Celebration Picnic

I recently had the pleasure of planning a celebration picnic following the launch of a new church in Washington, DC. Redeemer City Church was having their first service in September and asked that I plan a fun afternoon with games and food for everyone who was helping and attending later that afternoon. Since the party was a picnic, I thought it would be fun to use lots of picnic blankets for people to sit on and eat on. We filled the grass with picnic baskets, balloons, colorful bunting, and lots of yard games.

Neighborhood Picnic Ideas via elevencupcakes #11cupcakes #redeemerdc #picnicparty #chipotle

Neighborhood Picnic Ideas via elevencupcakes #11cupcakes #redeemerdc #picnicparty #chipotle

Gingham bunting was the perfect addition to this celebration picnic. We strung the colorful fabric around the fence of the park.

Neighborhood Picnic Ideas via elevencupcakes #11cupcakes #redeemerdc #picnicparty #chipotle

Yard games included giant jenga, corn hole, bocce ball, and ladder golf.
Neighborhood Picnic Ideas via elevencupcakes #11cupcakes #redeemerdc #picnicparty #chipotleNeighborhood Picnic Ideas via elevencupcakes #11cupcakes #redeemerdc #picnicparty #chipotleNeighborhood Picnic Ideas via elevencupcakes #11cupcakes #redeemerdc #picnicparty #chipotle

To keep food simple, we served Chipotle burritos, lemonade, and cupcakes from a local bakery.

Neighborhood Picnic Ideas via elevencupcakes #11cupcakes #redeemerdc #picnicparty #chipotle Neighborhood Picnic Ideas via elevencupcakes #11cupcakes #redeemerdc #picnicparty #chipotle Neighborhood Picnic Ideas via elevencupcakes #11cupcakes #redeemerdc #picnicparty #chipotle

Neighborhood Picnic Ideas via elevencupcakes #11cupcakes #redeemerdc #picnicparty #chipotle Neighborhood Picnic Ideas via elevencupcakes #11cupcakes #redeemerdc #picnicparty #chipotle

Neighborhood Picnic Ideas via elevencupcakes #11cupcakes #redeemerdc #picnicparty #chipotle{photos by E.A. Creative Photography}

Happy Planning,

family picnic: traditions

At our family picnic we have a few annual traditions.  One is to take a whole family portrait every year.  We always line up in the same spot on the great lawn at our picnic site. Another picnic tradition is homemade pierogis made by Grandma.  She makes enough to feed everyone, but they always disappear quickly from the sharing table!

Getting ready for the annual egg toss!

Every year we have an egg toss, balloon toss, and play BINGO.  These things help make picnic planning easier  because activities are already planned and most everyone already knows how to play. Using the family picnic fund (collected by donations each year) the picnic planners get prizes for the egg and balloon toss winners, but the BINGO prizes are grab bag gifts brought by every family member. It’s hard to say what is more exciting, yelling BINGO or picking and unwrapping a prize.  You never know what it could be.

This year we started a new tradition with a silly photo opportunity for the family. One of the co planners, Kate, with some help from her mom, gave everyone a chance to be silly and dress up like one of our favorite foods: pierogis!

We’ve already got plans to make a few other cut-outs so even more family members can join in the photo fun at one time.
These are just some of the ways we make our family picnic special every year.  What are some of your family’s traditions?

family picnic: children’s games

At our family picnic there are always a few children’s games ranging from about 3-5 games total. These are simple party games that have to work for children of many different ages.  This year we played musical squares,  hot pierogi, and had a sponge and cup relay race.

For the sponge and cup water relay race we made sponge balls using a tutorial from Martha Stewart. Dividing the children into two teams (the children decided to make it boys vs. girls).  They each raced to fill up their 20 oz. plastic cup first by squeezed the water out of the sponge ball one at a time.  If you were wondering the girls won this race.

Musical “squares” was our picnic version of musical chairs.  We covered 10″x10″ cardboard squares in colorful scrapbook paper and set them out on the grass.  Using portable speakers and an mp3 player the game was played in the same fashion of musical chairs.  The children had to sit down on the square when the music stopped, but there was one less square than child each round.  This was a great game and the squares were much easier to transport than 16 chairs!

Hot pierogi was another take on a classic party game.  In honor of our Polish heritage we changed hot potato in hot pierogi.

A pierogi is a delicious Polish dumpling and a family favorite food! We made our pierogi for this game out of scrap fabric.  Setting out our squares from musical squares in a circle with one spot for each child participating the game was played in the same fashion as the classic hot potato. The children passed the pierogi around in a circle while music played. When the music stopped the person holding our fabric Polish dumpling was out.  The last child left not holding the pierogi wins!

Classic party games are classics for  a reason! They lend themselves to any celebration or get together, easily enjoyed by children of any age, and were adaptable so that we could easily play them at a picnic without needed many supplies.

We also had a few more games for both adults and children.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for more about those!

family picnic: decorations

At the family picnic every September we usually keep decorations to a minimum. This is for mainly two different reasons: 1. there isn’t too much decorating space at the picnic site and 2. the person planning the picnic has so much to bring already there is no need to add to his/her load.

We did want to add some special touches to the picnic this year. One way we did that was by making special buntings to hang on the two food sharing tables as well as the table with the game prizes on it.  We made the buntings, pictured above, in colors that coordinated with our blue and yellow invitation.

We also added coordinating paper accents to  old glass jars and bottles filled with flowers from a family member’s garden. Theses added a simply beautiful touch to the community tables.

One final touch was making a large bunting personalized with our family name. We used scrapbook paper and contact paper to make this one so that it will hopefully lasts for years to come.