We were trying to decide between doing a "Thomas" party, a Curious George party or a "Sports" themed party. In our area, most of the places that you take kids to and throw parties at cost upwards of $600 for just the facility. We decided to organize the party at a local park. Knowing that yes, we would have to share the facility with whoever else comes, but thankfully, it's a fairly private park in our neighborhood.
I decided to make a baseball and basketball cake and just used some round cake forms I got from Michaels (using the 40% off coupon, of course). One week before the party, I did a "trial run" to see how the cake forms worked. My husband and son were happy to "tast
e-test". Pictures will be included soon (I am experiencing some type of technical glitch at this moment).
I also made cupcakes and decorated them easily with store-bought frosting and red icing. I'm no Martha Stewart, and the time it would have taken to make homemade frosting would have stressed me out too much.
I made humus and harissa from Food Network earlier in the week to supplement the meal for the kids and adults. We also had peppers, carrots and veggie chips and quinoa tortilla chips. I pre-ordered pizza and pizza rolls and got 30% off the pizza because I ordered it online.
For favors, we got bats and balls and big balls to play with. My husband and Dad set up hockey nets, T -all, soccer and more at the park for the kids to play, as well as the playground that had two different play sets for older and younger kids.
The tablecloths were from the party store and looked like basketball courts. We also got a football, soccer, baseball and basketball balloons. We put two on the wagon for the parade to the park and two at the picnic tables at the park so everyone would know where to go.
My son loved the party and we tried to keep it as budget friendly as possible. Expectations for a 3 year-olds first birthday party are fortunately not set too high and we tried to keep it as casual as possible.
It was also a great opportunity for all the parents to get together and relax. The conversation got into how daycare is a magical place where our children eat vegetables and take long naps. We laughed about that for a while and discussed other topics. I somehow brought up a "confession" that my son hates to change out of his pajamas and confessed that not only do I send him to school in pajama tops sometimes, but sometimes I actually dress him the night before in the outfit I want him to wear the next morning to make for an easier morning. I choose my battles, I said. My husband would have been embarrassed if he had heard my confession. It then came out that every parent at the table I was sitting at agreed that they do the same thing and were relieved to know it was a "normal" battle and parenting tactic. I made sure to inform my husband that we were not being judged.