Over the weekend we celebrated Jane’s 5th birthday with a little party and a few close friends. For months she has been asking us to visit Paris to “try the famous bread and have a Paris picnic under the Eiffel Tower.” We would love to have made that dream come true (really, who doesn’t want to snack on baguettes and croissants in Paris?!), but ya know, pandemic life. So I decided to bring the Parisian picnic-theme to our playroom to celebrate her birthday! Sharing all of the details and sources for our cozy little mid-January Paris Picnic fete below!
To set the scene in our house I found some downloadable files on Etsy for a sweet Paris Patisserie (that the designer personalized with Jane’s name) and an image of the Eiffel Tower. I took both files and had them printed up at Staples as blue prints – it was a cost effective and high-impact decoration, about $12 in total for both prints! When guests arrived I had a cake stand set out with a big stack of berets for guests to grab and wear. Some of the girls donned them at the party, and I tucked the rest of them into the goody bags at the end of the party. If you’re looking to buy kids berets in bulk, I found this set that was sized for kids but stretchy enough that some adults could wear them too. My inspiration for the color scheme and table settings was a super playful doodle-style Paris wrapping paper. I used the wrapping paper to give Jane’s birthday gifts an on-theme look, and then used what was left of the roll to make table runners for the “picnic table” and on our counter where I put out food for adults. The Paris wrapping paper was SO cute, and was fun inspiration to send to the bakers who made the cupcakes and cookies we had at the party. Assembling an on-theme goody bag is one of my favorite kids party tasks, I love brainstorming creative little takeaways! I sourced some blue and white striped gift bags and Jane and I decorated them by gluing on Eiffel Tower cut-outs and French flag toothpicks. I filled them with paper passports and passport stickers, an artist’s watercolor paint palette, the berets and some fun Parisian pastry themed stickers! I also had cute little paper bags printed up with Jane’s Cafe on them to use for packing up extra sweet treats at the end of the party to send home with guests. I tied everything up with a red white and blue striped ribbon to mimic the French flag. The party was at lunchtime, so I kept with the Parisian Picnic theme and made all of the kids their own “picnic baskets” in mini berry baskets decorated with doilies and the striped French flag ribbon. The baskets were filled with baguette sandwiches, berries and grapes and some “bread sticks” aka pretzels. For the grown ups that were in attendance, I made a picnic spread that featured a French cheese board, and a variety of of tasty sandwiches on croissants or baguettes.
The activity I planned for the kids was cookie decorating! My favorite local cookie maker, Mr Butterscotch, made decorated cookies with the outline of poodles, croissants, and the Eiffel Tower, and then provided us with all of the colorful icings. I set out plastic paint palettes filled with the icing and palette knives for the kids to add the icing to each cookie. It was nearly 20 minutes of complete silence from the very-focused 4 and 5 year olds, which for anyone that knows how 4 and 5 year olds operate, was a miracle! The dessert display did double duty as our Paris Patisserie decor and as a sweet treat station for guests! I covered our playroom bookshelf with a blue checkered tablecloth and added an Eiffel Tower dessert tower and some cake stands to house all of the desserts. I brought in my favorite Daydream Society Frenchie Stripe plate and napkin collection to match the red and blue palette. We had Parisian themed cupcakes, tons of macarons, cookies, croissants and brioche au chocolat! It was such a fun party, and everyone got in on the theme – guests wore their stripes and berets, everyone had lots of Parisian inspired bites and sweets, and there were lots of “bonjour!” and “merci!” floating through the air – a très magnifique celebration!
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