Summer birthday parties can be so much fun but for parents of school-aged children, they are still a lot of work. Fret not as I found the hack to create not just a memorable summer birthday party but also make it easy for the host. How do I know? I just threw the BEST PARTY for my son's 10th year and I mean, it was THE BEST, even though it rained! Can't wait to know more? Let me share how you can throw just as good or even better birthday parties for your loved ones who have birthdays in summer.
Neighborhood parks are an amazing location for birthday parties. We chose a neighborhood park in Littleton, CO for my boy's big day and we couldn't be happier with our choice. This park had a fabulous playground and it was in a neighborhood, hence, was not busy at all. The people who were at the park when we arrived were friendly and kind and they loved sharing the park with us. Best of all, it was free. (We did contact the association that manages the park in advance so we knew what the regulations and fees were and we were delighted to learn that it was free). The park had a decent-sized lawn and we were able to place picnic blankets and camping chairs on the lawn so parents could watch their kids play in the playground. We also put up a canopy that served as a rain shelter for a number of kids and they loved it.
We all know, that eating at a park is not the simplest task so we decided on finger food that was healthy and still fun to eat. Though we had considered hotdogs, burgers, BBQ, sandwiches, and more, we finally decided on individually portioned vegetable and fruit cups along with snack-size chips and crackers. On the morning of the party (yes, you read that right), we had fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to our house (thank you Costco). Washing them and cutting them into small pieces took about 30 minutes. After that, we packed the fruits and vegetables in separate containers and in an insulated bag. We also packed the snacks. We were ready to go.
Protip 1: Do not mix the fruit or the vegetables until you arrive at the location to prep for serving. Otherwise, they might bleed on one another and that is never pretty!
Protip 2: We chose to get cupcakes instead of a regular birthday cake. Again, for us, it was all about what was easy and convenient. With cupcakes, kids can choose their own and throw away the wrapper. No need for a paper plate or utensils and you don't have to deal with the leftover mess. You also don't need to designate a "cutter". You can buy cupcakes from fancy bakeries or grocery stores. Even though they could a bit pricier than a generic birthday cake, the convenience factor makes it all worth it.
I place a HUGE value on the setup and food presentation. With the help of two amazing Call Emmy Fairies who met us at the park a little bit before guests were expected to arrive, we were able to unload the car and get set up in no time. My Call Emmy Fairies, Jamie and Taz, made really cute fruit and vegetable cups with what I had prepped at home. They decorated the table beautifully, iced the drinks, and made what could have easily been a stressful and hard process into one that was fun and joyous. The whole thing took less than 30 minutes to set up and it looked as though someone had worked hours on it. It was inviting, classy and beautiful.
When I asked my son if we should buy things for kids to play with, he said: "No! We will play on the playground or we will invent our own game." That is exactly what happened. The kids, all 16 of them, ran around, climbed up structures, played silly games, and had a blast. The adults were so happy to see the kids entertained and happy. All the while, our amazing Fairies, Jamie and Taz, kept everything running so smoothly. They served the guests, kept an eye on the kids (they do babysitting for Call Emmy also), kept the food trays full, and made sure everywhere was litter-free. I, as the host, could just enjoy mingling and watching everyone have such a great time. What a joy!
After everyone left, and of course every single guest commented on what an amazing party it was, with the help of Taz and Jamie, cleanup was a breeze. It may have taken 20 minutes to get everything cleaned up and loaded into the car. Taz and Jamie insisted that we sit down and relax and not do anything. We did! I was so glad to have made the decision to get help. As the result, I so much enjoyed the party and counted my blessings for seeing my son grow into such a young fine man. We took one last photo before we left the park. On our way home, my son said: "This was such an amazing party. Thank you, mommy." And my heart melted.
In Summary: Hacks For a Great Summer Birthday Party
- Have the party at a neighborhood park. Avoid city parks or busy touristy parks.
- Buy the food items that are easy to eat. Fruit-cups, vegetable cups, snack-sized chips, or crackers are ideal. Avoid serving messy things that require a dozen napkins such as burgers, BBQ, hotdogs, etc.
- Serve birthday cupcakes instead of a birthday cake.
- Hire help! Did you know that you can hire helpers for your party by booking the service with Call Emmy. You can thank me later!
- Pay attention to food presentation and decore. Have fresh flowers, colorful table cloth, and a visually appealing display of food. Remember that people eat with their eyes first, (or something like that)!
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