I can’t believe I’m writing this, but Addie is 6. We weren’t even sure if we’d make it to see her first birthday, and here we are with a six year old. Crazy. Addie has an immune system that we need to be cautious with and she just had open heart surgery, but we wanted to have a birthday for her that was a celebration of turning six and rocking her heart surgery. I sat in her hospital room just 2 weeks before her birthday, unsure of what to do. Then it hit me- an epic drive by birthday party! What else would be better for such an amazing kid?!
Finding the Perfect Drive By Birthday Party Invitation:
As I sat and thought about a theme, I immediately thought about rainbows. Addie is the queen of colors, and in her opinion, the brighter a color, the better! I scoured the internet to find the perfect invitation and found an awesome digital download for a rainbow and unicorn invitation on Etsy. It immediately got Addie’s stamp of approval. I’m a huge fan of digital invitations because so many people prefer social media and texting these days, and honestly, with Addie’s surgery I didn’t have time to mail out invitations. I was able to edit the invitation quickly and easily and then went to Facebook.
Spreading the Word:
Spreading the word on an epic drive by birthday party only two weeks away was actually easily done thanks to Facebook. After I had my invitation edited to my liking, I texted close friends and family and created a Facebook event. I invited everyone that I thought would be interested in joining us for a good time and shared the invitation in the event. Every other day I would post something in the event to get engagement and visibility. I wanted as many people to join us as possible so Addie would have a huge celebration, so getting the invitation seen was important. Some posts asked how excited people were, Addie and her excitement, a gift list (it was requested by several people), and more. I made it a point to share that gifts were not necessary because we wanted everyone to feel welcome to join us even if they were deciding to come last minute.
Inviting Special Guests:
We live in a great neighborhood that has a Facebook page for all of the community. I made sure to share our invitation to the drive by birthday party in there and encouraged our neighbors to show up so we could meet them. Everyone was really excited to join, and they were grateful we were warning them ahead of time about possible loud music or cars during the party.
Addie is also a huge fan of the fire department and police department, so we wanted to make sure we included them in the celebration. Our local PD/FD is right down the street so Mathew and I stopped by about a week before and asked them if they would join the drive by birthday party. They happily said yes, barring any emergencies, which was absolutely awesome.
Not to be left out, we know some pretty awesome people in the 501st Legion thanks to the Internet. We wanted this birthday party to be huge (I mean, Addie just had open heart surgery!) so I chatted with a friend that has connections in the 501st. One of Addie’s favorite moments on her Make A Wish trip was meeting Rey and Chewie. Mathew is a huge Star Wars fan as well, and loved meeting Darth Vader and BB-8, so I knew it was the perfect addition.
A Little Friendly Competition:
We wanted cars to be as decorative as possible for Addie to enjoy (she really is such a visual kid) so we spiced things up by creating a contest for the best decorated car. I really think this helped make the drive by birthday party even more epic, because everyone went all out so the parade was extra special. Friends came with balloons, signs, loud music, crazy decorations, and more. It was so much fun, and everyone enjoyed the friendly competition for the drive by birthday party.
If you’ve ever been to any party I’ve hosted (or seen one online), you know that I love Pinterest-type parties. The more decorations, the better, and with a drive by birthday party it was imperative that it look as epic as I hoped for her. Still, I’m on a budget, so finding things for a great price was important. A sweet friend of ours had some connections with Party City (we also had been doing a few projects with them lately that were unrelated) and Party City graciously gave us a budget to go grab some decorations and favors from there.
Some of the things we bought were a balloon arch (similar), balloons (similar), party favors of glow sticks (similar), rainbow colored slinkys (similar), rainbow lollipops (similar), a cupcake stand (similar), tablecloth (similar), and paper goods (similar). I’ll tell you though- the balloon arch was the best thing we could’ve purchased. Just an FYI- if you don’t have an electric balloon pump, get one. It made all the difference in putting the balloon arch together quickly! It was a showstopper and made it so everyone knew where the party was. We also purchased a Happy Birthday yard sign from our local grocery store to really make our yard one big focus.
Usually for a birthday party I make a big deal about the food. It typically has a theme and all the cutesy things. Because this was a drive by birthday party I decided not to have food, but cupcakes instead! We went to our local H-E-B and grabbed several dozen cupcakes and asked for rainbow colored frosting. They did an amazing job and the cupcakes were enjoyed by everyone. It was easy to pass out cupcakes to everyone in their cars with goodie bags for the kids, and families didn’t have to worry about plates and cups as they drove. Worked out perfectly.
The Drive By Birthday Party
On the day of Addie’s big drive by birthday party we got everything ready in the yard. We chose to do the parade in the evening because Addie has sensitive eyes (but also it’s Texas and was blazing hot!) It worked out perfectly for us all! Addie got dressed in the most adorable rainbow themed outfit and was ready to get the party started!
My in-laws parked down the street from our house with a sign saying to follow them for the party, and everyone lined up behind them. We only saw a few cars at first and were grateful that even a few cars could come, but as things got started we heard the line got so long it was all the way out of our subdivision and down the main road! Our friends from the 501st Legion marched down the road to get the party started and came to stand around Addie as her bodyguards. It was amazing!
Everyone came down honking their horns, blasting fun birthday music, cheering, shouting “Happy Birthday” to Addie, and waving their signs. The fire department brought their huge ladder trucks and had lights going off, and the police department had lights and sirens on as well. It was AMAZING. Out of the hour we set aside for the parade, we had 45 straight minutes of continuous vehicles, and then had some others come for the last 15 minutes. It was an hour of insanity and literally, one of the best times we’ve ever had as a family (I mean- it’s close up there with our Disney trip!)
At the end of the evening, we took everything inside and couldn’t believe all the fun we’d had. What a blessing it was! Because of everything going on in our world, it’d been so long since we’d seen many of our friends. To see everyone we love, meet neighbors, and just have an amazing time- it was incredible. We couldn’t have asked for a better celebration for Addie and are so grateful to everyone that came (and for each and every gift!)
All in all, this was one amazing drive by birthday party and we couldn’t have done it without all the people that love our special girl. I hope that whatever kind of drive by birthday party you have, it is just as special and magical for your child!