Party Planning Nightmares

Normally I’m all about parties. I love the planning process, coming up with a theme and running wild with it. I love shopping for decorations, frilly things, balloons and birthday hats yet this year’s birthday has become more of a headache than a happy happy event. Liv’s 3rd birthday *which is in June* will be the first time we are actually throwing her a party. I already miss the days where I would chose a destination and we’d book a weekend at a fun hotel, and have a small party for Liv in our hotel room *with the luxury of maid/room service* However, it’s time for Liv to have a party with all her friends and family so I began searching for an awesome venue. I kept in mind it has to be a toddler-friendly space, preferable indoors but with a lot of space for kids to run around *so parks and our backyard were out* and can accommodate about 40 guests comfortably. There are places like the dreaded Chuck E. Cheese but I wanted a place that was different and had character so I found this beauty.

Santa Monica's landmark pier, the last of the great pleasure piers is situated at the western-most end of Route 66. Games, rides, an historic carousel, shops, cafes and restaurants are plentiful in this unique setting with panoramic views of the ocean and the Santa Monica MountainsFile:Santa Monica pier edit1.jpg

The carousel was built in 1916, this space is so perfect!
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The Santa Monica pier carousel. I know the Santa Monica pier is a horrible tourist trap, it’s crowded and annoyingly overrated *the ferris wheel is awesome but imagine a sea of douchebags and their skanky girlfriends and their awful children*. Yet the carousel is a hidden gem that is separate from the overpriced Pacific Park amusement park. The kids get unlimited rides on the carousel and we get a spot indoors to hold the party. It’s totally within my budget and they even offer tables and chairs. It’s even in walking distance to Hot Dog on a Stick so we can have them cater the party *fancy, I know but their lemonade is the best and it’s easy to feed kids food on sticks* That’s where the rad parts ends, then come the logistics that give me a headache. The carousel space do not allow balloons *bummer, no giant balloon decor* or music, and they also have a policy that doesn’t allow anything taped to the walls but they didn’t mention ceiling so maybe we can use fishing wire to attach these pretty guys.
the pom lantern DIY kit ... large ...  fringe edition ... tissue paper lantern
So despite my decor dilemma, I always wrestle with the guest list. If I invite family, that’s 40 people right there, then our friends, not sure how much fun they would have a 3rd old’s party and Liv’s friends from preschool, but it feels wrong to only invite some kids from her class and not everyone. The carousel space only includes 30 chairs so I’d have to rent additional chairs. A big chunk of my budget has to go to pre-pay for parking which is a whopping $12 a car. I really want a photo booth backdrop but we have to make it stand alone so that’s gonna be tricky with our 30 minute setup time slot.
Photobooth backdrop
This backdrop is lovely but looks tedious to hand make, I also need to find some lighting without having to buy pro equipment.
Make and use for a DIY photo booth at the wedding??? How to Make a PVC Pipe Backdrop!
This monstrosity is huge and Antz already tried to build a stand similar to this for our pop up dinner but the sand and wind got the better of him so we scrapped it.


The one thing I am most excited about is the party theme. I won’t reveal it just now but it’s gonna be rad. The party is only 3 hours long so I’ll need to work out the logistics, games, cake and photos. I need a bunch of helpers to pull it off. Someone pass me the Excedrin! At least I have 7 months to change my mind a thousand times.

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Bonjour, I am a Francophile who enjoys blogging, baking, Björk, peonies, & traveling. Married to 💍Antz & Mummy to Liv 🇫🇷💄🎈🍰🍟🌸

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