We love a party in this family and if you read my blogs and have been following me for a while you will know that every year I throw or organise a themed party for my kids. This year I was debating a few themes and it was actually Khillian who said he wanted to have his party in a nearby park. I thought it was a great idea (the weather should be ok) and its local, it would not be that expensive as we would not need to book anywhere. There is lots to do there – boat rides, water section to spalsh, lots of different playgrounds and even a train that takes you around the park. The boys love it there as my parents take them there a lot. It also has great space for picnics.
With Khillian coming up with the idea I thought it was a great combination for a party, The outdoors, big open space, fresh air, the kids can run and do lots of different activities and we would of course supply food, drink and lots of cake. Until….
A few days before the party the weather forecast for the whole week was 17 degrees and rain. Lots and lots and lots of rain! I sent the invites out before the school term ended as I knew a lot of Khillian’s friends would be away on holiday. But I was not prepared for rain. I thought I would wait till a few days before to change the plans but then I knew I would be stuck with suppliers and venues so I thought fast and started to look for a venue and within an hour I found one I loved and one I would most definitely use again.
In regards to the invites I brought them off Ebay and they were really affordable. I adore a theme for a party and a big tip is always, always, always make sure the theme runs throughout. From the decor, to the invite, thank you notes, goody bags, food and everything in between.
So when I sent out the Save the Date I knew it had to be done fast and also within the birthday theme…
Back to the party… I saw the venue the day before as it was a packed week, but I was liaising with the venue all week long and checked out the pictures on the website along with asking for a floor plan. Another big tip is always asked for a floor plan so you can start thinking about where you want your tables to go and food to be placed etc. It really helps when you set up. This was the venue the day before.
The night before I packed up everything. Ticked off the whole list and was pretty excited – and it wasn’t even my party!
There was a lot of stuff – I had a stationary box – scissors, tape, string, pens etc plus all the food, food fridge, drinks, decoration, props and so much more. We packed up 2 cars full.
When I looked on the website there were pictures of other parties and one picture I saw bunting and I knew I had to have bunting at Khillian’s birthday. Also, its one of my favourite decorations. It makes everyone happy, they are cheap and you can always reuse (which we will) and they are just so pretty. So I bought 200 metres from Amazon for £12.99 and we only used 100 metres so we have lots left. Always good to bring extra decoration then less and we had the bunting placed ALL over the hall.
I love props so I made sure I packed lots and to be honest everything was from my house and my mum’s house. We are both hoarders and keep everything from all past parties so when I asked her if she had artificial flowers and baskets she literally gave me 4 picnic bags full. We had a section for the gifts – the big dog is Max and was brought for Khillian when he was 1 (see hoarders). The vases are all mine, the picnic bags are mum’s and I just left them hanging on the wall for effect. The felt board I brought for £9 from Hobbycraft – I have always wanted one and knew we would use it lots after the party and we have.
The balloons I had made from Boutique Balloons Kent – I originally messaged them in the Spring when I was planning Khillian’s party with a different theme to get some costs. When I messaged her 3 days before asking her to make a 2x rain cloud balloons from a image I spotted from Pinterest – she said of course she could. I was happy with the costs and everyone loved them. As the weather ruined our original plan I loved the idea of these balloons. They were delivered before the party and set up and they are still going strong today in the dining room.
It really is all in the details. I used all the props I could to make the venue look like a picnic. I had cupcakes in baskets, lots of gingham (as its also been a favourite print of mine, especially in the summer).
We set up a food table near the kitchen and then a separate table for the kids to eat on near the stage.
We hired a bouncy castle, these bike cars which are amazing and the kids loved them!!!! As well as a big Connect 4 game (which the adults also played on lots). I also went into Hobbycarft and brought this castle for £9 (which was half price). We had a house like this last Christmas which the kids used daily and played with every inch of. You colour it in but you also play in it. All the kids really enjoyed it. I brought lots of markers from the pound shop and baskets to put them in so the kids would not argue over the only red or pink marker.
Another little treat was the face painter I found on Facebook. She was soooooo good and the adults even had a go. She was affordable, available and so nice. She had lots of different looks to offer which I love as its not your standard Spiderman and Dog face paint.
The one thing I always make sure I have for my kids is I have a cake made. I did not expect the cake to go so fast. It was delicious and we shared it out with all the kids and adults. I used my lovely local cake lady to make it. I sent her one picture and told her the flavours I wanted, the size and shape etc and she nailed it. She always does. I was so happy and that is why I always go back. Again – always stick to the theme.
I knew I wanted a number cake – as I didn’t make Khillian one last year. I wanted it to be old skool clean, a little retro and simple. I love the bunting (sticking with the picnic theme) – On top I wanted gold decoration and it was made with sugar snaps inside with added organic vanilla oils to add that super delicious taste. I love it and so did the big man!
We all had a blast and the kids did too and this was the main thing. I do not know how I manage it all in such a short space of time. There is one thing I linked it all too – luck and that was it.
As long as Khillian was happy that is all I cared about. Until the next one. I hope you loved reading about this party post. I do not write them to boast or show off. If you know me you will know I hate attention. I write these posts for inspiration and to show others that you can throw a birthday party on a budget. Stick to the theme and look around. As I always say try and plan in advance. It helps with deliveries but if you cannot, like me this time around – shop around and ask for help. I couldn’t have done it without my mum, husband and family.
We were two very happy but tired parents…