Looking for an affordable and unique way to entertain family and guests on your child's birthday? Thought about holding a theme party, but felt it would bust your budget?
With a little creativity and tips from First Reliance Bank associate Rick Reynolds' wife, Kim, you can stage an affordable theme birthday party and make memories that will last a lifetime.Over the years, Kim has thrown several theme parties for her daughter, Hannah. She's brought to life ideas such as a spa birthday party (in which the girls received facials and had their nails done while sipping Mountain Dew in champagne glasses and enjoying a chocolate fountain) and a pizzeria birthday party (where everyone dressed like chefs and made their own pizzas). [caption id="attachment_5752" align="alignleft" width="300"] Click image to enlarge[/caption]
This year, this full-time teacher and creative Mom came up with another engaging idea: a Western theme birthday party. For less than $150, the party included unique decorations, games, keepsakes, food and lots of fun!
Kim spent several weeks planning and developing her party plan. After searching through Pinterest, she collected all of her thoughts and ideas in a notebook. As more ideas came, she kept adding them to her book. She also began compiling the things she would need to create a Western atmosphere.[caption id="attachment_5753" align="alignright" width="300"] Click image to enlarge[/caption]
Mindful of her budget, Kim didn't just head to Party City for supplies. She was resourceful and always thinking creatively. She browsed yard sales where she found things that would add to the party's atmosphere like Western boots she used to hold the sticks for making s'mores. She kept an eye out for Western items whenever she went shopping and bought key pieces on sale. She turned to friends, sharing her thoughts on the theme, and they often surprised her by contributing items that would add to the fun. She also custom-ordered some things from OrientalTrading.com.
The 2½-hour theme party came together and was a huge hit that Hannah and her friends still can't stop talking about. Here's what took place at the party:
Hannah invited eleven guests to make up the “dirty dozen” whose “mug shots” were placed on “wanted” posters featured at the party. As each girl entered “The Reynolds Ranch,” she grabbed a cowboy hat and brightly colored bandana from a hanging clothesline.[caption id="attachment_5751" align="alignleft" width="300"] Click image to enlarge[/caption]
The dining table's place settings were each made up of an aluminum pan (think panning for gold) with a denim jean pocket and a card with each girl's name.The girls feasted on hot dogs with wild west chili, spud crunchies, rootin' tootin' beans, cactus pretzels and cupcakes, and a boot scootin' birthday cake. Soft drinks were served in mason jars (a contribution from a family friend).
In addition, Kim adapted traditional games and gave them a Western twist. The girls enjoyed a cow patty toss, a wild west shooting range, horse shoes, and “kiss a cowboy” (a twist on pin the tail on the donkey). Another family friend provided line and square dancing lessons.
But the fun didn't stop there. The party wrapped up around a campfire with everyone making s'mores.
As Kim's efforts show, you don't have to spend a lot of money to throw an impressive and memorable theme birthday party for your child. By setting aside a modest budget and investing your time and creativity, you can make it a day your child (and you) will remember forever.
Fair warning, though – you may find yourself faced with the question Kim is asked after each of Hannah's birthdays: “How will you top this party next year?”
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