Planning Your Kid’s Birthday Party? Shop Local Business in GR!

“The days are long, but the years are short.”

I remember hearing that “the days are long, but the years are short” when I was a first-time mom. Boy, did that old adage resonate with me. My colicky firstborn son was not a happy camper and the days felt extremely long.

Last fall, I became a mom to two and now I would have to say, “the years are short and the days are short,” because somehow the past year happened in the blink of an eye.

I know I sound sappy and cliché, but I swear we were just carefully loading Adler up in his car seat for the first time and driving him home from the hospital. Eager to see how our older son would handle becoming a big brother, we were anxious to get home and begin life as a family of four.

baby boy birthday fox

© 2015 Pamela Fallon Photography

The past year has been a whirlwind of sleepless nights and reheated cups of coffee, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. And this past weekend we were able to celebrate the wonderful first year of our sweet Adler’s life in the best way we could imagine…with pajamas, donuts, ice cream and bedtime stories!

I know that every mom has their own thing, and while you won’t find me at a sewing machine or doing much in the way of gardening, I do get pretty excited about planning my boys’ birthday parties. I always pick a theme and have fun planning the food, favors and party decor around that theme.

RELATED: Birthday Party Guide for Greater Grand Rapids

Party Planning Fun!

With Adler’s first birthday party on the horizon, I began to scheme about how we could celebrate our little guy. I wanted to keep the party simple with a cozy vibe, so we opted to do an evening party with just dessert–skipping dinner majorly simplified things.

We’ve always called Adler our little fox, so I had to have a fox decorating element, as well. Since the party was in the evening, we decided to make it a pajama party with bedtime stories.

Support Small Business & Go Local

We are huge fans of D’arts Donuts in Eastown.


We love D’arts handcrafted yeast donuts. You can’t go wrong with their classic options like honey and cinnamon sugar, but their daily specialty flavors are always intriguing and delicious.

I follow D’arts on instagram, which is a fun way to see their daily special offerings like Lemon Berry, Nutella, Maple Bacon, Samoa and more.


D’arts Donut Shop

Ice Cream: The Essential Birthday Party Ingredient

West Michigan is full of fantastic ice cream options, but our family’s favorite ice cream shop is Furniture City Creamery. Their delicious, small batches of ice cream are all made from scratch daily. Their flavors are ever-changing, but they always have several gluten and dairy free options (which are always delicious).

Furniture City Creamery caters and they also sell adorable kid-sized cups of ice cream that make dessert time with kids a breeze. We had lots of flavors for the party, but I think the favorite flavor seemed to be either Root Beer Float or Graveyard.

birthday party ice cream

RELATED: Best Ice Cream & Candy Shops in Grand Rapids

Furniture City Creamery

Furniture City Creamery is a microcreamery that makes specialized flavors of ice cream from scratch each day. They would love to cater your next event!


Party Favors = Happy Little Guests

I love supporting local boutiques and Hopscotch Children’s Store is one of my favorite places to buy shower presents and kids’ birthday gifts. Hopscotch carries the cutest little hand-knit finger puppets, which made for such a fun little party favor. They also provided the birthday boy with an adorable donut drool bib and a fun board book about sharing.

hopscotch birthday party favors

I added a few other treats to the favor bags like applesauce squeeze pouches and lollipops. They seemed to be a big hit with Adler’s little guests.

The next morning my sister-in-law gave the finger puppets a big thumbs up. She said, “all three kids have been involved in an imaginary story line all morning.” Hopscotch is full of wonderful gift ideas for babies and kids!

Hopscotch Children's Store

Hopscotch Children’s Store is the place to find amazing gifts or toys for babies or kids. This boutique specializes in locally-crafted products.

My husband and I both read one book to the kids to wrap up Adler’s first birthday party. Nick read BJ Novak’s fun, silly book titled The Book with No Pictures, which literally had the kids rolling around on the ground laughing. It was a hilarious site.

bedtime stories birthday book

I followed by reading Goodnight Moon because that’s a classic favorite in our home. The kids were surprisingly attentive despite their donut and ice cream-induced sugar rush. It was such a special evening and a birthday party I’ll never forget (even if the birthday boy will not remember it).

adler birthday party picture

Thank you Hopscotch Children’s Store, Furniture City Creamery and D’arts Donuts for making Adler’s first birthday so wonderful!

local business birthday bedtime stories table

We would love to hear from you!

What are some of your favorite birthday party ideas? What local businesses do you love to support?


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