Parties

Fall Farm Fun at Great Lakes Farms!

Great Lakes Farms

When I found out I was pregnant with my second baby and that his birthday would be sometime in October, I knew right away that when I planned his first birthday party it would be an autumn theme. Fall is my favourite season so I am thrilled to have a reason to plan an autumn party!

When I think of fall, I always think of going to pick apples in an apple orchard, wagon rides, warm apple cider and fresh-baked apple pie! Similarly, these are also all fun things to do for a fall birthday party.

We have some great orchards in London however, with unpredictable fall weather, I needed to find a place with an indoor space that could accommodate all of our guests. Luckily, I came across Great Lakes Farms in Port Stanley, Ontario, which is only a short (and beautiful) drive from London.

THE LOCATION

Great Lakes Farms
Great Lakes Farms is a family run orchard with over a sixty-year history in the Port Stanley area. Farmer Joe and his wife Mary Anne run the farm and orchard. They also expanded in 2014 to include four acres of peach trees, along with the apples, pumpkins, pears and strawberries that are also available seasonally. They are open for pick-your-own, baked goods and farm fun!

Great Lakes Farms

THE EXPERIENCE

When arriving at the orchard, it is such a picturesque setting as you drive up the long driveway toward the cornfields, orchard and barn that you just want to spend all of your time strolling around the beautiful grounds picking your own fruit. Yet, the aromas emanating from the barn lure you inside where fresh-baked apple pies are baking!

THE BAKERY

When you step inside the barn where the bakery and café are located, you are instantly consumed by the scrumptious smell of fresh baked apple-y goodness! Here they make their famous fresh baked apple pie where they use their own freshly picked apples. The pastry is made from scratch on site as well. They also offer apple crisp, apple strudel, apple muffins, and apple cookies along with apple cider and ice cream! They have a rustic covered porch area that overlooks the sprawling orchard where you can sip on a beverage and indulge in a freshly baked treat.

THE FUN FARM

Great Lakes Farms Fun Farm

Great Lakes Farms has created an “agri-destination” by including attractions such as their corn maze, and fun farm area for children and parents alike. The fun farm is a child’s dream playground! They have a “sand box” for the kids to play in, but instead of it being filled with sand, it is filled with kernels of corn! My one-year-old son loved feeling the texture of the corn.

Another bonus, they don’t get all sandy after! They also have sand diggers that the kids can operate themselves which proved to be a big hit among our crowd. They even offer a pumpkin launcher in October! The corn maze is not only a fun activity for both parents and kids but it is also currently supporting a great cause as well by promoting anti-bullying messages that can be found throughout the maze.

Kids will also love their pirate ship play structure with a slide, lookouts, ropes and ladders, as well as “straw mountain” where kids can climb on, crawl through and swing from barrels of hay. Strollers are welcome but they offer cute little green wagons that parents can pull their children around in as well.

Entrance fee into the fun farm play area is $5/person and children under 2 are free. Parents are also free Monday-Friday. They even offer a season pass for only $10, which gives you unlimited access to their play area!

EVENTS

There is so much to do at Great Lakes Farms; they host different events throughout the summer and fall season like Peachfest, Applefest and Pumpkinfest, which is coming up at the end of October. They also host weddings, school tours and birthday parties.

OUR BIRTHDAY PARTY

Great Lakes Farms Birthday Party

As mentioned, I was drawn to Great Lakes Farms because it was the only orchard experience I could find in the local surrounding area that also offered an indoor space to host the party in case the weather decided not cooperate with us that day.

When I walked into the barn and in the café area where the parties are held, I was extremely pleased with our choice of location to host our son’s apple-themed birthday party! The exposed barn board walls, wooden tables with the quintessential red and white checkered orchard table cloths and aroma of fresh apple pie and cider in the air gave me the instant farmhouse.

We had about 35 people with 18 kids and there was more than enough room for us to sit. They have a beautiful, long wooden harvest table that could accommodate all of our food and lots of extra tables for desserts, apple cider station and gifts.

GreatLakesFarmsBirthdayPartyCityMom

They have a rustic high chair as well for the birthday boy to sit in and have his first taste of birthday cake! Then, when our group was finished opening presents, Farmer Joe took us on our private wagon ride around the orchard. This was a highlight for me. Having our family and friends all together on our son’s first birthday, being taken around a beautiful orchard on a beautiful day on our private wagon ride was just the cherry on top of the whole experience for me! I am so thankful to Great Lakes Farms for creating such a wonderful day for us.

Great Lakes Farms will work with you to design the exact type of birthday party you are looking for. They offer packages as minimal as simply renting out the room with no staff intervention, to a package that includes a fully guided experience with one of their staff who will entertain and lead your group through the various activities around the orchard.

GreatLakesFarmsWagonRide

I would like to thank Great Lakes Farms for hosting our group for my son’s first birthday party and making it such a special and truly unforgettable experience.

IF YOU GO

And you should…their fall season runs from September 12-November 1 and they currently have apples, pears, and pumpkins available. They are open daily (including Thanksgiving) from 10am to 5pm and Sundays from 11am to 5pm. Pick-your-own admission is free and prices for apple varieties are available on their website at www.greatlakesfarms.ca.

I hope you enjoy this beautiful fall weather the best way possible at Great Lakes Farms…you won’t regret it!

Disclaimer: we received complimentary services in exchange for our feature. These opinions our completely our own and really, it speaks for itself!

Village Mom

A Magical Birthday with My Perfect Princess Party

My Perfect Princess Party London

I love party planning and I especially love planning my daughter’s birthday parties. However, my daughter’s birthday is in February and having a winter birthday party is a bit challenging at times since the cold weather limits outdoor activities; finding a theme and having corresponding activities proves to be difficult.

Thankfully, I had My Perfect Princess Party recommended to me by a friend and I am so glad that I called them! They absolutely made my daughter’s 2nd birthday party a huge success and one that we will always remember.

FROZEN OBSESSED

My daughter, like most young girls, is obsessed with Disney’s Frozen, so what better winter theme to have for a February birthday party?! I knew that I could plan Frozen themed food and decorations but I was looking for something really “Frozen” to put it over the top for our guests and reinforce our Frozen theme. Enter My Perfect Princess Party!

MAKE YOUR PRINCESS’ DAY TRULY MAGICAL

My Perfect Princess Party Elsa

My Perfect Princess Party provides amazing princess parties all over Toronto, London and surrounding areas. They recently added Elsa and Anna to their available Disney princess characters.

I contacted them, which is very easily done online or also by phone. Their online booking system gets all of your party information, such as how many children are participating, your preferred date and character(s), a choice of activities and you can even add “extra magic packages” that include dress-up parties and a costume parade!

If you begin your planning process with them, you can even have an option to have personalized themed invitations sent to you as an electronic file that you can print at any photo printer.

FAIRY TALE PRINCESS PARTY

I chose the “Fairytale Princess Party” package which includes:

  • 1-hour engagement, perfect for 3-9 year olds (although my daughter was turning two, she was completely engaged in all of the activities.)
  • A choice of characters: The Little Mermaid, Beauty, Cinderella, the Arabian Princess, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, the Highland Princess, the Frog Princess, Rapunzel, Princess Sophia, the Snow Princess (Anna), the Snow Queen
  • Your character then does the following:
    • Royal Entrance
    • Fairytale Story time
    • Royal Ball Sing-a-long and Dancing
    • Autographs
    • Royal Coronation for the Birthday Girl
    • Happy Birthday
    • Royal Farewell

There are other activities that you get to include as well, depending on the number of children at your party. Check out My Perfect Princess Party to get all the details.

SENDING A POSITIVE MESSAGE

My Perfect Princess Party

One of the included activities we chose was Perfect Princess Makeup and the kids loved it and I really appreciated that Queen Elsa explained to the little girls before applying their makeup, that princesses sometimes dress up by wearing makeup but that real princesses are beautiful just the way they are and don’t need make up!

A ROYAL EXPERIENCE

My Perfect Princess Party

Within seconds of Queen Elsa entering our party, I knew we made the right choice for our party theme and activity. My daughter’s face lit up; she was in absolute awe. In her mind, the real Elsa just walked into her birthday party.

Elsa sang songs with them, (she had an amazing voice) and read a story to the girls as if she were the real Elsa recounting her adventures to them.

My Perfect Princess Party

Elsa took my daughter’s hand and made her feel like a special princess the whole time. Along with all of our guests, my husband and I watched the magical memories that were created for our daughter. We both got teary-eyed watching Elsa do her makeup and paint her nails. You could just see the amazement and total adoration in her eyes. This was a priceless experience and memory; we will never “let it go”!

NOT JUST FOR PRINCESSES

While My Perfect Princess Party is certainly most popular among young girls, boys can enjoy as well! Boys under six usually enjoy the party as much as the girls. Older boys sometime need to be encouraged to participate but My Perfect Princess Party offers superhero or pirate tattoos and superhero or pirate colouring sheets as well as prizes geared towards boys in the treasure box.

GIVE YOUR PRINCESS HER OWN SPECIAL DAY

My Perfect Princess Party

After working with My Perfect Princess Party I highly recommend booking them for any little girl’s birthday party. Your little girl will be made to feel like a beautiful princess, completely special on her special day and you will have amazing magical memories.

You guests will be equally entertained and in awe, leaving you to relax and enjoy the event with your child.

For more information on My Perfect Princess Party visit www.myppplondon.ca and Like on Facebook.

A special thank you to H&S Studios for capturing our special day and allowing us to sit and enjoy the event right alongside our daughter without missing a beat!

Village Mom

Pamper Your Little Girl with a Birthday Party at Posh Pedicure Lounge

Posh Pedicure Lounge Birthday Parties

All photography in this post provided by H&S Studios.

I love throwing Little S’ birthday parties. I mean LOVE! You may remember some of my past posts where I’ve gone all out to celebrate. But as much as I love planning her parties, it is a lot of work! Not just the decorations and food, but also entertaining eight little girls.

This year Little S was dying to have her party at Posh Pedicure Lounge so I had a big decision to make; indulge my obsession or handover my party planning rights. Of course I chose the latter and I’m so glad that I did!

PRINCESS PARTIES AT POSH PEDICURE LOUNGE

Posh Pedicure Lounge Party

It turns out that I didn’t have to give up any of my party powers. In fact, I was able to work with Penny, the owner of Posh Pedicure Lounge, to customize and add my own touch to the party. Penny shared with me what is included in the party package and I was able to add to that if I wanted and bring in my own food items too. I didn’t end up doing that because what was offered in the package suited us perfectly.

The Posh Pedicure Lounge is the place for girlie girls…no matter what her age! If hosting a palace get together for an entourage of princesses is not your thing – leave it up to Posh…we throw the best parties in our pink and leopard lounge! The best part is that you can sit and enjoy a pedi too while the princesses get pampered and eat pink cupcakes!

For a Princess Party like Little S’, you get one and a half hours of party time, manicures and pedicures for the princesses, party punch, cake pops, vanilla ice cream, gift opening time and treat bags. It’s the perfect amount of time and activity for a party of this type.

The event was really well run and organized by the girls at Posh and they had the timing down to an art. We didn’t feel rushed nor were there moments of boredom. It all played out perfectly.

Posh Pedicure Lounge Princess Party

You can tell by the huge smiles in the photos that all the girls had a fabulous time. And Little S was having the time of her life!

The impression that I got was that the girls felt very grown up getting their nails done and getting to choose the designs.

THE TREAT BAGS

PoshPedicureLoungeTreatBags

Treat bags get their own heading because I know from experience that these little mementos can cause a lot of headaches. I know when Little S attends a party, one of the things she looks most forward to is…you guessed it, the treat bags. That’s a lot of pressure on a parent throwing a party.

Deciding on what to put in the bags can sometimes be a challenge and the cost can really add up. Simply put, treat bags are a necessary evil, so I was thrilled to find out that they were included in party package. Not only was I relieved, but I was also super impressed with their contents; all age appropriate, fun items for the girls and not too much candy!

BOOK YOUR LITTLE GIRL’S PARTY

If you have a little girl in your life with an upcoming birthday, I highly recommend booking it at Posh Pedicure Lounge. The kids had a blast and I have never been more relaxed during and leading up to one of Little S’ parties! It is definitely a memory neither of you will ever forget!

For more information on Posh parties and other services visit poshpedicurelounge.com.

A SPECIAL THANK YOU

A special thank you to H&S Studios for their wonderful photography of our special event; Brianne is wonderful to work with and has a special touch with children; we just loved the photos!

City Mom

Urban Exposure: Always Save Room For Dessert!

Always Save Room For Dessert

Okay, so we know by now that I love to throw a good party and if I love anything more than that it’s taking pictures of our parties and posting about the event. But with all that aside, no party is any party without the perfect cake. That is why today, I am thrilled to share Always Save Room For Dessert!, a local custom cake, cupcake and other sweets company owned by cake designer, Justine Travnicek.

YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT!

Always Save Room For Dessert!

For Justine, her cake making business has been a natural progression; she started with nothing more than a personal interest in cake decorating. When she was younger, her aunt gave her a Wilton cake decorating book and she fell in love. She enjoyed watching her aunt make fabulous creations and absorbed much of what she knows today. As Justine got older, she began to take part in cake decorating classes and it wasn’t too long before she became the ‘go to’ member of her family for desserts. From there, friends began to ask her to create cakes for their celebrations. Soon it was friends of friends and then total strangers begging Justine to make delectable designs for their events. Justine has gone from playing around in her kitchen to spending nights at a local restaurant baking for the celebrations of strangers. She believes that life’s moments should be celebrated, and she’s honored to be a part of those intimate moments through her designs.

CALLING ALL CAKE DECORATORS

Knowing the Little S’ birthday was coming up you’d think I would have been on top of something as important as the cake for her party, but I had left it almost to the last-minute. I put the call out on Twitter asking for local #LdnOnt cake decorators. Justine’s business, Always Save Room For Dessert! was the first recommendation I got and it came with a glowing review. I quickly looked at Justine’s website and I knew right away that my search was over and that I found the perfect cake decorator! With my fingers crossed, I reached out to Justine to see if she had availability and she was more than willing to work within a tight timeline and accommodate my needs. My favourite part about working with Justine was that I was able to share my vision with her and trust her expertise to guide the process. I showed her a picture of a cake I had come across on Pinterest and left the rest with her. The design was better than I could have imagined. Justine followed my wishes and added her own personal touches to make it unique for us. The cake was not only a huge hit with the kids, but with the adults too; it definitely was the centre of attention at our party. And all of this was before we even cut into it. Somehow the taste and consistency of the cake gets forgotten when you’re talking about a work of art, however this cake was one of the most moist cakes I had ever had. Not only was it delicious the day of the party, but it stayed moist for the few days after in the fridge. If you’re looking for a custom cake or cupcakes for your next celebration, I highly recommend calling Justine of Always Save Room For Dessert!

CONNECT WITH ALWAYS SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT!

Check out some of Justine`s  designs, especially on her Facebook page…you`ll be blown away! Web: www.alwayssaveroom.com Facebook: AlwaysSaveRoom Email: adozencupcakes@gmail.com Twitter: @adozencupcakes Phone: 519-777-3991 Disclosure: I received a complimentary cake in exchange for this feature however the opinions are 100% my own!

City Mom

 

Eco-Conscious Parties With Greenmunch

Greenmunch

With dinnerware made from fallen leaves, cutlery made of biodegradable wood and reusable, stainless steel straws; Greenmunch, a Canadian-based company, is a one-stop-shop for eco-conscious party planners!

Last week I blogged about our Witches’ Ball themed party and many of the items pictured came from Greenmunch. I really wanted to incorporate as many eco-friendly aspects as possible into the party and the products I ordered from greenmunch.ca helped me to do just that!

A CLOSER LOOK

Paper straws are all the rage and they’re not only trendy but easy on the environment too. This is good news because traditional plastic straws really suck (pun intended)!

They are usually made of plastic that takes years and years to break down. Plastic straws make up most of the litter on our shorelines and of all the trash to end up in our waters, straws are at the top of the list!

It’s time to say goodbye to plastic straws forever!

MASON JAR BEVERAGES

Mason jar beverages are also on-trend now. I started using mason jars in place of plastic or paper cups for entertaining a few months ago; like paper straws, they’re much more friendly to the environment as they are made sans plastic and even better, they’re reusable.

Not only does Greenmunch carry Mason jars and other glass bottles for drinking, they also carry a variety of lids to enhance the use of canning jars as beverage holders.

greenmunch_lids

  1. Cuppow Lids:  snap on to most-size jars and create a smaller opening for drinking which makes them great for travel.
  2. Daisy Mason Jar Lids: are what I used for our Witch’s Brew. They’re perfect for keeping a lid on it and the Greenmunch paper straws fit snugly in the centre hole.
  3. Plastisol Lids: regular Mason jar lids but in a variety of colours; perfect for hot fill product sealing or food in a jar gifts. Think bright red for Christmas!
  4. reCap Lid: made with BPA-free recyclable plastic, the reCAP lid can easily be used to shake, pour and store right from your mason jar. It also makes a great spout for spill free drinking.
  5. Mason Jar Tumbler Lid: create a spill free drink with this lid with room for a straw!

Our Witch’s Brew looked great with the Dixie lids and paper straws and the best part is, we really saved some of the trash that would normally end up in the landfill.

GreenmunchPaperStraws

MORE PARTY SUPPLIES

Greenmunch offers many more party supply items like garlands, paper pompoms, napkins and more. We also made use of the paper napkins in Vichy Black, the Divine Twine and the Aspenware Wooden Cutlery. We were really impressed with the quality of all the products.

DOING OUR PART

When you think about children’s birthday parties alone and think of each cup, plate, straw, napkin and cutlery used for each guest and multiply that by all the kids in the world having birthday parties, and well, it becomes unimaginable how much landfill waste is created from just this one activity.

So next time you are entertaining whether it be for your child’s party, a Christmas party or whatever, consider using eco-friendly, easy on the environment products like the ones from Greenmunch!

Greenmunch products are not only eco-friendly, but budget-friendly too. And with orders over $99 (which is reasonable for a decent party) shipping in Canada and the US is free!

CONNECT WITH GREENMUNCH

Greenmunch

Facebook: facebook.com/greenmunch

Twitter: @greenmunch

Pinterest: pinterest.com/greenmunch

Instagram: instagram.com/greenmunch

Disclosure: I received the complimentary products for review purposes but the opinions are 100% my own.

City Mom

How To Throw a Pinterest Worthy Witches’ Ball

Witches Ball

With Halloween just a few days away, you’ve probably already thrown a Halloween-themed party, so for next year, get your Pin-It-Trigger-Finger ready because you’re going to want to throw a Witches’ Ball!

PERFECT TIMING

Little S’ birthday is close enough to Halloween, that we can throw Halloween themed birthday parties for her if she chooses. Once in a while she opts to have her party after Halloween, like last year’s Bubblegum Birthday Party to avoid the whole Halloween association.

This year she chose the Witches’ Ball theme and we went all out! Since I love throwing parties and inspiring others to do the same, I put together this post as a ‘how-to’ so you can do the same. When the parents of Little S’ guests dropped their kids off, they commented on the set up. I kind of felt guilty in taking credit for it all and gave kudos to my fellow Pinterest users.

HOW TO THROW A WITCHES’ BALL

Inspiration: no matter the theme you choose for your child’s party you first and foremost need a Pinterest account to gather inspiration. Search for your theme in your fav search engine and start pinning images that speak to you. You can check out my Witches’ Ball board where I collected fun ideas to fit in with our theme.

Decorations: when I searched for “Witches’ Ball”, I came to find a couple of different printable packages for a Witches’ Ball but since Little S’ favourite colour is purple, choosing this one from Glitter Ink Designs was a no-brainer.

Prepping: next it was time to print. Tip when purchasing a printable package, go through the PDF file first and take note of what pages you want to print, and which you don’t. I ended up printing almost the whole package and it was more than I needed and more expensive too.

Creating: I spent the most part of a week, cutting, scoring, folding, pasting and putting together the items from the kit.

Accessories: now that you have your theme and your decorations, it’s time to tie them all in together. Answer a few questions like where you are hosting the party and what fixtures are available to you. Lucky for us, our condo has a giant party room so we always throw our gatherings there.

For this party I decided to make use of the fireplace and mantle for your decoration and display purposes. I happened to have some leftover damask wallpaper from our bedroom reno so I draped the fireplace mantel with it. I placed two tables side-by-side and covered with a black tablecloth and placed them in front of the fire-place, using the wallpaper as a back drop.

Witches Ball Party

Next I arranged the printables on the table with the food and candy containers to create a sweets table of sorts.  With items from the dollar store that fit our theme, I decorated the mantel to compliment the theme. This was perhaps the easiest part as the dollar store is full of affordable Halloween decorations in all varieties.

Food: again, I turned to Pinterest for some fun, theme-related food ideas. I wanted to include some healthy options for the kids too so I was all over the banana ghosts and Clementine pumpkins idea. Put together other food and treat ideas that coincide with your theme. I must admit I had a lot of fun at the Bulk Barn using a scoop to choose only the green and purple gum balls from a bin full of rainbow coloured assortments.

Halloween Party Food

The Cake: most cake decorators can replicate any cake design you choose. I found one online that I had my heart set on and shared it with a local cake designer and asked her to put her own spin on it and that’s exactly what she did. It really became the centrepiece of our theme.

Witch Cake

Costumes: when we mailed out invitation to our Witches’ Ball, we asked our guests to come dressed as a fancy or scary witch. This really added to the fun for the kids and helped to enhance the theme.

Games: we chose to incorporate some classic party games like Freeze Dance but also added a spin on them like changing the title of ‘What Time is it Mr. Wolf?’ to ‘What Time is it Mrs. Witch?’. We also did some colouring of Witch colouring pages and played ‘Hot Witch’s Hat’ (Hot Potato). Pretty much any game can be adjusted to fit your theme so get creative!

Supplies: of course you’ll need plates, napkins, cutlery, drinks etc. I love using Mason Jars to dress up beverages and of course our Witch’s Brew looked fancy with themed labels, colour coordinated paper straws and special lids to hold the straws in place.

Witches' Brew

Though this party required a lot of planning and execution, it was well worth it to see the look on Little S’ face when she saw it all come together; now time to start planning next year’s!

Witches Ball Party

What is your favourite party theme? Have you blogged about it or created a Pinterest board or online gallery? If so, share it below. I’d love to check them out!

City Mom

 

Page 1 of 212