We celebrated Max’s second birthday this weekend. He loves anything with wheels, so a train-themed birthday party seemed like a natural fit. Chuga Chuga Two Two! Considering we waited until exactly one week beforehand to do any planning or organization, I was amazed at how smoothly this one came together. Admittedly, I went with the less-is-more theory of party planning.
The decor centered on the cake — or cupcakes actually. I created a slightly more elaborate version of a train track cake I’d seen on Pinterest. I used boxed mixes for the cake (my rule is, if the decorating is going to be the main focus and its mostly kids eating, then boxed cake it is). I did make my own buttercream since its so easy to do. From there I arranged the cupcakes is a “2” shape on top of a blue foam core board, laid down some black licorice laces for the track and added Hershey’s snack size bars for the railroad ties. Then we added a cute “Happy Birthday” sign I’d found on impulse at Target and added a few trains from Max’s train table. Done. Lillian even helped me with the decorating. Plus it looked super cute on the table!
The rest of the decor was a mix of Target and Dollar Store items. I found an adorable Train themed Birthday Printable Party Decor set on Pinterest, which was wonderful. I added the Happy Birthday cutouts to a color-coordinated pendant banner I found the Dollar Store and added a custom label to small water bottles at each child’s place setting. The plates and cups, plastic tablecloth and even the cupcake wrappers worked wonderfully in primary colors. I also borrowed generously from our collection of train related toys to add a little flair to the party area.
We ordered pizza delivery and I put out some fruit, a veggie and chip platter with a few colorful dips and some Greek yogurt tubes for snacking. No fancy signage or themed names. Just food. We forgoed party activities completely and instead just let the kids run wild. There were 12 of them, mostly 5 and under, so they had great fun at our train table, playing with a pile of Duplos and digging into the costume bin.
For favors, I found these adorable little wind-up trains on Amazon Prime. I think I paid about $12 for a lot of 12 and the kids loved them. They worked really well too. I fastened each one with a thank you card from that same Free Printable, and used black & white bakers twine to secure them. A neighbor generously offered some bananas and conductors hats that she had leftover from her son’s train birthday party, so some the kids had lots of fun trying those on.
The birthday boy looked chuga chug-adorable in a pair of conductor’s overalls that his Auntie Lo gave to him ages ago (or maybe gave to Lillian ages ago??). They just barely fit him but we made it work. We added a bandana and a conductor’s hat to complete the “official” look.
Although he didn’t love being the center of attention at all (he got very quiet during the singing of “Happy Birthday”), he really did enjoy the party. He loves playing with kids, hanging with his Nana and Papa and, of course, cake and presents.
There were no tears, no injuries, no arguments and even the momma felt chill and relax throughout. This really is an easy party theme to pull together. If you’re looking to plan your own train party, check out my Pinterest Board for images, links to the favors, the free printables I used and much more.
Happy Birthday Maxwell! We love you so much!