Welp, it’s official – my baby boy is a 5 year old (just started Kindergarten this fall 😭)! His birthday was at the end of August, and to celebrate he requested a dinosaur theme for his party. A few months ago he wanted a superhero party (with Thor, Hulk, and Iron Man, to be specific), and earlier in the year it would’ve been either Power Rangers, Transformers, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. So obviously I know better than to plan too much in advance with this guy, and I waited until late July to pull the trigger! 😆
As a reminder, his first birthday was shark themed, second was Elmo, third was construction vehicles, and fourth was Toy Story. His older brother had a dinosaur party for his second birthday, but I was excited to do some new things with the same theme (so check out this post for more ideas)!
I always start my party planning inspiration with the cake, and the invitations. I browse Pinterest until I find several things I like, and usually pull from multiple ideas (as well as my own!) for my final product. This time, I stole the phrase “Stomp, Chomp, & Roar – Let’s Party Like a Dinosaur!”. I decided to add something to represent each verb, and it felt like that was good enough 😊
If you’re making something like this yourself, I recommend using the “crescent” shape for the bite marks – took me a while to figure that out, but it felt much more “dino-like” compared to the “shark bite” I made for his first birthday! Also, I just used word art and “papyrus” text for the “dino” font this time around. And once again, I used the free “Photo Cutout” App to cut his image from a picture (although you could easily use Paint if you zoom in enough to see the pixels).
I’ve learned over the past few years in planning our little ones’ birthday parties that I LOVE decorating cakes!! And let’s face it, they would be happy with a simple grocery store cake, so I feel like I can’t go wrong with my design – I always have a happy client! 😄
For this cake, I knew I wanted a volcano with dry ice, so I used a Starbucks glass Frappuccino bottle to build a chocolate Rice Krispie treat volcano around it. I used the bottom of a cake pan as my plate, to ensure the volcano base wasn’t too large. I poured melted white chocolate (dyed red) down the sides of the volcano, using a ziplock bag with the corner cut off. NOTE: I learned that you need high quality colors – cheap food dye will make your chocolate seize up and you have to add more chocolate – resulting in a pink color. This would’ve been perfect for a girls party, but I wanted a true red. Another option is to get candy melts in the desired color. I scraped off and covered up my pink chocolate mistake, but took a picture with it next to the finished volcano, so you can see what I’m talking about.
For the cake itself, I used green buttercream for the top, blue for the sides, then mixed the colors together and frosted an uneven layer of the mixed color all around the cake. I love how it turned out – it was so pretty!! I also used dinosaur cookie cutters to cut silhouettes out of black fondant, to go around the side of the cake. I made a freezer paper stencil for “T-Rex” prints – one for each letter of H-dawg’s name – and cut each letter out of red fondant. I used an unfrosted cake to size everything up first, making sure the prints were small enough to fit on the stand before frosting and transferring the cake.
H-dawg’s favorite dinosaur is parasaurolophus (he taught me how to pronounce it correctly 😂), so I knew I wanted to incorporate one into the cake. I found this on Amazon, along with this candle, and had the hubs drill a hole in the back of the dino for the candle. And here’s the finished cake with dry ice in it!!
But even without the dry ice, it was so cute!!
Food, Dessert, and Decor:
Originally this party was supposed to be at the park, so I planned for all the decorations to be incorporated into the food table. Except for “T-Rex” footprints I was planning to draw in chalk on the pathway to the party pavilion. But then it
rained stormed the night before the party – even into the early afternoon of the party. So we decided to switch the location to our house, and the footprints (and cute food signs I had planned to make) got cut out so I could clean our house!
Anywho, the basic idea was that the menu had food for “Carnivores,” “Herbivores,” and “Sweet-Tooth Tigers”.
- Dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets (from Costco!)
- Pulled pork (with fixings for tacos & sliders)
- Mac ‘n cheese (shells with these dinosaur shapes mixed in)
- Mixed fruit
- Root veggie chips
- Mixed veggies
- Tar (Coke Zero 😉)
- Snickerdoodle cupcakes (with fruit strip spikes, using this to cut the spikes)
- Death by Chocolate cupcakes (with crumbled Oreo “dirt” and dino toothpicks from Target; here are similar ones). Note how some of these have Dino’s battling “to the death”… Lol!
- Dig-for-fossils cups (chocolate pudding and Oreo crumb layers, with a white chocolate “fossil” on top). I piped the fossils using a ziplock bag with the corner cut – be careful if you do this, because melted chocolate oozes out in a hurry (or you could cheat and buy a mold 😊). Also, these cups with lids were perfect, because people could take these as an extra favor to-go!
I used these napkins (I actually just got the napkins but they’re out of stock), these leaves under the food, and these dinosaur skeletons throughout, and it was very festive (the cactus on the “herbivore” table was on clearance at Michaels, but any succulents would be great for a dino party centerpiece)! I also got these “ROAR” balloons to hang over the dessert table. Talk about cheap and easy decor!! (Almost as easy as when I used books for this Mo Willems party 😁).
I kept it really simple this time, and included the following stuff from Amazon in each favor bag (a few things had enough to put in 2 or 3 per item, so the bags were nicely filled)! But I totally would’ve gotten these, too, had I found them before the party, since they’re individually wrapped!
Since entertainment for the party was supposed to be a playground at a local park, I didn’t have any games planned ahead of time. So the MVP was our bounce house and new playroom to spill into downstairs, plus, our basketball arcade game (don’t think I’ve ever shared it, but below is a picture after I re-painted the floors and walls, before we moved the bounce house back in)! And thankfully two hours goes by fast when you’re also eating, singing happy birthday, and having dessert!
The kids had a blast running around, and I’m so thankful so many of his friends could come despite the weather issues (I’ll miss his little daycare friends, most of whom he has known literally his entire life, but thankfully he’ll see many again during summer camp💘)!
I’ll leave you with some more dessert pictures, because obviously dessert is the best part! Haha.
H-dawg gets so shy when we sing him Happy Birthday (always has ☺️)!!
And as a grande finale, the hubs poured the remaining dry ice in some cups before the last party guests left!
Anyone see that episode of Friends where Phoebe’s in charge of the ice? This picture me of that… Please tell me I’m not the only one? 😂