Last month we hosted my grandson, Jett’s, 2nd. birthday party at our community park. Trains, particularly Thomas the Train, is Jett’s current passion so it was only natural that his party was a Thomas themed event.
Unfortunately there was a mix up with the delivery time of the party rentals, we had to scramble to set up when the rentals arrived an hour late. It also rained during our set up time and we got pretty wet before the tent arrived. Of course as expected the sun came out as soon as the tent was up!
Weather is always a concern when hosting an outdoor event, that’s why we always have a plan B, in this case it was my house which is a mere block away from the park. It was a rough start, but all the planning and organization that went into this party paid off, the party was a success and everyone had a great time.
Here are the highlights of this party. I hope it will inspire your next event!
The invitations were designed to look like a train ticket.
Guests were greeted at the park gate with this lawn sign.
We used paint cans with oil company logos as the base for the centerpieces, filled them with gravel, and stuck railroad signs and trains mounted on wooden chopsticks in them.
For lunch we set up a “Dining Car” which was a gourmet hot dog bar, it’s really a fun and easy way to serve a simple meal outdoors.
We offered both beef and turkey hot dogs which were cooked in the crock pot that morning. It made transporting them to the park and serving them so easy.
Toppings and condiments included chili, cheese, saurkraut, onions, tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, relish, and more. We used these cute covered ceramic ramekins I had found on sale at Pier 1.
We made cards featuring Thomas and his friends, each card was a suggestion to create a gourmet hot dog such as “Ferdinand’s Sonoran Dog” which was topped with cheese and bacon bits.
We made a snack train using Jett’s Thomas flashlight followed by foil loaf pans filled with chips, pretzels, and cheese puffs.
Our final lunch offering were watermelon pops. We sliced the watermelon into triangles, made a small slit on the rind, inserted a wooden popsicle stick, and voila a watermelon pop! I love serving watermelon this way. It makes for a fun presentation and make eating the fruit neater.
The cake of course was the focal point of the “Dessert and Candy Stations”. It was surrounded by cupcake trees holding cupcakes wrapped in themed cupcake wrappers, Thomas themed cookies, and containers of candy in theme colors.
The hot dog bar and sweets table were set up under the tent. All items were labled with their names. These menu cards were supposed to be placed on mini easels, but it was a bit windy so we ended up just laying them on the tables which were covered in plastic tables cloths.
A “Beverage Car” was set up outside of the tent.
I used metal tin tubs filled with ice to hold juice boxes and personalized bottles of water. We had sweet tea for the adults.
Next to the Beverage Car was the “Icy Depot” which was a bucket of ice filled with frozen ice pops. It was a welcome treat on a hot summer day. Kids and adults were munching on them.
I loved this ice bucket I found at TJ Maxx. It has a hook for a bottle opener, perfect for the scissors we needed to cut the tops off the pops!
It’s kind of hard to plan kids’ party activities when your guests range in age from 9 month infants to teenaged kids so we decided it would be difficult to have party games. We opted instead to hire a balloon twister who made balloon hats, swords, and animals for everyone.
We also rented a bounce house, Thomas and Friends, of course. All the children including the babies had fun in the bounce house which came complete with a slide and basket ball hoop.
A “Bubble Station” was set up with a bubble machine and refill station. We gave each child a small bottle of bubbles which they refilled with homemade bubbles. The bubble machine kept the infants and toddlers entertained the whole time. Click here for bubble recipe!
Everyone loved the Train Photo Booth!
We set it up against the tennis court fence using the Jett’s personalized birthday banner and part of the Thomas the train backdrop kit we got at Party City.
Click here for instructions for making your own cardboard train!
One other detail that isn’t pictured but turned out to be a life saver was a first aid bucket filled with sunscreen, bug repellent, hand sanitizer, and bandaids. This is a great kit to have at any outdoor event.
As you can see in spite of the late rentals, early morning rain, and bugs the party turned out to be a great success. Everyone had fun. Most importantly Jett loved it!
Planning your own Thomas the Train Party? Let us design custom party stationary for you! We design everything from invitations to menu cards specially for you!
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