How to throw a fairy party
How do you throw a fairy party?
"All you need is a little faith, trust and pixie dust," in the words of Peter Pan.
Or, in the case of my daughter's 4th birthday party: tutus, wings and face painting.
We rented South Valley Park in Inver Grove Heights for the big day, and the setting alone -- a playground in the woods -- lent the party a free-flowing, fairy vibe.
A park party takes the pressure off parents of toddlers; you don't have to worry how your little one will behave or if she will sit still. There's ample space to roam and less expectation to dial in at certain moments.
It also takes pressure off Mom to clean the house. It's just a matter of remembering everything you need to haul to the park.
South Valley features an outdoor shelter with picnic tables plus an indoor space with restrooms, a solid Plan B in case of inclement weather. But we lucked out with a sunny Saturday.
Every girl received as her party favor a fairy costume: a flower crown, a wand, a tutu and matching fairy wings.
Lola's wings come in eight colors. I ordered light pink, dark pink and purple. They're the perfect size for toddlers and preschoolers, easy to pop on, and they keep their form.
The wands came from Dollar Tree. And exquisite flower crowns provided the finishing touch, compliments of GigisFunStuff, whom I highly recommend. The crowns are dainty yet secure, perfectly sized for little ones. The pink and white rose buds would match anything.
Combined -- wings, wand, tutu and flower crown -- the effect was enchanting.
These girls felt like real fairies -- and pranced around the playground accordingly.
The biggest surprise came when Tracie arrived to do face painting. She made the party!
If you're looking for a single, simple step to add a ton of fun to your child's birthday, consider face painting. I had never done it before but expect to do so again.
Tracie was phenomenal. She can tailor her painting to create any desired look or theme. She knew about our fairy theme and came prepared.
About to apply the lavish, tiered wing:
Maria's favorite part was the fairy gem on her forehead.
The finished product was awesome.
Tracie produced so many pleased fairies.
At the same time, she was more than willing to accommodate requests. Not every party guest was a fairy aficionado.
My 2-year-old nephew, for instance, is obsessed with oscillating fans. (Future engineer, perhaps?) Tracie was more than happy to oblige.
Based in Rosemount, this talented mama began face painting back in 2008 when her daughter was 3. Tracie was putting together a pirate-themed party, complete with a treasure hunt and canon balls, and was looking for one more activity, so she bought a small face painting kit and painted dolphins, mermaids and water-themed designs for the kids. She had a blast -- and was a big hit. Soon she was painting at block parties, picnics and work events.
Over the years Tracie has built up her kit and refined her style.
She is an extraordinary talent. She's great with kids (or adults), versatile and speedy. She can put any shy 2-year-old at ease -- see Exhibit A, Jane.
There's no one more skilled, yet Tracie remains among the most affordable in the region too. (I comparison shopped.)
I know how it as a party-planning mama; if you're going to opt for an extra like face painting, you want to get your money's worth. With Tracie, you certainly will.
She's available evenings and weekends for festivals, parties, work events or other gatherings. She's fully insured and uses only FDA-complaint cosmetic face paint designed specifically for skin, along with cosmetic glitter that preschoolers adore.
Observing Tracie's creations made the party fun for everyone, including Maria's admiring great grandparents. (Men on the left, ladies on the right.)
The fairy paused just long enough for them to take her in before she flitted off, as fairies do. #cannotstandstill #lovethatabouther
We enjoyed a barbeque and an amazing cake that Nana made using a Wilton castle cake set.
The party guests were all so generous. Maria received a wonderful array of gifts, including a few fairy-inspired presents.
I love when she's given a book, especially one I haven't discovered yet. She does too!
All in all, it was such a fun day!
Sometimes I try to squeeze too much into a party and feel like I'm racing the clock. But the park really set the tone and made the entire party feel airy and playful, free of any agenda.
As it should be.
Happy girls, happy mama.
Christina Ries is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and three young children in Inver Grove Heights. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charmed reviews are entirely the author's opinion. Special thanks to the following vendors for supplying complimentary samples for review and photography: