When my son's birthday was around the corner I started looking for ideas. I discovered that the nearby parks offered birthday parties. And they're very affordable! I just love the outdoors so was really excited about this idea. One in particular was just down the street from us. They have themes including Amphibians and Reptiles or Butterflies and Insects. They also have a naturalist who can help you come up with a theme.
The great thing about these parties (at least from the parent perspective) is that you just show up with the food and they take care of the rest! The party includes a program led by a naturalist, a covered picnic area and a craft for the kids to make and take home. No party favors needed. As a busy parent I can't tell you how much I appreciate these programs. I don't have time to put together a Pinterest-worthy party, but I do want to something fun for the kids to enjoy.
To give you an idea of how these programs work here is an example. My son loves birds and was excited to be part of this group to learn more about them.
The naturalist talked about the birds local to our area. They then went on a nature walk to go birdwatching. The park had several nice binoculars to loan out and he was excited to use one. After they returned they talked about their discoveries. They also wrote down their findings in a journal booklet.
The open grounds gave the kids plenty of space to run around and play. And it was a beautiful day so they really enjoyed themselves.
If your area parks do not offers these programs not to worry! It's not hard to come up with an outdoor theme and activities. You can even host the party in your own backyard. Here are some recommendations as you plan your outdoor party.
Book well in advance. If your area parks offer birthday parties the time slots will fill up quickly, especially if you're booking for a Saturday or Sunday. Some allow reservations six months ahead of time, book as soon as you can.
Come up with a Plan B just in case the weather isn't cooperating.
Decide on a theme. It can be as simple as squirt guns and water balloons in the backyard. Or it can be nature theme. A Wild Kratts theme is fun if your kids are into that show. If you have an older kid they may have fun roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.
Offer foods related to the theme. I made these for S'mores Brownie Cupcakes. They were a real hit! I don't have an official recipe. All you do is use a box of Ghiradelli brownie mix. Then crumble graham crackers and place on top.
Bake the brownies according to the directions on the box. Then once it's done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
Top with a large marshmall, then place a Hershey piece in each one. To brown the cupcake you can stick it in your toaster oven. Broil for a minute until golden brown. Be sure you are attentive or your marshmallow will burn.
There are many fun activities for kids that incorporate nature. A scavenger hunt is one that comes to mind. This is not only great for a birthday party but other nature outdoor theme parties. Or even just your everyday walks.
I created an easy to print list that you can use, click here to download the PDF.
Don't have a printer? No problem! Make a list from paper.
After the kids are done with the hunt, they can take their finds and turn it into something else, such as using the pine cone to make a bird feeder. Simply spread peanut butter, shortening or honey. Then roll in bird seed. Tie a string at the top and hang from a tree branch.
Do you have any fun ideas for an outdoor nature birthday party? Just chime in the comments below.
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