County Fair Birthday Party

We went to a Fall Festival held at a local farm last year. On the drive home my (now) 10 year old told me he wanted his party to be just like that. He literally has been planning this for the whole year. He drew pictures and made lists. I of course had to scale back some seeing as I don’t have any connections with people who have Ferris Wheels, but I think we did a pretty good job :)

(I created the invites in photoshop)

Remember last week when I told you my one and only lens for my camera broke? I have to manually focus it now. I am not use to having to do that so some of my pictures turned out blurry. I am so sad. But blurry  pics are better than none, right???

We did things differently with this party. My son wanted it to really feel like a fair. Plus he is saving up for something big. So we invited the WHOLE FAMILY of each child. Instead of bringing a gift we had them bring the money they would have spent on a gift to “buy” tickets.

They could use those tickets to go and do all the activities.

Like face painting. . .

This was my booth. It was hard to be the photographer, manage all the booths and face paint, but it worked out. I wish I had the money to hire someone to take pictures. But this party was on a shoe string budget :)

The hit of the party was the petting zoo!!! My son spent the most time here and none of the kids wanted to go home because of the animals.  (P.S. You can see the new fence we are building! I love it)

We have some awesome friends that brought their pygmy goats and bunnies over for the zoo. Our neighbors let us borrow a mother hen and her chicks to go along with our chickens and ducks.

I am totally in love with these little pygmy goats! I almost have my husband convinced to get a couple :) That is as big as they get!!!

The other popular thing was the ring toss, for 2 reasons. 1) The party had a ton of little boys. Boys are competitive. 2) The prize was live goldfish!

Yep. Real goldfish! But I had other options in case any of the parents didn’t want the fish. (I knew the parents though and wasn’t too worried) They could choose a toy and a bag of goldfish crackers.

(I made the signs to match the font of the invitation using my Silhouette machine. It cut the lettering out and I used spray adhesive to stick them to poster board)

The bottles are 2 liters of Rootbeer and the rings were mason jar rings.

I am so sad that this one is super blurry (darn broken lens!). I wanted to bring out my kitchen table but we would have had to take off the kitchen door. So I used a card table (thanks mom!) and some apple crates. You can’t really tell but the fabric was red and white checkers.

For the pumpkin decorating I bought foam sticker sets from Oriental Trading for the kids to use on the pumpkins. They could mix and match and the best part was NO MESS! I was a little surprised at how much the older boys liked this. I thought mainly the smaller ones and the girls would do it.

Not all of them are pictured. I forgot to take pictures of this until after some people had gone home. There were a TON of kids :)

This kiddie area was not in the original plan. It was a last minute genius idea. I realized since we were inviting the whole family of each child that there would be some tiny kids. They wouldn’t want to do all the things there. I grabbed out play tents and all our tunnels. I was going to fill one of the tent with a giant bag of plastic balls we have but couldn’t find them in time. We also put out slide over there but it is not in the picture. The little ones LOVED it!!!

I didn’t really get a picture of the food table. It was not anything fancy since we were having hot dogs and chips. But we had a rusty yellow  barrel that the cute red table top barbecue sat on. Next to that was the table with a denim table cloth. To hide the ugly orange water cooler, I set it inside of a wood barrel. I had used my jigsaw to cut a hole so you could still access the water spout.

My husband took the kids for a hay ride around the neighborhood  towards the end of the party.

I always have a hard time right before a party. I always have things that don’t get done. I always have to scrap certain things. And there are always things that go wrong, or get lost, or break. I have a hard time because I know how I wanted it to be and what it COULD have been. But at the end of the day the only thing that matters is that the birthday kid was happy. He didn’t care that the dozens of blue ribbons I had cut out were still on the kitchen table. He didn’t care that I had to buy the bake sale items because I ran out of time to bake them myself.  And he didn’t care that I had my hair slicked back and was a sweaty mess.  He felt special. And he had fun :)

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  1. says

    What a great party! It looks fantastic. You did a great job. I think all moms feel that pre-party crunch. Too many times my fabulous ideas have to be scrapped, because there just isn’t any more time. :(

  2. says

    Love it! You had me tearing up at the end. I told myself I was going to scale back for my sons 3rd birthday in a few weeks, but in the end I can’t. I just want him to fee special! You make me excited for when he is a little older and can have buddies at his party and we can get super creative. Looked exactly like a fair. Well done. I think I need a silhouette pronto.

  3. says

    What an awesome theme for a party! Great job with the invitations and signage. The games sound like so much fun, and a real petting zoo in your backyard – the absolute coolest! Thanks for sharing.

  4. says

    You did such a great job! The details are all spot on for the party. Such effort went into it, but the outcome was amazing! And I bet the birthday boy was very happy!

  5. Michelle says

    Cute party! I just threw a carnival party for my daughter, and I couldn’t get everything done, either. I was such a mess so I decided to shower right before the party; hence, my hair was wet and slicked back instead of cute. Also, I had planned on cotton candy favors for the guests, but I wanted to put them in bags and staple bag toppers on the morning of the party so it wouldn’t get stale. I didn’t get to that, even though I had everything ready to go. Oh yeah–my first friends to show up frosted the cupcakes, too. Hehe. But like you said, the kids didn’t know or care and the party was a hit.

  6. says

    This looks like it went absolutely perfectly. It turned out great. I’m sure your son will remember this for a very long time. Have a great week! :)

    ~Ariel at

  7. says

    Not sure why tears are running down my face as I read this post, but my husband and I are in the midst of having our twins’ first birthday next weekend. I am such a planner, do it all, and our motto is Go Big or Go Home…so I see myself just working myself silly over this birthday party! And your last paragraph will probably be reality for us as well!! And after all this work our kids are too young to even remember but we will have great photos to share with them when they are older!! Thanks for sharing it looks like a very thought out, planned party!!!

  8. says

    I love your site! I love your ideas, your linky party, and your friendly atmosphere. That’s why I’m passing a tiny little blogger award on to you. It’s on my Rolo Cookies post from today. You are definitely one of my 15 favorite sites!

  9. Evelene Sterling says

    Wow what a wonderful idea and the kids looks like they had a blast. I am always amazed at what the big kids end up liking to do. I guess just because they get bigger that doesn’t mean that they aren’t kids too!
    I love your idea of selling tickets. I for one would have been relieved not to have to think of what to get a boy-only had a girl and I have this problem with getting things for my grandson. I would not have been offended having to buy tickets at all:-)