Last weekend we threw a party in celebration of Kennedy’s 17th birthday. Of course, she wanted her own space to hang out with her friends and you all know me better than to think I would vacate the house for such an event. Our solution? A birthday bonfire party held in the backyard. Here in Arizona we can do that sort of thing–even in January. In order to pull off a successful event, I thought it important to cover three key points. We needed: food, ambiance and fun. Here’s a look at how we aimed to include all of the above.
When I’m playing host for my friends and family, it’s not uncommon for me to spend upwards of two days preparing food in advance. It’s a problem; I know. For Kennedy’s friends, though, we took the approach that quantity was more important that quality because, well, seventeen. We served food that was simple and in theme. We did pigs-in-a-blanket, Fritos, Coke in bottles and tater tots (not pictured).
We wanted to be sure to serve the grub in themed containers as well. To that end, we whipped up the cutest little tin can serving containers. Once the tater tots came piping hot and crispy from the oven, we scooped them into the cans and delivered them to the hungry masses outside.
You guys, the containers were stupid easy to make. More on that soon.
With the food all taken care of, we needed to focus on ambiance. What we came up with was both fun and functional. First of all, we printed directly on paper bags to make quick and easy luminaries with a woodsy theme. We then lined the driveway with them and made a path straight to the backyard. Kennedy’s guests arrived and headed straight back! Our luminaries were printed with the phrases: C’mon back, great friends and chilly night. We also had some printed with trees and stars.
We didn’t stop there. In the backyard, we hung mason jars with candles from the branches of our trees. We piled firewood into a wheelbarrow so that the teens could easily throw another log on when the fire needed it. Just in case someone needed an extra dose of warm, we also set out a basket with blankets for snuggling up in.
Lastly, we needed a bit of fun. That was easy enough. We set up a game of glow in the dark ring toss using neon glow necklaces. And then there was the sparkler station. We wanted Kennedy’s friends to light the night as they sang Happy Birthday.
We also had a thermos with hot water and cocoa packets just in case an ice cold Coke wasn’t quite right. And then, of course, there had to be s’mores. C’mon. You didn’t think we’d forget that, did you?
Kennedy loved the party, especially the part where they lit the night with sparklers and sang to her. Hopefully it’ll be one of those birthdays she remembers for a long time to come.