It seems unanimous… every child loves the thrill of going the zoo. So when your youngster’s birthday rolls around, what easier way to make them happy than with a zoo-themed party? And the best part? Zoo-themed party essentials are easy to find and the theme is not gender-specific. Both boys and girls (and yes, even some brides) enjoy zoo-themed parties!
So where to start when planning a zoo-themed party? It doesn’t matter! Everywhere you look, you can find zoo-themed inspiration from invitations to decorations to food to party favors. And the do-it-yourselfers out there who love hand-made touches can have an absolute field day with these zoo-themed ideas. (Have you seen Pinterest lately?)
The article quoted below from The Bump gives a variety of ideas for hosting a zoo-themed birthday party for three-year-olds.
Ideas for a Three-Year-Old’s Zoo-Themed Birthday Party
by Rosenya Faith, Demand Media
Lions and tigers and a room full of children — Oh my! You’ve decided on the theme for the party, but now it’s time to incorporate the theme into all aspects of the event. At the same time, you need to make sure that you have an adequate arsenal of activities to make sure that party room full of 3-year-olds doesn’t turn into a wild horde fit for the zoo.
If you have a talent for making balloon animals, use these instead of traditional party invitations to hint toward the party’s theme. Make balloon animals, attach a card with the party details and hand-deliver the invitations. If you’re planning a party with a fairly elaborate budget, you can always splurge and purchase stuffed animals for the party invitations. Attach a party card to each stuffed animal and hand-deliver these to your invitees. For a less expensive, but creative party invitation, gather some pictures of different zoo animals from the Internet and print the pictures onto card stock. Cut out each picture and write the party details on the back.
Transform the party room into a zoo habitat. Make giant trees from large sheets of cardboard. Paint the cardboard trees and tape them to the walls. Add a few real indoor trees to add an authentic ambiance to the room, and then hang leafy garlands or vines across the ceiling, instead of party streamers. Fill the room with as many stuffed animals as you can find. Place large animals around the corners of the room and the smaller stuffies on all of the tables. Cover the tables with green tablecloths and then top the tablecloths with paper cutouts of cute animal paws.
Incorporate the theme of the party into every activity. As each guest arrives, let him become his favorite zoo animal with face painting. You can do the face painting yourself or you can hire a professional to provide the zoo-themed makeovers. Start the activities off right with an animal-themed safari hunt. Hide small plastic animals throughout the yard or party venue and send the group off on a hunt to collect every one. Instead of Simon Says, play a game of “Monkey Says.” Play an elephant-themed peanut race, where each member must race across the yard balancing a peanut on their spoon. But be sure that nobody has any peanut allergies before playing this one! Let the group burn off a little more energy with a game of animal tag. The game is played with all players moving on hands and knees, instead of running on feet. When a person is tagged, the tagger calls out an animal for the tagged to impersonate. Think how cute those little froggies are, hopping around.
For party snacks, what more fitting zoo-themed treat than store-bought or homemade animal cookies? Turn the beverages for the day into yummy swamp juice by pouring some popping candies into glasses of sports drinks. Kids love to watch the drinks crackle and spit. For the main course, create snake pizzas from scratch. Roll the dough into the shape of a snake and top with your favorite toppings. Bake the pizzas as usual. You can also make worm sandwiches for creepy crawler lovers by cutting hot dogs into long, then strips and boiling them until they curl like wiggly worms. Serve the worms on hamburger buns instead of hotdog buns. For dessert, serve cupcakes topped with miniature animal figurines or bake sugar cookies cut into animal shapes and have the party group decorate the cookies.
And the ideas don’t stop there. In keeping with a zoo-themed party, you can make miniature monkey-shaped pancakes or sugar cookies covered with a spot of maple frosting. Or carry the theme forward by frosting cupcakes with zebra stripes and dipping pretzels in white chocolate then “striped” with dark chocolate.
These days, you can find most any object in animal prints. From fabric to dishes to even duct-tape, you can find creative ways to use printed objects in your zoo-themed party. For instance, you can cut animal print cardstock into rectangles, add an animal sticker and voila – instant name tags! You can wrap small boxes with animal print duct-tape and then fill them with small party favors (zoo-themed of course). Zoo-themed inspiration can be found at the dollar store just as easily as at the nearest party store. For instance, simply fill an inexpensive animal print bowl with inexpensive animal shaped crackers for an instant finger food snack.
And let’s not forget the zoo-themed songs and fingerplays or a good game of informal charades where the children imitate zoo animals, complete with sounds, for the other children to guess. A quick internet search will provide you with lyrics and video demonstrations to liven up any zoo-themed children’s party.
Are you wanting to get creative and create your own zoo-themed party but don’t know where to start? One trip to Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, Massachusetts, will give you enough zoo-themed party inspiration to last you through several birthdays!
Or go with a highly authentic zoo-themed party right here at our zoo! Allow us the privilege of being the happy host for your child and friends. We have a number of different birthday party packages to choose from.
Open from Spring through Fall, Southwick’s animals are sure to inspire. And in the snowy winter months? Follow us on Facebook where the zoo-themed inspiration is always in full force.
Do you have any zoo-themed ideas of your own? Have you hosted a successful zoo-themed party? Have you attended a birthday party at Southwick’s? Our readers would love to hear about it!