This past weekend we celebrated Max’s second birthday (check out his 2 year update here) with a few of his friends at Romp ‘n Roll. He jumped in a bouncy house, ate cake, danced to his favorite tunes and had the time of his life.
From the start Aaron and I knew we wanted to have a low key event and the party package at Romp ‘N Roll was the perfect plan. It covered everything from prep to activities and clean-up. We basically had to show up and leave after an hour and a half. Plus, we have been taking Max to Romp ‘N Roll since he was about 6 months old so we knew it would be a comfortable environment. Here is what our low key birthday party looked like.
Even though I love traditional invitations, I opted to go digital with paperless post. I’ve been a long time fan of the service so it took virtually no time to create and send out invites. The service is great in that it offers a ton of beautiful free templates and allows you to easily manage your guest list and customize reminders. In addition, you have the option to buy paper copies of any invitation if you want it for a keepsake.
If you are planning for a stressfree birthday party, the best thing you can do is temporarily delete Pinterest from your phone. Too bad I didn’t take that advice early enough. As soon as I typed “toddler birthday ideas” I knew I made a mistake. Immediately I was pulled into a whirlwind scrolling session that ended with a plan for overelaborate (and highly unrealizstic) DIY decorations, that under ideal circumstances would never have come to fruition. Luckily, reality struck before I got too far down in construction paper and glue. In the end, we nixed the theme and opted for simplicity. We picked up a ton of balloons from Party City and used those as center pieces and decorations.
It seems hard to believe now, but we completely forgot about the cake. Luckily the crisis was averted after we picked up some sprinkles and cupcakes from our local bakery. I love the idea of letting kids decorate their own cupcakes, but I think with two year olds that could have been a disaster. I’ll wait a year or two before trying that out.
As soon as Aaron’s mom gave Max a personalized pencil box for Hanukkah, I knew I wanted to emulate the idea for party favors. Using sharpie paint pens I drew trains, trucks or buses on each. I kept to simple silhouettes that a non-artist could do and in the end I love how they turned out. We filled each with a box of crayons, a minature car and a sheet of stickers.
For the 21 and older crowd we got mini bottles of wine, which we wrapped in tissue paper with the tag “Because parenting is hard”. It was a last minute detail and totally Aaron’s idea.
Since Max’s birthday is so close to Christmas/Hanukkah we are always going to have gift overload. So much so that Max still has a few random gifts from us that he still hasn’t opened. One of our friends (hi Ananda!) was telling us about a book swap as an alternative to traditional gifts. The idea is for each kid to bring one of their favorite books (new or used) and swap it with another kid. I love that each kid gets to go home with a book. She is using the approach for her son’s upcoming birthday party and I can’t wait to copy it next year. I’d love to know if anyone has other alternative ideas to presents.
Even though I didn’t get to make all the decorations I wanted, the birthday party was so much fun and we want to thank all our friends for coming out!