Each year I go WAY out for the girls' birthday party! I've done a rainbow party, A Very Hungry Caterpillar party, and a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom party. Last year, after asking the girls their thoughts on it, we decided not to have a party. They were totally fine with it, but towards the end of the summer they kept asking us when they were going to have a birthday party. Sigh....total fail on our part.
So, this year I was back to thinking and planning a party. We have large families so we always plan for about 50 people so you can see why it's a big thing for me to plan out. I deep clean my house, get the garden work done, and think through the logistics of a party. Normally I'm really into it, but this year I was struggling to figure out a theme and to get in the spirit of the party. I asked the girls and it changed daily: beach party, Frozen, polka dots, Frozen (again), etc. This past Christmas they had received a pool from us as their main Christmas gift. So after doing some Pinterest searching, I suggested to them a possibility of a beach party and they could swim with their cousins, aunts/uncles and just enjoy the time outside.
My goal with this party was to cut back a bit on spending compared to past birthdays. Again, I go all out so this was a bit hard. The first thing I did was decide to send beach balls in the mail as the official invite. That was the plan at least until the post office said they had no idea how to mail them like that. So, instead I put them in an envelope with writing on the inside flap of the envelope that said "Inflate for the date". :)
Thankfully for us, the weather ended up being perfect, and we got the pool set up and filled about a week before the party, which gave us just enough time to have that water warm up!
I hit up the Dollar Store in order to look for decorations. Thankfully they had a great amount of decorations that fit the beach theme! Yay!!
On the day of the party, I just kept thinking of more things to do! All fairly simple and easy to do so if you are planning a beach party, know that I would say this is the most simple party we have ever done! Also, relatively cheap!
I was not originally planning on using this lemonade stand that Chris made last year for our family pictures. However, at the last minute, I decided to stick this in the garage as a fun addition to our beach theme and hang beach balls from it (we also hung beach balls from the ceiling of our garage). The girls loved it and were teasing everyone that came through the line that they needed 25 cents for lemonade!
The table decorations were by far the easiest! I got the table cloths at the dollar store, used brown sugar as my sand, and bought the little sand buckets/rakes/shovels for a great deal on Amazon! We filled our little buckets with a combination of peanuts, raisins, and M & M's, as a treat for everyone while they were sitting around and talking.
We kept it simple with the food! BBQ beef sandwiches, lots of fresh fruit, and a veggie tray (in the shape of a beach ball).
We closed out the party with our beach ball/sand/flip flop cupcakes! These were SO good and were made by two of my local friends who have started a little bakery. The best was that they were able to make the girls and myself gluten free versions of the cupcakes!
At the end of the day, spending time with some of our family and closest friends was so worth the hassle of planning a party. Also, the girls had an absolute blast and are already planning next year's party. The theme? Frozen....even though I try to tell them it will be an "old" movie by then, they insist that will be what the party is all about. We will see! :)
Do you do birthday parties? Family ones? Friend ones? Do you stick with a theme?