I will try and restrain myself from using too many “on fire” jokes in this post when referring to the firetruck-themed birthday party I just hosted, but I can’t make any promises. If you’re like me, you probably seriously stress over making sure you include all the “perfect details” for your child’s birthday parties. Well, if it’s your first child’s first birthday you’re screwed, because the standards for a one-year-old’s birthday party these days are ridiculously high. Good news is two things: First, no one actually cares if the party was “perfect” and overly detailed unless you’re a professional blogger who focuses on kids’ parties. Second, whatever you decide to do and how much time, effort and money you want to spend on it, there are now so many sources to make your party-throwing life easier than it’s ever been.
I actually enjoy spending time on the details for my kids’ parties while they’re young, because before I know it, they will just want to go to the bounce-house place and order pizza. Or they will want a theme like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which I will happily provide, but never post on social media- ha! Point here being, I’m enjoying the fun-themes while I can since they’re only young once and will allow me to indulge in cute-themes for so long. Now, I’m still sticking to my “delegating motto,” and making the arrangements and set-up of the parties as easy and stress-free as possible. So don’t worry about having to glue and glitter anything with me- that kind of crafting is for another mother.
For my son’s third birthday, he requested a fire truck party, as he is currently obsessed with anything fire truck or firefighter related. I was totally on board with the theme, but not sure how to actually secure a fire truck, wondering if I should just order a bounce house in the shape of one instead. However, after surprisingly very little google research, I discovered that you can either hire a fire truck and firefighter to come to your event (which cost about $250 for the Nashville-based group I used) or you can go to your local fire station and request a truck and firefighter to come to your event. The problem with the last option is that it’s available unless there’s an actual emergency where the truck and crew is needed. Knowing my luck, it would be the exact time of my son’s party, and I’m just not capable of handling that kind of risk and the crocodile tears I’d be dealing with if the truck didn’t show. I do think it’s a good option if you live in a place where there isn’t an actual event-company who offers a fire truck for hire, and it’s certainly a more affordable option, as I’ve been told you are just asked to tip the firefighters who come to your event. Bottom line- if you want an actual fire truck at your party, it’s totally doable.
I “rented” our truck from “Tennessee Event Specialist,” and it included an hour with the truck, firefighter, a shirt for the birthday boy and as many rides in the truck for the kids as we wanted during that time. You can also add “water play” to your package for an additional charge where the kids get to play with the fire hose. You can also add a “firehouse bounce house” for an additional charge, which are all great options for older kids, but since our group was so young, I stuck to the basics. The highlight was for sure the ride-alongs with the firefighter in the truck. JA was living his best life for that full hour!
We planned our party to start mid-morning so it would be cooler outside for the kids, and so I could get away with serving breakfast foods for all the moms. I stuck to pre-made breakfast casseroles, donuts, Chick-fil-a chicken minis, juice and mimosas (no party at my house takes place without some form of booze).
Since most of the party was spent outside next to the fire truck (and on our swing set), I decided to focus the decor in the house to one room and styled a “treat table”. This is a great way to create visual impact without having to decorate every room in your home. It also provides a great backdrop for blowing out the birthday candles and taking any group photos.
For the treat table, I rented a 6ft table and red poly linen, but are both super affordable, especially if you pick them up and drop them back off from whatever local rental company you use. I then found these awesome foil fire truck balloons from Amazon, which I combined with basic balloons in the party colors from our local party-supply store. We have construction going on across the street from our house, which our bay-windows overlook. I used clusters of balloons behind and beside the treat table to cover up the window and ugly construction.
The favor boxes and darling fire hydrant cups (for the kids) are both from Amazon and are inexpensive and did double-duty serving as decor as well. All signage for the party, including the invitations, door sign, favor tags and water bottle labels came from Nico and Lala’s new-ish pre-designed online party shop and gave me a custom look for a fraction of the price of custom goods.
As for the cake, I called my girl from My Sweet Desserts, sent her a picture of the party invitations, told her the flavor we wanted, and voila- birthday cake perfection (per usual). If you have someone like My Sweet Desserts in your city then you are lucky, but if not, stick to a basic cake that is decorated in sprinkles or icing (Whole Foods makes cakes with great generic decorations), and then seek-out someone who can make cookies with more elaborate decorations that match your theme. It’s easier to find a good cookie decorator than cake decorator, especially for a good price. Don’t forget- it’s still a party for a kid, and they will never appreciate good design like you will. They just want something sweet and fun, so if you can’t find or don’t want to spend the money on a custom cake, then go with what you know and don’t worry about it.
I hope you enjoyed this fire truck party as much as I did! I think this was one of my favorite parties to host because I kept the guest list small and edited what I planned to serve and decorate. For me it’s always been about “quality over quantity”, but it’s taken me a few years to really practice what I preach on a regular basis! I’m on FIRE now y’all!