Courtney Warren is a Texas-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and Today.com. She is a frequent consultant on Fox 4 TV’s Good Day program in Dallas, was ranked in the top 3 percent of interior designers in the US by Houzz.com, and starred in the Dallas episode of TLC’sFour Houses. She delights in helping overwhelmed clients create beautiful spaces—and will never turn down a warm chocolate chip cookie or Diet Dr Pepper.
Everyone loves a fiesta, and if you’re not crazy, you love Mexican food about as much as I do. We have a lot of August birthdays in our close circle of friends and family. So, it made sense that we decided to celebrate them all together with one fiesta birthday celebration! Chips and salsa, sugar cookies and cake, fruit juice concoctions, and a piñata!
With COVID-19 precautions, we may not celebrate birthday parties like we used to. BUT, we’re going to tell you how to pump up the fun factor for your summer birthday party this year. From party timelines and activities to dripping cakes, we’ll cover what you need to know!
Let’s dive right in:
Creating a timeline is one of the first things we need when planning a birthday celebration. Here’s our two cents:
Remember, you don’t need to entertain for hours! For toddlers and preschoolers, keep parties at about an hour and a half. For school-age kids, aim for two to three hours. Want more tips and timings? Check out Martha Stewart’s birthday planning guide.
Hosting for adults and children alike? Especially in August, any time after the midday heat has cooled down is perfect. Because we hosted our celebration at Old Bison Ranch, we were lucky to have a great breeze from the water and luscious trees to additional offer protection from the sun.
WHO LOVES A BALLOON GARLAND??!!
I totally do. It is a party waiting to happen. You can also add your DIY balloon garlands to other sections of your party. Balloon garlands are a simple and inexpensive decoration that adds color to your celebration. Best part? They take less than an hour to put together. Plus, it’s an activity you can do with your kids to get them excited about their birthday festivities.
Looking for more colorful fun? We chose a birthday piñata– fun for party-goers of all ages, and adds a fun element to an outdoor space!
Part of birthday celebrating is giving out birthday cards.
Instead of this traditional route, create a birthday post.
Here, we used fresh elements from sliced grapefruits, cactus plants, and other local foliage, which added great color elements to the food and candies displayed. If you want to get super creative, buy some cool props like a small tree trunk or extra-large bowling pin. The kids can sign these, and your child can keep the prop for as long as they want! Whichever theme you’re going for, just make sure your prop aligns with that theme.
Want another crowd-pleaser? Create treats that fit your party theme.
For this fiesta celebration, we opted for:
You can also use fresh ideas for your birthday cake. One of our favorite cake options right now is a dripping cake! It’s a great way for your birthday family and friends to feel a sense of adoration as they enjoy a fun birthday cake masterpiece!
Fresh flowers are never out of style for any celebration. And don’t they make you happy? They do me!
By featuring bright Gerber daisies paired with lots of green foliage, fresh oranges, and limes, the fun pops of color for the table settling were fun by their own right.
Using cactus leaves for a place-setting was a seasonally fresh additional that made for great texture, too! Just watch the pointy tips because they are soft and clear and we were all pulling them out of our fingers!
Your kiddos look forward to their special day once a year. It’s their time to celebrate with tasty treats and exciting activities. Whether you opt-in for a traditional birthday or a virtual one, you can make both work safely.
Get your party on from the comfort of your own living room! Sky Zone now hosts virtual birthday parties. Kids can see their friends through an online network even when they’re stuck at home. The Sky Zone team guides kids through 20 minutes of active play, games, and a “Happy Birthday” sing-along. There are now many other virtual birthday party options. You can even try the Netflix Party extension in Chrome.
Option #2 will never disappoint – let’s host a neighborhood drive-by party. Just coordinate with party guests and have an in-person celebration without close contact. Ask your guests to organize a time to be out on their front porch or lawn. You and your kids can deck out your car with bright streamers, signs, and balloons. As you drive by every guest’s house, play some birthday jams as your kids can say hello to their friends. What a cool way to collect some birthday wishes?
Friends can also make signs for the drive-by and leave a wrapped gift on their lawn for you to pick up. Prepare your kids for an exchange too. For example, drop off a goody bag and thank you card in each guest’s mailbox. This drive-by will give your kids that birthday love without compromising safety standards. Plus, it will be a thrill for them to visit each lawn without knowing what to expect!
If the above options don’t work for you and you’d rather take the traditional route, we understand! For you, we’ve come up with a few ways you can host a birthday celebration that still aligns with CDC guidelines.
Some families began making “hug shields.” This allowed kids to safely embrace their grandparents during the pandemic. Why not use this concept for birthday parties too?
If you’re up for it, create small stations for each child separated by a clear, plastic shield. There are hundreds of DIY options on Pinterest. All you need is some e $1 dollar store shower curtains and PVC pipes. This way, your guests can safely see and interact with each other and get some hug action in.
Don’t forget to enlist helpers! For example, assign one parent to manage the cake station and another to cover gift unwrapping. This way, you don’t have to watch everyone like a hawk and can enjoy the party too. Also, try creating plastic paw prints or tye-dye footprints to help kids navigate your backyard lawn and stay 6ft apart. Or, paint plastic or rock tiles in bright neon paint that show each 6ft mark.
Besides 6ft signs, create some friendly entrance signs as well. Decorate them with a DIY balloon garland and write a message that tells your guests to wear masks. Take it a step further! Use a garden gnome or life-size Disney character doll and tape a mask to its face. This is a whimsical way to tell your guests about your mask requirement without sounding too medical or intimidating.
Be sure to check with your guests and parents beforehand to see if everyone is on the same page. This will prevent any misunderstandings or safety issues.
Set up craft stations for your kids or a treasure hunt to ensure everyone remains 6ft apart. While each kid is waiting for their turn, host a kid-friendly Paint and Sip class. Kids can paint a piece of art that they can take home with them and hang on their walls.
However, some classic games like musical chairs, and egg relay races may not be possible right now.
See! Your kiddos don’t have to miss out on their summer birthday party because of COVID. We wish you tons of birthday fun!
Maybe you could use some fun too? If you want to work together from the comfort of our own sofas, we’re offering E-Design. Find the details here.
As always, I am so happy to be walking on this journey of life, family, and beauty.
I offer a complimentary, no-strings-attached phone call consultation. We can also consult by video conference. If you’d like to meet in your home, please know we will use all current safety protocols.