The sun is definitely shining on this Indoor Picnic Party! Location was no problem for Michelle and Seri of Little Miss Party Planner; they made Leela’s first birthday feel just like sunny day in the park… even though it was actually held in a tiny NYC apartment space 30 floors up!
PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:
- White “clouds” tissue pom garland and yellow balloon sunshine!
- Red wagon serving tray, “bouquets” of skewered veggies, and }corn-on-the cob” cupcakes
- Food labels displayed in shooters filled with sprinkles
- Fresh watermelon and classic coke bottles used as flower vases
PARTY DETAILS, as told by Michelle…
What better way to celebrate a summertime 1st birthday, than with a picnic party. Everyone loves a casual, daytime celebration. And a few weeks ago we did just this…30 floors up in a NYC apartment. For Leela’s big day, we brought the picnic inside.
It started with a classic picnic color palette; cherry red, pearl white, sunflower yellow and emerald green. We took this color palette, and expanded it throughout the living room and outdoor balcony. Our vision for the food table was simple; a picnic on a sunny day in the park. We began with an ivory burlap table cloth and onto this added a roll of fake grass from Home Depot, which we spread out on the table…what is a picnic without grass, after all. This was the perfect (and mess-free) base for our delicious and gorgeous bites!
To stay with our picnic theme, instead of our usual Bamboo plates, we used red plastic burger baskets from Sur La Table lined with red and white gingham liners for each guest. Bamboo cutlery was wrapped in bright yellow napkins and stacked in wooden baskets, lined with red and white striped cloth napkins. Ketchup and Mustard was served from nostalgic red and yellow squeeze bottles, also from Sur La Table.
Watermelon Vase: In addition to serving watermelon in our summer spread, we got creative and used one as a vase filled with gorgeous white lisianthus. Paired with some stunning sunflowers in a red metal pail and yellow billy balls in old-fashioned coke bottles and milk bottles, the look was casual yet a fantastic pop of color.
Indoor Sky: So far we had grass, flowers, food…what we needed was the sky! We hung a string of 10 medium sized white tissue poms, handmade by LMP, across the window behind the food table., to serve as clouds. And how did we get the sun indoors? Yellow balloons of course! Three bright yellow balloons were anchored in a terracotta pot filled with lemons. Gorgeous!
“#1” Sunflower Board: On the window next to the food table we set out a white foam board, covered in red & white gingham fabric which we displayed a number “1” spelled out in cut sunflowers. We loved that this was the first thing guests saw when they entered the room.
As always, we counted on our friends from Cobblestone Catering to help us with our spread. For the kiddies, pigs in a blanket were displayed in a red mini Radio Flyer wagon and popcorn chicken bites served with homemade BBQ and Honey Mustard dipping sauces.
It’s no surprise these were the first to go…we know the adults love ’em too! Egg salad and chicken salad sandwiches, both served on homemade pretzel croissants were front and center in wicker baskets. No summer picnic is complete without perfect summer salads, and we had two. A delicious tomato and watermelon salad was served with red and yellow tomatoes, mozzarella, mint, cilantro and frisee. And also a Mediterranean orzo salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and feta. All delicious and fresh!
When it came to serving the crudite, we decided to skewer each piece, and display it all in glass cubes. To make this happen, we used foam cubes covered in lettuce leaves and cut so they fit snugly inside each glass cube. The skewers were then stuck into the foam cubes and covered with more lettuce to complete the look. Served with caramelized onion and chive dip in a classic terracotta pot, our modern crudite display was a huge hit!
“Leela’s Lemonade”: On a hot summer day, cold drinks are essential at any party. To ensure a good flow during the party, we set up one drink station inside and the rest out on the balcony. Indoors we had “Leela’s Lemonade.” A white galvanized beverage tin was filled with sparkling lemonade, and was easy accessible so guests could help themselves.
Small mason jars were set out, adorned with yellow and white striped straws, Happy Birthday Leela flags and a lime slice on each. Since this was a kids party we kept the lemonade alcohol free, but you could easily set out a small bottle of vodka on ice, allowing guests to “spike” their own lemonade.
Balcony Drink Table: At LMP we specialize in “Big Events, Small Spaces” so we are used to throwing amazing soirees in the smallest of spaces. To a NYer, a balcony is a commodity… but we all know, they are usually tiny. To maximize the space, we situated a 4′ table on the far end, with a smaller round table right next to it. On top of the white linen, we laid down three red & white cloth gingham napkins to act as a runner. Two galvanized buckets held personalized water bottles, while a red bucket had wines, Prosecco and sparkling water. Always tie your bottle opener to a string attached to your bucket, so guests can easily open bottles and the opener never gets lost! To complete the table, we set out three small buckets filled with wheatgrass and in each stuck a small windmill, which was perfect for the outdoors. On the small table, a large galvanized bucket was filled with beers, old fashioned coca-cola bottles, and topped off with sunflowers. A white and red striped bar napkin was tied to the bucket for guests to wipe off their bottles as they emerged from the icy water.
Every 1st birthday needs a cake… and lots of other delicious goodies. For the cake, we kept it simple; vanilla cake with vanilla icing adorned with a gorgeous sunflower…of course from Sugar Sweet Sunshine, our go-to for cakes.
Everyone loves corn-on-the-cob in the summer, so we thought these cupcakes we found on Martha Stewart were PERFECT! Our girl Kristan from Kreated by K nailed them- they were seriously amazing!!! And equally delicious. Our assortment was rounded out by mini oreo and strawberry cheesecakes from Eileen’s, displayed on a two-tiered white ceramin cake stand.
For those wanting something lighter we served mixed seasonal fruit, layered in a gorgeous trifle bowl. Bamboo cutlery was set out in a terracotta pot along side small bamboo plates. Shot glasses filled with red sprinkles held each dessert place card and above the desserts we hung adorable black and white photos of the birthday girl, throughout her 1st year. So cute!
At a party with kids, you must have a favor for the little ones. Bubbles are the perfect gift for all ages. LMP loves to make homemade bubble favors using aluminum tins, bubble solution and pipe cleaners! We personalized each tin and placed it in a small kraft bag with white and yellow polka dot tissue paper. They were set out on the windowsill, and served as cute decor until they were given out to the kids. Simple and the kids simply love it.