Birthday Party Planning Fun

I love parties. I love planning parties. I love all of the DIY ideas on pinterest and the internet for making toddler parties spectacular. But I don’t have time for that, and as much as I’d like to have it all look perfect, I have to be honest with myself: no child cares about the food table arrangements, whether the decorations and tableware match the theme and colors, or whether the party favors fit the theme. In fact, many of the adults don’t care either. They are preoccupied with their own children to notice any detail that goes into the party planning.

My daughter’s third party was going to be simple. So let’s talk about what we planned vs. what happened.

Location: February in Portland is ick. There’s no outdoor bday for this one, and since we have a bunch of family and friends to invite, inside the house is not going to work. We decided on the Portland Children’s Museum since we have a membership and the rate is less. We get a party room for up to 33 people for an hour and a half. The guests are welcome to enjoy the museum all day so they can come early to the party or stay late.

What Happened: The location was great, but because of the snow storm we had to re-schedule. Everyone had lots of fun playing. Our family took over the grocery/diner area for a good portion of the afternoon.


Food: Originally I had planned to do a peanut butter and jelly bar filled with different breads, peanut butter, jelly, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, banana slices, shredded coconut, and more for each guest to make their own “dream pb&j”. When our date got changed though, the time had to be changed from lunch to after lunch, so we simplified.

What Happened: We did a veggie tray, apple slices, strawberries, bananas and pretzel sticks with peanut butter, nutella, and marshmallow fluff for dipping. Juice boxes and water to drink. The table was not decorated cleverly or according to any color scheme, but it was still a hit with kids and adults.

Favors: I made mini gummy animal kabobs and added some animal stickers. I’d intended to attack thank you tags that said “thanks for partying like an animal”, but I didn’t. Each mini bag was attached to a helium balloon for the kids to take home.


What Happened: The party favors were each placed in front of each chair at the kiddie table for the guests as they arrived. Instead of taking them home, the kids immediately devoured the candy, sometimes accidentally stealing them from each other. Not sure if anyone got to take a kabob home, but everyone was offered a balloon. Maybe the kabobs needed to be on a separate table, out of the kids’ reach and the balloons could have just been tied to each chair. Helium balloons are a great party favor for toddlers. Didn’t go how I planned, but nobody knew the difference.

The Cake: I wanted a tres leches cake for my daughter’s 3rd bday and because of her Mexican heritage. My sister-in-law helped me out finding a place to get it. I was worried that the cake wouldn’t be big enough for all the guests, so we got cupcakes too for those kids who might not like the cake. I think it was $32 for a quarter sheet.

What Happened: The cake was above and beyond what I’d expected. I wanted a Minnie cake since my daughter loves her. It’s a really thick cake so really small pieces go a long way (about 5″ tall). It also was delicious. My daughter liked her cake, but she was not as impressed with it as I was.


Games: I put together a photo scavenger hunt for parents to play using their children. 01ce4271e8b9120f16f6d77d0002762b9dccd58042What Happened: I wish I could have gotten this out to people the day prior, so people would have a little bit more time. With all the pictures I did get,  I created a slideshow using a free app by Disney called “Story”. It’s a great app, check out the slideshow:

Let me know your sentiments.

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