Decorating and Menu Ideas
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Ideas for a Rootin’ Tootin’ Good Time at Your Cowboy Party!
- Decorate the party space with toys you already own, such as stuffed horses, snakes, cowboy boots, and toy trains.
- Cover tables with red and white checkered tablecovers.
- Make table decorations by tying blue and red balloons to miniature bales of hay from the craft store.
- A toy train set can be used as a table decoration, and the cake can be placed inside the center of the track.
- Balloons are always a hit with children! Tie groups of five helium balloons to balloon weights and place them around the party space. For impact, use a mixture of our Western balloons with solid color latex balloons. Tie a balloon to the back of each chair, and tie a group of five balloons to the birthday child’s chair!
- Make signs that say Welcome Buckaroos, (Birthday Child Name)’s Saloon, Outhouse, Park Your Horse Here, or No Fightin', No Bandits, and No Varmints! Hang the signs throughout the party space.
- Use poster board to make tombstones with fictitious characters that died from unusual ailments. Set these in the ground leading to your door or propped up in the party space.
- Make cowboy vests from brown paper grocery bags for guests to wear.
- Create a wanted poster for each child and give them a fun alias, such as Dastardly David, or One-Eyed William. Under the words “Wanted For”, add silly “crimes” such as being too adorable, robbing a bank, stealing candy, snoring, not cleaning their room, etc. Hang the posters around the party space.
- Hand each child a party cowboy hat, and sheriff badge as they arrive. You can also tie a red bandana loosely around their neck.
- Use washable markers to draw a mustache on guests as they arrive.
- Make a jail out of a refrigerator box by painting a brick design on the outside and cutting some bars where the children can look out. Add a few of the Wanted posters, and this will be a good location for taking pictures during the party!
- Use large appliance boxes to create a few western buildings. You could name it (Birthday Child’s Name) City, and include a saloon, jail, stable, sheriff’s office, or bank.
- Play country & western music CD’s, or songs like Home on the Range, Back in the Saddle Again, Cowboy, Take Me Away, Happy Trails, or the theme song from western shows like Gun Smoke and The Lone Ranger.
- If you will be awarding prizes for games, make a sign for the “General Store” and place it on the table where guests will claim their rewards. Good choices for the prize table include harmonicas, water guns, bandanas, cowboy hats, marbles, jacks, spinning tops, and stickers.
- Lay out old blankets for extra seating under the trees.
- Ask an older child or adult to dress as a cowboy and make balloon animals for the children. Use our easy Balloon Animals Kit that includes an instruction book, balloons, and balloon inflator. There’s no need to master the entire book! One or two basic shapes will delight young children.
- If you're having the party outdoors, pick up a few bales of hay to use as seating (hay can be found at your local farm or nursery).
- Borrow some riding tack, such as saddles, stirrups, horseshoes, and cowboy hats to use as decorations.
- Have the children make wanted posters of themselves. Print and cut out several copies of our Wanted Poster Pattern, and let the children draw and color pictures of themselves. Hang the wanted posters around the party area, or place them at each child's seat at the table.
- Tie red bandanas to the knots on your balloons, use bandanas as napkins, or use them as bibs for very young guests.
- Consider a pull-string piñata if you would rather not have small children swinging a bat. We offer a selection of traditional and pull-string pinatas, but any traditional pinata can be converted to a pull-string using our easy instructions.
Western Birthday Party Treats
When it comes to food, partygoers are usually perfectly content to eat pizza or hotdogs, which is certainly much easier on the hosts! However, if you have the time and would like to serve up some cowboy treats, consider these ideas:
- Make a sign from poster board to hang near the food, such as “Chuck Wagon” or “Mom’s Saloon”, or set up a chuck wagon to serve your snacks.
- Serve food in your own pots, or disposable aluminum pans.
- Let guests eat from metal pie plates.
- Cook up a variety of foods for your guests to choose from, such as Sloppy Joes, chili, grilled hamburgers, chicken drumsticks, and hotdogs.
- Have a few other options as sides, such as baked beans, cole slaw, tortilla chips, and roasted corn on the cob.
- Form store-bought biscuit dough into the shape of a horseshoe, and bake as directed.
- In addition to other drinks (e.g. water, milk, juice, etc.), serve root beer in bottles or canteens to your little cowboys and cowgirls.
- Green punch mixed with ginger ale can be called “Cactus Juice”.
- Give the food fun descriptions like Best Rootin’ Tootin’ Hot Dogs, Best Rib Stickin’ Chicken, Crunchiest Cole Slaw, Howlin' Hot Salsa, and Most Sweet Tooth Satisfyin’ Dessert.
- Make or purchase star shaped cookies with the word “Sheriff” piped on top in frosting.
- A cowboy hat lined with a bandana can be filled with candy or cookies.
- Fill empty glass jars with candy such as root beer barrels, candy necklaces, pixie sticks, and old fashioned taffy.
- A chocolate 9”x13” cake decorated with white icing can become a Horse Corral Birthday Cake. Create a fence around the corral by pressing pretzel twists upside down into the cake all around the top edge. Then scatter green sugar across the top to resemble grass, and add some shredded wheat cereal as hay bales. Next add crushed graham crackers as dirt, place several plastic horses inside the corral, and you’re done!
- Make S'mores, or supervise your guests as they make their own over a fire or grill. First, toast the marshmallows until golden. Then, place the marshmallow and a bar of chocolate between two graham crackers, and press the graham crackers together.
Get more cowboy party ideas from our sister site, BirthdayinaBox.com