Reptile Extravaganza -3yr- Reptile Sanctuary Show
Rachael in Mount Joy, PA, USA
I knew that I wanted to do SOMETHING with animals for Aiden's 3rd birthday party... I orignally searched for petting zoos in the area, but couldn't really find anything, especially not for late February/early March... I came across the Reptile Sanctuary and was sold! The organization helps find better homes for unwanted/absued reptiles and also does traveling shows to encourage acceptance and education of all different reptiles. So... I went with it.
The invitations... I like to print invitation from walmart.com as a 4x6 picture. They are only like .15 each and look nice. So, I drew a snake in the shape of a 3, scanned it into my computer, added some color in photoshop and the party information and presto... invites. I used that same image but drew a party hat and added it to the top of the snakes head and the words 3rd Birthday Boy, to make a t-shirt that Aiden could wear at his party.
I searched for party supplies and found Leap Frog Friends, which had an alligator, a snake, a lizard, and a frog on them... PERFECT (even though frogs aren't reptiles). But, of course, this item was no longer available in stores so I had to search party suppliers online and find the best deal. I ended up getting a banner, one table cloth, a centerpiece, dessert plates & napkins and a balloon. The rest I supplemented with Dollar Tree plates and cups, etc.
I then turned my attention toward the tables… I ended up covering them with blue table cloths (Dollar Tree) and I printed out different leaf shapes onto green paper and cut them out. I layed 3 of them on each table and then topped them with different rubber snakes, frogs, and lizards that I found on ebay. I had originally seen these AWESOME curled up rubber snakes at Green Dragon but didn't want to spend the several dollars each that they were asking. My search for a better price led me to ebay and a seller who donates a portion of her profits to local uninsured eldery! Again, perfect. I didn't worry too much about favor bags because I knew that the kids could take some of the snakes and lizards off of the tables as a souveneir from the party.
As far as games I made a pin the tail on the iguana game. I just got some free clipart of an iguana, blew it up using photoshop and cut and pasted" out the tail and then made copies for the kids to pin on. I also bought an alligator ring toss game from Oriental Trading. The kids stood behind a snake line and tried to get as many rings onto the alligators nose as they could.
As prizes for these games I bought giant lollipops from Walmart and the biggest rubber snakes at the party. The third game was a snake pit. I boiled off 4 boxes of spaghetti and coated them with vegetable oil. I tossed them in a big tub that we had with different snakes and lizards. I made a green grass trim and taped it around the top of the tub and that was the snake pit that the kids could dig in.
I also had a craft for the kids to do which ended up being a big success. I bought lizard door knob hangers from Oriental Trading. They came with letter and shape stickers for the kids to use to decorate the lizards. I just brought with some markers so that they could color their own designs too!
The entertainment was the Forgotten Friends reptile show which lasted about an hour. The first 35 minutes was an educational show that was completely awesome and geared toward the kids that were present at our party. We got to see several snakes a tortoise an alligator different lizards and iguana snake eggs a snake skin turtle shell etc…
After the show was over whoever was brave enough could hold the corn snakes!!! SO COOL!!! The kids really seemed to have a good time and I felt great about supporting this organization. It also helped to ease my "fear" of snakes. Especially since the one that I got to hold was an incredible salmon color!
The food was a mix of everything delicious! My family is great about doing pot luck style so I didn't have to provide everything for our guests. We had everything from meatballs & hotdogs to taco dip potato salad fruit to ring bologna & cheese. YUM!
But the cake… might be my greatest achievement. I made a snake cake for the party. I used bundt pans and cut them in half. I assembled them back together alternating the direction of the curves to simulate a slithering snake. I then used some of the trimmings to sculpt the head and tapered tail. I bought some icing from my local grocery store and my piping bag to strategically apply the right colors to create our GRAY BANDED KING SNAKE. I used google craft eyes and a fruit roll up for the tongue. I placed the cake on an IKEA shelf that I had covered with aluminum foil and scattered green Easter grass around to give a cool look.
As an added favor my Mom ordered cookies with Aiden's picture printed on them which were super cute and served as another little favor for the kids to take with them. We planned the party from 12-4 which ended up being a perfect time and we got to enjoy all of our activities with minimal rushing and stress! I am so glad that things turned out well and our theme was definitely a success! Aiden seemed to have fun and it was a lot of fun although sometimes overwhelming to go all out and do something special for my little guy!!! "
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