Birthday Safari ~ Holden Turns Six

When it comes to our kids’ birthday parties, I always have two things in mind….

Keep it simple.

Make it special.

This year we decided to have Holden’s party at the Wildlife Learning Center. We’d never been there, but learned that they do parties so I thought it’d be something different and educational at the same time.



To keep things extra easy, I scheduled the party in the mid-afternoon from 2pm-4pm so that I didn’t feel I had to serve a whole meal or heavy snacks since that would be harder to transport, keep cold, etc. I just made a huge batch of Safari Trail Mix for munching on and served two-bite cupcakes and mini ice cream sandwiches {the cutest & perfectly kid-sized ~ Ralphs/Kroger brand}. We had mini water bottles from Trader Joe’s that I covered in leopard print duct tape to keep with the theme.


{easiest party trick ever}

A big thank you to my talented friend, Richelle, who helped place and hang the decor as she is the event planning guru…


{embroidery hoops with remnant fabric purchased from Joann’s ~ all 3 hoops cost less than $5 to make}



{the “H” is just a piece of cardboard that I covered in yarn and the “6” is from the dollar bins at Michael’s}




The first 30 minutes of the party is a presentation of several animals with facts and a chance for all the kids to touch said critter.







{my fave, the porcupine}





After the live animal presentation, the kids went on a little tour of the grounds to meet more animal friends…










“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Holden, Happy Birthday to you!”



I really try to make the party favors useful {which probably translates to boring for the kids, but perfect for the parents!}

The kiddos went home with some safari band-aids and a little mini B&BW hand sanitizer for their backpacks or lunch boxes…



The 3 and under crowd took home fun little monkey melamine plates…


…and the under 1 year old guest went home with a pair of giraffe mittens…


{ok, so I don’t know how useful mittens are in So Cal, but they sure were cute!}



This non-profit was a pleasure to work with and the two ladies that ran the party were so great with the kids and very knowledgable. The only thing that bugged me was that the pavilion where the presentation and the party is held is right along the main thoroughfare and we had a few “party crashers”. I got irritated enough and kindly informed them that it was a private party and they went on their merry ways, but other than that, I think the safari-goers had a fantastic time and all seemed very engaged and interested.

The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful. I was a little worried since we had some rain and lots of wind earlier in the week. Holden showed up in shorts and flip flops. Cannot ask for more perfect February weather than that!

I am always reminded each year as we celebrate our kids birthdays of the special group of friends that we’re blessed with in our lives. I loved that this party was a gathering of old friends that have known Holden since before he was 2, new friends that he has made this year in kindergarten, sweet next door neighbors and friends & family that traveled all the way from Orange County and San Diego.

And then there are the same friends who, year after year, are my cupcake passer-outers, clean up crew and schlep-everything-to-the-car helpers. Thank you to my Stevenson Ranch ladies ~ Karen, Melissa & Janet for always lending a hand. We may no longer be able to meet at the park and chat once or twice a week, but I still love you, of course, and will always remember those times special times we spent together before school came and interrupted our social life! Darn it.

THANK YOU to all who came ~ we loved having you there to celebrate Holden’s special day with us.


Cannot believe our baby will turn SIX tomorrow…


It’s been a WILD 72 months, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

We love you to pieces, Holdy, and hope you enjoyed your party and celebrating with your friends ~ both animal and human!

2 thoughts on “Birthday Safari ~ Holden Turns Six”

  1. Thank you! Can’t believe he is already six! Didn’t we just celebrate his 1st on that rainy, rainy day?

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