I still can’t believe that my darling Ava Joan is 4 now, but that is another topic altogether. This month’s blog post is all about the fabulous birthday party, the birthday girl envisioned herself!

When we first started discussing what she might want to do for her birthday party this year, Ava didn’t skip a beat. She wanted it to be a Doc McStuffins theme (Doc McStuffins has some serious staying power in our household. We’re going on 2 years strong.) and she wanted to decorate cupcakes with her friends. So that just left me with finding the perfect place to have the party (not really wanting it to be at my house because of the cupcake-making!

I settled on renting a party room at Charles Houston Recreation Center. We lived super close by and we liked the facilities here and had utilized them frequently in the past (going to the swimming pool in the summer, having Ava take gymnastics here).

The Rec Center also offered a WOW Party Package, which included a room rental, having on-theme decorations for the party provided and set up prior to the party (they have a list of themes you can choose from), all other setup and breakdown, and cleanup taken care of. All you had to do was bring the food and drink (and in our case all the cupcake-making station ingredients and items). You also have the option of having a bounce house or some other activity for the party in this package. We chose a bounce house. The price tag was also very reasonable. Note: Doc McStuffins was not a theme on their populated theme list, but we got a waiver to have a Doc McStuffins theme. I’m sure if your preferred theme isn’t on the list either, the staff at Charles Houston will try to make it all work out.

We rented the Pre School Room to accommodate our total party size, which was about 50 kids and adults.

The food and drink for the party was pretty simple. The main course was pizza which we had delivered and then I had several nutritious snacks and appetizers people could munch on – all with a Doc McStuffins twist of course!

Stuffy’s Sticks of Courage

Animal Crackers and “An Apple (or Applesauce) a Day Will Keep the Doc Away”! (Not pictured: Chilly Noses (baby carrots).

Drinks were an assortment of Honest juices, waters, and Frescas.

The birthday cake was a highlight all on its own. My wonderful friend Tammy baked it and decorated it EXACTLY the way Ava wanted it.

Ava wanted a rainbow cake with Doc McStuffins decorations. We got these Doc tools from Etsy.

At first I was a little daunted about doing a DIY cupcake-making station, but after soliciting some great advice from my sister-in-law Dawn, I was all in! I went to Michaels and bought different colors of icing, disposable icing bags, icing tips, different kind of sprinkle and candy toppings, and fun other toppings like flamingos and flags. I bought delicious un-iced cupcakes from Wegmans the day before.

The night before I transferred all the icing from their containers to the disposable bags with tips for easy access.

Stay tuned for an Event Tip Tuesday that will outline exactly how to do your own DIY cupcake-making activity or party!

The cupcake-making station turned out to be a huge hit. Ava may very well be a little-party-planning guru in the making!

The party was a huge success. There were a couple hiccups right before the party (things I would have done differently had I been staffing the party as a Rec Center employee), but everything worked out with a little creativity and flexibility.

One happy little birthday girl!

I would definitely recommend having a birthday party at Charles Houston Recreation Center. I just advise staying in close contact with your assigned coordinator and checking in on all of the details frequently.

Happy Birthday, Ava Joan!

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