Train Party -3yr - Train Ride to the Petting Zoo
Michelle in Yorba Linda, Ca, USA
My son was very into trains, so we chose to do a train themed party. We decided that we would invite everyone to meet us at the nearby train station and ride it down to San Juan Capistrano (about 30 minutes away), where there is a petting zoo that rents space for parties, as well as a California Mission and an old town to walk around.
(INVITATIONS) I created invitations on my computer that were cut into the shape of an admission ticket, on one side was a picture of a train and the words Admit One" Meet at Old Town Orange Train Depot Train Leaves at 9:30 am. Party Continues at Zoomars Petting Zoo San Juan Capistrano 10am-1pm. We chug back to the Orange Depot returning at 3:11pm. Please RSVP to reserve your spot!" I included the train prices at the bottom (kids under 5 were free) so parents could choose whether they wanted to pay for the train ride (which they all did!) or just meet us at the petting zoo.
(CAKE) My husband had purchased me a train cupcake pan from Williams Sonoma for Christmas so I used that to make decorated train cars and engines. I also had him cut me a long board 6 inches wide so I could make a 13x9 sheet cake cut in half for a mountain. I did the mountain in chocolate and the cupcakes in white cake so everyone had a choice.
The sheet cake was cut in half lengthwise then cut one at an angle from bottom left corner to top right. I used one of those quarters about halfway down the board to start the ascent up the mountain then stacked the other angled corner on the other half of the cake to continue the ascent.
I borrowed my sister-in-laws decorating kit and used green frosting to make bushes and grass. I used licorice to make the train track and candy M&M's for the rocks. I sprinkled the bare half of the board with cocoa powder and it looked like dirt. The cake came out great although it was time consuming!
(ACTIVITIES) The day of the party we all drove down to the train station with the cake and gifts in my car. As everyone arrived we loaded their gifts and anything else they didn't want to take on the train into my car and they all boarded the train. My husband rode with them on the way down I rode back with them.
Once everyone had arrived for the train ride I drove down to the petting zoo and was there in time for them to help me unload. Since it was still early we let the kids roam around the petting zoo feeding the animals and playing. I had also purchased an oversized book of "Down By the Station" and sang and read that with the kids.
(PARTY SNACKS)Once it got closer to lunch I served sandwich rolls deli meats & cheese (with all the condiments) veggies some fruit applesauce cups and chips. I had used a train shaped cookie cutter on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids. I had also brought an ice chest with juices sodas and waters.
(FAVORS) For the party favors I had gone to US Toy Company and bought wooden train whistles conductor hats and bandanas. I wrapped the hats whistles and some candy in each of the bandanas folded to look like a hobos bag. The kids loved it since they could use it all on the train ride back. Since we only had the petting zoo until 1pm and the train left at 2:40 this left some time for everybody to wander around downtown. This worked out perfect since we had different groups that wanted to see different areas. We all met back up to board the train and my husband drove the car back to the station to meet us.
This was the first train ride for all of the kids and most of the adults so it was a great experience for everybody!"