Kids’ Birthday Party Fun!

happy birthday balloons hanging on the wall

Themes, invitations, decorations, sweets, entertainment, goodie bags…yes! That’s right! I am talking about planning kids’ birthday parties! Perfect timing for this post, since both Kristy and I recently planned and celebrated our sons’ second and fourth birthdays with family and friends! We’re going to take you behind the scenes of how we put together our kids’ birthday parties!

children playing with balloons on green grass field
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Choosing a theme! This is where it all begins – figuring out themes has been quite fun since having four littles! Some of my son’s favorite things are balls, cars, and dinosaurs, so I knew that I would take one of those and play it up for him. I ultimately decided on a Jurassic World theme.

Kristy came up with her Super Mario theme because that is what her son is really into right now, and let’s be honest, it’s Mario…it has made a huge comeback this year and don’t act like you don’t know the words to the “Peaches” song by Jack Black! She said this was hands-down one of her favorite parties to plan…maybe it had something to do with the age (4 is one of her favorites!) or the fact that both of her kids were into this theme, and also both very into helping her out this year – a huge plus!!

Invitations! I like to use Zazzle for my invitations, and I can be pretty picky, so it took me awhile to find just the right fit for what I was looking for! I ended up going with a Two Wild Dinosaur one, and I was super happy with how they turned out!

Kristy uses these really cool digital birthday invitations from Etsy that give you such an extra flair when guests open them. It’s so fun that I’ll try one for the next planned party!

Entertainment! We usually do backyard birthday parties since we have two summer, one fall and one spring birthday, and the weather is typically nice enough to get away with it. This year we did a Jurassic World-themed bounce house from Life’s A Ball Rentals LLC and hired a local artist who does face painting and balloon twisting for our entertainment! We used Creative Juices by Kari – she’s truly amazing at what she does, and I highly recommend her as this is our second time booking her! Both of these entertainments are local to the South Jersey area and if you’re looking for an inflatable for your next event, Life’s A Ball Rentals is offering F&T followers an exclusive promo of $50 off any 1 unit when you mention this blog or Frugal & Thriving!

Kristy also had a bounce house, along with a lot of fun games and stations. She did a “pin the nose on Mario” game with prizes for the kids, a cotton candy station, and even a “create your own Mario face” station…how super is that?! She had lawn games like Connect 4, corn hole, and Jenga, as well as water tables for the kids to splash around with!

The Sweet Stuff! Yes, I am talking about the birthday cake, cupcakes, cake pops, etc. For me, I am big on doing cupcakes – they are easy, fun and the perfect size for guests! I usually go with a local baker or cottage baker because I like to support small business, but this year I went the Sam’s Club route! I went with 30-count cupcakes and a full-size cookie cake {Jurassic World theme of course}! The cupcakes had 15 of those rings that the kids could keep, but I also didn’t want anyone upset about not getting something, so of course I found these cute little dinosaur cake toppers and grabbed two packs and put them on the cupcakes that didn’t have a ring, and I placed the rest around the cookie cake! If you have a Sam’s Club membership, I do recommend their fresh bakery – they have so many themes to choose from, plus you can’t really beat the prices!

Kristy made this awesome snack station and got creative with food items that looked like items from the game – cheese balls for Fire Power, a veggie platter designed like the Fire Plant Power Up, Princess Peach Rings, Bowser Bones (lollipops), Colby jack cheese for Mystery Blocks (she put these in her absolute favorite RIGWA bowls – use exclusive code KRISTY10 for 10% off your order sitewide!!), and Mushroom Power Ups as marshmallow pops (marshmallow and melted chocolate). If you’re throwing your own Super Mario party and want some help with snack signage, check out our free printables page! She also typically uses her local grocery store (Shop Rite) for all of the catering and cake! When she placed an order in advance for pick-up, they offered her a 20% discount – this doesn’t always happen but even without the fantastic discount the food is always absolutely delicious and very reasonably priced. Her guests are always so surprised when she tells them where she got it from! She had 3 artisan sandwich platters, a salad with dressing, and veggie platter for 20 people and it only cost her $111! That’s about $5 a person! Look into your local grocery store – you might be surprised at what they offer!

Decorations! I try to play it smart when it comes to decor for a birthday party – I try not to go too overboard and I am in-between subtle and borderline close to too much. With outdoor parties, the weather can be so unpredictable, and I try to plan accordingly, so I’ll pick decor that can be used both outdoors and indoors in case I need to pivot! This year I went with some adorable dinosaur signage that I could place on our vinyl fencing or indoors on windows/doors etc., as well as some removable wall decals to place around. I added some themed mylar balloons and odds and ends I found at a local store I frequent during party planning. The last handful of parties, I have gotten into backdrops and balloon arches, so I grabbed a large themed backdrop to snap some pics!

Kristy also grabbed a backdrop and some other Mario-themed party supplies including tablecloths, a banner, and disposable plates, cups and napkins. She even made these awesome balloon towers! She says that this one stumped her for a bit – this was the first time she ever made one, and trying to make a piranha plant without directions was interesting, to say the least! TIP: if you plan this and don’t wait until the day of like she did (whoops), you can get white dot stickers and place them on the red balloons to really give it that Mario feel.

TIP: Use glue dots instead of tape when putting decorations on walls/windows/vinyl etc. It’s less of a hassle to remove and doesn’t ruin your paint/drywall/vinyl!

Outfits! I think it drove my hubby nuts in the beginning, but now with as many themed parties as we’ve hosted, he’s just used to my shenanigans, and I always have themed shirts or outfits planned for the guest of honor and mom and dad! This year was no different! I got a “Rawr! I’m 2” shirt for my son and a “Motherhood / Fatherhood is a walk in the park” shirts for myself and my hubby! I am a hat person, so I even got myself a really cute themed dino mama hat to add in a little extra somethin’…it has four little dinosaurs to represent my four littles!

Kristy made this adorable tee for her son to wear on his big day…if you have a Cricut machine, it’s super easy to design any apparel to match your theme!

Favors! I came across these little dino-themed bubbles and my son LOVES bubbles! I originally was just going to leave them out for the kiddos to grab and play, but then I found these dinosaur eggs that I just couldn’t pass up on. I originally planned on doing a dino egg dig and excavation as an activity but the weather had different plans, so I ended up putting the dino eggs and bubbles in their pinata bags for them to take home! Speaking of pinata, I ended up filling ours with my son’s favorite lollies (aka dum-dums) and packs of fruit snacks!

Kristy had adorable Mario-themed bags with all types of goodies like temporary tats, snacks, stampers, PEZ-dispensers and other Super Mario-themed party favors!

Queens of themes? Kristy and I have had fun with past party themes, so if you are looking for theme inspo, I think that we’ve got you covered! I have done: Rainbow Room, Ladybug Garden, Pumpkins & White Pumpkin Painting Party, The Big O.N.E, Luau, Frozen in Summer, Taco TWOsday, Farm Friends, Unicorn Universe, and Mermaid Adventures. Kristy has done Three Rex, TWO Infinity and Beyond, Splish-Splash Under the Sea, Minnie Mouse Clubhouse, and Minions! Happy Planning!

  1. […] Kristy has a couple Super Mario fans in her house (did you see her son’s Super Mario-themed birthday party?!) that devoured […]

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