We had Elden's birthday party at our neighborhood pavilion/playground on Saturday morning. We decided to have it from 10 am to noon because we weren't sure how hot it would be later in the afternoon.
I have really tried to take a low-key approach to basically every birthday party except for the first birthday. This one was no exception: all the plates, napkins and cutlery were purchased online from Oriental Trading to match Elden's requested monster theme. We decided to cook burgers and hot dogs on the pavilion grill and had potato chips as a side dish. Since I didn't want to deal with cups and ice, we simply had bottled water and juice pouches for the kids. We got the cake from our favorite bakery and had no real agenda for the party.
The thought was the kids would play on the playground from 10-11 and we would serve the food at 11, followed by cake/presents. As it happened, I don't think any of the kids even went to the playground until about 11:30 because there is a sand volleyball court right behind the pavilion and they were all playing in that the first hour! The weather ended up being perfect--sunny but not too hot--and Elden had an absolute blast.
a few of Elden's friends!
Let me tell you: birthday parties not in the home are the way to go. You don't have to clean your house before/after and in a place like a pavilion it is exceptionally easy to do a sweep when you are done to toss all the garbage and clean up. Since we pay into a HOA, we only had to pay a deposit on the pavilion rental which wasn't cashed since we cleaned up after ourselves.
baby sister trying to get in on the action
I didn't get very many pictures of the party so you'll have to take my word for it that Elden was so happy. Now that he's four he's told me he is an adult and "will shower like you and daddy now." (that hasn't happened yet)