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real parties: zebra at the zoo


Jen of Sweet Everythings Photography sent in this adorable zebra inspired 'Wild Time at the Zoo' theme, designed for her daughter's 4th birthday.  Since the party was actually held within the zoo, Jen had to get creative with ways to decorate and bring everything along with her.  She has some incredible tips & DiY details and has been kind enough to share them with us... read on for more below!

For my daughter's 4th birthday celebration, she requested a party at the zoo.  After 3 years of parties at home, I quickly realized that parties outside of the home - while convenient - have lots of restrictions that make creativity a challenge:  we could not hang anything, we could not have anything inflatable (including balloons), and we only had 15 minutes to setup & tear down!

I didn't want the cliche zoo animal decor, so I instead went with a black/white zebra print paired with a fun palette of fuschia, turquoise & lime green.

I've always made a custom birthday banner for my daughter's parties, so I scoured the internet for alternate solutions and finally found one.  We used bamboo sticks secured with a ponytail holder on either side as stands, then attached paper lanterns in the party colors (as a balloon substitute) to each stand.  We were then able to attach the party banner (custom made with my cricut) from one end to the other, and have it "hanging" over the main table without attaching it to any zoo property.

The kids were kept busy with fabulous face painting, foam animal mask crafts, their very own lunch box filled with "animal food", delicous cake/cupcakes, and the grand finale: a group ride on the zoo carousel!  The pavillion was in the children's zoo, so they were also able to take advantage of all of the other fun things the children's zoo offered like a playground and a petting zoo.  We chose not to disperse everyone into the main zoo during the party because of the 2 hour time limit, so some families arrived early to check out all of the animals.

Vendor Details:

Simply Chic Parties (March 17, 2011 at 3:47 PM)  

Thank you for sharing this! I LOVE everything about this party. The colors and the details are perfect. I hope it's ok, I featured you over at my site, and linked it back to you.

Bellenza Wedding Bistro (March 17, 2011 at 5:41 PM)  

Wouldn't have thought a zebra print would work for a little girl's party. But with all the cheery colors and adorable animal accents, it's wonderful! Love the stuffed animals in zebra-print bags as favors!

Jen (March 17, 2011 at 10:02 PM)  

Becca - Thanks so much for featuring my daughter's party on your blog! So fun to see my own party on a blog I read every day :)

And thanks for the sweet comments, ladies! Glad you liked the party!

Pretty Domestic (March 17, 2011 at 11:49 PM)  

Love the little stuffed animals peeking out if the gift boxes. Great play on zebra pattern without the typical "zoo theme"

foodies at home (March 18, 2011 at 10:55 PM)  

I think that is one of the cutest birthday cakes I have ever seen! How fun!

aroundmytable (March 19, 2011 at 3:49 AM)  

Wow what a great party theme! I love the zebra stripes, so chic! Everything so well combined.

brooke (March 19, 2011 at 5:36 AM)  

LOVE IT!!!! Wonderful. The colors are amazing but not over the top. The cake is so pretty. And what a stunning little girl! Love the curls.

Jen (March 19, 2011 at 9:14 PM)  

Thanks for all of the compliments!

I blogged the party on my site as well if you want to see a couple more pics (the details are mostly the same):

Also, for those of you that like the cake, you have to know that it was just as delicious as it was pretty! (The bottom tier was chocolate cake with cookies 'n cream filling, and the top tier was italian cream with cream cheese filling!) Definitely give Traci a call if you're anywhere near the Houston area!

Anonymous –  (January 22, 2012 at 2:26 AM)  

First of all, WELL DONE!!!! Love everything about the way you chose to do the zoo theme. I was just wondering though what the blue and green baskets were for. They almost look like they were used as goody bags???

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