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Arctic Explorer 1st birthday party


Having a winter birthday party in Brooklyn, NY forced a little extra creativity. Outside lavish garden parties with lovely tents and strings of lights just wouldn’t really be ideal in this climate. Although those are the kinds of parties I dream of throwing! I kept seeing winter party ideas but none of them really fit into my vision. I wanted something with a stronger theme to build upon. Then I had this idea of an Arctic Explorer theme!

Design Inspiration

I just wanted to use camping/outdoor type concepts with an overall winter theme.

Decorating Style


Project Details

I based everything off of an invitation I bought on Etsy. The vendor didn’t have any other printables that went along with it so I used Picmonkey and made the rest on my own. I found photos of Admiral Byrd, Nobu Shirase, Ernest Shackleton and a few other explorers to use on the cupcake toppers. I also used pictures of the Arctic ship Endurance and some other modes of transport for added interest.

The cupcakes were Hot chocolate with Whipped cream Icing, I made white cake pops with white chocolate to look like snowballs and coordinating marshmallow pops with crushed candy cane topping. Snowman sugar cookies and S’mores brownies from recipes found on Pinterest rounded out the dessert table. You can find links/recipes at the bottom of the page.

We decided to do rustic style food that would fit the explorer theme and be favorable to babies taste buds as well. I made yogurt with fruit in baby food jars and called it Sno-gurt. Little finger sandwiches in the shape of airplanes and fresh fruit kabobs. The rosemary mashed potato snow balls with cheese baked in the center were a hit with kids and adults alike. For the main course we did baked beans and shredded beef sandwiches with some baked kale chips, all made by daddy! Peppermint ice cream party punch and chilled hot chocolate in mason jars topped off the tasty delights.

Party games, although awesome, seemed a little too old for the babies to enjoy. I decided to make a photo booth where everyone could dress up and have their picture taken. I made some mustaches, glued paper beards on pacifiers and rustled up some scarves, hats and other props from around the house. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and I used the pictures to make the thank you cards. Win-win situation!

Each baby took home a goodie bag with a golden blossom honey bear painted white to look like a polar bear. I added a little party hat made from scrap paper and cotton balls then added a thank you label. Two lollipops and peppermint tea bags. Tiny airplanes made from a piece of gum, peppermint lifesavers and a tootsie roll. then decorated the bag with a recipe card for honey S’mores that mommy and baby can make together! I made all of the banners with scrap paper from Michaels and used Picmonkey to edit all of photos. Luckily I have two good friends with great eye who shot all the photo booth pictures. Thank you Ben Riley and Andrew Smith!

Oriental trading had cheap sets of paper snowflakes which I used for the photo booth backdrop. I also found cheap lollipops which were very inexpensive and had them personalized for next to nothing! By the end of the day we all had a great time and Milo really enjoyed himself! Can’t wait for the next one! Smore’s Brownie recipe-

Hot Chocolate cupcakes-

Favorite Items

The tiny airplanes I made from tootsie rolls were a big hit. I really enjoyed seeing people having fun in the photo booth and the chilled hot chocolate drinks.


If you can't find things you really like don't settle. I may have spent the month prior picking up scrap paper, rubber bands and extra cake decorating supplies from Michaels but it was really worth it in the end. The result was exactly what I envisioned and everyone seemed to have a good time.


Thursday 20th of December 2012

Love those Tootsie Roll airplanes! Cute and charming party decor, too.


Thursday 20th of December 2012

thank you!