June 7, 2018

Lilly’s 5th Birthday (Bunny Rainbow) Party

Those of you that have been readers for awhile now, know that Lilly and Bunny have a love affair that began at birth. But despite all the clothing (like the romper below), accessories and additional animals, besides this little affair, we’ve never had a bunny themed birthday party until now and Lilly was adamant that this was the year. I suggested since she was turning five, we were celebrating on the fifth of May (her birthday is the third) and she’s so into her Spanish lessons right now, we should have a CINCO de Mayo fiesta. Sadly, she vetoed that idea. So bunny it was.

Since her brother’s birthday is a month later, I naturally started talking about his party too and decided on a rainbow theme for our rainbow baby. But, of course, once Lilly heard that, she hijacked her brother’s theme like she does everything else in his life. Suddenly, she was having a bunny and rainbow party and there was no deterring her.

Each year, I try to have her party somewhere fun and different (the park, a cooking class, toy store, our new house with a yard that was super exciting for city kids…). Since we’d already hosted at our home last year and thrown several more elaborate play dates recently, one which almost set me over the edge, I vowed to have it elsewhere. Plus, I love when we can have it indoors as you never know what the early May days will bring and I’m over stressing about the weather for a preschooler’s party like one would do with a wedding.

My friend threw her son’s construction themed party at Oh! Canary, an adorable art studio in town, which I fell in love with and Lilly had a blast at. And, we’ve been on the birthday party circuit all year and most every one has been somewhere different (bounce factory, gymnastics, bowling), all of which I loved, and thought it might be fun for her friends to experience the art studio too. There were only two problems. One, part of the appeal of Oh! Canary is its intimate environment. Therefore, the guest list was limited, which meant family friends were out, only classmates could be accommodated. I, of course, was bummed about it but, to be honest, Lilly didn’t seem fazed. We also couldn’t include siblings, which made me a bit nervous having to tell parents, some of whom I didn’t know that well, that they couldn’t bring their other children. Lacey, the studio owner, suggested we make it drop off optional. When I mentioned this to friends with older kids, their response surprised me. “Parents LOVE drop off parties.” Upon further thought, it made sense. Two hours of free babysitting? Sign me up!

Clearly, others felt the same. All but two ended up dropping off and, while I missed getting the chance to catch up with the parents, it actually was really nice to have it be all about the kids. There were enough adults with the grandparents, us, the additional two parents and Lacey and her employee, Sarah, to oversee and help the kids, the space is small enough to keep them contained, so that wasn’t an issue, and it helped open up the room, which made it feel less crowded and more manageable. But, the best part, I hadn’t allotted for was, without all the extra conversation, I could actually be more present, not missing any moments and really getting to enjoy Lilly and her friends. Plus, the kids were all so much better behaved. Sure, they were sugared up (That’s part of the bargain, I’ve discovered, free babysitting but no guarantee on the condition you’re getting them back in! No one was really supervising the rapidly vanishing rainbow cookies or marshmallows.) but, without their parents as a crutch, they were no meltdowns. I don’t know about your kids but Lilly is much better behaved when we’re not around. She saves the sass for us.

Since they are such active, “older” kids who are used to high octane events, the other element I was concerned about was whether an art party would satisfy them and hold their attention. Lacey is great about moving things along and offering up many, different interactive stations but, still, I was skeptical. Once we settled on slime as the main activity, I knew we’d be good. And it wasn’t just any old slime, it was DIY rainbow slime with sprinkles and glitter galore and the kids went CRAZY for it. They got to customize the color, consistency and add-in’s and then take their own personalized jar home.

We started the party the way Oh! Canary always does with a 3-D cake and large banner that the kids can paint at their leisure and to their liking. Normally, it’s a Happy Birthday banner but I asked Lacey if she could do a large rainbow instead to keep with the theme. Of course she could. She can do anything.

Upon arrival, there were also bunny placemats they could color and headbands they could decorate. I asked Lacey to color block the crayons, markers and colored pencils to echo the rainbow theme.

On my new mission to keep things simple, I opted to do just cake, (homemade) cookies and some other snacks. There were “Bunny Tails”, a.k.a. giant marshmallows that the kids could not get enough of, bunny gummies and cheddar bunnies. The cake was bunny on the outside, rainbow layers in, which I, of course, did not get a good photo of, in all the madness, but it was super cute. The cookie mix Lilly found at Party City and insisted on; they were slightly Monet-esque, attractive enough from afar, slightly sloppy up close. The last line of the sign, which is a bit blown out in this photo, said “Hooray for Lilly’s 5th Birthday!”

Our poor bunny got a bit of a droopy eye in transport. It’s apropos as it’s often how I feel most (party) days.

The napkins were, naturally, bunny as was the picture frame (really what wasn’t/isn’t in our home?).

Although they were DIYing headbands, the guest of honor needed her own special one and I fell in love with this beautiful version.

The bunny crackers from Meri Meri were quite popular too. The kids continued the mess making by showering confetti everywhere. Lilly switched from her bow to her band about ten different times throughout the party. I guess it’s the birthday girl’s prerogative to change her mind- and accessories.

I found these adorable ombre plastic tumblers from Sugar & Cloth, one of my favorite blogs and accounts to follow (the cake stand is theirs too!), and knew they needed to be the kids cups adorned with a bunny sprinkle rim. These adorable bunny napkin rings were at each place setting with a simple rolled white paper cloth. Each gift bag had surprise carrots, bunny and rainbow tattoos, a giant lollipop in one of the many pastel rainbow colors, bunny bracelets and rings, a bunny rubber duck for the bath and then, of course, their individualized container of slime.

Every year, her party M.O. is to destroy the dessert table early.

How cute are these bunny plates? Pizza was served on these rainbow plates.

Stalking her guests’ arrivals.

I found these cute DIY bunny balloons that they kids loved decorating and customizing as their own but once more than one or two popped, they decided that was much more fun and a popping party commenced. If we thought it was loud before…

It was Lilly’s idea to have a Pin the Tail on the Bunny game, which I loved, and was one of the many highlights. The kids were hysterically laughing and simultaneously shrieking.

Three marshmallows deep and getting excited…

… they arrived!

The bunny and rainbow tattoo station was a major draw.

There was a bunny book for the kids to sign, something I always do as sort of a de facto guest book. They always think it’s so fun that they’re not only allowed but being asked to write in a book!

The main attraction…

Another amazing part of having the festivities at Oh! Canary was Lacey did most of the DIY’s (cake, rainbow, headbands, Pin the Tail on the Bunny) and provided the actual items (slime supplies, paints and brushes, markers, stickers, gems…). But that doesn’t mean we didn’t still do a few things at home. Besides the cookies, Lilly and her Nonna made the DIY bunny favor bags and she and I made candles for her cake with these wax sheets and cutters. They worked perfectly for this year as there’s five letters in her name.

Remember that point I made about kids only melting down when their parents are there? I rest my case.

What a great day and an even better group of kids. Everyone, grandparents included, agreed it was the best party yet!