Not long after I finished planning and hosting the last party, a Spiderman Birthday Party, I began to think about what Maddux would like for his 2nd birthday party. He had just recently taken an interest in trains, not just Thomas but in any train. So I decided I would do a train themed party. I didn’t do quite as much detail and planning for this party but the few details that I did focus on made all of the difference.
Having ridden quite a few trains (traveling back and forth to Chicago on Amtrak during college, living in two major US cities, and backpacking through Europe) I am no stranger to what a train ticket looks like. I saw a few ideas online for train ticket invites and thought it was such a neat idea. I used Microsoft Publisher for the design and layout and then had them printed at FedEx Office since we don’t have a printer at home.
The things that make it uniquely like a train ticket are the arrival and departure times, the destination, and my favorite, the months of the year and the numbers 1-31 at the bottom which are punched to indicate the departure date. I also added a clipart train silhouette to the top and had them RSVP to Station Master Megan. These were so cute and very inexpensive.
FOOD AND CAKE
We tend to choose food based on the temperature outside and this year we were not disappointed. With the chilly 45 degree temps our choice of hotdogs and chili were perfect. My dad made a traditionally chili to go with the hotdogs and I made a creamy white chicken chili for a little variety. We also served corn chips, veggies and dip, and roasted pumpkin seeds. For the cupcakes, I made a funfetti cake with buttercream frosting that I tinted green. I placed them in an oval and piped a black “train track” on them. Then I place a toy train and underpass on top. VERY simple!
My other main train detail was The Treat Train. I made it out of 4 cardboard boxes (velveeta cheese boxes would be perfect), a few signs, string, black paper circles and a wrapping paper roll. I cut the roll and glued ‘wheels’ on each box. Then I lined the boxes with parchement paper and attached a sign to each car. Each car held a treat that represented what you may find in a train car. We had a coal car, passenger car, animal car, and log car. The coal car held oreo balls (cookie dough truffles would also work). The passenger car held Sour Patch Kids. The animal car held animal crackers. And the log car held Piourette Cookies (long pretzels would work as well). I placed this in the center of the table so guests could snack throughout the party.