My sweet little girl, Caroline Grace, turned three last week. I can’t believe it’s been three years since this happened.
Moving on, when it came to planning this year’s party we knew we FOR SURE wanted it to be indoors. While last year’s double party was a BIG success, it was H.O.T. We got the idea to host a Children’s Museum party after attending one earlier this year and figured that would work for our girl, too. The theme was easy because Caroline is OBSESSED with Dora the Explorer, but what three-year-old isn’t?
First things first, the invitation. I went to my favorite website, Etsy and did a quick search for “Dora Birthday Invites” and landed on Think Beautiful by Design. I was excited to work with her when I learned that we live in the same part of town–makes it more fun to do business with a local small e-business! The design of the invitation cost $7.00 and I got them printed at CVS for $10. Fortunately I had a lot of stamps left over from Christmas so I didn’t have to pay for postage. If you don’t have the budget for custom invitations, you should check out PicMonkey.com. It’s an easy-breezy way to make some pretty cute things.
Next came the birthday outfit. Inline with the theme, I wanted Caroline to be sportin’ some Dora the Explorer, so I turned to Etsy yet again. I found this adorable iron on. I had an issue with the three and had to re-do it, but that was complete user-error. I ironed it on a cheap Old Navy shirt and paired it with the skirt from her Easter outfit and voila! Total cost was approximately $10.
When it came to decor, we got lucky; hosting an event at the museum doesn’t require a lot of decor because you’re in a little room while the littles one play elsewhere. I didn’t spend a dime on decorations for this shin dig, but with the pink table cloths and party favors, the room ended up looking alright. Oops. I just realized that I don’t even have a picture to share of the room.
For this year’s menu we went a little on the frugal side and decided to make the items ourselves. Two years ago we did chick-fil-a, but because of the time of this year’s party, it was too early to pick-up nuggets and haul them to the museum and then set them out…we feared they’d get cold. And then last year we went way overboard, but that was Allison’s area of expertise, not mine, so that was not replicable because she wasn’t my party-planning partner in crime this year (sniff! sniff!). We opted for some good ol’ PB&J (turkey and cheese for any kiddies with food allergies) and Jimmy John’s for the parents. We also had some cheese sticks that looked like the map (so easy to DIY this…buy the cheese sticks, sharpie some eyeballs and a mouth and voila!), fruit kabobs (watermelon and pineapple), carrots and chips. The kids were severed lemonade in the beverage department and for the adults we had an assortment.
When it came to the sweet treat for the party, my princess demanded cupcakes. In addition to the requested cupcakes I ordered some cookies to have as an alternative. I don’t know about your toddler, but when mine eats a cupcake she only eats about 30% of it. Approximately 20% ends up on the floor, 30% ends up on her face and clothing and 20% is left because “she doesn’t like that part.” Considering how picky my little one is, I opted for options! Dora was a little darker than I would have liked, but she tasted amazing and that’s all that matters.
When it came to the favors I did NOT want to give the kids candy. While walking through Target one day I saw these $1 books and decided that was a good favor idea. I took the $1 books and wrapped them in curling ribbon and wrote a note on each one that said, “Thank you for coming to my 3rd birthday party! Enjoy this book–reading is sweeter than candy anyway 🙂 Love-Caroline.” I think they were a big hit!
All-in-all the party was excelente!
For those interested in replicating some of the Dora-themed food signs, here is the language that I used:
Adult Drinks- Swiper no swiping! Swiper no swiping! Swiper no swiping! These drinks are for mom and dad.
Sandwiches- Boots loves PB&J! (Amigos, if you have food allergies, we have other options!) and Turkey and Cheddar que rico!
Fruit Kabobs- Dora says fruit is muy deliciso!
Cheese sticks- (I wrote out the map song)
Chips- Tico loves a fiesta with chips!
Carrots- These carrots are from Isa’s garden!