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I do like to accomodate my kids unique party ideas on their birthday but I knew that something more than our typical camping trip was needed. Chayce and her friends love the ever popular boho festival look, so I used this as the starting point to turn her camping idea into an all out birthday bash.
I begin planning any event by searching for ideas, creating a mood board and color palette. Instagram is great for finding fresh and unique photos – a search of #boho or #festivalvibes brings up so many images! To create a mood board, I like Pinterest because it saves and organizes ideas with links to the originals, while putting everything together so I can get a feel for how cohesive it is. After creating the mood board, I knew I wanted to incorporate succulents and plants, so I looked to nature – actually around my own yard – for color ideas and realized that all of my favorite plants, including succulents, are shades of green and purple.
To make it easier to invite friends and reduce the scope of the party, I looked for campgrounds close to home. If you do a little investigating I’m sure you’d be surprised at just how many public parks and local campgrounds there are in your area. Or, you can throw a boho camping party in your own backyard!
Another fun option would be to have custom festival wristbands made as invitations. There are so many options for different styles ranging from economical tyvek to more long lasting woven bracelets.
For a more festival-chic, less girl scout scene I enlisted my husband to build a simple T frame tent. He cut five branches the same length and a sixth longer one for the top. After tying two together at each end he placed the longer branch across the top and added a stability branch down the middle. With sheer curtain panels, the tent looked absolutely magical out in the woods. Sheets and tapestries could also be tied to the branches. Use whatever you have!
Comfort and style really is what turns camping to a beautiful birthday bash. To make sure that the tent would be comfortable and glamorous I picked up a Coleman 18″ Queen Airbed (on sale!) at Target.
The air mattress comes with it’s own built in pump so there’s no searching for a pump or batteries. Simply plug in, turn on and it inflates in minutes. Even better, the pump stores inside the mattress so it will actually be there next time I want to use it.
Tree stumps in the corners were a great spot to set lanterns and more flowers. I love the way vintage lanterns look but modern lanterns are so much easier to use! To get the look of vintage with the usability of modern lanterns, cluster vintage with modern LED lanterns like this Coleman Lantern.
For a picnic area, I included a low table and used blankets and pillows on the ground instead of chairs.
Food and Drink
I’ve learned to keep party food simple. Unless having a dinner party, I opt for easy grab and graze foods like fruit platters and cheese plates.
These foods are also good for even the pickiest of eaters (I’m looking at you, Chayce..) and they pack equally well for quick trips and overnighters.
Fill a cooler, starting with a layer of ice packs (or ice cubes in large freezer bags), top with various sliced cheeses, pre sliced salami and cut fruit. With the prep work done ahead of time, it’s quick and easy to put together at the campground. Crackers, beef jerky, and mixed nuts are also great options.
I always like to include a few of the guest of honor’s favorite things. I made a wildberry pie with lattice crust because, since she was 3, Chayce has always asked for berry pies on her birthday.
Topped with succulents in shades of green and purple, it was a showstopper!
When I saw this vintage metal cooler I knew I had to include it in the party somehow.
I filled it with ice and assorted bottled beverages from Target. I grabbed whatever looked good and matched the color scheme. At the campground, I propped the cooler top open and added fresh flowers to glam it up a bit.
When guests arrived I lead them to a table full of succulent jewelry and flower crowns. They each chose their favorite. It’s nice to give people an idea of the party theme right from the beginning so they have an idea of what’s in store.
Allowing guests to hang out and do what they want for a while before starting any activities sets a nice low key tone for the party and doubles as a great time to snap some candid shots of the whole group together. Looking back at birthday parties, I like to have group pictures of guests every year.
Tips for success:
- Keep the party to just a few hours rather than an overnight by finding a campground or park close to home.
- Even if not staying overnight, set up a lounge area with a tent, air mattresses, loads of pillows, blankets, tapestries, and rugs.
- Hire a local professional to make an appearance and teach guests a fun new craft – sticking with the boho theme – flower crowns, cactus terrariums, macramé, dream catchers and henna art would all be perfect!
- Limit food and beverage options to keep things simple. Think about foods that pack well in coolers.
- Include the guest of honor by serving some of their favorite things to eat or drink.
- Skip elaborate gift bags and send guests home with a crafted item as a party favor.
- Whether you’re planning a boho chic camping party, want to sleep out under the stars in your own backyard, or are packing to go for an all out camping trip, Coleman has the products to make your life easier and camping more enjoyable.
Vendors & Sources
Johannah Chadwick Photography
Styling + Party Planning
Rustic Events Rentals
Pozie by Natalie
Coleman Air Mattress
Coleman LED Lantern