Monday, March 28, 2011

Indoor Camping Birthday Party

*UPDATE: A reader asked me to give her some suggestions for kids activities that she could use at her own indoor camping party. View that post HERE.

I really wanted to have a fun family night for my husband's birthday this year since his last birthday was spent preparing to have major surgery, again!

My conditions for this party were long. It was a weeknight, so the festivities had to be over in time for the kids to go to bed for school the next day. It was January in Utah, so it would probably have to be an inside activity. And it had to be special just like my amazing husband!

I finally decided that an indoor camping party was perfect! We had hamburgers for dinner but if I did it again I'd probably do something a bit more themey and go with tin foil dinners or dutch oven fare. (Hamburgers were easy and let's not forget it was a school night and easy was the name of the game!) We also watched a movie and made smores with marshmallows roasted in the fireplace.

So here are some of the details and maybe it will inspire somebody else to find a way to celebrate the people they love!

About 5 days before his birthday I whipped up these invitations. Now, I know what you're thinking, why would you need invitations for a party for just your immediate family? True, you don't need invitations, but I have found that my kids get soooooo excited when they come home and find their own invitation on their bed or waiting for them on the dinner table. The striped paper is 12x12 scrapbook paper I had on hand and the diecuts are from my Cricut. (The striped paper matches the tent in the next photo. I also used the paper to carry through the theme on the smores table.)

I started by setting up our two man tent in the family room. (Of course this kids thought this was crazy fun.) I also wanted some "stars" for our camp out so I got out the Christmas lights and strung them across the area using any sturdy thing I could find to wrap them around!

This is the smores/dessert table. I considered making a smores shaped cake or smores cupcakes but I really wanted to do a smores bar and figured we didn't need cake on top of smores! (Besides Hubby and I shared a yummy dessert at lunch.)
I used a denim table runner on my sofa table (just the right size for a small party) and placed the table in front of one of my windows with the curtains pulled together as a backdrop. The lantern I borrowed from my parents house along with the black speckled roasting pan. I used Mason jars for the Smores Goldfish Mix and disposable foil pans for the regular and chocolate graham crackers. All things we had around the house.

This is a close up of the simple banner I made as part of the backdrop. I used the same striped scrapbook paper and my Cricut to cut our the banner, letters "CAMP DADDY" and tent shape.

I wanted to have a variety of chocolate to put on our smores but since there were only 6 of us I bought those 8 packs of mini candy bars that sell for about $1 each. We had Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Milky Way, Hershey Milk Chocolate, Hershey Dark Chocolate, Hershey Cookies and Cream, Snickers and Almond Joys. The options really are endless!

I also included some snack size bags of trail mix for munching on during the movie. Again, another fun thing but not a necessity are some fun goodie bags for the kids. I included a small plastic compass from Zurchers, a few hard candies, a glow stick and a Quaker smores granola bar. Both are basic zip top baggies with a paper topper stapled on.

Some additional close ups from the smores table.

Here are a couple of cuties watching the movie in their camp chairs. (We chose Parent Trap, we had a bit of a hard time finding a great kid appropriate camping movie and they'd never seen Parent Trap and after all the girls are camping in the beginning of the movie-a bit of a stretch but they liked it.)

Got to love how messy and yummy a smore is!

I had fun putting together a special family night for my sweetie. He seriously couldn't be any more supportive and helpful, fun and patient, thoughtful and selfless, talented or smart. He's perfect-for me! Happy Birthday!

*My tip for a simple yet coordinated party is to repeat one element over and over to highlight the theme/color scheme. Rather than designing or purchasing custom paper elements such as bottle wraps, toppers, invitations and  banners, I used a 12x12 striped scrapbook paper to coordinate the tent (my inspiration for the color scheme) with the smores table. Best of all, I had purchased a whole pack of this paper on clearance so it didn't cost me anything!

 Truth Be Told:
-This was an idea I was going to do last year for my birthday but my husband was in the hospital so I was glad to finally get to do this party.
-Nothing ever goes as planned, the baby threw up during the movie! Luckily, no big mess-but I did get distracted from the movie for the second half and the birthday boy had to run to the store for baby Tylenol.
-This was my first time seeing Parent Trap. Can you believe I made it more than 30 years without seeing it?

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Amanda said...

You are seriously SO cute!!! What a great idea....and the paper looks familiar:)

Events DEE-signed said...

Cute party!!

Kelly said...

Very Cute!!!!
I'd love it if you would link up over at the Glitter Party!!!

Dawn said...

What a thoughtful and creative family night! Very inspiring!

Cori said...

Ooooh, I love it! This is the cutest idea!

Lisa said...

What a fun family activity!

Tammy @ Type A said...

very cool, how much fun. i have a party that goes from tues-thurs, i would love you shared this.

Tammy @ Type A said...

thanks for sharing this! i agree it's so hard to plan. but the party turned out great,and what a nice memory!

Tammy @ Type A said...

i featured you this week!!!

Amanda @ Ninth Street Notions said...

Very cute idea. I think I'll have to find an occasion to do this.