Henry’s 1st Birthday Party: The Plan

So there was a brief moment when I thought I just wanted to have immediate family over for grilling and nothing big and had 0 inspiration or motivation to plan a birthday party for lil H. Then I remembered – this kid of mine ONLY GETS ONE FIRST BIRTHDAY! Dan and I were toying around with ideas… Island Henry, Murder Mystery Party, Broadway Party… mostly joking.

Then I said, would it be really funny or super tacky if we threw Hankapalooza – a la Mitchapalooza from Old School (a favorite movie of our generation) for our son’s first birthday?

Dan thought it was the greatest idea he’d ever heard. So Hankapalooza was born. And in case you were wondering – heck yes we’re getting a little halfsy keg with some quality craft Chicago beer and frose for the adults.



Yes – I had to create a Photoshop mood board to really get a feel for what was happening… hah it’s how I plan everything.

A whole lot of neon and bright colors and tacos and beer and summer fun for this May baby. Fingers crossed no rain, although in our family history… we always get rain. Womp womp.

I found a bunch of this stuff on Etsy!


From top left:

jumbo confetti balloon – we’ll have this tied to his high chair

confetti napkins – which were a bit overpriced and I ended up finding more of for super cheap at Michael’s!

rainbow plates

sunshine plates

striped plates

colorful balloons

sparkly #1 candle


For food – tacos from Big Star in Wicker Park. Can’t go wrong.

For cake – we’re doing confetti cupcakes and a smash cake from Sweet Mandy B’s in Lincoln Park.

For Henry’s outfit – keeping it casual! Some neon basics. Tshirt is from Gap, shorts are from Zara. I’d like a shirt that is a bit more fun… haven’t found one yet.

And the invitations. I’m quite proud of and designed myself – used Zazzle to print. I’ve never received more texts from invitees complimenting an invitation – including my wedding invites which I labored over. It’s his perfect face. I get it.

The design inspiration was of course the Mitchapalooza poster from Old School.


I was also premature with the whole Face Painting. I realized ALL of our furniture is white and kids tend to nose dive into things when they get rowdy… so still working on what fun activities I can have for the little kids.

ANY IDEAS FOR HOW TO ENTERTAIN LITTLE KIDS ARE APPRECIATED! All entertainers were like $150-300/hr. Zoiks.

We need to rent a helium tank because I’ve ordered over 60 balloons. Oops.

All in all it will be fun! There will be things a one-year-old likes – bright colors, balloons, cupcakes! And hopefully great food and booze for the adults! AND HOPEFULLY SUN! It’s gonna get quite crowded in here if we can’t utilize the decks.

Wish us luck!

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