Outdoor birthday party for kids: What eats do you provide, especially when the children are still quite young and you want to offer eats to the parents who stay too?
Having an outdoor birthday party for your child away from home could be a bit of a nightmare if you are not well prepared.
Whether the venue you’ve chosen is a park, the grassy banks of a river, or the beach, you want to make the day manageable as well as fun for the kids.
The idea is to enjoy a few hours out in the fresh air, and you’re not planning on taking tables and chairs, or even plates! You want each and every person to use only his or her hands to eat.
What eats do you provide, especially when the children are still quite young and you want to offer eats to the parents who stay too?
The birthday cake
To take a birthday cake to an outdoor birthday party, you don’t want to bother with also having to take a knife to cut it, or little forks for the parents to eat their cake – on plates you’re not going to be providing.
A little creativity will ensure that the birthday cake is still presentable and fun – and tasty.
A rectangular “flat” birthday cake does not have to be boring. Iced creatively, a rectangular birthday cake will still look good. The cake can be cut into squares all ready to eat, just kept in the shape of the entire rectangle, until that first piece is taken. Each square can have its own decoration – a bit like cupcakes but without the cups!
Using cupcakes in the place of a birthday cake is not a bad idea. Arrange them together to look like a cake. Stack cupcakes on top of each other to form a pyramid, or lay them out in the shape of a wiggly worm, doll, or car. If getting to the birthday party venue early, arranging the cupcakes can be done right there at the venue, before people arrive.
You may have a placed sweet or two on each piece of cake or on each cupcake for decoration, but most kids will want more sweets.
When preparing the eats at home, thread various kinds of soft sweets on to cheap wooden or bamboo kebab sticks.
Healthier party foods
Although the parents are not the main guests of the party, you don’t really want to provide them with only a piece of the birthday cake. You want to provide the parents with a healthier snack, that the children would also enjoy. Try and ensure that the children eat their healthier snack first, before being allowed to tuck into what they view as the real goodies.
Use kebab sticks again. Thread small portions of any of the following items onto the kebab sticks, shortly before the party, and take them to the party in an airtight and lidded container:
Pieces of cooked sausage or cold meats
Little blocks of cheese
Little blocks of cucumber
Small pickled onions
Miniature square sandwiches
Whatever else you can think of!
Be sure to provide variety in your kebab presentations, to cater for any picky eaters.
Provide small individual packets
A large cooler box stacked with inexpensive frozen ices is a big help. Do not forget to take a pair of scissors to snip open the ices. Also provide individual little boxed juices to avoid constantly having to pour bottled cool drinks into paper cups.
Birthday parties can be very expensive, but the above methods of providing suitable eats at an outdoor birthday party should help you save money. The guests have cake, sweets, something healthy, crisps, and thirst quenchers. What more do they or you need?
If you’re not worried about saving money, or really do want to provide a few more eats, then present each child with a little sandwich packet (or decorated brown paper bag) of other sweets or a small chocolate when they leave.
Do remember to take a few blankets to throw on the ground, and warn the parents beforehand that these blankets are the only seating arrangements you will be providing (expand on the whole outdoor fresh air experience if you feel you need to) and that they are to bring their own chairs if they are not happy with your seating arrangements.
Take a large plastic bag or two for all the litter and place it in a prominent spot at the party venue. Encourage the children to use it. Make sure the area is completely clean when you leave.
Energetic kids at an outdoor birthday party image credit: Author's own