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Real Parties: Ford’s animal-themed 1st birthday party

A two-tiered animal-themed birthday cake.

Lions and tigers and bears (and bounce houses and balloons and signature drinks), oh my! For his first birthday, Ford had a fun-filled animal-themed party complete with plenty of activities, drinks and snacks for kids and parents alike. Mama and actress Becca Tobin sure knows how to throw a wild first birthday party—and she even used her Evite as inspo for the theme! Keep reading to see how the party came together and for some of Becca’s first birthday party advice.

A selfie of two women holding personalized cocktails.


On left, kids playing in a bounce house. On right, a birthday invitation.
On left, a balloon arch. On right, a close-up of a signature cocktail.
Kids enjoying the petting zoo at the party.
Pictures of the food truck and its menu.

A dog sits on a chair while a woman pours drinks at the drink cart in the background.
On left, a picture of the birthday cake. On right, a baby's hand reaches for cake.
A family poses in front of a colorful balloon arch.

Key details

City: Austin, TX

Theme: Animals and bright colors


How the party came to life

Evite invitation: Calling All Party Animals 

Venue: The front yard of our home

Cake and dessert: A Funfetti and strawberry two-tiered cake from Sweet Treets Bakery (and one smash cake!) 

Food: Huckleberry food truck (an Austin favorite!) served up fish sandwiches, quesadillas, hot dogs, smash burgers and frito pie. 

Florals: We had bright arrangements provided by our cocktail cart bartender, Shay. 

Beverages: Too Shay Spirits cocktail cart served signature cocktails for the grownups and virgin versions for the kids. 

Activities: Hill Country Bounce House provided a chic white mini bounce house and Tiny Tails petting zoo brought tons of cute animals for the kids to hold.

Decor: We had a balloon arch from By Gamino and another mini balloon arch with a sign above the outdoor mantel.

The surprise hit: The fish sandwich from the food truck and the hedgehog named Abby Cadabby

Party favors: We almost forgot this part, so Zach ran to Target the morning of and got some fun bubble necklaces, light-up balls and colored sand. 

What’s some advice or learning you would offer to someone throwing a 1st birthday? 

Outsource as much as you can so you can enjoy yourself on the day. The food truck was so nice because it was all outside (which kept the kitchen empty) and I didn’t have to worry about people being fed. 

If you had to choose your favorite part of the party, what would it be?

My favorite part was the signature drinks!

What was the most important part or element you considered when planning this party? 

We wanted something for everyone since adults and kids of all ages were coming. I also liked how we kept the party contained in the front courtyard. Everyone could keep track of their kids and it kept guests from spreading out through the house—and it made for easier clean up!

For her full list of gift recs for one-year-olds, check out Becca’s top picks here.

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