Usually we have the boys' birthday parties either at home or at a small town hall we can easily rent. In the past we've done both an Outer Space Birthday and a Construction Birthday at our local town hall. But this birthday wound up overlapping with another event, and it was easier to use a restaurant space. This meant I really had to simplify what we were planning for activities and how much I was bringing into the restaurant.
Little Brother's love of animals did inspire some fun with Circus Animals. Here are a few of our Simple Circus Animal Birthday Ideas.
Using a back room also gave us some space for activities.
1. Animal Masks
One project I set out for kids was mask making. Using craft foam and elastic thread the kiddos could create an animal mask. I traced the mask shape onto regular craft foam and they cut shapes out of sticky craft foam. We hole punched the edges and used the elastic thread to fit the mask to their face.
(Their masks came out a little different than I was expecting, but they got creative to say the least.)
2. Zoo Poster
We also set out a large piece of white poster board, markers, and a variety of Mrs. Grossman animal stickers. The kids worked collaboratively to create a zoo using all the materials.
3. Activity Tubs
Each kiddo also had their own activity tubs.
I purchased the tubs at the Dollar Store (they were two for one dollar.) In the tubs I added some printable coloring pages, a small bundle of crayons, bubbles, and a kazoo. (Little Brother picked out the bubbles and kazoo at the party store, neither one I was certain about, but he loved them.)
I also added in a small batch of our chocolate cake playdough and four or five animal figurines.
With the animals and playdough I added a few pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks for building with.
I kept our decorations simple.
4. Homemade Birthday Banner
5. One long table pushed together with a birthday table cloth for presents and cupcakes.
6. A dozen balloons (red, orange, and yellow).
7. A couple of handfuls of red and gold star spangles on the table.
Otherwise, I let the restaurant decorations set the mood.
8. Lemon Cupcakes!
The restaurant allowed us to bring in our own dessert. Cupcakes were the easiest route to go. I had seen several different ideas on Pinterest for decorating cupcakes with animal crackers (or zoo cookies depending on what the brand calls them.) I love how sweet and simple these turned out.
I used this yummy lemon cupcake recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction, and added a lemon buttercream frosting.
We were also honoring my mother-in-law's birthday, so I also purchased some red sugar roses for a few of the cupcakes for her.
9. White Chocolate Popcorn
I also made up a batch of white chocolate popcorn, which was meant to go home in these cute little bags as favors (for kiddos and adults), but most people wound up snacking on them at the end of the party.
All in all, it was a really successful event. Our family all insisted on chipping in on their meals, which made the food part not too expensive for us as well.
But of course, the biggest benefit of the whole event was that the Birthday Boy himself was very happy through the whole evening!
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