Our happy, sweet baby boy turned one year old a few weeks ago. I have no idea how this happened. How are we already at the one year mark?! They tell you that time goes by fast, but I was not prepared for this. To celebrate his first year of life, we threw a spectacular "Wild One" safari themed birthday party for our family and friends. We also celebrated his actual birthday with a healthy banana smash cake photoshoot.
Wild One Safari Birthday Party
A safari/jungle theme is probably one of the most popular trends right now for birthdays (and also baby showers). Just a basic google image search will yield hundred of images that you can sort through and gain inspiration from. Well, since I have already spent countess hours researching and planning every detail to bring this party together, you don't have to! I am sharing some amazing wild one ideas, recipes, and party details with you.
Wild One Dessert Table with Decor
>> Wild One Safari Decor
Let's talk about the decor, aka the items that basically brings the theme of your party to life. I have linked everything I used for Kai's wild one safari party below (in affiliate links).
- Welcome sign with milestones - I purchased an editable welcome sign with milestone information off of Etsy. It was super easy to edit and save, which I then had it locally printed on a foam board and propped on an easel.
- DIY balloon garland - make your own balloon garland with garland tape and balloons. I picked a neutral look using a combination of mocha brown balloons, ivory balloons, and a hint of gold balloons.
- DIY boxwood hedge backdrop - there are lots of tutorials on YouTube that you can follow to make a jungle backdrop using artificial boxwood panels. I also added some artificial palm leaves to the backdrop and around the dessert table to give a more lush effect.
- Custom lasercut wood sign - this was purchased from a local company, but there are other options and styles available for purchase online from other vendors.
- Jumbo animal figurines - these extra sized plastic figurines complemented the desserts on the table so well.
- Small animal figurines - I decorated the food table with these small plastic animal figurines.
- Large plush animals - displaying large plush animals are the perfect touch to bring the whole look together. You can pick from a huge number of jungle animals including: giraffe, lion, tiger, zebra, gorilla, elephant, cheetah, white tiger, hippopotamus, and rhinoceros.
- Balloons - we also had a bunch of animal print balloons and gold leopard print balloons
floating around on the ground and hung to the front door outside.
- Birthday banner - we hung a monthly birthday banner with monthly milestone photographs above the food table.
>> Wild One Safari Desserts
The desserts are also something that needs to be carefully planned. These items are basically extra decorations on your dessert table.
- Cake - we purchased Kai's birthday cake from a local baker. We topped it off with a gold birthday candle. For a more economical option, you can make your own cake. Just adapt the following recipes to make a layered cake: vanilla cake, double chocolate cake, or lemon cake. Then, decorate with fondant. To decorate your cake in line with the safari theme, try using animal fondant cutters and/or palm leaf fondant cutter. You could also top the cake with plastic animal figurines.
- Cupcakes - we also purchased the safari animal cupcakes from the same local baker, but for a more economical option you can make your own vanilla cupcakes with fondant.
- Cake pops - I made the safari animal print cake pops (clink the link to see full recipe). I used gel food colouring to dye the white chocolate coating and to hand paint the animal print on top with cake decorating brushes. I also needed cake pop sticks and displayed the finished cake pops on a wooden cake pop stand.
- Sugar cookies - we purchased wild one sugar cookies from a local baker, but for a more economical option you can make your own sugar cookies with royal icing.
- Mousse cups - we also served mini nutella ferrero rocher mousse cups which can be made in 5 minutes.
Bite Sized Desserts
The following bite-sized desserts are some of my favourites to serve.
Wild One Photographs
I highly recommend taking lots of pictures to capture this big milestone. A good idea is to designate someone to take photos, as you will be so busy to get all the photographs that you want. We were so grateful to have my sister Leili, of the incredible Heidema Photography, to make the trip down to Vancouver to celebrate Kai's birthday with us and to take all of these gorgeous photographs shared on the blog.
Recipes for a Safari Themed Birthday Party
When it comes to birthday parties, it's all about the finger foods and dips. Swipe through my favourite party food recipes below and find the perfect one to serve at your party (and don't forget some squeeze pouches for the little ones).
Some of my favourite recipes are:
- Charcuterie Board: Take your party to another level with this easy to follow guide on how to make a charcuterie board, with a variety of cheese, cured meats, crackers, olives and dips. Get the recipe here.
- Baked Mozzarella Sticks: Crunchy, cheesy, and paired with an awesome dipping sauce, these baked mozzarella sticks are just as amazing as what you would find in a restaurant! Get the recipe here.
- Easy Tomato Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze: This bruschetta consists of the perfect blend of tomatoes, onions, garlic and basil immersed in olive oil (to bring out their intense flavours), and then placed on top of toasted garlic bread with a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Get the recipe here.
- Baba Ganoush Eggplant Dip: Baba ganoush is a creamy eggplant dip mixed with garlic and tahini for an explosion of flavor! Get the recipe here.
- Baked Turkey Meatballs: Juicy, flavourful turkey meatballs are baked in the oven and take only 20 minutes to make from prep to table! Get the recipe here.
- Classic Deviled Eggs: You can't go wrong with classic deviled eggs. They are a simple and easy to whip up, go-to appetizer for all your holiday parties. Get the recipe here.
To "jungleize" your items (yes, I may have totally just made up a word), label little tent cards and write the word "wild" in front of any item or describe your food in a creative way like this:
- hungry hippo dip
- cheetos for cheetahs
- jungle juice
- swamp spread
- monkey bites
- safari salsa
Birthday Party Drinks
You can't have a birthday party without some juice. Serve some refreshing lemonade or iced tea, or even some bubble tea!
Safari Party Favors
We had the party favors set up as a cute "adopt an animal" display. I filled favor boxes with little stuffed animals and popped their heads out of the window. I also added a miniature book and sugar cookies inside. To complete the look, you can add a thank you tag tied onto the handle with burlap string. For the display, I created the "adopt an animal" sign on photoshop using safari-style font, and placed it into a wooden picture frame.
Wild One Safari Birthday Video
Our little Kai's first birthday was such a success. He is the sweetest, happiest, most curious and energetic little guy. We are so proud to be his parents and are so excited to watch him grow. Although we would prefer if he did that a little more slowly!Print