Cowboy Birthday Party

Back in the Spring my son turned three.  We decided he was old enough to appreciate a birthday party, so we threw him his first one.  Since it was his first real birthday party ever I wanted to make it big & special.  We had a ton of people over & the day was full of busyness.  My boy is absolutely obsessed with cowboys, go figure, so of course he wanted a cowboy party.  I found it increasingly hard to get affordable cowboy party ideas, I waded through tons of websites.  So I compiled some ideas & pictures here for you in case you have a little buckaroo's party to throw.
First the cake.  This is one of the things I really wanted to do up.  I made two 9 by 13 inch white cake layers with chocolate in between & two 9 inch chocolate cake layers with raspberry in between.  I froze the cake layers before I started assembling it.  This made them easy to trim & work with.  I frosted the bottom layer with white first & then outlined the black print with a frosting bag.  I filled in the black area using a knife.  The top layer was frosted all denim blue & then I put white star shapes around the top.  I made a red stripe around the middle using my frosting bag & then decorated it with whit & black shapes like a bandanna.  Green dyed coconut made the "grass" around the entire cake & chocolate licorice is the rope around the base.  A toy cowboy & calf adorn the top & the fence pieces are also toys.
Guests were asked to where their cowboy gear & I placed extra stuff I had on the porch for anyone who needed more accessorizing.  Each kiddo received a bandanna upon entering the party.  I got bandannas real cheap from Oriental Trading Company.
Party favors were put in brown paper lunch bags & tied with a piece of bailing twine.  Bags were filled with a sheriffs badge, gold coin gum, a piece of fruit leather, a toy plastic horse, mini cowboy notepad, Hershey's Gold Nuggets candy, and a cowboy magnet craft.  I got most of this stuff from Oriental Trading Company, they are a great resource for parties!

The name tags I found in Google images.  I printed them off in business card size & then hand wrote each child's name on it.
I set sidewalk chalk out on the patio for a little extra something to do.  But kids had plenty to do...
We had a pile of dirt in the yard to fill in some holes.  I hadn't gotten to this landscaping project before the party so I just threw some kid shovels, rakes & buckets on the pile.  It was a big hit.
We had stick horse races.
And at the end each rider won a ribbon.  We have buckets of these from horse shows, but I be you could find generic ones online.
Our friend is a team roper so he brought out his ropes & roping dummy & gave all the buckaroos a lesson.  The kids loved it!
And when the dummy was being used for roping it made a great bull for riding.
There was a branding lesson as well, & each kid got to take home a block of wood that they branded themselves.
Of course there were horseback rides.
And we played Hunt in the Hay.  Coming from a long line of dairy farmers & ranchers this game was a staple kid game at our family reunions.  Basically you take a bale of hay & break it up & then hide a bunch of goodies like little toys, candy, & such.  On three all the kiddos run to the pile of hay & dig through to find whatever treasures they can.  It's kind of like a western version of the pinata.
For grub I put out snacks in metal camping dishes & mason jars.  There was trail mix, licorice, chips & salsa, & peanuts (still in their shell of course).  For lunch I served pulled pork sliders, baked beans, coleslaw, & homemade mac & cheese.  I got great cups, plates, & table clothes from Birthday Direct.  I used outgrown cowboy boots, hats & bandannas to decorate with.  I folded bandannas in half & tied the ends together to make a cowboy banner across the front porch.

Hope this helps in your party planning endeavors.  Cowboy up!

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