Birthdays have become a fun challenge for us. We are trying to find the perfect fit for what the birthday girl wants (ponies!), the amount of work we want to put in, the amount of money we spend and the return on the fun.
Our friend had the idea last February to have a birthday party at the Larkspur Farmer’s Market for their 2 year old. It was a warm day and it was great fun, so as you do when a great idea comes along, you love it and adapt it for yourself, which is what we did!
We invited all the friends that Maren wanted to come meet us at the Farmer’s Market for her 3rd birthday. We arrived early and staked out two tables. The tables were decorated with our cloth bunting we use for each birthday celebration. This was our snack and juice table. After the guests all arrived, we moseyed over to the ponies and we provided each kid (twelve to be exact) a nice spin on a pony.
After some quality pony rides, it was time for folks to spread out and find some yummies amongst the amazing restaurants and market vendors. Some kids got their face painted ($5 each), and some also made a craft at the free art table.
Food was acquired or was munched on, picnic style, by all. After lunch, we brought out the lemon blueberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. The candles accidentally got left on the kitchen counter at home, so we improvised and used our standard cake bunting for cupcake flair to accommodate the singing and new customary flag blowing?
The group then either hung out, meandered about the stores, grabbed a pint or took off with the kids to ride the mechanical ponies. Then it was time to head home.
The total cost of the birthday celebration was $69 for 22 Guests.
- $36 in Pony Rides
- $25 in snacks, juice and cupcakes (Maren and I made them ourselves).
- $8 Bento gift boxes
We tacked on an extra $10 in face painting and $20 in lunch for ourselves. I guess bringing our true total to $99, but this last part was all self incurred.
The stress level of the party was very minimal, but increased by the fact that we had no car, because ours had been stolen the week before, so we had to borrow a car and a carseat. Added stress came from the Oakland Bay Bridge being completely shut down for the weekend creating really cruddy traffic. Sorry!! But other than that, it was a fun and easy party to throw.
The one thing I was a bit bummed about was that there were so many fun things to do and see that it seemed I didn’t get to chat with everyone because we were always running off somewhere.
Overall, Maren had a blast, which is all that really mattered. Because we really don’t need any more toys and due to the fact we didn’t provide lunch, we requested no gifts please, but our friends were very sweet and got Maren some fabulous gifts anyway.
I’m not sure we’d do this party exactly this way again, only due to the large number of guests. If we had a smaller party that would be able to stay together throughout the day, I’d say it’s a great way to go. We had fun and got to enjoy the beautiful outdoor market with friends celebrating one of our favorite people. Any way you look at it, it was a great day!
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