It worked for Anne and Dianna; bosom friends for life! There is a call for the simplicity and innocence of life in bygone eras. A child’s birthday does not have to be an elaborate technological event. What really matters is friends, family, food and fun. To that end, for a party that will please everyone, and live in memories colored in nostalgic hues, take a step back in time and host a country fair. The immediate impression is one of ‘that sounds great’ closely followed by ‘and like a load of work.’ With the whole point being simple fun, hosting a country fair is really not that much trouble. You may even be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is when compared to some other birthday options. Read on!
It is easy to go overboard in the décor department with most parties. Let nature do most of the work for you. If your own yard or neighborhood park won’t do the trick, find a park or grassy field where you can house the party. Parks are great because they generally have pavilions with tables, and a roof in case of inclement weather. Some even have BBQ’s. Be sure to call well in advance to secure your desired date and time. The cost is usually nominal, if there is one at all. With the trees, grass and wild flowers in place, all you need to do is add a few checkered table clothes and you’re all set!
Keep this simple too! Depending on the age range of your guests, you can serve almost any picnic type food. If you are at a location away from your refrigerator, include plenty of ice and a few coolers. Hot dogs, cold cut trays, summer fruits like watermelon and peaches, chips and lemonade are all great choices. You could even make this a presents optional party and request instead each guest bring a potluck item. This will really simplify your menu, and relieve guests of the obligation to bring a gift. Let the birthday child choose any cake they wish, and add a bit of country charm by pairing it with home made ice cream.
The best part by far of a country picnic party is the games you can play. The games are what determine the age range this party fits, and it is so easy to change the games for older or younger children. This is also an especially great party if your guest will span a large age range.
Young guests: Games for 2 year olds may include: a sand box hunt. Bury items and let them find them. Then just let them play. A two year old’s attention span is short. Don’t push it!
4-8 year olds: egg in spoon race, three legged race, a simple scavenger hunt, or Red-Rover and hide and seek.
8-11 years old: Make the games more challenging. Include: a gunny sack race, the water balloon toss, a more difficult scavenger hunt, or a tricycle relay race.
12 years old-infinity: A pie eating contest is always a big hit! It is difficult with younger kids due to the mess factor, but older guests will love it. If providing dozens of pies does not fit your time or cost budget, substitute the pies with water melon. Many of the games previously listed will work for this age range too. Make the course longer to accommodate larger more athletic bodies and let them run, hope or pedal to victory.
Other games: Kick the can, steal the flag, freeze tag, basically any game played out doors. Have fun, and save some of that home made ice cream for me!