Thursday, November 10, 2011

happy [birthday] trails















As seems the norm for Sawyer's birthday parties the last few years, I've concluded that the tiny bit of extra chaos in my head associated with having houseguests in town while planning, plotting and executing said birthday parties, leaves my pictorial documenting with some gaps. Never took a picture of this, never took a picture of that, etc. So you get what you get. I tried. And at least the party itself was a success, so there's that!

Sawyer actually wanted a repeat of his Camping Birthday party from last year again this year. And while that would have obviously been the easy way in party planning aspects, I nixed the repeat option. We did however come close in that the only substitute he was totally on board with was twisting the camping theme just a little bit... into a hiking theme!

A friend sent me a link to this party and I'm not embarrassed to say much of my brainstorming was lifted directly from these few inspirational pictures. Gotta love the blog world!!

We have a favorite State Park not too far from our house and with prayers going up for nice, warm weather (in November!) we decided to go ahead and gather a hiking party out there.
There's a great playground there with a huge wooden "ship" to climb in and under and all around, plus swings and a sandpit and lots of room to run and play. [no pictures of the whole playground :( ] And picnic tables perfect for hanging out with a birthday party.
As for the actual Hike part of the party, the trail around Couchville Lake is a beautiful two mile loop, but we opted to do a short 3/4 of a mile to a bridge and back with all the kids.

Here are the details of the party...














Using a "logger" font, I recreated our own simple version of an invitation, printed out on the kids' construction paper. I used that same font to make up a party banner & water bottle labels and my kids worked with me to create a "hiking journal" of sorts for the kiddos to use while on our trek.




















Savannah and Sawyer drew the pictures for our scavenger hunt list...














and I labeled pages for the kids to draw in their own pictures of things they saw and even added a little hiking themed word search (Sawyer's big on word searches right now!).














These journals and the fun little compasses we ordered were the only "party favors" we had.





Oh and hiking sticks that we had gathered on previous park trips... Sawyer painted them up to decorate for his fellow hikers.













I made a version of these S'more Cupcakes... I used her idea of a graham cracker crust, filled it up with a boxed mix chocolate cake and simply topped it with a jumbo marshmallow. I put them under the broiler to brown and puff the marshmallow... just like a real s'more! They were yummy!!

















































We filled our picnic table with various other camping hiking snacks [again- no picture!]... trail mix, pigs in a blanket, apples and oranges and my favorite "s'mores on a stick"! (large pretzel rods with a chocolate covered marshmallow on the end)




















And of course, must have water for a hike!














Sawyer opted to forego gifts at this party and instead asked his friends to bring a pair of shoes to donate to Shoes4Souls for kids who need shoes on their feet.





We thought that giving shoes tied in rather nicely with our hiking party theme. ;)














We all had a blast. I feel like I say this almost every time, but I think this was the funnest party yet. It was so stinkin' easy to put together, we had absolutely perfect weather, and a fabulous time celebrating with such a gorgeous setting. We saw deer and cranes and even a skunk (yikes!). The kids were so excited and were phenomenal on the hike, taking "field notes" and checking their compasses, and they could have run around the playground together all evening. Sawyer had so much fun... besides us, Ryan's parents, and a friend of Savannah's, we had four families join us for a total of eighteen kids ranging in age from 2 to 14! So much fun. And we were a sight to see, all trekking around the lake together. :)

More pics:































































































































































































Happy Trails!

4 comments:

kim said...

SO DARN CUTE. as usual. :)

Anonymous said...

AMAZING!!! Sarah Pearson

Mom said...

You put so much work into Sawyers party. It looks like a HUGE success.What FUN!!!! XOXOXOX

anne said...

I need to tag this post...I remembered you did this hiking themed party and came back to check it out. I might do something similar for Ry's 5th b-day in April. Looks fun!

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