First birthday party ideas

29 Mar

Don't mess with my ice cream!

I think I am a hospitable person and enjoy hosting get-togethers and making people feel extremely special and loved in my home.  When I was in university, I was a resident assistant.  It was my job to throw parties, and when I did, it was either go hard or go home.  If I was going to have an ice cream bar, I didn’t just get vanilla, chocolate syrup, and bananas; I got hot fudge, caramel topping, berry syrup, oreo cookies, sorbet, fresh fruit, root beer, and brownies.  I don’t mess around when it comes to parties (or ice cream I suppose – did I mention I used to work at Dairy Queen?).

A few months ago I heard other mothers discussing getting ready for their summer-babies’ first birthdays, along with themes, cake types, invitations and party favors.  I originally thought

Hadassah at a recent birthday party

this was quite silly and over the top, as we were not planning on hosting a formal first birthday party for Hadassah.  However, I quickly changed my mind after we attended a little guy’s first birthday party back in February.  The party was simple.  The hosts provided a simple dinner bar and had a table displaying a large cake.  There were balloons, party hats, and little noisemakers.  The part that I enjoyed the most was seeing the hosts take pictures with their boy, along with each guest/family.  In addition, he seemed to have fun opening his gifts.  I had a realization that in ten, fifteen, or even twenty-five years, he will look upon those photos and feel extremely loved.  On the other hand, maybe he will not be so nostalgic of an adult as I am, but I myself had a first birthday party and I think I might be somewhat psychologically damaged if I had not had one.

If you are reading this and did not have a first birthday party for a child, do not plan on having a first birthday party, or think I am crazy for analyzing this so closely, I do not judge you.  Just a few weeks ago I did not plan on having a party for Hadassah primarily because I thought, “She is so young and will not even remember.”  After reflecting, however, I have made the switch.

Hadassah’s birthday is about three whole months away – that is a quarter of a whole year – but I know I should at least start brainstorming.  I am delighted to throw parties for Hadassah, since her birthday is in the summer, and I can bet on good weather.  I want to celebrate summer and have her party outside, and later in the day (just because I can and it stays light outside).  However, I am sure I will budge on the latter preference, as I am all too familiar with bedtime routines and “late nights” staying out till 7pm with baby.

The grassy, busy park

I am also mulling over the specific party place.  Since her party will be outside, I’m sure a park would do.  However, the only traditional, big park I can think of frequently has some questionable attendees (once Fernando and I were walking in the park and two giant, stray German Shephards were running around and growled at me.  I was 8 months pregnant and hopped atop a bench).  One plus to this somewhat sketchy park is that there is an abundance of open space, grass (which is ideal for rolling around in), and playground material.  A negative is that it is very busy, sometimes scary, and has gnats due to a large lake.

Another idea I am thinking of is a pavilion at another park in town.  This park is not your traditional park that you think of where you go have a picnic on the grass.  It is somewhat off the

Party option #2 - pavilion in a relaxed and beautiful hiking area

beaten path, not very busy, but extremely gorgeous.  I would call it a hiking park.  There is plenty of open space, and no worries about creepy people snatching up a child or stumbling in on the party drunk (as I would worry about at the other park).  A negative is that there is no grass for any of our guests that would like to be crawling on the ground.  There are only hiking trails and cement at the pavilion.

The last option I have is to host the party at my very own home.  Our backyard is pretty much inhabitable (we have only dirt and weeds, but don’t judge me people.  I live in the desert), but we do have a decent sized deck, and people could go inside or outside at their leisure.  For some reason I feel that if I have the party at our house, we should do it at around five.  I think it is because the backyard is out of the direct sun by that time.  2:00 in the back yard sounds pretty scorching to me.

So, can we take a vote?


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