Since my two older children are nine days apart, I decided to combine their birthday parties. My daughter, who turned 3, adores Thomas the Train and all his female train friends. My son, who turned 5, has been dreaming about being a pilot for over a year. I thought I could easily put together an airplane and train party (aka a “Things that Move Party”) to appease them both. Thankfully, it did.
We had approximately 75 guests join us at a nearby park. I was hoping to use a local train themed park but since there were none, I opted for a park with lots of space a parking.
The weather was perfect! We had already postponed the party once due to rainy weather, so we were incredibly blessed when we had sunny skies all day.
The only downer was discovering the playground was going to be off-limits for most of the party, since the city was refilling the bark on the playground. Thankfully I had lots of games and activities planned to keep our little guests busy until the playground would be open. Below is an example of one of the crafts I had available. Our little guests were able to create their personal train. At another station, they were able to make paper airplanes and fly them into their international destinations (hula hoops on the ground with stakes indicating country).
In addition to the crafts, for months prior to the birthday party, my son was requesting “old-time” relay races for his party. I had already decided we’d do potato sack races, balloon hops and the “egg on a spoon” relay; but to compliment our theme, I made trains and planes for them to race in. Using the cardboard from large diaper boxes, I cut them according to airplane design I found on Pinterest. I then spray painted them and used electrical tape to shape the numbers. They made the most adorable photos and the kids adored running in them.
For their birthday cakes, since we are healthy eaters and my son doesn’t like cake, I made watermelon cakes. My daughter likes coconut milk, so I added a layer of coconut milk frosting with nuts. She loved it! My son’s cake didn’t look as glamorous but he’s a basic guy. I gave him exactly what he wanted: a watermelon cake with his favorite fruit.
For decor on their present tables, I free-handed the drawings for their “about me” birthday boards. I seriously don’t know what to do with these posters when the party is over but I love them displayed at parties. See photos below to see how they turned out. Along with the boards, I picked up a couple of books from Amazon for our guests to sign. My kids love to read and I think they’ll really enjoy reading notes from friends and loved ones in their favorite books.
For our photobooths, we had rented G & C Party Games’ Thomas the Train Photo Booth, but for our airplane theme, I created a large Pilot License. The Pilot License is made out a foam board with foam stickers. It was very easy to put together and I absolutely love how it came out.
Aside from the clouds I made with balloons bunched up with blow-up airplanes, I decorated the top part of the canopy (park shade structure) with a airplane-banner and departure sign. I loved the idea of a departure poster from Pinterest and I had to customize it for our party. My hubby and I sometimes lose track of time and what needs to happen next at our parties, so it helped us stay on schedule too!
When it comes to most of my parties, I do all the planning and minor details of decor and food. If you haven’t noticed I gather a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest but I also recruit G & C Party Games to help with the food, games and decor. As always, they took my kid’s party to another level. We had onlookers asking about our party as if it was a carnival. My husband and I were very impressed with the way they transformed the park. G & C Party Games provided a Thomas the Train photo-booth, train and airplane table ends (trains were characters from Thomas the Train and friends), an airplane pinata, an Ashima (Thomas’ friend) train pinata, carnival games (golf, toss, and tic-tac-toe), and the main course of our menu. Our friends and family had plenty of food and fun. If you’re in the Stockton, CA or greater Sacramento area, check them out to help book your next event: G & C Party Games. Take a look at the photos below to see the pinatas they made!
Overall I’m incredibly pleased by how the party looked and went. My kiddos were happy, guests had a great time and we stayed within our budget! Whew! For all my party planners, I hope these photos inspire you. May your event be just as fun for you and your guests!