What do you do when I cute little girl requests an alpaca birthday party on your farm? You give her and her ten friends the best one you can offer. And you push ahead even if the late September weather in Northern Michigan brings chilly temperatures and makes everything very wet.
When little Natalie asked to have a party at the farm, I didn’t know what to expect. I had hosted many family parties here in the past year and I have thrown many birthday parties for my kids over the years, but it’s been about thirty years since I led a birthday party for a child other than my own. Thirties years? Yep, I was that teenager who would welcome twenty kids into McDonalds. If I recall, I was the only teenager who was willing to manage the birthday parties at McDonalds. Truth be told, I actually liked it and enjoyed the parties.
Somehow, everything always tends to come together as it should. Having a pretty awesome family around surely helps. Come rain or shine, the Buckley crew is always happy to jump in and help. Whether it be a trailer full of hay to pull the kids or a corny song to keep them entertained, the family always delivers. And on this cold and rainy day, we did need a little help since Mother Nature did her best to make things difficult.
Our Party Agenda
- Girls arrived after school on Friday night
- We did alpaca 101 in the barn to teach them important things about making friends with the alpacas
- We did small group introductions with the girls and alpacas
- We headed out into the pasture and let the girls feed the alpacas
- Next, we headed back into the barn so we could have cupcakes, ice cream, and drinks
- The girls worked on coloring alpaca pictures and alpaca word searches why we cleaned up
- Next, it was present time for both Natalie and her guests
- We then wrapped up the event with a hayride and singing silly songs through the country in the rain
Here are the two printouts I made to keep the girls occupied. One is an alpaca birthday coloring sheet and the other is a custom word search that includes the names of our alpacas.
Key Takeaways for Hosting Alpaca Birthday Parties
- You don’t need perfect weather to have a great time
- Small things like custom alpaca word searches and coloring sheets help keep young girls occupied
- The alpaca 101 was critical because it taught the girls alpacas are cute, but also livestock
- Small intro groups were important because it took away a lot of fear so fun could prevail
- Feeding the alpacas brings more giggles than anything else
As we build our “boy barn” next year I’m planning on having dedicated space for offering alpaca birthday parties and activities to the community. I truly enjoyed the party, seeing the girls have a ton of fun, and opening their eyes and hearts to my beloved alpacas. I’d love to be able to share this experience with children I’m not related to, so we are prepping on having a new dedicated space to help make that happen.