Names: Linus, Oliver, and Miles (5)
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
As my boys have gotten older, birthday parties have gotten a little trickier. For the first time, they are in separate classes at school, but are still getting to know everyone, so I opted to invite everyone. That's sixty kids, plus our non-school friends. And parents. Since we were looking at such a giant party, I kept things very simple. I was lucky that when I asked the boys what theme they wanted, Linus answered "trains", Oliver said, "rocket ships" and Miles replied, "race cars". So a transportation theme it was!
With so many kids, I opted to use Evites, and created them using graphics I purchased from Etsy. We actually had four invitations to keep track of - one for each boy, and one for friends of all three. That was probably the most complicated part of the whole party.
For activities, we kept it very simple. We were having the party at a neighborhood park, so I ordered a bunch of outdoor toys from Oriental Trading. Balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, a parachute, and more. With the playset and swings already at the park, we were set, activity-wise.
Decorations were fairly minimal. Each boy had his own table decorated with his name and his theme, for his gifts, and I put up the felt pennant banner I made for their first birthday, along with some balloons. Cupcakes were purchased at a local warehouse store and we of course sang Happy Birthday three times.
Because of the number of guests, food was kept simple. Chips, hot dogs, and a vegetable platter seemed to keep everyone satisfied, along with bottled water and juice for the kids.
For favors, I had personalized stadium cups printed out. This is New Orleans, so I fully expect they'll be utilized at Mardi Gras, if nothing else!
A few days before the party, Linus asked what kind of pinata they were going to have. A pinata with a line of fifty or more kids? I didn't think it would be a good idea, but reasoned that if we did it at the end, some of the guests wouldn't be there anymore. That didn't really happen, but fortunately, it wasn't as chaotic as I envisioned.
Of everything I planned for the party, the smartest choice I made was to hire a local photographer to capture the event. Even though photography is one of my hobbies, it was so nice to be able to enjoy the party and not stress about getting photos of everything.
Next year, when the boys turn six, I expect them to have a few special friends each to invite to a much smaller party, but we had a great time this year!
(Images: Anna Rowland)