For my daughter's 4th birthday we hosted an Enchanted Woodland party for her. While she adored everything unicorn, I felt that a mainly unicorn themed party would be limiting, so we went with an enchanted woodland which allowed me to work in unicorns and much more!
I wanted the party to be magical and to absolutely delight all of our guests.
Let’s start with décor
I was going for magical, so first off, I wanted to make the room feel as much like a forest as I could. If you can host your party outside, you are already ahead of where we were as we had to host ours indoors. I ordered some large-scale forest decals from Etsy to apply to 2 sets of large glass sliding doors. There are many shops making forest themed decals so just look at a few and decide on what you like the most. You can often work with the shop owner to customize them. For instance, I only wanted 5 trees, instead of the 6 that came standard but wanted to add an owl, some grass and a couple bunnies.
Making it festive
I wanted something balloon-like but not actual balloons, so opted for tissue pom poms. I ordered some through an Etsy site in forest-like colors, light blue for rivers, green for the plants plus red and yellow for flowers colors. Red also happened to be my daughter's favorite color so this was an easy way to work it in. Suspended in the air, they definitely made it feel like a celebration. I also attached some smaller flower pom poms in red and yellow to some branches I found in my driveway. The branches and tissue flowers turned out so nicely they stayed in our dining room for a few weeks after the party. Tissue pom poms would really make a great addition to any party (birthday, wedding, baby shower…) or even as bedroom décor. How darling would they be hung over your child’s bed?
I also had a burlap and twine banner made through Etsy, which read “Happy 4th Birthday Sofie”. It was perfect hanging over her cake. I had requested that they make “Sofie” was in its own section so we could hang it independently in her room or playhouse afterwards.
Beyond that we added little touches were we could, like a few unicorn and fairy figures I purchased placed around the main party space plus tiny squirrel place card holders and forest themed place cards identifying nibbles adorning our kitchen island where we had all of the food.
Make the welcome exciting!
Besides feasting on the party décor as they walked through the door, kids were presented with a choice of fairy wings or elf vests as they arrived. I think a fun touch to help everyone get into the theme, whether they opted to wear anything or not. The wings were from Amazon (find them here).
They were then guided over to the kid craft, which helped break the ice between guests who didn’t know each other that well or kids who were a little shy to start.
Activity – Craft
Every kid party needs some kind of activity. Since 4 years olds love to make things, I landed on building Fairy & Elf Houses as the activity. It was a huge hit and resulted in engaged children (and parents) and delightful little houses that each child could take home. It was worthy of its own write-up, so for more details, please read, Kid Craft: Making Fairy/Elf Houses.
Besides the craft the kids were allowed free play with our daughter's in the party area, each other and even out in our small yard where they climbed on garden walls, drew with chalk, played with the cardboard castle Sofie had gotten for Christmas, and met our backyard chickens.
The right birthday cake should fit right in…
My daughter had requested chocolate cupcakes for her party. While I am pretty good at decorating cakes, I am limited when it comes to decorating cupcakes. So I went online to see how I might embellish our homemade cupcakes. I found a shop on Etsy, Krazy Kool Cake Designs, that made My Little Pony fondant figures - perfect! What I love about Etsy is the willingness of most shop owners to work with you to on special requests. I requested a Princess Celestia cake topper, as she was my daughter’s favorite pony at the time. It would be the first one the artist, Laura, had ever made but she assured me I would love it and offered to make it out of polymer instead of fondant so it would last forever as a keepsake – so while not cheap I went ahead. To get the detailed required the sculpture would be too large to sit on a cupcake, so I made an 8 inch cake to be the top of the cupcake tower to place her on. Laura also crafted a fondant cloud for Princess Celestia to sit on so she didn’t touch the food (I can be a bit over cautious sometimes). She also crafted an amazing Happy Birthday plaque, which was absolutely amazing, and coordinated cupcake toppers with butterflies, ladybugs and flowers.
If you are in the market for cake décor, check out Laura’s shop - Krazy Kool Cake Designs.
The ever important food & drinks
Food is always at the heart of any of our gatherings. We like to feed people and feed them really well! It makes everyone happy and adds to the warmth of a party. Our menu consisted of tea party food (since fairies love tea parties), fairy sandwiches and anything else we could think of that one might eat living in an enchanted forest. We also tried to make everything small, just one or two bites so as to not require utensils. Fairies eat small food and it was simpler for kids and adults to just use their fingers.
This was our enchanted woodland menu:
- Currant Scones (Recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)
- Raspberry Bars (Recipe from Smitten Kitchen)
- Bagels & Lox
- Ham and Gruyere Croissants
- Mushroom Flatbread
- Elf Bread (Nutella and Sprinkles Sandwiches)
- Fairy Bread (Cream Cheese, Jam and Sprinkles Sandwiches)
- Fairy Pillows (Mochi. Flavors: Red Bean, Chocolate)
- Berries & Twigs (Blueberries, Strawberries and Pretzel Sticks)
- Forest Mash (Olive Tapenade, served with bread)
- Unicorn Delights (Veggie platter with hummus dip)
- Evergreen Tree Bark (Mini Chicken Fingers)
- Forest Snails (Cheese and Spinach Tortilla Rolls)
- Cheese platter with cornichons and crackers
Each item was labeled with the most adorable woodland place cards made by Deep Blue Sea on Etsy. If you need any type of party table décor or cards, please check out her shop. Her work is stellar and she is super easy to work with.
To drink we served hot tea, coffee, mimosas, juice, lemonade and water. Be sure to make your beverage station as self-serve as possible. You want to mingle not be stuck in the kitchen.
And lastly…favor bags
After some research I found non-paper favor bags could be quite expensive. Then I stumbled upon the Anna Lou Avenue Etsy site and found I could get both muslin bags and mini-notebooks custom stamped with each child’s name on them for the same price as purchasing a cloth bag elsewhere. I was sold. I wanted to go with a reusable bag and was going to have to spend some money to do so; this way I got way more. We only had 14 children attending the party so we splurged on the favor bags.
Here's details on the bags and everything we put in them:
- Muslin bags customized with child’s name and a unicorn or owl stamp from Anna Lou Avenue on Etsy.
- Custom made mini-notebooks with child’s name and unicorn or owl printed on the cover from Anna Lou Avenue on Etsy.
- A woodland creature finger puppet one of a Barn Owl, Spotted Owl or Hedgehog from Acme Party Box Company.
- A twig colored pencil available on Amazon.
- Mini-seed bombs with a red ribbon and flower by The Big Rock Wedding Favors on Etsy
- A woodland themed Thank You tag from Deep Blue Sea Designs on Etsy
We placed them in a basket near the door so everyone was sure to grab theirs on the way out, whether we were there or not. And it worked! Everyone left with their favor.
The party was a huge success. This is a very darling party, or even play date, theme for young children. You could easily scale it down and host a sweet fairy tea party on afternoon in a backyard with a few little friends.
Shopping Resources, each shop name is linked:
- Forest decals from Etsy.
- Tissue Pom Poms from Etsy.
- Moss letters from Teresa's Plants and More on Etsy.
- Fairy figurines from Amazon.
- Unicorn figurines from Amazon.
- Fairy wings from Amazon.
- Woodland themed placecard holders and Thank You tags from Deep Blue Sea on Etsy.
- Cake and cupcake toppers, Happy Birthday plaque from Krazy Kool Cake Designs on Etsy.
- Custom favor bag and notebooks from Anna Lou Avenue on Etsy.
- Mini-Seed bombs from The Big Rock Wedding Favors on Etsy.
- Twig pencil on Amazon.