Little Savvy might very well be the only child I have and going through the toddler stage of life is something I want to enjoy before it’s gone. I take birthdays pretty seriously but for this one I opted for a bit of an over-the-top approach.
Savannah loves animals, bounce houses, and running around like, well, a wild animal. I took these things and turned to my party planning expert, Pinterest! I went down the evil Pinterest rabbit hole and eventually came to the conclusion that Savannah needed her very own carnival! A carnival complete with games, pony rides, a petting zoo, and of course her beloved bounce house. We have a very spacious backyard and it would all fit perfectly! My only hurdle to over come on my way to a fabulous party was the budget. Of course, stupid money and reality ruining my plans of grandeur. I was committed to not spend more than $1,000 but really I didn’t want to get any where near that number. Here is how I did it!
(Go check out my previous post about her admission ticket invitations right here.) Invitations alone cost me $55 which was honestly a splurge. I could have saved some invite money but Paul had me print a bunch of extra tickets that we didn’t even end up sending but oh well, I’m big on keepsakes.
So.. I’m still very upset about the fact that I can’t control the weather. It’s 2016 why can’t we control the rain yet?! We had a huge rain storm and the party had to be moved into our luckily very empty garage. Unfortunately, because the rain started so quickly the bounce house was flooded before I could move it.
She was able to play in it after the party ended and it dried up a bit. We rented a toddler sized bounce house and two carnival games from Celebrate Kids LV. (http://www.celebratekidslv.com) Of course, in the rush of rain and craziness I somehow missed taking pictures of the adorable carnival games we rented. We had a magnetic fishing pond and an animal head bean bag toss. The games included 50 prizes which were mainly candy. The fishing pond was a huge hit and the kids loved playing in the water with or without the pole. From Celebrate Kids I also rented two toddler sized folding tables that included 12 little chairs. I definitely recommend renting appropriate sized chairs for kids to help prevent falls and messes. I’m a previous customer so I got 10% off, leaving me with a total of $165 for all of this! My total is now $220 but I could have done some DIY games if I had the time and could have gone without the bounce house because there were some other, much more fun, guests to play with.
The muddy backyard was off limits but thankfully the front of our house is also very open. If Savannah had her way we would probably have a horse stable filled with her “pony friends.” (She’s an avid My Little Pony fan.) She loves horses and was so excited to be the first to ride our friend.
Yes, we also rented a petting zoo! (We still have the hay stains on the garage floor, sorry Paul!) After searching high and low for a company that treats their animals with the utmost care, I found Petting Zoo 2 U! We rented a small zoo and one pony for an hour and a half. They typically rent by the hour but were happy to prorate an extra half hour for us. The zoo included goats, sheep, chickens, geese, rabbits, and even a 6 week old goat! This was the absolute highlight of the entire party and the animals were so great with the kids. For only $265 I definitely felt like this was a steal! My total is now at $485 so I’m dangerously close to the halfway mark but the zoo and pony were so worth it. Petting Zoo 2 U even brought a huge container of hand sanitizer for the kids!
Because Savannah was the birthday girl she got to feed a sweet little 6 week old goat! She was so excited that she had a hard time keeping the bottle in place. It was adorable and a memory I will love forever.
(I’m still working on my photography skills so pardon the blur!)
Just look at that sweet sweet smile!
(As you can see, we had a few outfit changes and not because of an accident. According to Savannah, one cannot spend an entire party in just one dress. What have I created?) No carnival is complete without face painting and balloon animals according to my sister. Since it was her idea I set her and her boyfriend in charge of this. I don’t like the idea of balloon animals with such young children but with all parents in attendance (and watchful) we were okay. Sister dearest provided these things so my total is still at $485. Whoohoo for family!
The only thing left to get was the food! My mom was thinking pizza because it’s easy but I wanted something a tad more carnival-y. I wanted carnival themed but also mess free for little hands.
I homemade these mini corn dogs myself and as you can tell, it took me a couple of times to get the hang of it. For the recipe check right here! Paul insisted on tater tots instead of fries, which I actually ended up liking better. I already had the lollipop sticks so for the corn dogs and tater tots I’m not sure what exactly we spent. Buut, even better than homemade corn dogs was the …
Popcorn! Savannah and I love love love popcorn and now that she’s a little older I feel okay with her eating it at a party. We got this from Popcorn Girl here in Henderson/Las Vegas. (Check their website here!) I originally wanted pink popcorn with gold boxes but gold was no where to be found sadly. So instead of pink popcorn we went with their confetti popcorn. Each color is a different flavor and holy moly was it delicious! I paid almost $45 for the extra large bag and we didn’t even use half of it. Paul always likes to get way more than we need and we ended up having to donate the leftover popcorn to Savannah’s class. This puts my total at roughly $530.
I wanted a dessert that wasn’t a cake so naturally I thought of cupcakes. I went to a local bakery that was extremely off-putting and while sitting in my car trying to think of what to do I thought of a tasty idea, donuts! I love doughnuts, kids love doughnuts, doughnuts are somewhat non-messy, everyone comes out a winner! (Though a toddler could make a mess out of anything..) These babies came from Pink Box Doughnuts and were even more tasty than they look. I went to their Henderson location and asked about possibly a custom order. I was given the Owner’s email address and found that he was a delight to work with. I gave him my theme and how many doughnuts I wanted and he put this together for me with only two days notice. (Yes, I really did wait that long to find our dessert. Not sure how I forgot such an important part!) For a mere $27 I got three dozen doughnuts and the kids went absolutely nuts for them!
We had each kid pick out their own doughnut after Savannah grabbed hers. I stuck a big number three candle in the middle and look how cute it turned out!
“Hmm, what should I wish for?”
My ending total was roughly $557 which makes me super happy. For about $600 we put together a really impressive three year old party in my opinion. Of course, with a little added effort you could bring the dollar amount down even more by making your own dessert and your own carnival games.
Nana helping with presents and reading cards. (I didn’t realize until I went to edit this picture but look at that leg! How a person can be so tiny naturally blows my mind. I so much as smell a piece of candy and I gain five pounds.)
Not sure how we will ever be able to compete with this party in the years to come but I will always love these memories. I can now say that I have a completely potty trained three year and that makes me feel as if I somehow aged five years during this party process. They grow up way too quickly!