1st Birthday Party dilemma... Games? Food? Location? Help :|

Mindy - posted on 05/01/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My son will be one in two weeks & I'm starting to stress over his birthday party. I still don't have an exact location set. I live in an apartment & there's no room for a party here. I was thinking maybe a park where the children can play & the adults can mingle over lunch. The party is mainly adults & the children that will be coming are between the ages 2-16. Should I play games at the party? If so, which ones? Any ideas for what should served for lunch? Also, if anyone knows of good inexpensive ideas on where to host that would be great too! Thank you!! :)

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Meg - posted on 05/04/2011

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My son has a June Birthday. We had it in our yard. A park will do fine. Keep it simple. If you have to do it indoors then clear out an area for the little ones to play in. Birthday parties are fun. If you are too stressed, then it can spread to others.

Raychel - posted on 05/03/2011

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We had my sons first at the local park. We didnt rent the pavilion (SP?) we just had it at a set of tables and brought extra chairs. My husband did hotdogs and burgers, we had chips and drinks and a cake. The kids were able to play and we didnt have to make up any games. it was tons of fun.

Becky - posted on 05/01/2011

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My best friend has always had her son's parties at her house & spends the whole day running around doing everything & not enjoying her son's birthday. So when it was my daughter's 1st birthday I decided to have it at a park & asked everyone to bring a plate of food to share. We kept it fairly simple & provided the drinks, the cake & made some food. Someone bought a fruit plate & this was a huge success with adults & kids. Decorations were minimal as it was outside & there was no big clean up. Some balloons, party hats & simple games like 'pass-the-parcel' would be good for the kids but I found that the kids were happy to just run around in the playground together. I hope you & your family have a lovely day celebrating your son's 1st birthday.

Jane - posted on 05/01/2011

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speaking from experience, keep it simple. i suggest a bbq or pizza and cake. it's more of a milestone for you than your child. so do what makes it easiest and most affordable. a park is a great place. very simple and easy clean up. i'd rather do that or go t a pizza parlor than to worry about hosting and cleaning before and cleaning after. the only thing you really need to do is make little party bags or party favors. those can be bought at iParty. that and a pinata should do the trick.

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√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 05/04/2011

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Yesssssss you have to be excited to get the kids excited! So be happy.

Hollie - posted on 05/03/2011

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park would be a great idea..just depending onthe weather cook out hot dogs cheeseburgers/ hamburgers plus the kids can play and run around (not at your apt getting it all messy lol)...I like to play cake walk, i use hostess ho ho's and stop the music and stand on a number - we had 7 kids playing so we used 10 cards number the Notebook size paper 1 -10 which ever child stopped on that number (we drew a number) that child would win a prize.

we also bought a plain jar, counted peanut butter m&ms in them (fills the jar up quicker they are bigger) I went around got everyones' esitimation and whoever came closer (like the price is right) without "going over," won the jar!~

Stephanie - posted on 05/03/2011

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parks are a great idea, but not always free. make sure you check out, especially if there is a pavillion, it could already be booked.good luck and hope you have a great party.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 05/03/2011

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Parks, because they are free. Hopefully the weather permits? I wouldn't do many games as the kids will be so young.. but a few exercises would be fun if other moms want to participate, like getting babies footprints on paper for the scrapbook (would be a messy business but would make for great photos!). I also saw a mommy group ask everyone to bring those tunnels (which most already have) so when the kids came they all could play in the tunnels together. However, if you and your friends do not have enough, I saw the COOLEST idea for a cardboard castle........ as simple as taping it together and letting them run around in it. Here are two ideas, the latter is my favorite

http://familyfun.go.com/assets/cms/craft...
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_-0AYIYlZvfk/TH...

As you can see they let the kids paint and draw all over it too :) Check out the dollar stores- they have almost every party decoration you need. Colored plates, utensils and what not. I supplied our entire party for Easter for under 15$. The sets come with 15 of each utensil, 3 of them, for 1 dollar. So you might not even need that many. The packet of napkins there contain 160 for 1$. A pack of 60 white plates for 1$. The colored ones will be more expensive. But you can draw all over the cups if you want, or print out stuff from your computer to decorate the cups to add your babies name :)

You can also make your own invitations to send out.. to help with the theme.

So I suggest driving around to a few local parks and find one that seems inspiring and safe for 1 year olds to run around lol

Hotdogs, hamburgers, potato salad, macaroni salad and chips are gonna be the easiest and best bet with adults. Our local supermarket Staterbrothers has 5lbs of macaroni salad for really cheap. If you want it to be cool, set up a whole bunch of side dishes for cheap - cut up onions, get relish, tomatoes... and get the kids excited about all the sides they get to choose from? If you can, just use these cheap ideas to add the biggest punch for the kids- the streamers and cheap dollar store table clothes. They are junk and don't last long but with some tape you can make the picnic area at your local park colorful and festive so they get excited when they show up.

Charity - posted on 05/03/2011

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We had my oldest sons birthday at a local park with a splash pad it was august and everyone was miserably hot lol but the kids had a blast. We actually just celebrated my youngests first birthday in april and we had it at my MIL's house, we did an outside party where the kids could play on the swingsets and ride on toys. We had drinks and cake and ice cream, I learned my lesson with the first one and I just decorated the high chair instead of the whole house. He had a mickey mouse themed party and I taped the table cloth to the highchair cut out a hole for the legs and hung up streamers and balloons on it also. We didn't play games bc we wanted the party to be about him so since he couldnt play any games we just didn't have them.

Katherine - posted on 05/02/2011

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My older daughters birthday is in September and we have ALWAYS had her birthday at the park. I love it. Little clean up, we get pizza, cake from costco, balloons, and goody bags......the kids are so busy we can't even PLAY a game.

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The first Birthday is more for the parents than the baby--enjoy this one because the rest will be child centered :)

We rented a local garden for J's and had a deli cater it so I didn't have to spend a ton of time decorating and cooking or making snacks. The deli catering was cheap, we just had some fruit and veggie trays with dip and a variety of sandwiches, cheeses, and cookies. I bought the cake too--I can't bake.

Like you, we had mostly adults and only about 15-20 kids, so I didn't even bother with a theme. I bought them all little goody bags with lawn games in them and they played on the grass while the adults mingled in the pergola. It was very relaxed and I didn't have to run around all day trying to get a million little things done.

Mindy - posted on 05/02/2011

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Thank you! I think I will keep my original plan at the park :) fruit salad sounds good too!

Anna - posted on 05/01/2011

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I did ducky theme but I'd do Winni the pooh if I did it again. Google it! they have thousands of ideas on line!!!

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