Each year my kids are given the choice between a big present or a big party. For my son's 4th birthday he chose big present and he got a trip to Toys R' Us to buy a ride on Jeep - one of the best gifts ever as it is still being used 4 years later. This was the one and only time either of my kids picked big present - they love their parties! I am totally ok with this (for now!) as I truly love planning the parties with them.
Last year when it came time to start planning my son's 7th birthday party, I was scrolling thru Facebook and came across a friends photos for her daughter's Zoo2U party. I called Tyler over and asked if he was interested in one - now you are going to think the obvious answer here will be Yes! but nope, my kid spotted an ad in the side bar for Paintball parties - "I want to do THAT!" So we click on the link and find out it is for 8-12 year olds, "you'll have to wait till next year, Buddy." Fast forward to this year when I ask him what he wants to do for his party - keep in mind it is one full year later - "Paintball, Mom, duh!" (Yes, my kid is that cheeky). Anyhow, back on track to last years party, after vetoing paintball he agreed the Zoo2u party looked very cool and we began our plans (ok, my plans, cuz his only input was the candy table!).
When you book your party with Melinda at Zoo2U, there is a list of animals you can choose from that you'd like to come to your party. The price varies depending on the number of animals you'd like; 8, 12, or 16, as does the amount of time spent at the party. We went with 12 animals for a one hour show, and I gotta say, one of my son's favourite parts was choosing which animals - because he went all creepy, crawly to try and freak out Mom!
Here is the list he had to choose from:
So with him picking all creepy, crawly creatures to attend his party (pause for goose bumps up my arms!), we turned it into the whole theme of the party. First up, on the night of his actual birthday, a cool frog cake from Safeway just for the four of us. This was in an attempt to convince him to let me have a reptile type cake made for him . . . stay tuned for HIS interpretation of this!
I cannot recall where they got the idea from just now, but both my kids requested a Candy Bar for their parties last year. I agreed on the basis that that would be in lieu of goodie bags - so off to Bulk Barn we went to pick out candy that looked creepy and crawly! Gummy worms, gummy frogs, and chocolate spicers were just a few of the tasty treats he picked.
These suckers I found at the dollar store - up side to his party being so close to Halloween is that creepy and crawly items were in abundance! These suckers were meant to be witches fingers, but by simply adding a couple of googly eyes to the packaging, I turned them into caterpillars!
I forgot to get a photo of the water bottles, but I got camo duct tape from WalMart, like you see on the cup in the above photo, and covered the water bottle labels with it. Saw this on Pinterest (of course!) and had to try it, turned out fabulously! Super simple way to add (cheaply) to your party decor.
Next I got some plain paper bags from the Dollar store to be used as their goody bags to take home the candy (you're welcome Mom's and Dad's! #sugarhigh), and pulled out my inks and stamps. Yes, this was my favourite part of the planning stage! I stamped "Caution Live Cargo" on the sides then spritzed with green and black ink sprays.
Green and black balloons everywhere made for great fun for the boys to bonk each other with! What I loved most though was the floor. This came about totally by accident too, and I just love happy accidents, don't you?! I had a huge stack of papers to shred and was working on them the night before the party. as I looked at the two giant bags of shredded paper I was ending up with, it made me think of the bottom of a pet's cage, or the stuffing in a shipping crate - so the only logical thing for me to do of course, was dump it on the party floor!!! The boys threw handful up in the air, stuffed their shirts (and pants!) full of it, and buried each other with it - total win!
The yellow "Caution" tape came in handy to secure black table cloths over my scrapbook album and book shelves, and fit right into the decor.
Another great idea taken from Pinterest was the backdrop wall of streamers and balloons. The Zoo2u lady was set up in front of this backdrop which made for better photos. I love how it turned out!
Just a few photos of the creepy crawly creatures that joined us . . . oh, and my kiddos! My son held all 12 animals, and my brave daughter who I did not think would hold quite as many, surprised me by holding all but the scorpion! Now me, I passed on both the scorpion and the tarantula - no thank you!
This guy was probably one of the stars of the show for sure! he was huge and the kids each got to feed him a piece of lettuce.
Now remember the cake discussion? Well, this is the cake my son picked out for his party - Spiderman. A spider is creepy crawly, so he made his point!
Speaking of spiders, again, being that it was just before Halloween this was easy to do, but I bought a few bags of plastic spiders, bugs, and worms from the dollar store to decorate the tables with, kind of like confetti, lol.
This went down as one of the best birthday parties we have done as a family, and I love that it just fell together with moderate planning and some happy accidents. Only downside was that afterwards my daughter, whose birthday is only one month later, wanted a big party with a cool theme like her brothers too! Lol, good thing I was now enjoying this party planning gig - stay tuned to see how her Diva Detective party turned out!
Streamer background also made for a great backdrop for gift opening photos - goofy smiles from the birthday boy are a bonus! LOL!
Whew! That was a long post, thanks for stopping by and sticking around!