For our daughters first birthday we went all out! We had fancy cake from a local baker, streamers, balloons, all our friends and family and the perfect little party dress. Brylee was adorable in her fancy little headpiece and she even appeared to be having fun. We did the same for our son when he was one. Maybe even more so, because he was our first born and Pinterest was really becoming a thing. Fast forward to both their second birthdays and we were just simply out of gas. The transition from baby to toddler can be trying, so we planned something a little more laid back.
When Hayden turned two we took him to Disney World. The spoiled yet sweet little guy has been to Disney for every birthday. We even took him for his first birthday on top of the big party. Disney is sort of our thing. Luckily for us we live just two hours away and hour annual passes make it affordable. For his second birthday we decided to take him to Disney only. You are probably thinking “how on earth is this laid back???”, but it was really fun just getting away. Just the three of us. What I didn’t know is that my husbands family was expecting a birthday party, so the following weekend we ended up having a small family only party at his Great Grandma’s house. It was the perfect little party. Just a cake, a couple of presents, and lots of smiles. While it was tempting to do that the next few years we really do enjoy hosting parties and Hayden was starting to make friends, so for the last few years we have had big parties for him. He has loved it, but the build up to the party along with the party itself and clean up are just totally exhausting!
Brylee’s First Birthday
Now we have added our sweet Brylee into the mix. In addition to her adorable little garden party for her first birthday we also took a massive family road trip from Florida to Disneyland in California. (I told you Disney is our jam!) On her actual first birthday we ended up on the rim of the Grand Canyon. May the memory of that day never escape me… It was spectacular and magical and everything you would ever want on such a special day! After our big California trip we had the garden party. We’d had the big first birthday party for her last March, and with her second approaching quickly I was really digging deep to figure out how to celebrate her big day. I bought some decorations, but something had me dragging my feet about sending out the invites. After our big road trips to California and Maine last year we promised ourselves we would never stop exploring, so I already had travel on my mind. I also felt a little bad we had not planned a big party for Hayden’s second birthday. As a mom of two, I would never want to do something for one that I wouldn’t do for the other. We continued to go back and forth until just a couple days before her birthday, and ultimately we decided a trip to Disney would be the most memorable way to spend her birthday.
Reasons we decided this was the right birthday to travel instead of have a big party:
- She’s just two… She won’t remember the party anyway
- We didn’t have a big party for her big brother
- We always see a ton of growth in language and other skills after we take our kids on a trip
- She doesn’t have friends yet, so we would have been asking our own friends to come and they would have felt like they needed to bring gifts
- We love being together, just the four of us!
If you are thinking about skipping your young child’s birthday party let me assure you I have absolutely no regrets! She had a totally magical time, and we celebrated her in a big way without having a big party. We brought her presents with us, and she had cupcakes more than once. She saw animals and rode rides and fell deeper in love with something we love to do as a family.
I can’t imagine there will be many more birthdays that we won’t have parties for, but this sweet few days at Disney will definitely be a great memory for us all. I’d love to hear your thoughts on skipping a birthday party for a young child? Would you do it? What would you do instead?