Idea No.

5577

Train Party -2yr - Hobo Goodie Bags

Award

Date

Jan 2003

From

Terri in Metairie, LA   USA

Special Mention

Train Party

Gregory’s Train Party

For my sons 2nd birthday, we decided that a train party would be the ideal choice for his party this year since he is into trains.  We had his party at a quaint little park in our area that had a train that went around the adorable park.   This park is extra neat as it has old New Orleans memorabilia from our old Pontchartrain Beach amusement park that is no longer in existence.     At the old amusement park we use to have a roller coaster ride called the Zephyr. 

The white wooden rails with the Zephyr sign were donated to this park along with another hut from the old Pontchartrain Beach amusement park.  The train departs from the area with the Zephyr sign so for all the parents that bring the kids to the park to ride the train, it is a blast from the past.    I started to plan my son’s party back in July so we had about 6 months to prepare. 

Invitations: The invitations that I found were just adorable.  They were two die cut pieces of the engine and the caboose behind it.  The invitations were tied together by ribbon (invites by Cross my heart).  The invitations contained all the usual party info and also told the children to wear their favorite overalls.  I also enclosed directions and special instructions for the guest of where to go upon the arrival to get the party favors that were needed for the party.  I purchased clear envelopes online and placed the die cut invitations in them.  They looked great and it was something different to receive in the mail.  I received lots of compliments on the invitations.

Favors:  Over the summer, I found at an Oshkosh outlet store conductor caps for boys (blue striped caps) and girls (pink striped caps).  These specific caps were being discontinued so I lucked out and was able to purchase the caps at a discounted price. I also found some wooden train whistles at a good price so I went ahead and got those as well for the kids.  Since they had the caps and the whistles all they would need from there were the bandanas to complete their conductor attire. I located pink bandanas for the girls and red ones for the boys.

I packaged the caps and whistles inside the bandanas and tied them to wooden sticks like hobo bags. Each bag was individually labeled with each child guest name and I stenciled each tag with a train as well.    We also gave each child a coloring book sent to us complimentary from Operation Lifesaver.  

Ticket booth: We made a ticket booth out of a refrigerator box.  I cut a window out in the front and had an opening in the back to be able to enter/exit the ticket booth.  We painted the booth a dark royal blue and made a banner sign that said tickets.    Upon the arrival of the guest, they were instructed on the invitation that they were to go to the ticket booth upon arrival to the park shelter.  As the children arrived, they went to the booth to get their favors so they could complete their conductor ensemble. 

On the invitations, I also indicated that the children should wear their favorite overalls.  At the ticket booth, each guest was asked to fill out a ticket with the child’s name and put into a bucket.  My oldest daughter (5 yrs old) helped my 2 cousins give out the favors so this all went over very smoothly. 

Towards the end of the party, we had a drawing of names from the tickets filled out earlier.  We had 3 train puzzles for prizes and 2 tickets to a variety of museums in the area close to the park (includes the train museum).  I contacted the information center in the city that the party was being held in which also happen to be in the area of museums.  The city submitted to me 2 complimentary tickets to all the museums in the area.  It was a $30.00 value, which was a very nice prize.     Since the invitations were in primary colors, I went with the red, royal blue and yellow color theme.  

Menu:  The cake was beautiful. I had a French baker located in the French Quarter in New Orleans make a chocolate do Berge cake.  The exterior of the cake was white and had an all chocolate train track on the top.   On top of the track, we put a name train on it.  My sons name is Gregory so the engine and wooden letters of his name w/ wheels and then the caboose were put on top of the cake. Each letter was linked together on the train with magnets like the wooden train sets that you purchase. I found the name train at Cracker Barrell.   The baker ended up making marzipan wheels to put on the sides of the cake to match the invitations. The cake was fabulous! 

We also served choo choo  kastle burgers (small New Orleans style burgers), a tray of king cake donuts, toot toot hot dogs, chugga chugga chex mix with mini m&ms, fruit tray, chicken potato salad, cheddar fish chips, 7 layer dip, cream cheese pecan roll, hot chocolate w/ marshmallows, hazelnut coffee, kid drinks, soft drinks, wine and bottled water. We also had some wet-ones handy for cleaning up the hands and faces of the little ones.  

The kids really enjoyed themselves.  They ended up having to bundle up as it was in the 50s but with the breeze it felt cool. We had a great turn-out and everyone enjoyed the party. I received lots of compliments on all the details noted for the party. The help received from family and friends was also priceless and helped keep everything running smoothly.   My recommendation on party planning is to plan ahead.  The more time you have the better!

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