Ideas for a Sweet 1st Birthday Party (that will entertain big kids and grown ups, too!)

My husband and I love hosting, but as our family grew — and with our kids being really little — it became less practical for us to entertain as frequently as we used to.  Our baby turned one and we saw it as a great opportunity to celebrate him and to bring our oldest friends, newest friends and their families together for a big ol’ party.  It’s always super important to us that everyone have a great time, never go hungry, and just really, really enjoy.  Here’s how we threw a party for all ages for our baby’s 1st birthday.  

Food + Entertainment

I always say that renting a bounce house and tables is still one of the more affordable things to do for at-home parties in Los Angeles.  We did a low table and chairs for the kids and tall cocktail tables for the adults.

The kids all loved the bounce house and playing on our swing set, and we had a DJ** playing G-Rated versions of all of their requests.  The party got cray cray at the end when we did freeze dance, which turned into a serious battle-it-out karaoke dance party.

The kids’ tables had water, juice and fishy crackers, and in our backyard, we had a caterer grilling for tacos and quesadillas.*  We also had wine, beer and a frozen margarita machine, which was the hit of the party for the adults!

For sides, our caterer provided chips and guacamole, and Grandma made a fruit platter and a vegetable tray in the shape of an anchor.

*My older kids are a bit picky, so I also had a butter noodle station set up for the kids who didn’t want quesadillas.  I put it in a crock pot and had parmesan cheese, little bowls and forks on the side.  

**Contact info below

Dessert Table

I focused most of the decorations around the dessert table, which was set up right at the entrance of our home.  I added Shepherd’s canvas-wrapped newborn photo and some other nautical knick knacks.  All of the decorations were custom made by Six and Boe*.  The Baby Whale Cake and Sea Themed Cupcakes were done by the The Coco House LA and not only was the design just what I wanted, but Erica at The Coco House made her own version of our family fave — Funfetti — and it was divine.

We went with mini cupcakes for all of the kids because it’s always easier for them to pick them up rather than carry around a plate with cake and a fork

*More info below


Party Favors + Decor

  • My friend Sheila at Six and Boe handmade all of the decorations to match the theme of the cake and party.  Sheila and I met at a restaurant when we were both pregnant with our youngest babies — Shep’s one year b-day is also my friend-a-versary with Sheila and she’s an incredible mother and person — and she pours herself into what she makes, and it was all. so. perfect.  You gotta check her out.
  • We went simple with the party favors.  I was trying to think of something that all of the kids, from babies on up to seven-year-olds would enjoy playing with — we chose ever-timeless slinky’s and stacked them up on the kids’ table.
  • I bought flowers from Trader Joe’s and ordered these mason jars and ribbon on Amazon and made the floral arrangements with my daughter.
  • We rented cocktail tables and linens from Party on Rentals, and added photos I had around my home of Shepherd with his big brother and sister to make it super personal.
  • My friend Jennie at Embroidered Treasures made the labels for the water bottle labels to say Have a Whale of a Time at Shepherd’s 1st Birthday
  • The balloons, poufs, napkins, wooden forks, knives and spoons were all from Bonjour Fete.

The Birthday Boy’s Many Outfits

*Photos by Casey Kutznetsky Photography

*So pleased to be a Bloomingdales and Amazon Affiliate Marketer Yay!  I get a small commission on links on my blog, and I only recommend people and things that I adore.  <3