My little guy, Hudson, loves-loves-loves Curious George (or ‘Geedge’ as he calls him). From the very beginning stages of planning, I knew that I wanted to incorporate George into his 2nd birthday party, but without the character-overload. I also knew that I wanted to stay on a fairly tight budget, but still have a memorable celebration.
First, I decided on a color scheme of red & yellow with pops of baby blue—mimicking the colors in the original ‘Curious George’ books by Margret & H.A. Rey. Luckily, we had a lot of red items left over from Hudson’s first birthday party & baby blue items from his brother’s baptism luncheon.
Instead of an invitation featuring an image of Hudson’s beloved ‘Geedge,’ I created a vintage inspired invite with a banana and some super cute diagonal stripes. The text (which I used an awesome free vintage inspired font for from Lost Type Co-Op) read “Monkey See – Monkey Do—Curious Hudson is turning two! Let’s Go Bananas!” The invitation stated that guests should RSVP to the “Mom in the Yellow Hat.” I also made matching address label wraps to make addressing the envelopes super easy (& adorable)!
While searching for an outfit for the birthday boy, I came across a yellow bow-tie & matching suspenders handmade by The Baxter Boy. Immediately, I knew that bow-ties also needed to be incorporated throughout Hudson’s party. Using my fabric scrap stash, I wrapped (empty & clean) Starbucks Frappucino bottles with coordinating material so that each bottle had its very own little bow tie. The silverware was wrapped in red polka dot napkins & also topped off with a little yellow bow tie.
Red, yellow & baby blue balloons made our home a little more festive than usual. We used a corkboard in our kitchen to pin up pictures of Hudson’s baby pictures for guests to check out during the party. I wrapped a large piece of cardboard in red polka dot wrapping paper (purchased on sale after Christmas) to create the dessert table backdrop. I also used red tablecloths and yellow placemats (items that we already had) to make things a little more cheerful.
Our menu included meatball hoagies, rigatoni, pizza muffins & tortellini skewers (the Italian menu was inspired by Chef Pisghetti—the Italian chef on the PBS ‘Curious George’ program). The tortellini skewers were a huge hit! I made them with cooked cheese tortellini, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese & pepperoni. We also had a dessert table that included licorice, butterscotch candies, Lemonheads, Red Hots, cupcakes, cake balls, sugar cookies & ‘Curious George’ fruit gummies that I luckily found at our local grocery store. Our cake was made by a local baker, Cakes by Pennie. It was delicious, and the design was exactly what I wanted. We topped the cake off with an artificial banana and a #2 candle. A personalized banner with Hudson’s name & pennants that read “He was a good little monkey and always very curious” (a quote from the original books) hung above the dessert table. I also made Hudson his very own banana-shaped smash cake using a boxed cake mix and my mom’s amazing frosting recipe. Along with the birthday cake, we also offered a banana split bar where our guests could top their own sundaes. Everyone enjoyed being able to customize their own banana splits—especially the adults!
GUEST BOOK & FAVORS
During the party, we asked our guests to sign one of Hudson’s ‘Curious George’ books with a little note to him. Hudson’s stuffed ‘Geedge’ (complete with a matching bow tie & ‘H’ party hat) kept watch over the book & made for a cute decoration. A nearby sign said, “When I’m older, I’ll be *curious* about who was here to celebrate with me. Please sign my book & leave a note for me. Love, Curious Hudson.” For favors, we kept it simple & gave Hudson’s guests each a banana with a coordinating tag that read, “Thanks a bunch for swinging by!”
As the party was winding down (and the temperature was climbing well into the 90’s), Hudson changed into a shirt that I made for him that had Curious George on the front & a #2 on the back. Much cooler—especially for driving around in his new Power Wheels car!
Thanks to a little planning, we were able to keep our party budget-friendly & still have a George-inspired celebration that we will always remember.