A Barnyard 2nd Birthday Party

Long time readers of this blog will realise that this is not the first time we  transformed our backyard into a farmyard, of sorts. Miss M seemingly loves animals just as much as her biggest sister did at the same age (and truthfully, still does) so an animal themed party for her recent birthday seemed like the perfect theme!

We again invited a local petting zoo to set up outside, and before long – our backyard was transformed into a mini farm – complete with chickens, goats, sheep, rabbits and ducks.

I must admit I was a tad nervous about holding an outdoor party in July – knowing the Canberra Winter can be brutal. But we must have pleased the weather gods because the sun came out and the afternoon ended up being relatively mild (for Canberra, at least).

In advance of the party, Miss C declared herself no.1 party helper – so we spent the morning setting up the food table and an activity table for the kids topped with textas and bubbles. She even ran a scavenger hunt for the kiddies during the party, and helped them find plastic eggs that the “chickens” had hidden around the garden.

As for the food, well we had a lot of fun creating ‘barnyard’ themed party food – including mousse (topped with homemade fondant pigs), jelly, vegetables / hummus, savoury scrolls, wagon wheels and a bunch of other goodies.

In anticipation of a chilly afternoon, we also set up a hot chocolate bar – with hot chocolate made in the slow cooker – along with marshmallows and whipped cream.

As for the cake, I topped some store-made mud cakes with fondant – the bottom layer resembling cow print and the top being a little farmyard. Finished with some purchased cardboard barn and farm animal toppers.

Before we knew it, the sun began to set and it was time to say goodbye to our guests – both furry and human. I have no doubt that Miss Maggie loved being the centre of attention – although she was a little confused when she went outside the following day to find it devoid of animals.

How is it that she is TWO already though?!

A farmyard 2nd birthday party

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Well what a wonderful weekend that just was. One that was filled to the brim with family, friends and a llama….

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Say what?! For when Miss C’s love of animals became apparent a little while ago – so did the theme for her 2nd birthday party.

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A farmyard frolic!

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As always, I had so much fun planning and preparing for this special occasion. Some things I purchased, some were handmade, and some were a combination of both. Pinterest became my best friend, and it wasn’t too long before the theme really began to take shape.

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(Idea taken from here).

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With pink gingham as my colour inspiration, I couldn’t resist creating a dessert table with farmyard inspired treats…

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Including fruit and jelly cups, chocolate mousse ‘muddy puddles’, trail mix ‘chicken feed’, pretzel ‘ropes’ and a beetroot dip and‘veggie patch’. And as for the all important cake – well this was a prime example of how homemade + store-bought can often work well together.

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For while I made the actual mud cake, and (with the assistance of my niece) managed to apply the green fondant and fence posts – the adorable animal toppers and plaque were purchased from here.

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As were the cute cupcake toppers that I placed onto mini muffins.

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And while the cake was certainly a little rustic in parts – at least the bits that we made – Miss C seemed thrilled and even managed to blow out her own candles!

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For beverages we served a fruit punch, made simply with tropical juice, ginger-ale, fruit and lemonade.

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Along with the other usual suspects….champagne, beer, soft drinks and “moo juice” for the kiddies. And as for the goodie bags, well these were simply brown paper bags, finished with some gingham ribbon and a handmade thankyou note card. Filled with lollies and toys – and an advance apology to the parents for any lolly-bag induced sugar highs.

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And not even a last minute sign painting fail could dampen our spirits, particularly when the stars of the party arrived shortly thereafter. For what farmyard party would be complete without the animals?  Lambs, chickens, baby goats and even …

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Hamish the llama!! Not to mention Mamma rabbit and her two week old babies!

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Needless to say – the kids (and adults, for that matter) had a lot of fun patting and playing with these beautiful and gentle creatures throughout the afternoon – when our normally boring backyard was transferred into a farm for the day!

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It was so very wonderful to have our house filled with the laughter and squeals of 11 little kiddies – as they frolicked with the animals, painted and jumped to their hearts content on the trampoline.

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And as for the birthday girl, well she didn’t rest for a moment. Between stealing chippies, blowing bubbles and ripping open presents…. well I think she was in her element the whole time.

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(Her gorgeous skirt + hair bows came courtesy of an ever-talented friend….) Needless to say, the birthday girl didn’t need much encouragement to go to sleep when it came to bed time that evening (nor did I)!

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Overall – it was a fun day – and one that I hope C and her little guests enjoyed. I still can’t quite believe she is two. For it feels like only yesterday that we had her Cheeky Monkey 1st Birthday Party!