AJ & Adrianas Western Hoedown - Feed Chickens
Kristell in North Las Vegas, NV United States of America
Since both my daughter and Son wanted to have a Pony Birthday Party, I decided we'd combine them and do a Western hoedown. It was their best party yet! I found a nice little ranch here to have the party at. They specialize in kids birthday parties and include the cooking and serving of the food I was going to bring, so it worked perfect. They had goats, and chickens, and ponies, llamas, donkeys etc.. So I figured the kids would love the opportunity to feed the animals, which was a part of it.
Invitations I just took some pictures of them dressed in their cowboy outfits that I had already planned to put on them for their birthday party. I took those pictures and created wanted posters and I put their pictures and gave them western cowboy names Like talk-a-lot Adriana" and "Big Man AJ" and requested a group of cowgirls and cowboys to come help them round the horses in the coral and eat some grub while celebrating their big birthday hoedown. I printed them of paper I had previously dipped in coffee to give them an older look. After I printed them I also burned the edges to give it a worn out look. I rolled them up and tied them with raffia paper and bandana print ribbon and hand delivered them.
Decorations. Well I actually made some wanted posters similar to the invitations but I gave them the "crime" of being too cute too friendly etc. I posted these around the ranch. For centerpieces for the kids tables since the party was in April it was not super hot so I decided to buy some horse head plastic candy molds so that I could make chocolate horse head lollipops for the kids. I made white chocolate horses with pink hair(for girls) and brown horses with dark chocolate for their hair (for boys wrapped them in little clear plastic bags and tied them with red/white checkered ribbon. Later I stuck them in a little flower pot that I had previously prepared by gluing some foam I found at a Goodwill and had topped with Hay(left over from Thanksgiving decorations)to cover it. So it looked like the flowers in the flower pot were chocolate horse heads. Around the outside of the flower pots I hot glued some bandana print ribbon I found at the goodwill also to give them a western look. THESE WERE A HUGE HIT!
I also wrapped and decorated a big box with blue (to represent jeans) tissue paper after cutting 20 circles on it to hold the colorful cones I made with pre-printed bandana print card stock by Martha Stuart I found. (pack is $5 at Walmart) here's a link to more cute ideas with that paper http://www.marthastewart.com/article/bandanna-party . All around I hot glued red bandana ribbon and a thin rope/raffia looking string and topped it with a wooden pre-painted horse I had gotten at Michael's for $.60 cents in the center. I used the cones for homemade caramel popcorn I had a friend make as a treat for when the guests first arrived.
I also got some metal containers and baskets at a goodwill for $.50-$1 which I decorated with bandana ribbon around it and rope string and the horses to match everything else. I later used the metal buckets/containers for all the favors and the baskets for the goody bags. The ranch already had tablecloths in cowboy prints for all the different tables and because it was at a ranch there really was no need for more decorations.
Oh..I also got a Happy Birthday banner with the kids names made at Oriental Trading.com that I hung from the Chuck Wagon they had at the party (which was where the food was cooked and served). At the entrance I also got 2 jumbo white and brown horse balloons which I got from Ebay and personalized them with the kids names and their "race number" (kids birthday #) with balloon letters I had previously gotten at a party store. I also got a white autograph horse for my daughter and a brown autograph horse for my son for all the kids to sign so that my kids could have a keepsake from their birthday party. I put them with the balloons at the entrance table with some cowboy/girl gear for the kids to put on.
Activities We really had a lot of activities thanks to the Ranch they were really open to my ideas. First we had all the kids come and gather and everyone got a little cup of food to go feed the chickens. Then we walked around the corrals and fed hay to all the donkeys llamasgoats (lots of them) and even the ponies. After that this was an option from the ranch so I took it we all went in a little barn and each kid got to carry different gear to prep the ponies for riding. They got to carry ropes brushes blankets saddles etc and then all the kids got to groom the ponies there were 6 kids to a pony (3 on each side) which was great! Then after they did that all the kids got to go ride a pony (after the birthday girl and boy of coarse) After each kid was done riding while the other kids rode they got to go in the goat corral and pet and groom goats Everyone loved this!
After that was lunch and when lunch was done we had them feed the scraps we all put in a bucket to a big fat potbelly pig! The kids got to each pet and take a picture with the pig.. And I don't know why but it was great to them! Games Well we only really played one game because of so much going on with the animals but we did a hay hunt in the barn that I had requested we do. The kids got to search for gold coins(Digging for gold)and later all the kids got a baggie full of chocolate coins for participating and the winner got to keep a piggy bank to put all the gold coins he found and any future "gold" he/she received.
Costumes I went to oriental trading.com and went crazy! I got all the kids bandana hats bandanas and sheriff badges (to use as name tags) for them to all "gear" up.. Which was great because they all matched and coordinated except for my two kids who had their own cowboy/girl gear and so the pictures came out great! These were put in the buckets I decorated with the ribbon and horses and I put them at the entrance to the ranch on a table. Party snacks/food We just had traditional burgers and hot dogs we also had chips and bbq chicken with baked beans and a salad. These were served at the Chuck wagon in some cowboy hats and other themed containers I had found at a local party store on clearance! We had lemonade fruit punch and little water bottles we put in wheelbarrow with lots of ice for people to just grab. It was sooo cute!
Cake The cake I had a friend make. I had a three-tiered cake chocolate vanilla and strawberry. The bottom one was a meadow of horses behind a fence and mountains in the back groundthen between the all the layers there was "cowboy rope" around the tiers. The second tier looked like a pair of jeans and the top was a cow print cake with a red bandana wrapped to the side and in between the two top tiers. On the top was a cowboy hat made out of marsh mellows treats and covered in fondant.
Favors Well aside from all the cowboy gear they got to take home I made them each "loot" bags. I made them out of lunch bags I got at the dollar store and tied with rope string and black/white checkered ribbon (knots for boys and bows for girls). I also got little wooden horse shoes at Michael's for $.25 cents each blackened them on my stove and glued them to the front of the "loot bags" horseshoe up for good luck. Inside I got farm animal tatoos (2 for each child) train sounding wooden whistles a mini western coloring book and crayons activity set stuffed white or brown pony (depending on the sex)a water gun and mini container of play dough. As far as candy I put some chocolate coins cowboy shaped candies and strawberry mint candies that came individually wrapped in bandana print wrappers.I got all of those at Oriental Trading.com and got free shipping too!
Each kid got to keep a horse head chocolate lollipop(from the centerpieces) that was personalized with "thank you for coming to our party" stickers that I made on my printer and later stuck on the clear lollipop baggies. I also made sugar cowboy shaped cookies (cowboy hat horses cactus boot and stars) that I decorated 2 days prior to the party with royal icing. I had put those in a clean plastic baggie as well and tied them with the red/white checkered ribbon too. I passed these out with the "loot bags". They were super cute!
All in all the party was very successful. Kids of all ages came and all of the enjoyed the party. It lasted about 3 1/2 hours and all the kids went home telling their mommy how much fun they had and raving about all the stuff they got. My kids are sill talking about it everyday and it was almost 4 months ago and truthfully I loved the party myself! I was thrilled with how it turned out. I started planning it about 6 months in advance as I usually do because that way I am able to find everything I want have time to plan and find some good bargains too!!! Best luck to all in your party planning. "
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