Two Wild Jungle Safari Party
We originally decided to have one big 1st birthday party for each of our kids and then after that, celebrate with simple yet fun family traditions and cake and an experience. But when our daughter's second birthday came around, with little open to the public for an experience, we decided to go all out one more time for a festive outdoor jungle/safari themed party. I'll blame being cooped up inside for way too long.
We kept somewhat consistent with the "experience" idea by renting an XL bounce house and inflatable slide. After finding a jungle inspired bounce house, we settled on our theme since some of Everley's favorite things right now are watching animals at the zoo and her stuffed animals.
Thankfully we had decent weather as we wanted to have an outdoor party. Let's just say that bounce house was well worth the money as it was not only super fun for the kids but the parents too! I think I was bouncing at least half of the party!
For the decor, we stayed true to the theme with jungle animals, tropical leaf prints, and anything safari inspired. I wanted a mix of modern with whimsical so included Gold Jungle Animals for decor pieces as well as kid-friendly and kid-approved decor items as well. For the food table, we went with a dark green, mint green, white, and gold color palette.
Our XL bounce house and inflatable slide (on the other side) was the main attraction so this set the stage and theme for the party.
To welcome our guests, we of course wanted our best greeters so we hand selected the welcoming committee and they stood ready at the front. We actually borrowed quite a few of these from friends for the party but they definitely were a hit! If you're looking for a few friends, check out this Melissa & Doug Large Giraffe and this realistic looking Melissa & Doug Lion! We made the "Welcome Party Animals" sign from a leftover pallet.
We of course had to take a photo by it since it was such a great photo op after all! My daughter's Leopard Outfit was a super inexpensive find on Amazon!
Since we had the party outdoors, we wanted to set up a little lounge area for the parents. We found these adorable tropical tables that doubled as extra seats. We added a few island style pillows and a tropical plant for the table. This set of 4 Tropical Leaf Pillow Covers would look so cute for a jungle party!
Of course our welcoming committee wanted to lounge after the party. Can you find the one that is unlike the others...?
I'm not sure our fur baby was thrilled with this costume change but it made for a fun photo op regardless.
So I made a last minute decision to buy this Jungle Safari Themed Balloon Garland Arch Kit. I told my husband there was a good chance I would be returning it still in the box as I didn't know how much time I would have... but it turns out, it didn't take long at all to do! I used this Electric Air Balloon Pump to inflate the balloons and made this arch by myself the morning of the party in about 2 hours. I had plenty of extra balloons leftover. I will say that if I didn't have the Electric Air Balloon Pump, it wouldn't have been made as this machine is worth its weight in gold! I was surprised how quickly it inflated the balloons and bonus, it comes with a little handy tying tool that helps you quickly and easily tie the balloons so your fingers aren't sore for the next few days!
Fun fact, I blew our arch up on Saturday morning and 1.5 weeks later, it was still up and still looked great! We ended up having to pop them all since the balloons stayed inflated for so long.
In hindsight, I wish I would have made this arch 3 days before the party as I would have loved to have more time to bounce in the bounce house before the guests arrive, but lesson learned for next time!
The charger plates and paper plates were from Party City. The gold rimmed mint green plates came from Hobby Lobby (also 75% off) and the table runner was actually 5 placemats (each one was only $0.75 after the clearance discount!
I found these 3 little vases at Hobby Lobby too (each one was $.75) and spray painted them gold and then added these faux tropical leaves (also from Hobby Lobby).
I found these jungle animals at Michaels and spray painted them gold to go with the decor. The white crates came from HomeGoods but I found these Distressed White Crates that I like even more so I'll be ordering them for the next party!
Along with the green, gold, and white ballon arch, I also mixed in a few Animal Print Balloons in various spots to tie in the theme. I also found an even better set of Animal Print Balloons after the fact so had to include them as they are adorable and would look great at the party!
For the beverage station, we found this fun lion picture at Hobby Lobby for $10 on clearance. There are perks of hosting a summer style party at the beginning of fall... Since most of the store already had Thanksgiving and Christmas decor out, I was super lucky to find all of our tropical decor for 75% off! I spray painted a mason jar gold and added some tropical foliage. I just added a few Gold Jungle Animals and leftover circles from the Silhouette machine sign and called it good!
I made this sign with the Silhouette machine. I was originally going to hang it above the food table, but once we made the balloon garland, I realized it was a little much. So in the bushes it went!
Sidenote and quick tangent, my Silhouette Cameo was a Mother's Day gift for me and is probably the BEST gift I've ever received as I have made countless mama t-shirts for my friends and myself, onesies for the kids, vinyl'd wine glasses and thermos bottles, birthday decor and signage, and so many other fun projects with it. The machine paid for itself the first month of me using it! This Silhouette Cameo Starter Set Bundle comes with all the tools you'll need, vinyl, t-shirt vinyl, transfer paper, and more! I couldn't recommend it more for all you crafty mamas!
The options are endless of things to make and projects to create!
When deciding on the menu, I found some inspiration from Pinterest and others just by walking around the grocery store. Since it was a kid's birthday party, most of our food was kid-friendly snack type of food that we tied into the theme with fun titles.
I had so much fun coming up with cheesy names for all the food. I'm pretty sure the inner kid in me was in full force.
The cake was of course the center piece. Our neighbor who is the cake designer/owner of Artsy Cakesy did an amazing job with our tropical watercolor inspired cake.
The morning of the party, I realized the cake was missing a cake topper, so I made the "Two Wild" cake topper out of glitter scrapbook paper on the Silhouette Cameo machine and added a cheetah for effect.
For the main course, we went with simple and festive with snake sandwiches. This was super easy to create. We just went to Costco for the cheese and meats and then cut up the extra long hoagie bun to form the shape of a snake.
We let guests make their own sandwiches to keep it simple with their choice of sandwich fillings, condiments, and toppings..
When it comes to baking and decorating cookies, I hire out as I know my limits when it comes to baking. These jungle animal and tropical leaf cookies were not only beautiful and festive but delicious!
One of our favorite family desserts is banana pudding, so I made individual "Monkey's Banana Pudding" and added the extra jungle leaf toppers to add a little flair. I made these on glitter scrapbook paper with my Silhouette Cameo machine and hot glued toothpicks to the back to give them some height..
I tried out my talents at food art and decided I'll leave that to the pros. With a little imagination though, you can get the idea... This "Parrot Fruit Parfait" was easier to make than it looks! If I had a larger flat plate, it would have been much easier, but I worked with what I had. I just used berries and mango for the bird's different colors and an apple for his beak and eye area.
One easy and fun item I made the day before were these chocolate covered pretzel "Animal Tails".
I used various colored Chocolate Candy Melts and then had fun decorating tiger, giraffe, and zebra tails. You have to use your imagination a little, but for my first try, I thought they turned out ok! My daughter still asks for "more tiger tails" so at least she liked them!
For another attempt at food art (but at a much more novice level), we served "Lion's Mane Hummus".
We just used red, orange, and yellow bell peppers for the mane but you could also include carrot sticks as well. Black olives completed the face along with crackers for the ears!
An obvious and no brainer snack for a jungle themed party is of course animal crackers! You can always take it up a notch and add some dip to go with the animal crackers.
For "Safari Snacks" you really can do just about anything! I wanted to keep it simple and easy so I just mixed salted popcorn with the BEST Chicago Mix Popcorn (caramel corn and cheddar mix).
I had Lowes Foods make the cupcakes and then just added these adorable jungle cupcake toppers that I created with my Silhouette Cameo machine. If you don't have time or the machine to make these, you can purchase these Gold Glitter Jungle Safari Animal Toppers which would be just as cute!
Finding some Hershey's caramel kisses for "Tiger Kisses" was an easy way to tie in the theme with their tiger striped foil.
For the "Hungry Hippo Dip", again you can do just about any type of dip you'd like, but with little time, we went the easy route with store-made salsa and chips.
These "Zebra Cakes" were one of the easiest foods to serve! Just buy the box of childhood favorite Zebra Cakes and display on a festive plate!
Another super easy addition is peanuts in their shells for "Elephant Snacks". Clever and easy!
I drew the faces on these "Tiger Cub Cuties" a few days before the party. I promise it doesn't take an artist to make these. One word of advice - test out your marker in advance before making these. The marker I used did end up getting all over our hands so user beware! They did look cute in the bowl though!
It doesn't get easier than serving "Cheetah Cheetohs!" Who doesn't love just opening a bag and pouring it into a bowl?
One other food idea that I was going to have but ran out of time was "Jungle Vines" (Green Licorice). This would have been a fun addition but I couldn't order them in time for the party since I couldn't find them at any local store nearby.
For the beverages, we served "Jungle Juice", 'Swamp Water", and Lion's Lemonade". For the "Jungle Juice", we just made an easy white sangria version and called it "Jungle Juice". We just mixed up 1 bottle of ginger ale, 1 bottle of Pinot Grigio, 1 bottle of lemonade, and 1 bottle of moscato and then added sliced fruit. We have used these Galvanized Stands from Pottery Barn on many occasions as they give a fun rustic look.
Thanks for checking out our Two Wild Jungle Safari Birthday Party! For more party ideas, check out the Garden Party One-derland post for floral themed party ideas, food, decor and more!!