Monday, December 14, 2009

Lucas's 4th Birthday Party

We hosted a birthday party for Lucas on Saturday and it was AWESOME! I had so much fun planning all the details and everything worked out perfectly!

Since all of Lucas's previous birthdays have been very low-key affairs, held at his grandparents' homes with mostly relatives as guests, we knew we wanted to throw Lucas a birthday party with his friends this year. I also knew that we'd have to hold the party a few weeks before his birthday (who's going to attend a birthday party just a few days before Christmas?) and that I'd be hugely pregnant at the time. I really felt like having a party at our house was out of the question so started researching venues back in October. I quickly settled on the Watkins Nature Center because it allowed the most number of people, was the least expensive, and just sounded like a lot of fun.

We went with a green and brown "wild" theme after I found these kraft paper invitations on clearance at target for $2.08 per pack of 20! My mom made the 4s and frogs on the die cut machine at her school. I just love how they turned out!

I bought a big roll of package wrapping paper and found green plastic tablecloths, paper plates and napkins at Target. Green is a great color choice in December--it's everywhere! We bought one of those one-time-use helium machines for the balloons. Definitely a great invention!

As part of the party package, the nature center provides each child with a coloring book of all the animals at the center. I found 24 packs of crayons on clearance and used the extra frogs to write a thank you message to each guest. Everyone was sent home with a pack of crayons attached to a balloon and a coloring book. They were a hit!

As the guests arrived, they were free to explore the Nature Center. After everyone had arrived we went into a classroom for a special 30 minute "Wild Animal Show" which was very cool. The naturist brought out and taught the kids about crickets and toads (the kids got to watch a toad eat the crickets--a huge hit!), turtles and snakes. The kids got to touch the turtle and snake. I was so impressed with how well the show kept the attention of a big group of 3 and 4 year olds.
Then, we went into the party room for cupcakes. Luckily I had brought a pack of baby wipes so each of the kids could clean their hands before eating. We kept the food very simple. I made cupcakes and had juice boxes for the kids. We had a cooler full of soda and water for the adults.

After a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday to You" Lucas folded his hands and made the most adorable wish (out loud): "I wish everyone could come over to my house."

We decided to wait and have Lucas open the gifts at home so after cupcakes everyone was free to either leave or go back and enjoy the Nature Center. Some left right away and others stayed to explore some more.

Overall this was an excellent party! I loved the super-simple but appropriate brown & green WILD theme and especially loved not having it at our house. Set-up and clean-up was really easy (especially with my parents in attendance to help). We got rave reviews and I really think everyone had a great time!

When I was growing up we had a "friends" birthday party only every other year. I think that would be a great tradition to implement for Lucas and his baby brother, too.

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!


  1. Fun, as well as educational, I love it!

  2. Awesome! I love that smile on Lucas.

  3. good job, supermom! Great party! I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo disappointed I had to miss it.

  4. omigosh! this sounds like it was fantastic! happy birthday lucas! (and i'm totally stealing your idea for when my little guy is older).

  5. wow! i must say that you really did a great job on Lucas's 4th birthday. He really looks very delighted and judging by the way he smile, he really appreciates it. congratulations. a job well done.


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