Jan 16, 2013

Wild Thing: A leopard/jungle1st birthday party

My little niece turned one recently.  To celebrate her baby girl's 1st birthday, my sis-in-law threw a party at the local zoo and asked me to help plan it.  I gladly obliged.  The zoo has a room already set-up and decorated for these events and they provide food and supplies as part of the party package.  Still, we chose to bring some of our own stuff to give the party a more personal feel.  
To get the look we were going for, we first asked them to slightly rearrange the set-up of tables and plants and remove some of the excessive and tacky decor.  Once these small changes were made, the room felt a lot more open and a lot less…all over the place.  We then added touches of leopard and a more pulled together jungle theme.


We started by decorating the food and gift tables.  The tacky plastic covers just weren't cutting it.  We covered the tables with drop cloth, added grass skirts and draped leaf garlands for some color. The zoo already had the kids' table covered with craft paper and crayons.  We moved the crayons from wire baskets to small leaf trays and added the safari hats and coloring books, which were great at keeping the kiddos entertained throughout the party.  The coloring books were adorable.  We diy-ed them using animal pictures and created leopard and zebra covers.  I wish I had a better picture to show.  
For the adults' tables we asked the zoo to use pink tablecloths only. We then set the tables with alternating fringe and animal print border placemats, brown paper plates and cups, leopard print napkins and pink silverware.  We added tropical leaves to the placemats and scattered around the tables.  This picture looks scattered, I wish I had a wider shot because it looked really cute.  It's hard to play party planner and photographer at the same time.  Especially when there in only one hour to set up. 
The zoo provided pizza and soft drinks and we also served sandwiches, chicken nuggets, fruit salad and cookies from chick-fil-a. The leopard print cake and animal print cupcakes were adorable and delicious.  We used cardboard boxes of different sizes, covered in leopard print gossamer paper, to set the food and some stuffed animals at different heights and give the tables a little more interest.   And how cute is the highchair?  We just covered it with leopard print duct tape, a pink back cover and tulle skirt.  It's a really cute look and hopefully my brother-in-law won't mind all the leopard on the everyday because that duct tape is not coming off any time soon.

It was a really fun 1st birthday.  There was an exciting (and kind of scary) live animal presentation and at the end all guests received gift boxes (no pics-sorry) and tickets to enjoy the zoo. The staff was really great at accomodating our requests and did a wonderful job before, during and after the party.  Everyone had a really great time and my little niece loved being the center of attention. 

Happy Wednesday!

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