Last September I took my children to Fox Hollow Farm to get some fresh air and spend time with some animal friends they don’t normally get to see. We live in the Seattle area so horses, bunnies, chickens, pigs, and goats are somewhat of a novelty for my family. The children had such a wonderful time with the animals that I knew right away this was the perfect venue for their 4th birthday.
Theme – A Day on the Farm
Decorations – Although party invitations are not technically a decoration, I am a little old school when it comes to parties and really enjoy a paper invitation that sets the tone for the party to come. I saw an idea from Jenny Cookies using invitations, burlap, straw, and bandanas and decided to make a small adjustment and use this idea for my invitations. Thank you to Less Ordinary Designs http://lessordinarydesigns.blogspot.com/ for creating such a sweet invitation for us! We used this invitation option for our hand delivered invitations and came up with a modified mail friendly version for those we needed to mail.
The great thing about a venue like this is the decorations required are minimal. The farm itself with the animals and the garden and the bright red train and train depot are wonderful just as they are. Because we live in Seattle, I had to assume it would be rainy even though the party was scheduled for mid-June. Due to the rain factor, I arranged in advance to have the party set up indoors. The train depot on the farm was the perfect location with 3 large picnic style tables and a rustic farm feel. I selected red tablecloths with a layered burlap table runner and inexpensive red bandanas. For fun I mimicked an idea I saw on Jenny Cookies http://jennycookies.com/ with a cute rustic looking bathroom cabinet with a chicken wire front and filled it with wind up yellow chicks that I found at the Dollar Tree during the Easter season. I added things like apple bushel baskets and wire baskets for snack serving bowls and picked up red plastic chicken feeders at a farm supply store and filled these with candy to add to the table decorations. I used egg cartons to display mini cupcakes and add to the farm fresh party theme.
Food and Beverage – For the food and beverage, I wanted to tie in farm and the idea of farm fresh or country fair so I went with a very basic food menu leveraging the hot dogs the farm provided and adding bags of chips, juice boxes, water, and watermelon. For dessert I wanted easy grab and go options because I knew the kids would want to explore the farm and wouldn’t want to sit through a cake cutting process. I took a cue from the popular dessert tables and offered mini cupcakes with fondant farm animal toppers, mini apple and berry pies, barn and chick shaped sugar cookies and a small themed birthday cake. I owe a special word of thanks to my mom and cousin for happily agreeing to bake 24 mini pies and travel nearly 300 miles to deliver the pies for the party. I also owe a special thank you to Megan and Lady Yum Confections http://www.ladyyum.com/ for creating such a special birthday cake.
Activity – The farm has so many different animals and things to do that I didn’t need to plan any additional activities. The only thing I added was a pony ride option for all of the children. The rest of the fun just came with the farm party package.
Favors – Again, although party favors aren’t really a decoration, like the invitation I feel like the favor is the parting gift to leave that final impression as your guests leave the party. It’s a little something special for my children to say thank you to everyone who came out to share their special day. I found egg cartons and green berry baskets on Etsy and filled the baskets with red crinkle cut filler paper and an assortment of small candies, farm related finger puppets, stickers, and other little goodies. I tied the baskets in cellophane, tied with a ribbon, and included a thank you note that coordinated with the party invitation from Less Ordinary Designs. The favors were a cute addition to the party décor and seemed to be well received by the children.