When Katie Wynn turned one, we had a petting zoo birthday party for her. It was so much fun that we decided to do a repeat party for Thomas's first birthday. I had already made up my mind that that's what we'd do, so when I called the girl that brought the animals to KW's party and learned that she no longer did birthday parties, I hit the internet to find another petting zoo. At Katie Wynn's party, we had a pony, a bunny, a couple of chickens, and a donkey and we were really pleased with that. But for Thomas's party, I hired Happy Times Farm and let me tell you, their petting zoo is LEGIT.
Their website said they would bring around 30 animals but I'm not sure that it registered with me just exactly how many animals that is! And I think we had way more than that. Let's see, there was a pig, 4 baby ducks, 6 of the softest rabbits ever, 3 guinea pigs (I think), a couple chickens, a llama, a horse, a donkey, a goat, some kind of small cow, and about 25 sheep and lambs. By my count, that's closer to 50 animals! They pulled up in a trailer and just kept bringing animals out and setting their pens up in the yard. Then they opened up a small compartment and out ran all the sheep. It was crazy!
Before we get into all the animal petting action, let's back up just a little to the party decorations. And by "decorations," I mean the very few things I set out the day of the party. I tried to keep things simple for this party. I did zero crafting, no sewing, and no major baking (just a quick cake for Thomas!). In fact, I got on Oriental Trading and ordered every single thing from them, including the party favors. The invitations we sent out (this design from etsy) had blue gingham on it so I used that as the color scheme. Oriental Trading came through with plates, napkins, and cups to match!
Now, on to the fun party pics! Like most one-year-olds, Thomas had no idea that all of the hoopla was for him. (Katie Wynn, on the other hand, though it was all for her.)
Oh, before I forget - just like with Katie Wynn's birthday parties, I hired a photographer (Kasey McAlpin - find her on Facebook) to take pictures throughout the party. She gets credit for all the photos in this post! Also, Katie Wynn had a busted up face from an accident on the driveway (read more about it here) so her face was scabbed up at the party.
I'm not going to try to narrate these pictures - there are way too many! Just enjoy these snapshots from throughout the party. And, if you see one of your child, I probably already have it printed to send to you! (Click on any image to see it bigger.)
When it came time to eat, we made sure there was hand sanitizer readily available! Just like the decorations, we kept our menu super simple: hot dogs, chips, and drinks. That's it!
We gave Thomas his cake as everyone finished eating, and it was kinda a non-event. The slight breeze kept the candle from staying lit so we couldn't even help him blow it out! I put animal cookies on top of the cake and, in hindsight, that was a bad idea. He just pulled off one of them and wanted to munch on it. Anna finally smooshed his hand into the cake but he didn't like having it on his hands at all!
After Thomas had his cake, I brought out dessert for everyone else: Parker's Water Ice. It's one of my very favorite treats! It's like a sno cone that's the texture of sorbet. So good and so perfect for a hot day! Of course, the parents may have been cringing at the bright red and bright blue - hopefully all clothes came clean!
Since we had a photographer on hand, we took a few quick family pictures. I would've tried to get more but we were all so sweaty that I didn't think it was worth it!
As our little guests said goodbye, they got to pick out a couple of farm animal books to take home with them. (Thanks again, Oriental Trading!)
With our guests leaving, it was time for the animals to load back onto the trailer and head to their next event. We waved goodbye and with that, our petting zoo party was over. :(
Since the party, Katie Wynn has asked at least 12 times if Thomas could have another birthday so that we could do it again. And every time we go to someone else's party she asks if the "amimals" will be there. It's safe to assume that she had a really good time! Who knows, maybe we'll be doing it again. But first, I've got to figure out how to explain to a two-year-old that her birthday is still months away...