Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Ultimate Star Wars Camping Birthday Party

It was probably June or early July when we started asking Micah what kind of birthday party he wanted this year. We gave out a few ideas and he came up with a few of his own. He had said Wild Kratts party again like last year until he realized Star Wars was an option. The hubster and I were secretly rooting for a gymnastics birthday since then we could rent the space, do minimal decorations and food other than desserts and the cost would probably be the same of cheaper than a home party. Micah considered the gymnastics birthday for a while, but really latched on to the camping theme and the Star Wars theme and in the end, he couldn't decide. So, we just combined the two. Phil is doing a big remodel project on our garage, so neither of us really wanted to host a party at our house again and thus we decided to go back to the site of Micah's first birthday party...good ol' Lincoln Park in a picnic shelter! 
Gramma allowed Micah to help decorate the top of her campfire cake!
We absolutely love Lincoln Park and it was the perfect setting for a camping themed party. Since we had most of the summer to think of ideas, we ended up with a whole truck bed full of stuff to unload and reload for the party, but it was still a pretty simple party to pull off. The only actual decorations I did were to pop up our camping tent and throw a Star Wars blanket inside, put dollar store table clothes on the picnic tables, and set up a cheesy cardboard Star Wars cupcakes stand that I randomly found last minute. I also super last minute grabbed a giant piece of cardboard, wrote "Camp Micah" in big letters and printed a few camp signs from google. 

Camp Micah
didn't even put any cupcakes on this stand, but it added to the decor a bit
As for the rest of the highlights of the party, I mostly have my mom, my mother-in-law, and hubby to thank! My mom made the amazing Star Wars kids costumes that we hung on a clothesline (templates found here!); my mother-in-law baked another stellar cake and cupcakes, and Phil ended up making the DIY light sabers (inspiration found all over pinterest). The only DIY projects I did for the party were the smores goody bags (I found Star Wars ziploc baggies and just added a "May the Force Be With You S'More" topper thanks to google images and Avery's free templates online) and the trail mix bar. They were both super duper easy. We just loaded up on snack items at costco and then I bought the same clear plastic containers at the Dollar Tree and printed out these cute labels from a pinterest find. I was pretty impressed that the kids did pretty well with managing the serve yourself bar, although I think an adult was always nearby. Of course the chocolate chips and M&M's were the first items to go, but I peeked in several kids' trail mix bags and there were a decent mix of other nuts as well. 
The light sabers before the kids got a hold of them
Smores to go with milk & dark chocolate
Star Wars stickers, tattoos, and nature scavenger hunts!
The amazing handmade Star Wars costumes thanks to Micah's Nana
The final product Camping Cake
We brought our own BBQ and did camping food: burgers and sausages with a couple salads. The kids were so happily occupied with the light sabers and occasionally with the nearby playground that we really didn't need to plan any formal birthday activities or games at all. I had already printed out a bunch of nature scavenger hunt cards and got mini clipboards and pens ready though, so before the end of the party, the kids walked around searching for natural items to check off. As if they were not already too cute in their costumes, now they were adorable walking around looking so official and studious...and they loved it! 
Enjoying the trail mix bar
It was heart warming getting texts throughout the day about how much our friends' kiddos enjoyed different aspects of the party and it was fun sending each family home with a smores pack, trail mix bags, and one of the costumes for each kid. All in all Micah loved his party except for the fact that the birthday party across the park had a pinata. Apparently Micah and one of his buddies were pretty disappointment with the lack of a pinata.  I had to chuckle when I heard that! I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of Lincoln Park!
Such a fierce little Rey!

Darth Vader and a storm trooper battling it out

You would never know by this photo that this is the cutest little two year old girl!
Gramma Jacquie & Gramma Susan monitor the first trail mix creation
The hubster manning the BBQ
so many choices!

A closer shot of my moms amazing handy work!

The twins loving the trail mix!

So fun having our next door neighbors join us!

Besties since SAS 2003!

So thankful our east side friends drove all the way out to join us!

This party was all about the fierce little girls!

the closest thing we got to a group photo! haha

Attacking the adults was so fun.

Birthday cake time!

I can't believe he's a four year old!

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Nature scavenger hunt time

I melt everytime I see these photos!

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