Henry’s First Birthday Party: Hankapalooza!

This past week Henry turned one… I still can’t believe how big he’s getting. I shared my creative plans for his party – dubbed Hankapalooza – a couple of weeks ago and thanks in large part to the creative DIY talents of Made by Ilyssa – it came together so much better than I could have hoped! Per usual in Schmiedski event history, it not only rained but was also super cold! Yaaaay. Not great anyway but extra not ideal because we were really relying on our outdoor spaces to host our 50 guests. That being said – it was kind of amazing to see that our place really can fit that many people – albeit it got a bit loud at times. And it was a bit surreal feeling the love of all these people who came out to celebrate our little guy.


The Party Plan

Links to the items above are all in this post. I designed the invitations myself and used Zazzle to print them.

I pinned a bunch of inspirational images I loved, and Ilyssa and I put together a plan of what worked within our budget… she ended up creating my most favorite thing – the neon balloon arch – for above his high chair! She also created a HANKAPALOOZA banner, hand-sewed on paper neon fringe decor that hung above our island,  honeycomb garland for our living room mantel and dining room chandelier, AND the fabulous Henry face cupcake toppers complete with little party hats. It was all such a HUGE hit – my nieces and nephew even walked in and said “WHOA! This is awesome!” Not to mention Henry loves it all so much.

I ordered all of the neon balloons on Etsy and got another 100 white balloons on Amazon for $10 or so. We had Party City blow about 20 of them up with helium and we just used an auto balloon-blower for the others including the balloon arch. Let me tell you – $20 on a balloon blower is money. well. spent. if you have kids and find yourself blowing up balloons several times a year!

The flag banners were also a last-minute Party City find! My mom brought bunches of tulips for the kitchen island, and I had a bunch of $1 neon balls, bubbles, and stickers for the kids to play with and take as favors that I just picked up at the local Jewel-Osco! All the super fun plates and napkins you can kind of see were Etsy and Amazon purchases, and I also found the confetti-looking tablecloth for $3 at Target hours before the party started! Not only made that space more festive but made clean-up much easier.

We had drinks in bins throughout the house, lined up the taco catering on the kitchen island, and displayed the cupcakes and cookies on the dining table. We had a very breezy eat what you want, when you want situation… people just mixed and mingled, the kids played, it was truly a great time! I am so so glad we went big for his first birthday (likely the only birthday we’ll go big for until he’s 21 haha).  So many wonderful memories.


The Kitchen and Family Room

As you can see – we pushed the sectional sofa back against the wall to open up more space for the babes to play since we knew no one would be using that back door. It worked great! This was where all the catering went – on the island – though I took these photos before it arrived. It’s also where we did the big birthday cake moment under the balloons – notice Dan moved our marble pedestal table that’s usually there upstairs, again, to create more room!


The Living Room and Dining Room

People tend to gravitate toward the kitchen so it was really important to me to include decorations and have the dessert in this space to encourage people to be in these rooms, as well! We cleared the coffee table of its usual decor and I placed party favors and things for the kids to play with on it instead. We also pushed the sofa back against the wall to open up more space.

I know Henry won’t have any memory of this party, but for where’s he is currently at in life, it was amazing to see how much joy all of the decorations brought him. They’re all still up and every time he comes downstairs he just points to everything, takes breaks from playing to stare at the them and smile at them… it’s just so sweet and was so worth the extra effort.


Good Times Noodle Salad

We had about 15 kids here ages 4 months to 6 years – Henry and all of his cousins are pictured above. They were all so great! And his great grandma made it too which was so special.

Thanks for following along! Happy to share any tips or if you have questions, let me know!

Happy Birthday, Henry!

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