This year we took the kids on their first camping trip and they absolutely loved it. So, for Reagan‘s fifth birthday we had a camping themed birthday party. If I’m being completely honest I may have swayed this decision a little bit, but I’m so glad I did because the party was absolutely perfect.
I have created an Amazon shop with all of the products I used for this party, you can find it here.
Let’s jump right into it, I love throwing a party and we will almost always have the kids birthday parties at home. Having a party at home allows us to stay on budget (more details about this below) and it allows me to prep and set-up over time versus having to have it all done quickly.
Planning a party typically takes about six weeks for me so that I can complete small tasks one at a time instead of doing it all at once. However, Reagan has a January birthday, so six weeks out from her birthday we are in full-on Christmas mode. Becasue of this, I enlisted some help from my friend to make the party planning process 1 million times easier. My friend Allison Carter from Allison Carter Celebrates creates amazingly detailed party plans. She gifted me her camping birthday party themed plan and I used it as my guide when creating this party.
Allison’s Carter Celebrates Party Plans
Allison’s party plans are phenomenal. She created a camping birthday party themed plan that is so thorough that I did not have to search Pinterest at all. And that’s the whole point, she has searched Pinterest and found all of the most amazing ideas and put them in a PDF with clickable links (ones that actually work and take to you to reputable blog posts instead of broken pins that take you nowhere). AND she has linked all of the cute supplies that you need so that you can easily add them to your Amazon cart.
Allison provides multiple options for every detail that you could think of so that you can find the idea that meets your vision and your budget. She also shares DIY options and store bought options so that you can get busy crafting, or not.
Her party themes includes a checklist with a timeline to plan your party without feeling rushed. And the greatest tip she has given me is to shop your house (and your moms house and your friends’ house) before you buy anything. So many of our every day items can be used in our party decor.
Big Take Away:
If you want to throw a party, but the idea of planning gives you the heebee jeebies, add one of Allison’s party plans to your budget ($30). You will NOT regregt it. She has so many wonderful tips and allows you to plan a party on budget without a headache.
Before I share the fun details about Reagan‘s fifth camping birthday party, I want to talk about my party budget. Like I said before we will always have the kids parties at our house as any party not at home is simply not in our budget. We spend a total of $250 on our kids birthday parties. I’m will share a total budget breakdown, but before I do here are a few tips tips for keeping prices down.
- Shop Your House – And shop your parents and your friends’ houses. I borrowed some of my moms castiron pots for this party and I asked a friend if I could use one of her wire baskets. I didn’t need to spend $10 a basket when a friend would let me borrow hers for free. It may feel a little awkward to ask a friend at first, but once you open that door they then will feel comfortable asking to borrow things from you and it becomes a mutually beneficial friendship.
- Serve Affordable Food – I like to feed people when they come to my home. So I try to think of budget-friendly foods that are still tasty. For Reagan’s camping birthday we did hotdogs because it goes well with camping. Other food that are budget friendly would be tacos, pizza, pulled chicken/pork sandwiches.
- Make Smart Budget Cuts – Think of budget cuts that won’t affect the overall party atmosphere. I love the cute party invitations on Etsy, however, printing them and mailing them can cost nearly $25-$50. That’s a big chunk of the budget. Instead, I eliminate that cost by sending out the cute Etsy invitation in a text. At the end of the day nobody is remembering your party based on how cute the invitation was when it was sent to their home. That is a quick cost that you can eliminate without affecting the party atmosphere.
- Find a Style and Stick to It – This is a tip that will help you over the long run if you like to throw parties. Slowly invest in neutral party supplies. Find out what your taste is and overtime accumulate stuff. I love vintage farmhouse and wood elements, so I have a party supply cabinet that is filled with clear mason jars, wood pieces, and simple white cake stands and dishes. I have found that I can use most of these basic pieces for nearly any party theme and knowing my style and taste I am able to pick up pieces at the thrift store or the dollar spot when I see them instead of having to shop for everything new for each themed party that I throw.
- Check the Dollar Tree – It is amazing the things they have in that store.
Camping Birthday Party Budget
All of the items are linked below or here in my Amazon Shop.
We served a very simple menu that would appeal to kids and adults and stayed true to the camping party theme.
Menu: Hot dogs, chili, chips, dip, and fruit. I definitely had a walking taco and was reminded of my childhood at the baseball fields. (If you don’t know a walking taco is a bag of chips, preferably Fritos, with chili and toppings on top.)
- Coffee – This is an essential item for all parents, especially when there are 10+ kids running around.
- Hot Cocoa – I mean is there anything cuter than seeing little kids drink hot cocoa.
- Chocolate cake – legit off the savemart shelf as I may have forgotten to order one
- Fire cupcakes – super simple to DIY
- Brownies – Betty Crocker Family size Fudge Brownies (They are Eric’s favorite and he would NEVER allow anything else)
- Bears Snack Mix – The amazingly adorable labels are from Nicole at Palm to Pine Design and inside the bags I mixed together Teddy Grahams, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips.
- S’mores Bar- my absolute FAVORITE part! Trying all the different types of s’mores was AMAZING! We had Hershey’s milk chocolate, Cookies and Creme Bars, and Reese’s Thins
It is finally time to share all of this super fun details about this camping birthday party theme. Remember, if there are details that that you’re not fond of, Allison‘s camping birthday party theme plan has at least three options for every category. Her plans are definitely worth getting and I promise this blog post just skimmed the surface of what was included in her party plans.
The first detail that makes sense to share is the invite. I’ll let Reagan pick from the three invitations Allison included in her camping party plan. She chose this one from Cava Design on Etsy.
Then it’s time to move on to the decor. I have a full photo backdrop stand that I bought for taking photos for the blog. I rarely use it to take photos for the blog, but I have used it at five different parties now so I’ve definitely gotten my moneys worth. But you can always just use tape! I created my tablescape using crates, jars, and stands that I already own. Allison has some fabulous tips in her party plans on how to make table scapes look visually appealing. I found that really helpful when I was creating this backdrop.
- Wood Backdrop
- Bear Banner
- Life’s Better Around The Campfire Sign
- Animal Print Sign
- Wood Slabs
- Cupcake Wrapper and Toppers
I’m not usually into the idea of activities for kids at a party. Like I said, we host parties at our home and our house is incredibly kid friendly. All kids walk into our home and instantly start playing with all of the toys. Becasue of this, I have never felt the need to put a bunch of money into toys or activities for the kids during parties. However, there were two ideas that I really liked so I made them work.
- Fishing Game – Allison shared in her camping themed party plans a fun fishing game. Her version was store-bought but I knew I could easily make a free DIY versions. I gathered sticks from my backyard. I tied a string to one end and a magnet to the other end of the string. Then, I printed out fish and put two staples right next to each other on the fish (you could also you a paper clip). And just like that you have a fishing activity. The magnet will stick to the staples or the paperclip and pull up a fish.
- Camp Fire Pretend Play – The other activity was probably more of a store bought, impulse buy but we do a lot of dramatic play around here so we will get a lot of use out of it.
We sent our guests home with two types of goodies. They each went home with an adorable little s’mores kit and some diy trail mix.
Trail mix food options, scoops, jars, bags
Regan’s camping birthday party was a ton of fun and Allison’s camping birthday party theme plans were unbelievably helpful. I came up with absolutely zero all the ideas you see above. She had every single one of these ideas in her plans and she made executing the plans ridiculously easy. I cannot recommend them enough.
I have created a Camping Party Shop for your ease on Amazon. I greatly appreciate when you make a purchase based on my recommendation as I earn a small commission at no cost to you.