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How to Throw a Garden Party
How To:

Plan a Garden Birthday Party

An outdoor birthday party is the perfect opportunity to make your daughter's fairy dreams come true. The kids will love it, since they get to run around in the fresh air and sunshine without worrying about spills, indoor voices or leaving footprints. And you'll love it too, because setup and cleanup are so simple when you keep everything easy and portable. Planning certain aspect ahead of time will allow you to relax and create a party everyone is sure to enjoy.

Three to four weeks before

Plan the location. Find a park or a yard where there's plenty of room for the kids to run around; it's a good idea to have a secondary location planned in case of rain.

Send invites. This is your chance to announce the party's theme, so get creative! Match your invitations to the theme – include ideas for face painting or a couple of dried flowers, and let the guests know that dressing up is strongly encouraged.

Plan menu. For an outdoor party, keep things simple and easy to clean up. Finger foods are a great idea since they'll minimize the need for utensils. Provide some healthy fare, like fairy wands made from fruit , to balance out the treats.

Plan activities and crafts. Gather materials to make fairy crowns (ribbons, silk flowers and pipe cleaners) and a whimsical flower piñata. The piñata can be made anytime before the party.

Plan and gather decorations. Streamers, paper lanterns and ribbons are all perfect to set the enchanted garden theme.

One to three days before

Make cupcakes. Refrigerate them overnight; save the decorating for the day of the party.

Prepare the party favors. Play on the theme and considermaking a party activity part of the favor. A small bucket or basket for each child decorated with vines and flowers will be perfect for a casual treasure hunt, or you could fill it with the materials each will need to create her fairy crown.

Shop. Purchase lemonade and iced tea (for the adults!), fruit, snacks, string cheese and other easy-to-serve and easy-to-eat fare.

Day of the party

Decorate the location. Hang streamers from trees or tie colorful ribbons to doorknobs and the backs of chairs. Hang the piñata.

Set the table. The cupcakes make a lovely centerpiece when set on a tiered platter.

Frost and decorate cupcakes. If you want to include the children, decorate a couple as examples and let the kids work on their own.

Set out party favors.