Safari Party -1yr- Hummer Cake
Theresa in Matthews, North Carolina
First Birthday Safari First of all, it all started months before as my girlfriend and I held a pow-wow to get a theme together for my sons birthday. It had to be outside as his first birthday would be in July and thank goodness for good weather in NC! After deciding on a theme of a Safari (we call my son Monkey), the time started ticking!
INVITATIONS: I ordered the invitations, which had a monkey hanging on it, that I put a little dot of glue on for the pom-pom on each monkeys hat. The saying read, Friends of the jungle have gathered to say, please join us in Celebrating Billys First Birthday! I ordered the time to be from Noon until Nap, and to RSVP to the Zoo Keepers.
OUTFIT: For my son, I special ordered an outfit from the San Deigo Zoo of a zoo keepers uniform it was PRECIOUS! Plus I had a back-up (after cake) of a brown onsie that I found that said Mane Man with a Lion on it with another pair of Khaki shorts. We asked everyone to dress in Jungle attire!
CAKE: His cake was a Hummer, which they made with a 3-D effect, with Rice Krispy treat wheels, mud included (!), with cookie leaves around, and great detail (CitySweets.com) and the license plate read wild one! His special, own cake was a monkey face, same as that from the invite. As for the day of the party the prep started the week before, with hanging all the indoor items.
DECORATIONS: On each window I had a plastic window treatment that look tropical, (party city) we also started doing some of the prep cooking then too. All along the route to the house my niece and I put out 3 balloons to EVERY turn to get to us, in either direction the guests were SURE to know miles before where the party was! From talking to some of the guests it really let the party begin to them when they saw the balloons many miles prior to our house!. Black, white and zebra balloons were the only colors I had outside the house..
As you approached the house I had Steve Erwins cutout which spoke to you as you motioned to the front door. (Danger, Danger Danger or Wow that's a big Croc!) Welcoming the guests. Just inside I had hung taffeta with signs like don't feed the animals, Beware of lions, Welcome to the Safari all with the zebra background on the paper. We wrapped the columns of the dining room and living room in zebra chenille I also labeled the bathroom the latrine! I had the elephant cardboard cutout that made sound as you went by, a loin and a tiger they were GREAT! I scattered them through the house and caught people off guard. Remember you are in the jungle!
As guests were coming in I had my other Niece welcome them in her official shirt (the back read, Staff, front had the logo for billys safari team) and give them all a name tag (this helped as I had over 100 people along with children) The name tags were from Oriental trading.
FOOD: Each guest was told that the food was hot and ready, help themselves and drinks were towards the back of the house. We had food like mac and cheese, chicken Marcella, penna ala vodka, Sausage and peppers, Caesar salad, fruit and veggie trays. (My husband is a chef so he prepared for days!, If I had more time (and I was preparing for 3 months, at least!!!) I would have named them safari properly) I had draped the back room of our house in zebra Chenille (who else would have bought it?) that I staple gunned to walls to look like a safari tent. Also each table out side and in had either zebra or tiger stripped Chenille on them, which really brought things together with the balloons.
I had balloons delivered, 24 dozen, if you EVER want it to look like a party or spend money in one place for without too much decorations, have balloons! I had 5-7 on every fence post around the back yard, which screamed party! I also ordered a special foyer centerpiece that hung in the 2 story foyer for all to see as they came up, many of them with Madagascar and Zebra and white and black balloons.
For each table, I saw in the $1 bins, months before Monkey cloth book holders (with wood x's as the base) I bought enough for each table and had balloons coming out of each one. I had napkins with the Madagascar faces, (they didn't have the name of the movie on them so I was okay with that). I had corresponding plate colors (bright green and blue were the only other colors then black and white).
GAMES: The games for the kids I had were 3-D pin the tail on the donkey (blown up, from Oriental trading very cute!), a jumpy outside and lots of play toys on the floor in the den for little ones (many kids weren't even walking yet) I did put all my sons toys away and only put out the stuffed animals or toys that had to do with a safari.
CHILD GIFT BAG: Each child was given a gift bag with the safari theme all had one of the following: a blow up ball, water push toy, jumpy spring action animal toy, animal crackers, bubbles with a monkey on top, safari stickers, (all from Oriental trading) rubber safari animals (from toys r us), they could chew on and not get hurt., each got a big and small one. I had tables, tents and seating set up out side, with a huge banner with animals on it and it said Happy Birthday Billy that I ordered from the internet.
ADULT GIFT: Each Adult left with one of two things, the Male adults got a candle I found that was quite masculine at Hobby Lobby that had a safari label on it that I wrapped in zebra tissue paper and the women received a warmer scent of mangos wrapped in tiger tissue paper, both tied with the taffeta. Due to time and money (I spent about 2k on the decorations and gifts, but it was worth it!) I was unable to do the things like the Palm Trees out of Carpet Roll Cardboard and other ideas on site that were WONDERFUL, but all in all I think we were a hit!
GIFTS: I went back and forth, but didn't NOT open gifts with all 100 plus people there it would have been too much, and a smart idea I realize now. We opened them quietly and without craziness and it allowed for better thank you notes to say how he loved/played with things. I am writing this because this site helped me tremendously with ideas and thoughts for this party and I'm excited to start planning Birthday number TWO! I hope this inspires someone else to help make
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