Confession time: I just finished planning the easiest birthday party ever.
And he had a blast.
When it came time to figure out Shep’s third birthday theme, it couldn’t have been more obvious. If you follow along on my Instagram, you’ve seen Shep in his astronaut costume about all the time. So I started looking for party ideas at his favorite science museum here in Columbus, COSI. It just so happened they have a Space Explorer party theme, so I knew it’d be perfect for him!
If you read along, while I love getting together with friends and definitely wanted to make Shep feel special on his third birthday, I get nervous just thinking about planning a kids party. I really prefer simple birthday parties and celebrations — less is more! So when I saw that COSI handles absolutely everything, I knew it was right the pick for us. Not to mention, the cost was really close to what we end up spending for our parties at home when food and cake are considered. I spoke with their planning team, picked our date, and from there handled the invites.
When it came to Shep’s astronaut costume, he had grown out of his Halloween costume so we thought it would be a great birthday present to get him a new astronaut suit (since he insists on wearing it everytime we go to COSI). Here’s the one we found from Kohl’s, and he absolutely loves the “real” patches on the suit.
Lately I’ve been using Paperless Post for almost all the parties we have lately. Not only does it make it easier because you don’t have to bother with home addresses, but you can also save the invite to your calendar so easily. I picked the astronaut-themed invite and sent to Shep’s friends. For his friends at school, I was able to print out the same invite and place in their mailboxes. Another awesome thing about Paperless Post is that I could send invites to our friends with updates for the party like parking information and an update about gifts.
Helping No Child Wet Behind
When it came to gifts, we ended up requesting that everyone bring diapers instead to support No Child Wet Behind, an organization here in Columbus (and with groups across the US) that were fundraising to be able to provide 100,000 diapers to kids in need. I told Shep about the cause and let him know I thought it would be so much better if we could help those babies since he already had plenty of toys. He agreed, and was so proud when he saw the big pile of diapers that we will be able to provide Columbus Birth & Parenting. Our friends are so thoughtful to have brought these, and so glad we can help make a dent in this major need!
I was nervous about the birthday party and how Shep would react as the center of attention, but he totally loved it. Like a lot. They had the room set up with several activity stations, like making a constellation, building with kinetic sand & astronaut figurines, making a birthday poster and designing an astronaut helmet. Kids could play and explore those stations, and they also did two planned activities that they led. First they creating little rockets the kids got to help make and then shoot off. I’m convinced Shep could have done that for hours.
Then, the made nitrogen ice cream, and the kids loved the “smoke” created from the ice cream. The leader of the party, Wes, was so great at keeping kids’ attention and helping make it fun for everyone by asking them to participate.
We ate pizza, veggies and Shep’s astronaut cake after the excitement. Then, friends could explore the museum with their families and enjoy the gorgeous day.
Thank goodness there have been other three-year-olds like Shep who love astronauts and space, because Amazon had a lot of great little items for favor bags. I chose these rocket kaleidoscopes, favor boxes, Annie’s snacks, rocket stampers, astronaut stickers and EatPakd treats.
If you haven’t yet heard of EatPakd, I can’t say enough great things about them. Since I enjoy packing our boys lunches when we head out of the house, sometimes I don’t have the time during our crazy mornings to put together a healthy and travel-friendly lunch for them. Thankfully EatPakd creates these amazing lunches (and desserts, which we had in the favor bags) that include lots of fresh fruits and veggies and they deliver them to my door once a week. The packaging is great too because you can use one or all of them depending on the day, and then save the other portion for later.
Mother’s Day Celebrations
After the party, we headed home for naps and with Clint’s dad Jim and my parents in town we relaxed on the back patio. The weather was gorgeous so we were so happy to be outdoors. We enjoyed dinner all together that night and enjoyed being able to reminisce about my grandma, Clint’s mom and all our wonderful memories together.
Shep Is 3!
So how is my sweet boy already three? The day he was born changed my world forever, and watching him grow, while it’s going too fast, makes me so proud of who he has become. His intelligence and passion for life are inspiring, and I’m so excited for our summer together. Each year brings such incredible memories with this guy, and I can’t wait to tackle these terrific threes together.
What was your child’s favorite birthday party? What were your party planning secrets?