Planning a Huge 1st Birthday Party?

My son's first birthday is in January 2006 and in Hawaii, where we live. 1st birthdays are a tradition and usually huge! We are inviting over 300, yes, three hundred, people.


The themes we're looking at are probably Hot Wheels or Nemo/Ocean. I need inexpensive ideas for about 15-30 centerpieces, and 200 favors. Any other ideas to make this party a hit?

So far we've got 2 bands, a slideshow, a DJ, a jumper, face painting, balloon making, and a fishing game.

Please if you have any ideas let me know. Thanks so much in advance!

-Overwhelmed in Hawaii.

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By Jill (Guest Post)
September 7, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

We did a hot wheel party for my son. Not quite so elaborate, though. One thing we did was set up a table with a few hot wheels, paper, and paint. The boys loved making car tracks on paper. If you use a washable paint, this could be fairly unsupervised due to the large amount of people! Thats how many guests we had at our wedding! I can't imagine a birthday party so big! Have Fun!



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September 13, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

For the little kids, you could have a "Go Fish" booth. People probably know it by different names, all with the word 'fish'.

Hang a sheet vertically. If you feel creative, pin or draw underwater scenes on it.

Give each kid a 'fishing pole'.

The pole is just a long stick and a string with a bent paper clip (or a chip clip, or a clothespin) at the end of the string.

Have someone behind the sheet attach little toys to the paper clip and give it a tug. When the kids feel the tug they pull the string toward themselves and get to keep the reward.


The alternative is a magnet on the string and the kids get to reel in a small toy attached to a magnet which is on a table.

You'd need a mom behind the sheet and one in front of the sheet to direct traffic and little bags the kids could put their winnings in.

I have volunteered at many fairs and birthday parties in the past when my kids were little, and this attraction has always been a big hit.


Another suggestion is to have a photographer there who puts people's pictures on round buttons. A huge hit at bar mitzvahs. After the party it's a souvenir. Teens and kids love doing this. Figure 3 buttons per teen.

By Holly

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Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,317 Feedbacks
September 12, 20050 found this helpful

Some cultures are big on baby party. Get a box of cornstarch and cookie cutters in shapes of fish and make ornaments and paint like Nemo.

Maybe put a centerpiece on every other or so table so you can scrimp there. I would put a couple of disposable camereas out and have people take snaps and drop of camera before they leave and yo


can get them developed. Balloons everywhere are festive and not too pricey.

Good Luck remember most of us here are scrimpers by choice or not and so it may sound too much for a One year old.

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By tah tah (Guest Post)
September 13, 20050 found this helpful

i dont see a problem with huge parties for babies...if you want to do it go for it. dont let other things get in your way. celebrate however you want to. you will remember it and you son will like to look at pictures and hear stories of his parties! georgie is 2 1/2 and he just loves looking at his birthday pictures and videos.

for favors check out they have tons of little car & fish novelties.

for ideas on games and decorations check out look under kid parties.


nemo themes are under 'under the sea parties"

hope this helps and good luck with the humungo party!!!

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By tah tah (Guest Post)
September 14, 20050 found this helpful

For nemo center pieces why not use live gold fish? They're pretty cheap...about 12 cents each here and the bowls are about $3. Then just tie on some nemo balloons.

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By silly willy (Guest Post)
October 29, 20050 found this helpful

In the past, Hawaii had very high infant mortality rates. It is the tradition to have a luau to celebrate the baby reaching one year old. The scale of the party can compare to many wedding parties.

While the baby is certainly the guest of honor the core reason for celebrating is that the baby has lived past the hardest part of most Hawaiian's lives. Think of it as a celebration of life, not as an attempt to entertain a one year old and you might start to "get the picture".


Hmm centerpeice ideas: Maybe (if inside) fish shaped helium ballons? Or how about something paper machet? Fish pinatas? Functioning as centerpieces and entertainment? Ok none of those are cheap, I'll put my thinking cap on...

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