Sophie turned 4 on October 16! How do we have a 4 year old?!
Sophie’s been requesting a “unicorn flower” birthday party for most of 2021, complete with very specific ideas about the cake. 🙂 It was a lot of fun to plan this party, since so much about unicorn parties involve pretty pastel colors, and all things magical and sparkly!
In today’s blog post, I wanted to share some photos from the birthday party, as well as the food and decor. When I plan a party, I center my planning around 2 categories: food and decor. Since we only do simple family parties for our kids (thus far), the attendees are usually adults so I don’t need to plan out kids’ party games or favors. We instead focus on fun themed snacks and good conversation!
How to Plan a Unicorn Birthday Party:
About a month or so before Sophie’s party, I started looking on Pinterest for decor ideas as well as for unicorn party food inspiration. I can’t emphasize enough how great Pinterest is for gaining inspiration or for curating the overall “feel” you’re looking for. (It can be used kind of like creating a mood board.) However, it’s important to keep in mind that while Pinterest is a great starting point for ideas, you won’t always be able to find exactly what you see – and probably shouldn’t anyway, because it can really add up! 🙂 And some lofty party ideas won’t seem too feasible later on. So I like to utilize Pinterest for inspiration and maybe some recipes, but I try not to go overboard with ambitious projects. No one wants to be stressed out before a fun party.
I also like to keep ideas for food and decor on my Evernote account (a free note-taking account/app that syncs across devices). I perused the Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Target websites (and Amazon, of course!) and was able to order some items in advance.
I like to design things myself when I can. I love using my free account at Canva.com to make invitations. For Sophie’s woodland-themed first birthday party, I had purchased some gorgeous deer and forest clip art from an Etsy shop called Flora and Bear. And for her horse-themed second birthday party, I found some beautiful watercolor horse clip art from an Etsy shop called Paper Sphinx. For last year’s zoo party, I found these gorgeous watercolor clip art safari animals on Etsy! I used these to design Sophie’s invitation over on Canva.com. It was totally worth it all three times.
This year, it totally slipped my mind to design and mail out invites, but that’s okay! I’ll pick it up again next year. I just wanted to make sure to mention the idea of using Canva and watercolor clip art from Etsy to make your own invites! Invitations are a perfect element of party planning, because they hint at the party’s theme and add to the whimsy and anticipation of it all!
Unicorn Party Food and Drinks
- Cake. I ordered a 7″ double round cake from Hy-Vee – a nice, small cake – and it worked out perfectly! Since Sophie had had specific ideas about the cake for much of 2021 🙂 I decided to outsource the cake this year and have the professional bakers handle it! Sophie asked for flowers and grass around the base of the cake, with a unicorn just sitting on top of the cake. I actually purchased the Schleich brand unicorn toy myself from Amazon, and placed it on top of the cake! Hy-Vee did a wonderful job. They always make delicious and beautiful cakes.
- “Unicorn Horns” pretzel rods. These were a really cute but simple way to add a magical touch to the party! I’ve made dipped pretzel rods like these for different themes over the years. For this unicorn party, I dipped the pretzel rods in almond bark and sprinkled them with a variety of sparkly/pastel-colored sprinkles, then laid them on parchment paper to harden. Easy and yummy!
- Rock candy. I’m a little disappointed because these didn’t arrive in time for the party, but I wanted to include the idea here anyway. The plan was to put the rock candy in a clear mason jar at the food table! I had ordered a small pack of purple, pink, and clear rock candy sticks from Amazon.
- Chicken salad in croissants. This is a party go-to idea for me. I feel like it fits pretty well with nearly any theme. Hy-Vee makes really nice and airy croissants that I cut in half and then spoon a simple chicken salad mixture into. (The chicken salad I make to put in croissants is: canned chicken, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, a tiny splash of apple cider vinegar, and diced dill pickles.)
- Rainbow fruit skewers. A unicorn party theme can also include things like rainbows, clouds, and pastel or sparkly things! To add a little rainbow element into this party, I made fruit skewers that included strawberries, clementines, pineapple, green grapes, and blueberries. It was a cute alternative to a fruit bowl or platter. Here’s a pin on Pinterest with a good photo of the skewer idea.
- Unicorn bark. This was one of my favorite parts of the party! (Not so much for amazing flavor, but for the magical feeling it added to the food table!) I used this recipe for unicorn bark. It’s essentially different colored candy melts, swirled together before they harden, with unicorn-themed sprinkles on top.
- Veggies and sour cream ranch dip. This wasn’t really part of the unicorn theme, but I like to have veggies at a party to counteract the amount of sugar going on!
- Pink lemonade. I just bought a mix and whipped up a batch right before the party started! We also offered water bottles as another option.
- Unicorn popcorn. This idea was another favorite for me. It added a lot to the overall unicorn theme! I’d never used food spray before and it was fun! I wish I could’ve found pink food spray but all I could find in the week leading up to the party was purple, so we went with that. It still turned out cute! Here’s a link to the recipe I used.
Unicorn Party Decor
- Unicorn figurines. Both of our children love playing with little Schleich brand animals, so I bought several unicorn toys from that brand because they could function as party decor and then later on could be added to our toy collection!
- Large mylar unicorn balloon, plus other pastel colored balloons. Helium is quite expensive so we used up an old container of helium we had from a past get-together, and then my husband just blew up the rest of the balloons himself.
- Large floral number 4. I don’t know that I even got a picture of it, which is a bummer! But it was a sweet little element of the party, since Sophie had asked for a theme that included flowers as well. This is where I got the inspiration for it. I used foam poster board and an X-Acto knife, and then used a glue gun to attach bunched tissue paper squares to the board.
- Plates, cups, forks, spoons, straws, napkins. I found some of these items that were unicorn-themed at a craft store. They sure were cute, and things like plates are a wonderful way to add to the theme.
- Tablecloths. I like to get one tablecloth for our food table and one for the drink table, so I bought one pink and one teal!
- Unicorn cardboard cutouts. Like the plates and napkins, I found a pack of these decorations at a craft store, so I snatched them up! They were pretty inexpensive and they really helped with the decorating beforehand.
- Faux flowers. I took the kids to a local craft store and Sophie picked out a couple bunches of faux flowers that she thought were pretty. Then we took them apart at home and Sophie helped me decorate the food and drink tables with them!
- Had I had more time or wanted to be more ambitious, I would’ve loved to do a rainbow out of streamers like this one, with white balloons at the top!
- This isn’t decor, but I found Sophie a darling unicorn-themed party dress on Amazon (that came with a horn headband!) and she adored it! She felt so pretty on her special day!
That’s about it! I hope you enjoyed seeing our sweet Sophie’s 3rd birthday party! And if you’re planning a birthday party – or even a zoo party for any reason – of your own, I hope this post brought you a bit of inspiration or ideas for your own gathering! Thank you for reading! 🙂
Want to see other past party themes we’ve done? Check out the blog posts below!