Idea No.

5288

Cowboy Party -3yr- Hay Rides

Award

Date

Dec 2002

From

Michele in Pearland, Texas, U.S.A.

Special Mention

Cowboy Party

Texans are very proud of their heritage.  So I was so excited to do a cowboy themed shindig for my son's 3rd birthday! 

We all dressed for the occasion.  I wore jeans, boots and a Texas flag cowgirl shirt.  My husband wore jeans and a plaid flannel shirt, and our baby was dressed in overalls. Alexander, our birthday boy, was decked out in jeans, snake-skinned cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, a bandana, a western fringed vest, and fringed chaps.  The vest and chaps were made by a neighbor who is a seamstress.  It was made using brown boat vinyl which looks like leather (but way cheaper!!!)  I found a bronze sheriff badge that read "Sheriff Alex" that we pinned to my son's vest.  He looked like the cutest little buckaroo in the wild, wild west!!! 

The party invitation was printed on paper that had a barn and 2 horses on it.  I printed the invitation using a font that looks like rope.  The invitation read:  Yippee Ki Yea...It's Alexander's 3rd Birthday!  Round up yer cowhide and head fer the door.  There'll be a pony to ride, games to play & grub galore!  Mosesy on over Saturday, March 9th at 11:00.  Follow the dusty trail to our corral (list address).  Then at the bottom of the invitation for R.S.V.P. info. I put-Y'all holler at my mama, ya hear...(list phone number). 

The party was at our neighborhood park so there was not much need for decorations.  The park had wooden picnic tables which were perfect for the occasion and gave a little rustic feel.  My husband constructed a 3 ft. wide by 5 ft. long chuck wagon.  It was made of wood and he even carved out wheels to attach to it.  The canopy to the chuck wagon was made of red bandana material and was attached by drilling 1/2" PVC pipe into the base of the chuck wagon.  We let everyone put their gifts in the chuck wagon and Alexander sat in it when it was time to open all the gifts.  The park also has a large open easement which is were we did all the activities. 

The following were the activities at the party: 

(1)  Ride cowboy, ride!  No cowboy is complete without horses on his ranch!  So of course, we provided a saddled- up pony for all our party guests to ride.  We rented the pony for a little over an hour.  An attendant was there for the duration to help get the kids on and off the pony and he walked along side guiding the pony by it's bridle.  This was nice not only for safety reasons, but it didn't require any parents to help.  Instead they were able to enjoy the excitement of all the children.  It was plenty of time for all the little cowpokes to get several rides. 

(2)  Hayrides.  We filled a tractor trailer full of hay bails and attached the trailer to a four wheeler.  The kids loved taking the hayride and it eliminated any lines waiting to ride the pony. 

(3)  Bean bag toss.  I took the extra bandana material from making the chuck wagon and made bean bags.  I had 3 adult sized cowboy hats that the kids could toss the bean bags into. 

(4)  Pin the tail on the horse. 

The grub we served was hot dogs, ranch style baked beans, and corn chips.  The cake was decorated to match the invitations. 

I have a small stationery business so I printed each guest a set of personalized stationery that had a cowboy or cowgirl in overalls & cowboy hat riding a stick horse for the party favors.  The stationery was packaged in a clear goody bag and tied with twine.  Then I wrapped a red bandana around each goody bag.  The favors were a huge hit with the parents. 

I think we all get tired of junk and candy!!!  I used the same stationery to do Alexander's thank-you's.  I made sure during the party to get a picture of each child on the horse and/or on the hayride.  We enclosed the pictures in each thank-you.  Our son still talks about his special day.  Every time he sees a horse he calls them a "birthday party horsey"!  It was a rip roarin' good ole' time that we'll always cherish!

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