Jul 3, 2014

London's 4th Birthday Party

London atop Sterling, aka Maximum
Last post about London turning 4, I promise! But this is the best one. You can't have a birthday without a party, at least at this age, right?

We found and booked the party venue back in March. Every day we pass by Gibson Park Ranch on our way to the girls' daycare. On the sign outside it advertises Pony Rides and Pony Ride birthdays. While my mom was out, we decided to stop in for a pony ride and check out what could be involved in a pony birthday party.


Inside Gibson Park Ranch, is "Old Town Tumbleweed" and this is where the Pony rides are. We came to find out we had 3 options for a party. Option 1: Rent a picnic area elsewhere in Gibson Park Ranch where we could have a bounce house and have one pony come by for an hour to provide rides. Option 2: Invite 25 people for a party inside Old Town Tumbleweed, where each kid could get one ride on a pony. People in attendance would also receive a wrist band to distinguish them from the general public. Option 3: Hold a private party inside Old Town Tumbleweed with unlimited pony rides, a brief show featuring Sterling, carriage rides, and panning for treasure for 3 hours. Can you guess which one we went with? Yeh, option 3. How could we not?

Carriage Rides were just as big a hit as the pony rides
Did I mention Sterling was the horse that Disney came to see perform and was the inspiration for Maximus in the movie "Tangled"? I believe they even put the dots on him so the computers could get the organic movement right. He's a beauty, that's for sure. And it turns out, he's a rescue horse. All the horses and ponies inside Old Town Tumbleweed we were told were rescues. And Sterling's trainer, the guy who runs the area, Lloyd Cooper, was quite the character and did an amazing job making this one special birthday. He comes from quite a line of movie & TV animal trainers, too. But this is what he loves - making kids' birthdays special.

So Sterling helped set the theme for us. London loves Tangled almost as much as Frozen, so that was a bonus. And the date we had no choice on as our June was packed with work trips and weddings already so it had to be on Father's Day. We knew this would limit how many people would be able to make it. But in the end more people were able to come than we expected.

When planning for the party, I asked London if she had any special requests. Following in my footsteps, based on stories I have been told, she quickly said she wanted flowers and popcorn and a cake with pink frosting. A little while later, she also requested that the cake be carrot cake. Fine by me - I've actually created my own recipe by tweaking one I found online. Plus, I know London will actually eat carrot cake, not just the frosting. On the day of the party, she did change her mind on the color of frosting and insisted on purple. She told me she would have pink next time.

By special request of the birthday girl - a carrot cake and flowers! One of these days I'll take a cake decorating class. I love making cake over buying store bought, but my skills here seriously lack!
Ok, I guess there will be one more post about London's birthday - but it will be for sharing the recipes, as I also tweaked a recipe I found online for caramel popcorn to make it more festive. The popcorn was a huge hit with the kids too. They filled cups with it and snacked on it while Sterling performed.

Ally Up also performed for us

Sterling is a Tennessee Walker - just gorgeous!
London enjoying the show with her cup of popcorn
They even set up shade for the kids to sit under for the show.
We also served Cameron's 7-layer dip, my favorite pasta salad, goldfish crackers, cheese and salami, and fruit. The biggest hit was Cameron's BBQ chicken, which he soaked in BBQ for an entire day before grilling it the morning of the party.

London enjoying Daddy's chicken while catching up with her buddy Lucas's mom Christina.
 And at the end of Sterling's show, London got to sit on top and wave Lloyd's hat around like a true cowgirl.

It was a fantastic party that all the kids seemed to enjoy. They definitely kept the ponies busy with rides. Both London and Sydney seemed quite at home on the ponies, and London on Sterling. I suspect riding lessons could be in our future.

London even got a play "Maximus" as a gift, thanks to her Grammi!

1 comment:

  1. oh wow.. that looks like an amazing birthday party!