Over the weekend, eighty (yes 8-0) of our closest friends and family joined us to celebrate Parker's 3rd birthday at Nickel City. Throwing a birthday party is always a challenge since we have such large families but I'm really happy with how everything turned out and Parker had a blast! Keep reading for tips on how to put together a semi-DIY, low(ish) budget Wild Kratts party. A full buying guide is available at the end of this post.
The lighting in the party room made everyone look orange. Here's the best family photo we were able to capture. For some reason Parker felt compelled to touch my face. Special thanks to Phillip at Ink Press for the matching t-shirts. We are that family now.
We took over 3 of the party rooms at Nickel City because of the size of our party. As with all my parties, I created a focal piece that reflected the party theme. It's important to have something that make guests say "Wow!" when they walk in. The birthday banner was bright and colorful and I surrounded it with handmade paper vines. Since we could not attach anything to the walls, I used a photo backdrop frame to hang the decor on. The banner and paper vines provided a lot of bang for my buck. The vines were made with kraft paper and all the leaves were either hand cut or cut with a the Cricut machine using the Create a Critter cartridge. I legit brought a hot glue gun, twine and leaves with me on my business trip and crafted in my hotel room in order to finish all the decor.
I was out of town on a business trip the entire week prior to the party so I didn't have anytime to bake a cake. Luckily, there's a great bakery in Bonita called Hans and Harry's! I ordered an undecorated, 2-tier, fondant covered cake for $75 and decorated the cake the match the party theme. The snake, the grass and the Wild Kratts symbol in the front are all made of fondant. The Createrra and Martin are a toy set available on Amazon. The cake was vanilla with strawberry filling as requested by the birthday boy.
My sister Tania designed Parker's party invitation as well as all the printables at the party. Hooray for talented siblings! I love this "Born to be Wild" sign with Parker's Wild Kratt avatar.
I baked some chocolate cupcakes (now known as poop cakes) to compliment the vanilla cake. The cupcakes are topped with brown buttercream and these fun little pipe cleaner trees I found at Do It With Icing. By clustering the cupcakes together, I created a mini forest of tiny trees. Thanks Brandon for helping me frost the poop. The kids at the party loved telling me how poop-ular the cupcakes were. Why do kids love poop so much?
Tania created a few tented food signs for the party. We placed an "Herbivores Only" sign by the veggie trays, "Waterhole" sign by the drink station and "Jimmy's Favorite Food" by the pizzas. Just a few small details to tie in the Wild Kratts party theme.
[Thanks for coming early to help decorate Giao & Thuy!]
Parker and Tania winning tickets in the arcade. He ended up with a whopping 3500 tickets to redeem.
The adults had fun too! Thanks Kristen for coming over to bake with me Friday night. You are such a life saver. Together we made blue jello cups to represent the ocean and a mini cupcake forest to represent the trees. If you know the Wild Kratts theme song you know what I'm talking about.
The mini bowling alley is one of Parker's favorite things at Nickel City. He gets so into it!
I was able to work with Nickel City to come up with platter pricing for the food. At first they told me I had to order off their regular menu per person and I was like, "Are you kidding me? I have to order for 100 people." So Steve came back with pricing for trays and I was a happy camper. The food is nothing to rave about but Nickel City is an arcade so I didn't expect much. Everything was very kid-friendly. We ended up ordering pizza, tater tots, veggie trays (off the menu), nachos, chips and popcorn.
Parker skipped his afternoon nap on the day of the party and ended up falling asleep while eating pizza. Silly guy. The staff at Nickel City allowed us extra time in the party room to accommodate Parker's nap.
[Cake cutting time!]
[Parker is shy and does not like it when we sing happy birthday.]
Here's how things went down at Nickel City. There was no party before ours so I was able to show up at 11:30 AM to start setting up the party. FYI, helium tanks are not allowed inside Nickel City but you can blow balloons up outside and bring them in. Our party hosts provided me with all the nickels to hand out to the kids (each kid receives $10 worth of nickels). Guests signed in at the entrance so Nickel City can keep track of how many people actually show up. As they arrived, we handed out nickels and everyone had a chance to play games in the arcade. When it was time to eat, an announcement was made over the intercom. After lunch, everyone continued playing in the arcade until it was time to cut the cake. After the cake cutting was done, everyone went back into the arcade again. At the end of the party, we gave each kid (and some adults) a walking animal balloon complete with a little tag of that particular animal's creature powers.
Everyone I worked with at Nickel City was professional and accommodating especially Steve, the owner/manager, and our two party hosts. Thank you!
Custom birthday shirts - Ink Press
Venue - Nickel City
Cake - Hans and Harry's
Helium rental - Fun Services
Balloons - Ebay
Wild Kratts banner - PBS Kids Shop
Cake decorating supplies - Do It With Icing
For more Wild Kratts party ideas, check out my board on Pinterest! Leave a comment if you have any questions and I'll be happy to respond. See you on the creature trail!