Following on theme with the cake smash (read detailed post here) that we had done, our baby partied with his friends at Jungle Joe’s.
Theme – Like I mentioned in my post on cake smash, we had chosen “Jungle” as the theme based on the things that we as a family had landed up liking through the year.
Venue – Depending on the time of the year, choose a venue wisely. More than anything else, make sure your baby & your family will be comfortable. Choose to do it at home if the space permits. But remember that it can get difficult to engage kids in a space like home, especially if you have kids of different ages. An outdoor area like a park might be a more economical idea but remember that weather is always unpredictable so ensure you choose this only if you are very sure of how it will be.
Based on our theme, we managed to find the perfect venue partner at Jungle Joe’s, Frisco. They have a large Jungle play structure that can keep kids entertained for hours! With free Wi-Fi & a cute little cafe, parents can sit back & relax while the kids are at play. There is also an exclusive play area for the littler ones. We’ve enjoyed this indoor play area that is perfect for peak summers as well as colder weathers. Do check them out here and tell them I sent you!
Timing – The timing & duration of the party has to be based on baby’s nap schedule. Ensure the baby is well rested before the party to ensure maximum excitement & participation. I always recommend my friends to avoid evenings for any kids activities – they get so exhausted through the day and invariably land up being cranky at the end of the day. Stick to late mornings or afternoons.
Outfits for the bday kid – I wanted to ensure he is very comfortable in what he is wearing. So definitely no awkward costume. Since he is a runner, it had to be a comfortable onesie.
The cake – The cake had to be perfect and I found the absolute perfect person to make our cake. It is the centre piece of the party and can be as big or small as you wish. Make sure to mention the number of guests to the baker and ask them to recommend the right size for your party. Look up a variety of ideas on Pinterest and discuss what you want well in advance based on the budget and time schedule. We got ours done by Randi at Scucakes who was absolutely delightful!.
Decorations – We were lucky that the venue had provided wonderful decorations. What I love about Jungle Joe’s is their owner & staff have been absolutely fantastic with the kids and have thought through needs so well. Decorations could include balloons, chalkboard, Piñata, masks, party hats etc. Amazon or Party city would be able to fulfill most of your needs here. I got a fantastic chalkboard print done for less than $5 by an Etsy store. Here is their link – you are welcome!
Cake smash – We did the cake smash a week earlier. You can also have a smash cake on the day of the birthday but knowing my hyperactive, I din’t want to take a risk! Read all about it in this post, if you haven’t already!
Photography – Take help of friends who might be happy to click your photos, videos & boomerangs 😀
Invitations – though I wanted to get some really cute invitation cards printed out, I was quite practical. I used Punchbowl to send e-invites so that I could also track RSVPs. Send a save the the date at least a month in advance and send the invites (or e-invites) at least 2 weeks in advance. Give them some time to RSVP and follow up if needed.
Party favors -I wanted the favors to be useful and fun for the kids. I stumbled upon a fantastic site Party Palooza. They have favors and decorations of all kinds and have a wonderful customer support team as well. I found all the items to be good quality for an excellent price, and they had everything on-theme as I had wished. Do give them a try!
Activities for kids and parents – Make sure to plan something for the kids and parents as well. Remember that kids of different ages may or may not play with each other so you might want to consider calling them at different times of the day or have a couple of separate parties. If you want to avoid the hassle, book a play area like we did and the kids will enjoy interacting with the space all by themselves.
Some quality family time – Our birthday was on a Monday so we celebrated the previous day so that all our friends & family could make it. This also gave us an entire day to spend on the actual birthday with our baby and get some quality family time without the hassle of the party.
Eat and feed before the party – A must. Weather you need to nurse or feed or snack, do it an hour before the party. And of course, do it before the outfit goes on.
On this wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank our family & friends like family who have supported us throughout our journey. Thank you for adding so much value in our lives and making this journey so enjoyable. You know who you all are!
Let me know how you spent your baby’s birthday and what are the special traditions that you may have.
I’ve had a hard drive crash and I have no access to ALL my photos 😦 I will update this post once I can recover my data. Experts – any & all recommendations are welcome!