paint over each other and to find out if the paint inside is pink or blue. If paint is too messy, you can exchange it for coloured glitter or bags of coloured paint powder than can be easily washed out of clothes.

6. A surprise cake

A surprise cake can provide a more subtle reveal. The idea is you order or make a cake that’s decorated in a neutral colour on the outside, like white icing. But then when you cut into the cake, a blue or pink coloured filling is revealed inside.

7. Gender reveal cupcakes

An alternative to a single cake, is to give each of the party’s guests a cupcake to get everyone involved. On the count of three, all the guests bite into their cupcakes to reveal the colour hidden inside.

8. Unwrapping baby clothes

A particularly intimate reveal involves wrapping up a set of boys’ or girls’ clothes. At the end of a countdown, these clothes can then be unwrapped and revealed.

9. A gender reveal piñata

Piñatas are papier-mâché figures that are filled with sweets that are hit to split them open to reveal the treats hidden inside. Whilst piñatas traditionally feature at birthday parties, you can get gender reveal ones that are a neutral on the outside but stuffed with either blue or pink sweets. Piñatas are great fun for people of all ages but can be a great way to get kids involved too.

10. A gender reveal treasure hunt

With a gender reveal treasure hunt, you hide a series of clues in a location. Each clue leads to the next clue, and at the end of a trail the last clue reveals your baby’s gender.

This can be a really engaging way to get all of your guests involved, and it can draw out the anticipation and excitement. You can even combine a treasure hunt with some of the above ideas, with the last clue leading to a confetti cannon, a smoke flair or a package of wrapped baby clothes.

Make it personal

We hope the above ideas have given you plenty of food for thought. To really make the most of a gender reveal party, try to personalise it to suit the parents and family involved. Take inspiration from the ideas here, but feel free to combine and adapt them in a unique and personalised way.