We have a one year old! My gosh, you guys. This past year flew by! You always hear parents say “it goes by so quickly,” but until you’re experiencing it for yourself you can’t even imagine how true those words are. I started thinking about Hudson’s 1st birthday really early on. I tried to live in the moment of each day with him, but I knew I wanted his first birthday to be really special. Obviously he won’t actually remember how we spent that day, but I will!
So many people asked me why I chose to have a Neverland/Peter Pan themed party and it’s honestly the first idea that came to mind. I love the story of Peter Pan and I struggle so hard with enjoying each new milestone Hudson has, while simultaneously having my heart break that my baby isn’t a baby anymore. So the idea of celebrating this day in magical Neverland where “All Children, except one, grow up” seemed like the perfect theme for us.
I basically DIY’d all of this! Mostly for cost effective reasons and also, because I love more authentic decorations rather than the stuff you’d find at a party store. I knew I wanted several things for it. I wanted an area that brought to life elements of Captain Hook and the mermaids and also the Indian Camp. We turned our little back room garage extension into the Lost Boys Hideout (and filled it with photos of Hudson and pizza). The main thing I knew I wanted was this incredible Neverland Sign below!
We got our friend Star to make it for us and it is beyond anything I could’ve dreamt of! She did our signs for our wedding and does the most incredible work! If you’re ever looking for someone to bring one of your visions to life, contact her!
For our Mermaid Lagoon, I bought a cheap ball pit off Amazon and covered it with a blue foil backdrop. I added netting and shells from Michaels to give it it’s final touch. I knew the kids would end up trashing it, but I didn’t care as long as they had fun! My dad and Drew built this incredible Pirate Ship Mast that really brought that area together! The entire thing cost less than $20 to make! We got PVC pipes from Home Depot and cut them while we were there and then spray painted them brown. I also got a cheap unpainted wood treasure chest from Michaels and painted it to look a little old and weathered. I filled it with this pirate party pack, full of eye patches, telescopes, and pirate tattoos. We also bought a sandbox from Home Depot and hid gold coins inside (the older kids had a blast trying to find all of them)! The last thing for that area was the Hook ring toss! We got an old pallet (it was a hot mess – with blue spray paint all over it), but with the extra gold spray paint I had from the connectors on the pirate ship mast, it made it look like a brand new pallet!
For the “Indian Camp” I had the idea of having a cute teepee with pillow and blankets inside for the kids and I really wanted to have the movie Peter Pan playing, but we ended up just leaving it as a little chill hang out area.
For party favors, we decided to give the kids Peter Pan books!
When I was imagining the party and how our backyard would look, I really wanted to have clouds and stars hanging above everyone’s heads. This was honestly the most difficult and time consuming thing I did. I think I worked on these clouds for over 2 weeks straight and burned myself with a glue gun more times than I could keep track of, but I am so happy I did it! They really tied the whole Neverland theme together!
Our main table was pretty much appetizers and desserts. We made mini cupcakes, this little trio of yummy desserts from the grocery store, my grandpa made his famous sweet and sour meatballs, and Lauren made her famous baked mac n cheese! I had her bake it in these really cute flower cupcake liners. It wasn’t the most practical when it came to eating them, but they were aesthetically pleasing! FUN FACT: The brown “1” that you see on the main table was from “Table 1” at our wedding!
For Hudson’s smash cake, I had this crazy idea that I would bake it myself! I’ve never made a cake like this before and thank goodness my husband talked sense into me and had me just order it, because it was exactly what I wanted! I’m determined to make his cake for his next birthday though, so stay tuned for that! We didn’t know how he would react to a cake smash. He’s had sweets before, so I knew the taste wasn’t going to blow his mind. We joked he’d be really careful and gentle while eating it and that was exactly how he was! He was really proud of himself though! I also found this really cute Peter Pan inspired birthday crown off Etsy! He HATES things on his head, but luckily with the singing and the cake it was the last thing on his mind.
Everything about this party was perfection to me. Very rarely do I imagine something and have it be executed the way it is in my mind! I was really proud of how everything turned out. Hudson was surrounded by soooo much love. We try our best to make him feel special every day, but I know this day he felt it a little bit more!
If you have any questions about how I did anything or where anything is from, feel free to reach out to me here or on Instagram! I’ll link everything I used below!