Some may say I went a teeny bit overboard thinking through all of the details for Asher's first birthday party. But, you know, he'll only turn one once. And this is probably the only year I'll get to really do everything I want without the insertion of Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the like.
So, I took several months, gathered things as they went on sale, or as ideas popped into my head. I kept the party on a tight budget and I'm really happy with how things turned out. Such a sweet day, with sweet memories.
Asher, doodlebug, this Party in the Park was just for you. With all the things and people you love. And your momma's love baked into every, single detail.
Location: Glen Eden Pilot Park
Asher loves the outdoors. And swinging. And sand. And exploring. So, this little park hidden away near our neighborhood was the perfect location. After parking, the guests had to meander down the greenway trails, over a bridge and past the playground. Landing at our picnic shelter hidden in the trees.
Several months back, I was approached by the nice people at BuildaSign.com about creating a sign on their site. I remember my mom putting up a birthday banner anytime there was a birthday in our home. I wanted to continue that tradition for Asher. So, I was thrilled when I logged into BuildaSign.com and was able to design a giant birthday sign just for us. I chose the words 'It's a Kroboth Birthday' so we can use the banner for each of the members of our family for many years. We hung this sign in our front yard the night before Asher's birthday and throughout the week. I was big, but it made a statement. I like that about it. For the party, we hung the banner from the trees, near the little bridge, to greet our guests.
Menu: Asher's favorite things
Patty cake from Harris Teeter (eVic customers get kid's first birthday patty cake for free!). I added the sprinkles for color and the Ritz cracker because they are Asher's favorite. Watermelon chunks. Ritz crackers and cheese ball (rolled in bacon bits instead of nuts). Lemonade.
(Editor's note: We had some discussion about the free cake at Harris Teeter on the Go Ask Mom Facebook page. While the website says the deal expired in 2007, it is still valid. Just be sure you're an eVic customer and go to the bakery section at your local Harris Teeter for details).
Decor: Touch of home with a burst of color
For tablecloths, I used my grandma's quilts. They made me feel like she was a part of the day. I wanted the picnic shelter to feel like home.
I hung paper lanterns from the beams above us. A birthday banner at the entrance. And a long clothesline of canvas goodie bags along the back.
The goodie bags were a fun project. We used Asher's feet and stamps to create outdoor images on the bags for each of our guests. The kids' bags were filled with fun park playthings like bubbles, punch balloons and squirt guns.
We had sidewalk chalk available for coloring, a bubble machine for playing (this thing created a bubble blizzard, for real), blankets for the babies and balls for tossing. Handmade pinwheels (from Etsy, where else?) topped the tables and others danced along the sidewalk.
The wagon from my childhood made its way to Raleigh to hold gifts. And after present time, wheeled all the babies around the park.
It was a beautiful day. With beautiful people. A beautiful birthday boy. And beautiful memories.
See more photos and links on the original post on Kira's blog Grits, Grins and Gripes. Kira is the mom of one in Raleigh. Find her here from time to time on Go Ask Mom.