I officially give all the props and credit in the world to mothers of Pinterest and event planners who plan elaborate birthday parties. It takes an incredible person to event plan and I personally would love to know how they stay sane and not stressed to the max! HA! While event planning is not in my wheelhouse, all the stress and planning was definitely worth it!! My little boy is obsessed with fire trucks–he will tell you that they are “his favorite” and that his favorite color is “red, like fire trucks.” When I asked what he wanted to do for his birthday he said he wanted to go to the fire station. Last year, I planned a super small party at the fire station with 3 of his little buddies and he wanted a repeat this year but with ALL of his classmates. He has the most wonderful class with the sweetest kids and he will talk about a different kid every day, so in his mind there was no choosing his 4 best friends–everyone was included, which is too adorable not to follow his request 🙂I requested the fire station tour two months before his birthday (if you live in Cobb County, on the tour request form it states that they do not do birthday parties, but I take that as they don’t have birthday parties AT the station–our actual party was at the park NEXT to the station following the tour). I rented a pavilion next to the playground at Terrell Mill Park which is adjacent to Fire Station No. 3 for the actual party.Reid’s birthday party started with the tour of the fire station and fire truck. The kids had a blast looking inside the fire truck and seeing the lights and equipment. The fire station did an incredible job describing their jobs and work of the station to the 3 and 4 years. It was amazing how engaged the kids were and how happy Reid was to get in the fire truck. I cannot say enough thanks to our local fire station–they were rock stars and went above and beyond in their tour!Following the tour, we walked over to the pavilion for lunch. The weather started to get cold when we were eating, so the kids ran to the playground for some playtime before eating cake. It was a great break in the action and good time for us to clean up. Following play time, we ate cake and Reid passed out his “gifts” for his friends. Reid’s face in giving his friends toys was priceless and made me so happy that he enjoyed giving on his birthday. All and all, it was a huge success! I will remember the happiness he had when getting in the fire truck, the joy he had playing with his friends at the park, and the way he glowed when singing happy birthday to him. He is such a happy, joyful little boy and I am so blessed to be his mama. While event planning is not in my wheelhouse, it was worth every stressful moment and trip to the dollar store to make his birthday special. Happy 4th Birthday Reid!!
Things to Remember for Next Time:
- Hire extra help. I hired someone to sit with our stuff when we went to the fire station, to take pictures and to be another set of hands during the party. It was amazing to have the extra help!
- It takes a village and that moms are amazing helpers even at birthday parties. Every mom wants to help if they can, it truly made me happy to have such amazing women there helping with the little things like passing out food and napkins. It takes a village ladies 🙂
- Weather in February/March is tricky. I stressed more about the chance of rain than I needed to (as it thankfully didn’t rain and there was nothing I could do about it!). Next time, indoors may be the way to go!
- Focus on your child and everything else will work out. The most important thing and really the only thing I really needed to be concerned with was Reid’s happiness. It is about him and having fun on his birthday. All the other things will work out, and if you stress–your kids can feel it. Less stress=more happiness
- Individual packaged food is the way to go. I had these Pinterest dreams of fruit kabobs, fire themed vegetables and fireballs…but in the end realized that all that would gross me out and that doing packaged food was the way to go. As my sister said, its a birthday party, you don’t need to make sure kids have a balanced meal!
- Costco birthday cake is the way to go. Amazon and Dollar Tree are also musts for birthday parties!
- HAVE FUN!! Kids birthday parties are limited–there are only so many preschool birthday parties we will have and having fun is what it is all about!
- Do as much ahead as possible–like these bins, they are so simple to set up and easy to transport, also made me feel a little bit like a Pinterest mom 🙂