Tag Archives: Race Car

Taking the Party Outside, OC-Style

Taking the Party Outside, OC-Style Three million people can’t be wrong. Orange County offers a near-perfect climate and a variety of recreational areas for family outdoor activities. Listed below in alphabetical order are some of playparty.net’s favorite Orange County parks — great venues for the Best LEGO Party or Ultimate Race Car Party for your kid’s birthday celebration.

Carbon Canyon Regional Park, Brea

Image from Dianne S on Yelp

Voted the “Best Picnic Spot in Orange County”, Carbon Canyon Regional Park boasts 124 acres and is located upstream of the Carbon Canyon Dam.

Sixty acres are developed and include large, grassy areas for picnicking, sports facilities, and a lake with two piers for fishing. Trees are everywhere — sycamores, eucalyptus, Canary Island pines and pepper trees provide plenty of shade.

The undeveloped area features a trail that leads to a majestic sight — the only grove of Coastal Redwoods in Orange County.

Ralph B Clark Regional Park, Buena Park

Image by Ron B on Yelp

Nestled at the foot of the Coyote Hills, 105-acre Ralph B. Clark Regional Park features large shaded picnic areas, hiking and biking trails, and children’s playgrounds. For sports enthusiasts, there are tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, softball fields and a baseball diamond.

Children of all ages are welcome to fish in the stocked three-acre lake. The award-winning Interpretive Center displays a glimpse into Orange County’s prehistoric past.

Ted Craig Regional Park, Fullerton

Image from ocparks.com
Image from ocparks.com

Ted Craig Regional Park offers 124 acres of beauty and serenity, with rolling hills, a variety of mature trees, open space, year-round creeks and a rose garden. Walkways, picnic tables and park benches are scattered throughout the park.

A small lake is visited by annual migratory waterfowl. Fishing for catfish and bluegill is allowed with a California Fish and Game License.

In addition to bicycle and hiking trails, the park has softball fields, a baseball field and a sports complex with basketball, volleyball, and racquetball / handball courts and horseshoe pits.

Irvine Regional Park, Orange

Image from Les S on yelp.com

The rolling foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains surround 475-acre Irvine Regional Park. Heritage oak and sycamore trees create relaxing, shaded spaces. Santiago Creek bisects the park, and a lake with a stonework waterfall and footbridge is located at the center.

Picnic tables and barbecues are scattered throughout the park with convenient parking and restroom facilities nearby. A paved bicycle / walking trail meanders through the park, providing easy access to playgrounds, softball fields and horseshoe pits. A three-mile equestrian trail on the perimeter provides scenic views of the park.

With fishing, paddle boats, a train and the OC Zoo, Irvine Regional Park has something for everyone.

William R Mason Regional Park, Irvine

Image from Matt M on yelp.com
Image from Matt M on yelp.com

Voted the “Best Park for Kids” by OC Weekly, Mason Regional Park has three tot lots with jungle gyms. Situated on 345 acres, the park has plenty of green grass so kids can cut loose; rows of trees offer shade and a place for them to catch their breath.

The park features picnic areas, a physical fitness course, a softball back stop, sand volleyball courts, bicycle paths and a wilderness hiking area. Visitors can sail model boats on the nine-acre lake.

Mile Square Regional Park, Fountain Valley

Image from ocparks.com
Image from ocparks.com

Mile Square Regional Park, a former practice landing field for the military, encompasses 607 acres.

Its expanse includes fields for soccer, softball and baseball; courts for basketball, tennis and volleyball; three golf courses; two lakes for fishing; and an archery range. And of course, there are many grassy areas for picnicking. It’s the perfect park for you and your family.

Tri-City Regional Park, Placentia

Image from Alzel A on Yelp

The 40-acre Tri-City Park is located in the City of Placentia, borders the City of Fullerton and is less than a quarter-mile from the City of Brea.

Barbecues, picnic tables and benches are scattered throughout the park. Recreational opportunities include playgrounds, bicycling, walking, model sailboating and fishing.

The park is also a wildlife sanctuary and a popular birdwatching destination. Flocks of migratory waterfowl visit the park’s eight-acre lake every year.

Yorba Regional Park, Anaheim

Image from ocparks.com
Image from ocparks.com

Located at the mouth of Santa Ana Canyon, Yorba Regional Park is over one mile long and offers 140 acres of family relaxation. Four lakes and connecting streams provide opportunities for fishing and model boat sailing. Bicycle trails wander through the park and meet up with the Santa Ana River Trail, leading some 20 miles to the Pacific Ocean.

Playgrounds, picnic tables, barbecue stations and restrooms can be found throughout the park. Volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, two ball diamonds and a physical fitness course are also available.

Hike. Fly a kite. Throw a Frisbee. Walk around with a camera or sketchpad. Or take a nap under the shade of a tree. However you define “down time”, you’ll find it at Yorba Regional Park.

♥          ♥          ♥

And in the evening, when your child murmurs, “Thanks, Mom. Thanks, Dad. My birthday was awesome!”, before dropping off  to sleep, you’ll feel like this — serene, grateful and oh so happy.

Image by Justin M.

Full-Throttle Decorations for a Race Car Party

Most three- to seven-year-olds are flat-out crazy about auto racing. When it’s time to celebrate your son’s or daughter’s birthday, call playparty.net and book the Ultimate Race Car Party.

Then have fun decorating. Bring the excitement of the speedway to your home! Here are a few suggestions.

Pave the way for your guests on race day. Tie black-and-white checkered flags to your mail box. Hang a banner that says,“Welcome, Race Fans!” or “Start Your Engines!” on the porch.

This cars-and-balloons wreath adds a cheery automotive element to the front door.

Cars-and-Balloons Wreath
Image from palomapaperdesigns.com

As guests arrive, give each child a personalized “Driver’s License” or “Pit Pass”.

Or make your own. Start with this free template; add text and images.

Turn a patio or hallway into a race track. Make this floor runner with a black plastic tablecloth, strips of white felt, and white adhesive tape. Accessorize with orange traffic cones, home-made traffic lights, and empty motor oil or engine additive boxes.

Let the kids draw on the wall — yes, really! Oversized coloring pages make easy, inexpensive decorations and a fun party activity. When taped to glass doors, the pages also help to protect unwary guests from accidental collisions.

Coloring Wall
Image from simonemadeit.com

There are so many options for table-top decorations. Create a race track with a black plastic tablecloth, white or yellow window marker, and color coding labels.

For the centerpiece, use shiny gold trophies, die-cast toy cars, DIY (painted bathroom tissue rolls) race cars,

TP Race Cars
Image from kiflieslevendula.blogspot.com

or colorful race flags.

Race Flags Centerpiece
Image from mommysideabook.com

Don’t forget to stake-out the pole position for the birthday child. Tie green, yellow, red, black and white balloons to his or her chair!

 

Happy Halloween, Birthday Ghouls and Boys!

Happy Halloween!
Image from eurobricks.com

Was your child born on October 31? Throw a Halloween birthday party mash-up for your little ghoul or boy!

Add our secret ingredients, entertainment by playparty.net and DIY race car driver and LEGO brick costumes. Celebrate with a few tricks and lots of treats. Here’s how…

 

Race Car Driver Halloween Costume

Book the Ultimate Race Car Party.  Then, go from 0 to 50 in a jiffy with this easy homemade costume from Real Simple.

Materials

  • Track suit or matching sweatshirt and sweatpants
  • Baseball cap or painter’s hat
  • Black and white checkered duct tape
  • Black masking tape
  • Race car iron-on patch
  • Race car stickers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • White ribbon (about 2 yards)
  • Black ribbon (about 2 yards)
  • Dowel

Jacket

Affix a length of the checkered duct tape down the middle of each sleeve. Use the black masking tape to make a horizontal stripe across the middle of the jacket. Glue the iron-on patch to the front of the jacket on the top left side.

Pants

Affix a length of the checkered duct tape along the side seams of each pant leg. Start from the waist and work your way down to the hem.

Cap

Decorate the front of the cap with the checkered duct tape, black masking tape and race car stickers.

Flag

Cut strips of black and white ribbon to the desired length of the flag. Weave the ribbons together and glue at each end. Cut off excess. Cut and sand the dowel. Glue ribbon flag to the dowel.

MetroWest-Mamas added a few special touches of their own.

More ideas for kid's race car driver costume
Image from metrowest-mamas.com

Shoes

Sneakers or slip-ons go great with this costume. Checkered duct tape and race car stickers are optional embellishments. Even better if your kid already has a pair of Lightning McQueen sneakers or slippers!

Trick or Treat Bag

As a birthday present for your little speedster, get the Neat-Oh! Hot Wheels ZipBin Wheelie Car Case. The perfect accessory, it completes the race car driver costume and holds plenty of Halloween goodies. When Trick or Treat is over, it’s a storage case and two-lane race track.

 

LEGO Brick Halloween Costume

LEGO Brick Costume
Image from countryliving.com

Book the Best LEGO Birthday Party.  Then, check out Country Living‘s directions for turning an ordinary cardboard box into a fun costume for the LEGO brick lover in your house.

Materials

Cardboard box, about 16” W X 29” H X 11” D
Utility knife
Packing tape
8 round craft boxes, 2” H X 4” diameter
Wood glue
Spray paint

Instructions

1. Cut off the bottom flaps of the box with a utility knife. Tape down the top flaps.

2. To create openings for your child’s head and arms, trace a dinner plate on the top of the box and saucers on each side of the box. Cut out the holes with the utility knife.

3. Place the box on a flat, hard surface. Use wood glue to affix the round craft boxes — without lids— in a 2 X 4 arrangement, as shown. Make sure the bottoms of the craft boxes face out.

4. Allow the glue to set. Then, spray-paint the entire box a bright, glossy color. Let dry and apply multiple coats as necessary.

 

Happy Halloween!

 

Visit us again soon for more kid’s birthday ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

Kids on the Move: Planes, Trains and Cars

Kids love being on the move —  racing down the street, rolling along train tracks, soaring above the clouds.  It’s no wonder that “Transportation” is a popular birthday party theme.

If “Planes, Trains and Cars” are what you have in mind for your child’s celebration, call on us for the entertainment.  We’ll bring the Ultimate Race Car Party to you. Then set your imagination free as you playfully decorate your home.  Here are some suggestions to kick-start the fun.

Welcome SignWelcome guests with a humorous greeting at the front door.

 

 

 

 

BannerHang a banner in the entrance way.  Let photos of the birthday child trail behind an airplane.

 

 

CloudsMobiles create a cheerful party atmosphere.  Fluffy clouds will make the kids smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Air Balloons DIYColorful hot air balloons add a touch of whimsy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arrange classic wooden toys or hand-crafted items into a centerpiece.

Wooden Train Orange Car Red Plane

 

Shelf DisplayTo decorate a smaller space like a shelf or mantel, display an assortment of printable traffic signs.

 

 

 

 

Use PrintablesAnd individually, the signs are perfect as cupcake toppers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Flight Meal

Serve “In-Flight Meals” for lunch.  Guests will say the sandwich, chips and fruit are extra-yummy.

 

 

 

Cap_Whistle

 

In the end, when your birthday kiddo is whistling’ with joy, you’ll know the party was a success —  and that all of the planning was worth it!

Contact us for more help and suggestions.

 

 

 

 

Turbocharged Fun for Your Child’s Race Car Birthday Party

Good job, Mom! Junior’s birthday party is next week and you’ve made all of the arrangements to ensure the celebration is fun, fun, fun.

The cake has been ordered and the decorations are ready to go. For entertainment, you’ve booked the Ultimate Race Car Party with playparty.net. The backyard looks great — it’s the perfect setting for the Roller Coaster Race Track, Giant Oval Race Track, All American Drag Strip, and LEGO Car Building and Racing Track.

Just one more thing to do…

Plan a few activities to bracket the main event entertainment.  We suggest the following crafts and games to help youngsters warm up to or cool down from the excitement of the Ultimate Race Car Party.

 

RC Coloring PageIf a guest initially hesitates to join the festivities, give him or her time to acclimate to the environment.  Offer a race car coloring page and an assortment of colorful crayons or markers.

 

 

 

Traffic LightsPre-schoolers enjoy making stop lights from paper plates, construction paper, paint, glue and yarn.

 

 

 

Tattoo 2Create a race car-themed Tattoo Parlor with kid-friendly, non-toxic temporary tattoos.

 

 

 

Tattoo 1Ask a friend or neighbor to help the little ones, and stock the “Parlor” with cotton pads, rubbing alcohol, wash cloths and warm water.

 

 

 

Auto Paint_DetailSet-up an Auto Body Repair Shop and invite guests to paint and decorate little wooden cars.

 

 

 

Tire BB TossIf the kids over-indulge on cake and ice cream, burn off their excess energy with a Tire Bean Bag Toss.  Take the spare tire out of your car.  Put uncooked rice in sandwich-size plastic bags, and wrap each bag in a bandana, napkin or wash cloth.  Start the game with a wave of the green flag.  Your guests will love the challenge.

 

 

Traffic Light BB TossIf you’d prefer an indoor version of the game, consider this hand-made Traffic Stoplight mat and four “car” fabric bean bags.

 

 

 

 

Balloon 1Here’s a clever idea. Slip a miniature car inside a balloon; then, blow it up.  Give an inflated balloon to each of your guests.  Tell them to to pop the balloons —  by sitting on them, squashing them or whatever — to find their party favors.

 

 

Balloon 2Have your camera ready to capture the moment each balloon pops. The kids’ reactions are priceless.

 

 

 

Race Car DriverWhat’s next?

Book the Ultimate Race Car Party with playparty.net, Southern California’s premier provider of children’s birthday party entertainment.  And come back soon for more birthday planning tips.

 

Party Favors for a Race Car Birthday Celebration — Simply “Engine-ious”

It’s another sunny day in Southern California.  The Ultimate Race Car Party is going strong in your backyard.  Boys and girls cluster around the LEGO Car Building and Racing station, chatting excitedly as they pit their creations against the laws of physics.

Later, guests sing “Happy Birthday” while the birthday kiddo makes a wish and blows out the candles.  Everyone enjoys a piece (or two) of birthday cake.  All too soon, the party comes to an end and it’s time to say goodbye.

Thank guests for helping to celebrate your child’s special day; send them home with a thoughtful treat.  Here are some suggestions for fun, easy and affordable party favors with a race car flair.  playparty.net is delighted to share these ideas with you.

 

RC Party Bags InFour-year-old Max and his mom, Sarah Nielsen, hand-crafted their party favor bags.  Max selected the favors — punch balloons, bouncy balls, race car pencils and toy cars.  Then, Sarah printed race car graphics on colored paper.

 

RC Party Bags OutMax cut out the cars and glued them to the front of brown paper lunch bags.  He put the favors inside the bags.  Finally, Sarah made handles by tying jute beneath the folds.  As you can see, Max’s party favor bags are charming and sweet.  And what a great project for parent and child to do together!

 

RC Party Boxes

 

Black and white checkered boxes from Birthday Express are bright, cheerful and easy for kids to carry.  They’re perfect for holding toys and snacks.

 

 

 

Lunch Box OutDusty Rogers threw a Disney PIXAR “Cars” party for her daughter’s third birthday and bought mini “Cars” lunch boxes as party favors.  She printed a personalized Radiator Springs license plate for each guest and tied it to the lunch box with a pretty ribbon.

 

 

 

Not sure what to put inside those bags and boxes? 

Rechargeable RC ToyGuests will be thrilled to take home a rechargeable race car — the same toy car that generated so much excitement at the Giant Oval Race Track.  Each car comes with its own charger.

 

 

 

 

RC 12 Sticker Sets

This 12-pack of race car party favors includes race car stickers, race car tattoos, race car pencils and race car erasers.

 

 

 

 

Trophies2Gold-tone trophies from the Oriental Trading Company are popular with kids.  Design and print your own labels or order stickers like these through Etsy.

 

 

 

 

RC Crayons 1Homemade by Jill offers a tutorial on DIY race car crayons.  She used a chocolate mold and a new box of 120 crayons to make 46 race cars.  Cute, easy and inexpensive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RC CandyLastly, be sure to include something sweet.  This racing car is filled with fruit-flavored candy and it’s also a pull-back toy.  Two treats in one!

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Next?

Do you live in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, Orange County or San Diego?  Are you planning your child’s birthday party?  Book the Ultimate Race Car Party with playparty.net, Southern California’s premier provider of children’s birthday party entertainment.  And come back soon for more party planning tips.

 

 

And Now For Some “Wheel” Fun… Race Car Party Invitations You’ll Never “Tire” Of

The Ultimate Race Car Party delivers thrilling, action-packed entertainment for boys and girls in Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, Orange County and San Diego.  Hot WheelsⓇ hurtle down the All American Drag Strip,  competing head to head, while miniature stock cars loop-the-loops on the Roller Coaster Track .

Rev up the excitement with race car-themed invitations.  Use automotive or racing words and phrases as teasers–  for example, “put the pedal to the metal”, “start your engines” or “get into gear”.   Don’t be afraid to be ridiculous.  Goofy puns are part of the fun.

Need help with the wording on your invitation?  Be inspired by these silly couplets penned by playparty.net:

“Power-glide and over-drive  /  Little Danica is turning five”

“Hurry, hurry to the starting line  /  Mario Junior will soon be nine”

 

Announce the date, time and location of the party by saying something like:

“Race on over to the Montoya Family Speedway at …”  

“The starting flag will be waved at 1:00 PM”

“The final lap is  at 4:00 PM” 

 

RSVPs may be worded as:

“Call … to reserve your seat in the grandstand”   

or

“Get your ticket to the races by e-mailing …”

 

If you prefer to manage your invitations and RSVPs on-line, take a look at Evite’s race car invitations, including Racing, Checkered Flag  and our favorite, Animated Race Track.

 

Tanner2Want to include a photo of the birthday kiddo?  Etsy has a wide selection of printable race car invitations.  Here are a few suggestions.  This invitation by Classic Party Designs has a high-octane race car vibe.

 

 

 

Cooper5Lollipop Prints playfully welcomes guests to “race on over” to the celebration.

 

 

 

 

 

Tyler4We like the way Trendy Butterfly asks for a “red or green flag” response.

 

 

 

 

 

Ticket

“Tickets” are clever and fun.  This charming invitation by Story Book Lane Crafts phrases the RSVP as “reserve your seat in the pit crew”.

 

 

 

 

AR VintageIf vintage car racing is the theme of your party, then Anders Ruff’s turquoise and red ticket invitation might appeal to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney CarsPartygoers will get their kicks on Route 66 when you send them Disney PIXAR “Cars” free printable invitations.  They’re “tow-tally awesome” and feature Lightning McQueen, Mater and other Radiator Springs characters.

 

 

 

 

 

Candle Favors Kenzie

We’re sharing these last two invitations just because they’re so darn cute!  This cheerful design by Candles and Favors makes us smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Adele DrawingAnd Amy Adele’s drawing has a sweet, hand-made quality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race Car DriverWhat’s Next?  

Come back soon for more race car party ideas.  Book your Ultimate Race Car Party now in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles or  San Fernando Valley  with Playparty.net, Southern California’s premier provider of children’s birthday party entertainment.

 

San Diego Public Parks: Perfect for a Child’s Birthday Party

Do you live in San Diego?  Are you planning a birthday party for your son or daughter? Lucky you!  Blessed with sunshine, blue skies and warm temperatures, San Diego has the perfect climate for an outdoor children’s birthday party.

Whether you live in the city or San Diego’s North County, East County or South Bay,
Playparty.net will bring the birthday party entertainment to you.  We can set-up the Best LEGO Party  or the Ultimate Race Car Party at your home—  in your front yard, back yard or patio— your neighborhood recreation center or your favorite park.

The City, County and Port of San Diego offer a number of pretty, kid-centric public parks with playgrounds, expansive lawns,  picnic areas and restrooms.  We’ve put together a list of parks that would make great settings for the Best LEGO Party or Ultimate Race Car Party.  Take a look.  One of these may be ideal for your child’s birthday celebration.

For information about park use permits, fees and rules, click on the park’s name.

NORTH COUNTY

Felicita County Park, Escondido.  Nestled in a small valley in southwest Escondido, Felicita County Park offers trails, playgrounds and seven reservable picnic sites on 53 acres of dense oak groves and grassy play areas. History buffs appreciate that Felicita was originally occupied by the Kumeyaay people and that it’s listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Felicita
San Dieguito County Park, Del Mar.  San Dieguito is a 125-acre County Park in Del Mar with four reservable picnic areas, barbecue grills, large open lawn areas, playgrounds and pavilions.  San Dieguito is proud to be the home of Miracle Field, a fully accessible baseball field that accommodates children and adults with special needs.  S Dieguito

 LA JOLLA

Kellogg Park.  Kellogg is a large grassy park at La Jolla Shores beach. With a family-friendly atmosphere, Kellogg Park offers a playground, picnic table, and ample space for children to run and play.  (Photo from San Diego Coast Life Gallery)
Kellogg Med

 BALBOA PARK

Considered one of the Best Parks in the World, Balboa Park features more than 1,000 lushly planted acres with gardens, museums, performing arts venues, the San Diego Zoo and other cultural and recreational attractions.  Truly, Balboa Park has something for everyone.  Any spot in the park is a great place for a picnic, but we suggest Pepper Grove and Redwood Circle as sites for your child’s birthday party.

Pepper Grove.  Pepper Grove was named for the trees that shade the picnic area.  With a large playground, grassy turf and 15 picnic tables, Pepper Grove is perfect for family events.  Pepper Gr
Redwood Circle.  A popular venue for picnics and weddings, Redwood Circle has a large lawn area with numerous shade trees and several picnic tables.  Redwood Cir

MISSION BAY

Mission Bay Park is the largest man-made aquatic park in the United States.  At 4,235 acres, the park is about half land and half water.  The park includes playgrounds and paths for walking or jogging.  It’s a wonderful place to picnic, fly a kite or sail a model yacht.  Fire rings enable visitors to cook out and stay warm.  The Park and Recreation Department boasts that Mission Bay Park has 14 “best sites for picnics”.    In this post, we highlight four locations–  Crown Point, Mission Point, Vacation Isle and Ventura Cove.

Crown Point.  Crown Point North has a picnic shelter, picnic tables, barbecue grills, fire rings, and an area for swimming.  Crown Point Middle is a large grassy park near the water with picnic tables, barbecue grills and fire rings.  Crown Point South features a large sandy beach with a smaller grass area; amenities include picnic tables, barbecue grills and fire rings.  (Photo from San Diego Coast Life Gallery) Crown Pt Med
Mission Point.  Mission Point has picnic tables, park benches, a path for jogging or bike riding, a playground and fire rings.  A swimming area is also available.  (Photo from San Diego Coast Life Gallery) Mission Pt Med
Vacation Isle.  Vacation Isle East and Vacation Isle West offer sandy beaches, grassy park areas, trees for shade, picnic tables and fire rings.  In addition, Vacation Isle East has a picnic gazebo.  (Photo from San Diego Coast Life Gallery) Vacation Med
Ventura Cove.  Ventura Cove has picnic tables, benches and fire rings, as well as an area for swimming.  (Photo from San Diego Coast Life Gallery) Ventura Med

PRESIDIO PARK

Mission Hills Park also known as Pioneer Park.  Mission Hills Park dates back to the late 19th century when it was  one of the first cemeteries in San Diego.  Original tombstones still stand in a corner of the park and a plaque commemorates the pioneers buried there.  The park features a playground and a large grassy area.  Nowadays, it’s a lively and lovely spot where children play, friends picnic and neighbors walk their dogs.  Mission Hills

 CORONADO

Coronado Tidelands Park.  Coronado Tidelands is a large family-friendly park on San Diego Bay.  It has a small sandy beach, a scenic bike path and plenty of open space for outdoor activities.  Amenities include a playground, a skate park, a fitness course, baseball and soccer fields, and picnic tables.  (Photo from San Diego Digital Photos) Coronado Tidelands

 EAST COUNTY

Dos Picos County Park, Ramona.  Surrounded by steep rocky mountain slopes, Dos Picos is a 78-acre County Park with three reservable picnic sites and large open play areas.  Oak groves provide shade and a nearby pond enhances the beauty of the park.  Dos Picos
El Monte County Park, Lakeside.  The dramatic face of El Cajon Mountain looks down on 88-acre El Monte County Park.  One of the original County parks, El Monte offers seven reservable picnic sites.  Amenities include playgrounds, horseshoe courts, a baseball field and an open area that’s perfect for flying kites.  El Monte
Flinn Springs County Park, El Cajon.  Flinn Springs, a 40-acre day-use County Park, has lawn areas and stands of old oak trees.  A stream flows through the middle of the park.  Flinn Springs can accommodate group picnics that range in size from small family gatherings to events with 500 participants.  Flinn

 SOUTH BAY

Chula Vista Bayfront Park, Chula Vista.  Beautifully landscaped and family-friendly, Chula Vista Bayfront Park features expansive views of San Diego Bay.  “Konoids”, the famous sculpture by Kenneth Capps, adorns the shoreline.  The park is the ideal spot for a walk, a nap or a picnic.  Amenities include a playground, bike paths and picnic tables.  (Photo from San Diego Coast Life Gallery ) Chula Vista Med
Otay Lake County Park, Chula Vista.  Otay Lake County Park includes 78 acres and is long-time favorite of South Bay residents.  The park offers spectacular views of Otay Lake and the surrounding hills, and one reservable picnic site.  Four additional picnic areas are available for walk-in visitors.  Amenities include hiking trails, horseshoe courts, a playground, lawn areas and a garden featuring native plants.  (Photo from George C) Otay_Geo

Vroom Vroom… Refueling (Feeding) Kids at the Ultimate Race Car Birthday Party

There’s a lot going on at the Ultimate Race Car Birthday Party.  Toy cars speed down the Drag Strip, fly through the Roller Coaster and zip around the Giant Oval Track.

Amidst all the excitement, you might want to simplify the menu for your child’s birthday party.  Do what a lot of other busy parents do– order pizza to be delivered.

OR… you might want to put the pedal to the metal and offer refreshments with a race car theme.  Hot Rod Mama, we’re here to help!

Sign

Birthday in a Box  suggests serving hot dogs, nachos, soft pretzels and popcorn from a “concession stand”.

Cover a rectangular table with a red tablecloth.  Add a few race car decorations like black-and-white checkered flags, trophies or orange traffic cones.  Then post a cute home-made sign like this one from Scholastic.

 

Stand

If you’re an avid DIY’er and want a more substantial structure– something you could use on other occasions– see how Amy Lynn of Permanent Kisses and her “ever supportive” husband used PVC pipes and red nylon fabric to build this fabulous concession stand.

Hot Dog

Let’s talk about creative food presentations.  Kraft turns a hot dog into a “hot rod” with pickle wheels and ketchup-and-mustard racing stripes.

 

 

 

Veg DipSticksDusty of All Things G&D cut carrot and celery “dip sticks” and put them into individual plastic cups.  She filled the bottom of each cup with either ranch dressing or hummus.  The cups are a great idea– neat and easy for kids to handle.

 

 

 

 

 

Anti Freeze
Indy CarsRenee Roberts of Renee’s Soirees  served sports drink “Anti-Freeze” and “Indy Cars” made of apple slices and halved grapes.

Choc Treats

Renee also prepared several race car-theme treats including chocolate-covered pretzel “dip sticks”, “spare tire” doughnuts and brownies topped with red, green and yellow M&M “stop lights”.

 

 

We’ll close with two suggestions about birthday cakes.

1) If  you live near the Los Angeles South Bay area, consider ordering a custom cake from King’s Hawaiian Restaurant  in Torrance.  King’s makes yellow, chocolate, vanilla chiffon, chocolate chiffon and orange chiffon cakes in a variety of sizes.  The bakers are wizards at creating custom decorations based upon a photograph, a character or a theme— including race cars.

 

Cake2) We love how Arlee of My Small Potatoes took a store-bought cake and decorated it with toy cars from her son’s collection.  She propped up the cars on white chocolate “ramps”.

The birthday boy was thrilled to see his red truck “backed up” into the side of the cake.  He told Arlee, “That’s epic!”

Wouldn’t every mom’s heart melt to hear such praise from her child?