My son recently turned one and we decided to throw him a combination national park birthday party and Korean doljabi as he is half Korean, half American. This turned into quite the event and I want to share how we put together this epic first birthday!
I’ll do a second post on how to host a Korean Doljabi party, but this post will focus on all things National Park themed. We chose this theme, mostly because my husband and I love hiking and have a goal of visiting all the major national parks in our lifetimes. Our son was turning one, so didn’t provide much feedback on his preferred theme. 😉 He had a blast though, so everyone was happy.
To create this party, I did a lot of Pinteresting, but found that there are not a lot of websites discussing a National Park themed party. There are however tons of resources on lumberjack parties (oh hipsters), so those ended up being a good resource for ideas.
My first project was to figure out a great setup for photo ops and this is what we came up with:
Here’s how I created the look above:
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- Forest Backdrop – Amazon was definitely our friend with this party. We found this amazing and affordable forest backdrop that really set the scene for the party. You can get it here.
- National Park Postcards – I also found these great National Park postcards on Amazon to attach to the backdrop, reinforcing the theme.
- National Forest Sign – I found this adorable National Forest sign on Etsy that can be personalized with your child’s name. It was one of my favorite purchases, because my son can decorate his room with it for years to come.
- Fake mini trees and pinecones – We lucked out with this theme in that my son is a Christmas baby so there were trees and pinecones galore to be found at any craft store. We got ours at A.C. Moore on clearance. If you plan ahead, though, you can snag these items around Christmas and save for your child’s birthday.
- Name Sign – I made the name sign hanging from the backdrop and it was really easy. Just purchase wooden letters for your child’s name with holes cut in the top. Paint the letters black and red (or whatever colors you like) and then attach to a string with duct tape on the back to hold in place. Purchase buffalo plaid material at your local craft store. Or, if it’s the holidays, you may get lucky like I did and find table runners in the Target cheapo bin at the front. Cut into triangles and fold over the string and glue in place.
- Wooden Cake Stand – My mother-in-law happened to have the one above for our party, but you could easily sub a tree stump that you can find at any craft store.
Speaking of cake, we went with the one below made by a friend of the family, but there are so many ways you could get creative with this.
Important for any party, here are the cutlery and plates we used:
I found the box at A.C. Moore during Christmas, but you could easily glue buffalo plaid fabric to a box yourself if it’s off season. We chose to go with these plates and napkins, but there are many options.
If your party is for a baby, you may want to consider making a highchair sign. There are many ideas on Pinterest, but I made this one out of paper bags from the grocery store and leftover buffalo plaid fabric from the table runners I purchased at Target. You can print out letters and numbers for free online to use as templates.
The last piece I will focus on to complete a National Park themed birthday party, are the party favors. No party is complete without them! I chose to do a trail mix bar and it was a hit!
How to Make a Trail Mix Bar
- First, gather up all your yummy trail mix components. We chose, dried bananas, goldfish, cashews, peanuts, M&M’s, dried cranberries and honey mustard pretzels.
- Next find cute containers for the ingredients to go into. I found these tin buckets at our local A.C. Moore. Here is another option.
- Make signs for your ingredients. I found these cute chalkboard signs in the Target cheap bins at the front and taped the ribbon inside the buckets.
- Next, you’ll need containers that guests can take home with their trail mix creations. I ordered my mini mason jars on Wal-Mart.com because they had the best price by far. Here is a link. I then used the lids as a template and traced circles in buffalo plaid fabric. I glued the circles onto the lid tops to make them more festive.
- Finally, find a festive table cloth to spruce up your trail mix bar. I found this three pack of Buffalo Plaid Tablecloths on Amazon and was very pleased with the effect.
And that’s a wrap! This is everything we did to create an awesome National Parks Birthday Party for our little one. I hope this inspires you. Have you hosted a National Parks themed party? Please comment below with your ideas and inspirations!