We had so much fun celebrating my son’s 5th birthday. At this age, the kids can be left (mostly) unsupervised and since we had a playtable full of legos there was an obvious activity to keep the boys occupied. Since my son decided to only invite the older boys from his class, my eldest daughter invited a friend to keep her company. And my youngest, was a trooper and napped through most of the party.
Before guests arrived, my son and older daughter helped to decorate the cake.
I bought a caramel pecan cheesecake from Costco for the base and trimmed it with leftover streamer backed by parchment paper.
The top two layers were Organics mix chocolate cake which we intentionally broke up.
We slapped it with chocolate frosting to keep all the layers together and sprinkled crushed chocolate wafer cookies & sprinkles here and there.
My son placed the animals, my daughter created the palm tree with parrot and I made the lego 5.
They both had so much fun decorating the cake.
I love a forgiving cake and a jungle-themed cake is very forgiving!
I kept the rest of the food simple and room-temperature appropriate.
- mandarin oranges
- cashews (thai lime chili, roasted & salted, sesame honey)
- Hawaiian rolls
- chili & tortilla chips
- baby cucumbers & sweet mini peppers
- charcuterie, cheese, cornichons, olives & crackers
- humus & pita chips
- potato chips & gluten-free pretzels.
The only time intensive dish I decided to prepare were the chicken finger waffles with mashed potato maple gravy.
I heated the chicken fingers and toasted the belgian waffles, then cut the waffles into quarters.
I stacked one chicken finger on a waffle quarter and skewered with a toothpick.
I served these alongside ketchup, maple syrup and mashed potato gravy.
I made the gravy by simply cooking potatoes in cream, blending until smooth (adding milk to get a saucy consistency), season with maple syrup, salt & pepper to taste.
My son’s crown was a last minute addition but I love how it turned out. I scoured the web to find lego animals and came across this amazing tiger which an artist had created for an exhibit at the Bronx zoo. I simply made a wrap-around design and superimposed the slash 5 over the tiger in powerpoint.
Though my son and his friends did end up playing with legos throughout the party, there was also a lot of running around, drawing & coloring and I think a game of hide & seek.
I also offered a jungle bandana craft to the kids, where I presented raw muslin bandanas and colorful felt, asking the kids to cut the felt into jungle shapes which they then pinned to the muslin. I then sewed the shapes onto the bandana with my sewing machine. The kids were very creative, lots of trees and vines and other interesting jungle-y shapes.
I really enjoy planning and hosting birthday parties for my kids. I like to open our home to my son’s friends and their families. Ultimately, I will keep doing these kinds of parties as long as my children want to have homey & themed parties. My son was so happy from start to finish and that really made all my efforts worthwhile.