Gender reveal ideas that won't make you cringe

Nikki Stevenson
Nikki Stevenson
Nikki is a parenting writer and a mom to three wild boys who keep her on her toes (and occasionally make her question her sanity). With over 15 years of experience in the parenting industry, she has more tips and tricks than Mary Poppins on speed dial. When she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can find her sipping on coffee, hiding in the bathroom for five minutes of...
Created on May 20, 2024 · 18 mins read

Are you tired of trawling through Pinterest in search of the perfect gender reveal idea, all the while having nightmares about those cringe-worthy videos of reveals gone wrong?


Well, we are – and we imagine much of the internet is too.

So how can you make this announcement special, without the eye-rolling and big-budget pyrotechnics?

From sweet surprises and pink or blue confetti to playful games, we’ve sifted through the chaos to bring you the cream of the crop.

Whether you’re looking for something simple and sweet or a show-stopping spectacle, there’s an idea for every kind of parent (even the jaded and cynical ones).

The history of gender reveals


We’re undecided on how surprising the following fact is…The first recorded gender reveal party happened in 2008. Wipe out any images of Victorian-era parents sending out hand-written letters to their ‘gender reveal tea party’ and printing an announcement in the local newspaper because that did not happen.

It was the year that Britney Spears made a comeback, Twilight hit the big screen, and Beyonce and Jay-Z tied the knot. Amidst the neon naughties blur, American blogger Jenna Karvunidis did something radical.

She cut into a custom-made cake, revealed the pretty pink frosting, and created an entire parenthood industry – the gender reveal party.

Within 10 years, the phrase was locked into everyday vocabulary. Social media was painted pink or blue and party stores shuffled in a new section. On the rise was an unspoken need to outdo each other – a trajectory that led to some pretty bizarre (and sometimes catastrophic) gender reveal events.

These days, gender reveal parties are still very well-known – albeit a bit more infamously.


The gender reveal controversy


It can feel like everything’s been ruled problematic these days – often for good reason. The notion of a ‘gender reveal party’ has copped its fair share of criticism too. What was a huge trend in the colourful skinny jeans and chunky necklace era of the internet (hello 2010s) has since entered more fragile territory.

The TL;DR explanation is as follows:

  • Sex doesn’t equal gender: Much of the dialogue is about the importance of distinguishing sex from gender. This is particularly an area of concern for the LGBTQ+ community and allies, who stress that your child being born as one sex doesn’t mean they’ll identify with the gender implications of it as they grow older.
  • Gender roles: The binary blue-and-pink colours typically used can reflect specific gender roles (blue = boy, pink = girl). Some argue that this is a step backwards in how we view boys and girls, even from childhood.
  • Performativity: We’ve all seen the luscious, over-the-top, wildfire-inciting gender reveal parties that blew up the internet. The question commonly asked is if this becomes more performative, rather than an actual celebration. Why are you spending the time, money, and energy? And, is it in the hopes of going #viral?
  • Safety concerns: There has been a track record of gender reveal parties being dangerous. In the later part of the 2010s, around the time that these parties got particularly hectic, several deaths were recorded from gender reveal parties and a wildfire tore through Arizona (costing $8.2 million to extinguish).
  • Environmental impacts: Many gender reveal ideas aren’t doing wonders for the planet. Balloons, messy confetti, and pyrotechnics are common for these parties, despite their unsustainability.

The founder of gender reveals herself has confessed to regretting kicking off the trend entirely. Jenna Karvunidis wrote in a 2019 Facebook post, “Who cares what gender the baby is?”, alongside a photo of her daughter decked in a blue blazer and pants. She went on, “The world’s first gender-reveal party baby is a girl who wears suits!”

The reality is, whether your family decides to do a gender reveal party or not is entirely your business (as long as you do it safely).

Just like the potential downsides, there are some upsides too. Gender reveal parties can be a nice way to bring together family members and friends to share that moment with you. Because it’s totally normal to be curious (and excited) about the gender of your baby and to want to make that moment special.

How you do that is up to your family. If you do opt for a more showy celebration, we’re listing some fun gender reveal ideas that range from tried-and-true to modern and fresh.

And if you still want to mark this milestone, but with a non-traditional twist, you can also change up what colours signify each gender or think up new ways to interpret them!


Classic gender reveal ideas


Gender reveal with confetti cannons
Picture this: all your loved ones gathered around, anticipation building, and then… a thunderous POP! Confetti erupts in the air, showering everyone with blue or pink joy. Gender reveal confetti cannons are a classic choice for a reason – they’re exciting, visually stunning, and perfect for capturing that Instagram-worthy moment. In saying that, make sure you follow safety guidelines to avoid being another ‘gender reveal gone wrong’.

Piñata baby gender reveal
Who doesn’t love a good piñata bash? Fill a piñata with blue or pink confetti, candies, or small toys, and let the parents-to-be take turns whacking it until the surprise spills out. It’s a fun-filled activity that adds an element of suspense and excitement to your gender reveal party. Plus, there’s always someone who takes it a little too far, making for family videos you’ll be laughing at for a hot minute.

Balloon pop gender reveal
For a simple yet effective reveal, opt for the classic balloon pop. Fill a black balloon with blue or pink confetti and have the expectant parents pop it together. The burst of colour adds a touch of magic to the moment, leaving everyone in awe as they celebrate the upcoming arrival. Tip: tie a little weight to the bottom so it doesn’t fly away and leave guests wondering if you are having a baby girl or a baby boy.

Gender reveal smoke bombs or powder cannons
Want to make a grand entrance with your gender reveal? Smoke bombs or powder cannons are a popular way to go. As the expectant parents release the smoke or powder, watch as it billows out in a cloud of pink or blue powder, creating a dramatic and unforgettable reveal. As we’ve touched on, this one does require a bit more safety nuance from you, so make sure you purchase any pyrotechnics from reliable outlets and follow safety protocols. Depending on where you live, you might need to get permission for use of pyrotechnics.

Silly string gender reveal for the win
Unleash a riot of colour with silly string! Hand out cans of blue or pink silly string to your guests and let them spray away to reveal the gender. It’s a playful and interactive way to involve everyone in the excitement.

Blowing blue or pink bubbles
Create a dreamy atmosphere with blue or pink bubbles floating through the air. Set up bubble machines or hand out bottles of coloured bubble solution to guests. As they blow bubbles, they’ll watch in delight as the air fills with the gender-revealing hue. This is a great one for if you have some little family members or friends – kids love bubbles, what can we say.

Water fight
Beat the heat and reveal the gender with a splash! Host a water fight where teams battle it out with water guns, balloons, or even buckets. Fill water balloons with blue or pink dyed water for an extra surprise when they burst, and hand out large white shirts for guests to wear over their clothes that will show the colours perfectly.

Gender reveal guessing game
Turn your gender reveal into a fun guessing game for your guests. Set up a board where they can cast their votes for whether they think it’s a boy or a girl. At the big reveal, see who guessed correctly and award prizes for the most accurate predictions.

Word search gender reveal
If your friends and family love a challenge (and can be a bit dorky – no judgement here) let them get involved with a gender reveal word search. You can create custom word search puzzles with hidden clues related to the baby’s gender. As they solve the puzzle, they’ll uncover the secret message revealing whether it’s a boy or a girl.

Gender reveal treasure hunt
Plan a gender reveal treasure hunt with clues leading to hidden treasures that hint at the baby’s gender. At each location, guests discover a clue and a small token related to the gender reveal theme. The final treasure holds the ultimate reveal, such as a blue or pink onesie or a gender-specific toy.

Creative gender reveal ideas


When it comes to revealing your baby’s gender, the moment should be nothing short of magical. These unique and imaginative ideas are all about creating a wow factor that will leave your loved ones in awe.

Breakable chocolate gender reveal
Surprise your guests with breakable chocolate hearts or eggs filled with blue or pink candies. Gather everyone around as the expectant parents break open the chocolate to reveal the gender inside. The suspense builds as they crack open the chocolate, creating a deliciously dramatic reveal moment. And then let everyone get filled up on sugary goodness.

Bath bomb gender reveal
Create gender reveal bath bombs filled with pink or blue colourants. Invite your closest friends and family to join you for a relaxing bath bomb party. As everyone drops their bath bombs into the water, the gender is revealed in a burst of colour. The excitement builds as the water changes colour, culminating in a magical reveal moment.

Shadow box surprise
This fun gender reveal idea is to create a gender reveal shadow box filled with blue or pink items that represent the baby’s gender. When it’s time to reveal, open the shadow box to unveil the gender in a charming and intimate way. The anticipation builds as everyone waits to see what the baby’s sex is inside the box, creating a heartfelt reveal moment.

Puzzle piece reveal
Parenthood is puzzling – so why not make that the theme? Create a custom puzzle with a picture or message that reveals the gender when completed. As guests put the puzzle together, they’ll uncover the exciting news piece by piece. The suspense builds with each piece added, leading up to the big reveal moment when the final piece is placed in this creative gender reveal idea.

Baby name scrabble
Make your guests work for the gender reveal! Spell out the baby’s gender along with their chosen name using Scrabble tiles on a board. The excitement builds as guests try to decipher the letters, wondering what the final message will reveal. The wow moment comes when the tiles are rearranged to further reveal details of the gender, creating a fun and interactive gender reveal moment.

Shirt paint reveal
This one is great to capture in an image. Get your partner to dip their hands in either pink or blue paint, stand behind you while you wear a white shirt, and get them to make a double handprint over your belly. Then get someone to take a pic of the two of you in that position and share this creative gender reveal.

Edible reveal treats


Indulge your guests with delightful treats that not only satisfy their taste buds but also reveal the exciting news of your baby’s gender. From sweet surprises to delectable delights, these edible gender reveal ideas are sure to leave everyone craving more.

A show-stopping gender reveal cake
Wow your guests with a show-stopping gender reveal cake. Opt for a plain exterior frosting, concealing the pink or blue surprise within. As you slice into the cake, the colour of the cake or filling will unveil the gender in a deliciously dramatic fashion. Capture the moment as the secret is revealed for a picture-perfect memory. This is one of the most popular creative gender reveal ideas for a reason.

Gender reveal cupcakes
Cupcakes are a pretty foolproof plan for any special occasion. So, serve up individual cupcakes with a twist. Fill the centre of each cupcake with pink or blue frosting, then top them with a neutral-coloured frosting to keep the surprise hidden. As guests bite into their cupcakes, they’ll discover the gender with every delicious mouthful.

Gender reveal drinks
Put a drop or two of pink or blue food colouring in the bottom of a glass, give thanks to your guests for being there and then have your partner pour a clear cold drink into your glass to reveal the colour whilst everyone cheers.

Gender reveal cake pops
Get creative with cake pops in shades of pink or blue. Decorate them with neutral-coloured frosting or chocolate coating to keep the gender hidden. When it’s time to reveal, guests can enjoy these bite-sized treats and discover the gender with every pop.

Gender reveal macarons
Serve up delicate macarons in shades of pink or blue. Keep the filling hidden until guests take a bite, revealing the gender with each delightful crunch. Arrange them on a tiered stand for an elegant touch to one of your cute gender reveal ideas.

Fruit tart with coloured filling
Bake a fruit tart with a neutral crust and conceal the gender inside with a layer of pink or blue fruit filling. As guests dig into the tart, the colour of the filling will unveil the gender, creating a fruity and refreshing reveal.

Gender reveal donuts
Fill donuts with pink or blue filling, keeping the surprise hidden until guests take a bite. Serve them up on a platter and watch as guests discover the gender with each delicious bite.

Gender reveal fortune cookies
For one of the more unique gender reveal ideas, serve custom-made fortune cookies with pink or blue fortune slips hidden inside. As guests crack open their cookies, they’ll reveal the gender along with a heartfelt message.

Personalised gender reveals


Turn your average gender reveal moment into one uniquely yours with personalised touches that reflect your style and personality. From creative activities to heartfelt announcements, these personalised cute gender reveal ideas add a special touch to your celebration.

Vote boy or girl
Set up a voting station with two jars labelled “Boy” and “Girl” and slips of paper for guests to cast their votes. After all the votes are in, reveal the winning gender by tallying up the votes. For the grand gender reveal, unveil a large poster or banner displaying the winning gender, creating an exciting moment for everyone.

Post-baby gender reveal
Share the joy of your baby’s gender with a post-baby reveal. Once your little one arrives, announce the gender with a heartfelt social media post. Consider including a creative photo of your newborn with a prop or accessory in the designated colour to accompany the announcement, allowing friends and family to celebrate the big news even from afar.

Gender reveal ultrasound photo
Create a memorable and cool gender reveal by photoshopping pink or blue ink onto your ultrasound photo. Share the edited image with friends and family. It’s a unique gender reveal idea and personal way to share the exciting news with loved ones.

Gender reveal shirts
Personalise gender reveal shirts for you and your partner to wear during the big reveal. Choose shirts in neutral colours with “Team Boy” and “Team Girl” printed on them, or opt for custom designs that reflect your unique style and personality. Wear something over them, and reveal the shirts to your guests at the same time.

Gender reveal video montage
Compile a video montage featuring heartfelt messages, well wishes, and gender reveal guesses from friends and family. Include clips of your pregnancy journey and special moments leading up to the great gender reveal idea. Share the video during the gender reveal celebration at your baby gender reveal party, building anticipation until the final reveal moment.

Lowkey gender reveal ideas


If the above sounds a bit much for you (hey, fair enough!), you can always pair it back for a more intimate, casual, and gender-role-averting event. We’re all for ideas like :

  • For families with another child (or a pet), have them walk out with a shirt or bandana saying “I’m getting a little sister/brother.”
  • Give your party a gender-neutral theme – as ironic as it sounds. You can give it a theme around movie characters, celebrities, decades, make-up superheroes, literally anything! The “gender reveal” element can be neutral signage, letters, or just a drumroll prefacing “It’s a boy!”
  • Stick to the cake idea, but avoid pink and blue colouring and just add a little decal with the gender on top. You still get all the yumminess and Instagrammability – minus the old-school bits.
  • Weave your gender reveal into your baby shower. You can still give it a special moment, but combine it with another celebration. This is handy for saving energy and finances, plus gives you a way to announce the gender without drawing any controversy (if that usually deters you).

How to make your gender reveal party eco-friendly


As we mentioned earlier, a lot of gender reveal ideas can make the environmentally conscious parent pinch their face. But there are ways to find a balance that respects our lovely planet. Here are some of our top pointers:

  • Send digital announcements and invites – which, let’s face it, most people are doing anyways these days.
  • Plant a tree in honour of your baby, with a verbal or written announcement.
  • Use biodegradable materials or ceramic plates and cutlery that can go in the dishwasher. It’s more work, but pays off.
  • Repurpose existing decorations instead of stopping by your local cheap-and-easy party shop. We all have that one friend who is basically a storage unit for party decor.
  • The gender-neutral element works here too, so you don’t have to splash out on pink or blue elements that you won’t reuse.
  • Avoid food with single-use plastic packaging and opt for homemade snacks, treats, and drinks served in pitchers.
  • Go minimalistic with your theme and keep things lowkey (in terms of party numbers and decorations).
  • Steer clear of pyrotechnics. These can cause air and water pollution and have been the cause of extremely damaging wildfires in the US.

See what spaces you can compromise in and make sustainable swaps for your gender reveal party. It’s important that you celebrate in a way that suits your values and family, not just because that’s the “in” thing to do.

Keeping your gender reveal party safe


The best gender reveal party is one that keeps everyone safe and sound. That means avoiding dodgily made smoke cannons that sweep into wildfires, and always run through the mental checklist of “could this go horribly wrong?”

These are some tips for making your gender reveal as safe as it as sweet:

  • Choose a safe location: Opt for a venue that provides enough space for your guests and where hazardous materials like fireworks or explosives aren’t allowed. Consider outdoor areas like parks or spacious backyards.
  • Skip the explosives: Avoid using fireworks, smoke bombs, or any other explosive materials for the reveal. Instead, focus on safer alternatives that still create excitement.
  • Plan gender-neutral activities: Keep the focus on celebrating the upcoming addition to your family rather than emphasising gender stereotypes. Choose games and activities that are inclusive and enjoyable for all guests.
  • Communicate safety guidelines: Clearly communicate safety guidelines to your guests before the event. Remind them to stay away from any potentially hazardous materials or activities.
  • Consider environmental impact: If you’re using props or decorations, choose environmentally friendly options that won’t harm the surroundings.
  • Have a backup plan: Be prepared for unexpected changes in weather or other circumstances that could affect the safety of your party. Have a backup plan in place to ensure everyone stays safe and comfortable.
  • Designate responsible supervision: Assign responsible adults to supervise any activities involving children to prevent accidents or injuries.
  • Stay mindful of guests’ needs: Consider the needs of all your guests, including those with mobility issues or sensory sensitivities, and make accommodations to ensure everyone can participate safely.

Wrapping it up


From the classic allure of either pink or blue balloons, to the playful thrill of confetti poppers, the options are endless for sharing the exciting news of your little one’s gender with your nearest and dearest.

Whether you opt for a grand celebration or a cosy gathering, the most important thing is being surrounded by the people who matter most to you, celebrating this special moment in your life.

And regardless of where you fall on the ‘gender reveal controversy’, there are adjustments you can make so that it works for your family. 

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