rainbows and unicorns for a 4-year old’s birthday party

She wears her tiara hung low. Do NOT try and correct her.

Rainbows and unicorns. Unicorns and rainbows. Seeing as I grew up in the ’80s (prime years, too, middle school through high school), it does me proud that my now-four-year-old loves rainbows and unicorns. Given the combination of our non-mansion house and my daughter’s massive popularity (really, how does she cultivate these friendships since I’m in charge of her everything?) we opted for a family-only birthday party to keep things manageable, and so we didn’t have to choose half our friends to invite and give the shaft to the rest.
Though the internet is awash with rainbow party ideas, I’ll still share a bit of what we did in this post as an overview, then I’ll share a different post with a bit more of the how-tos. I didn’t go nuts with rainbows, just a little. And I’m terrible with the camera, so this is going to be a pretty lame post that hardly captures anything at all. Ah well, the follow-up posts will have more.

all made from mostly things I had already and with the help of my daughter

I decorated the mantle with tissue paper pom poms and strands of ribbon in rainbow colors.

My daughter and I made a rainbow paper chain, old school, to hang from the curtain rods.

I made rainbow garland from paper and strung it in the hallway. And yeah, I’m a Jersey Girl. Got a problem with that?

I also hung solid color rainbow tissue paper pom poms from the dining room light fixture.

I’m missing pictures of the tableware, but I simply bought solid color plates and napkins in red, yellow, lime, blue and purple, and served with real utensils and mason jar glasses.
The party was at lunch time, so I served chicken, pasta and potato salads. I also had some cold cuts, croissants and rolls. I made pulled pork (my first attempt). For appetizers, I laid out veggies to mimic a rainbow, as well as some chips and dips and cheese and crackers.
I used THIS RECIPE for arugula, broccoli and lemon pasta salad.
And I followed THIS RECIPE from the Beantown Baker for crock pot pulled pork. Though I cooked the pork the day before and did the last step an hour before the party. (I, too, used only black pepper since white pepper was 7 bucks a jar.)

Naturally, I had cookies. Little circles with rainbows and unicorn cookies on a stick for favors. I also made rainbow cupcakes and a rainbow layer cake. More on those in the next post.

Family-only meant mostly grown-ups, so there were only three kids, mine and my two nieces. “Games” meant the girls playing. But we did set up the sprinkler and I had a rainbow pinata. Divided by only three, that meant a sweet haul per kid for pinata candy. And our yard is curiously lacking a good hangin’ branch, so my husband and his brother suspended the pinata from a broom handle and held each end. In the living room. Luckily none of the girls has a far batting range.

And I had no idea anyone signed our chalkboard wall until the next day.

stay tuned for some how-tos!
coming soon…

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  1. Tina says

    happy birthday to your daughter-that picture of her is priceless! You did a wonderful job on the theme and carrying it throughout all the baked goods. I am sure your daughter enjoyed every minute of a "just the family" birthday party.

  2. Pink Little Cake says

    Happy Birthday to your little one. You did a great job with the party and the details,the rainbow cake looks yummy! I just had my little one's party and I also did everything myself, including pom poms ( first time making them), I do not have family here, only my husband ( and they are not my cup of tea), so I always have like 4 kids, this year I was able to "find " a few extra kids so my daughter would not feel lonely in her day.
    We had our pinata time in the living room also.
    And by the way, Camilla also wears her tiara like your little girl.

  3. Trish - Sweetology101 says

    oooh, happy birthday sweet one! What a doll and why would anyone think to correct her tiara positioning, duh!

    fun party post – cookies, cake, cupcakes oh my..fun and so tasty and rainbow-ie.

    Makes me think of the days of the doll Rainbow Bright.

    PS…watch your mail…..for a treat from MINNESOTA…hint hint.

  4. Kelsey says

    Cute party idea! I have my son's 1st birthday coming up in November (yes, I'm already planning ๐Ÿ˜‰ I like your idea of a family only party. I'm sure our son's will be family only, too. All 100 of them! We might opt for friends only in the future! lol

  5. Sandra says

    Awesome party! I too have had family only parties and they are ao much easier to clean up afterwards since family almost always stay and help ๐Ÿ˜‰ . Everything came out soo good. Great job.

  6. The Vanilla Bean Baker says

    Happy Birthday to your little one. Looks like she did certainly have one. What a great Momma you are. I love the unicorn cookies on the sticks you did.

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