Zoo Birthday Party and Adorable Animal Cakes

One fun tradition we have in our family is spending a child's first birthday at the zoo. It is a fun and simple family outing that makes a perfect birthday celebration at any age.

The zoo itself is the main activity, so we don't plan any decorations or crafts. (In fact our zoo will not allow balloons in the zoo due to the choking hazard to kids and animals, so we didn't even have any balloons). One year we did play a simple and fun game I created--a zoo animal version of the game "Don't Eate Pete." (Stay tuned--I'll be adding a printable and instructions for that game in a future post!) I also made little party bags with animal crackers and small toy animals for those in our family who came along with us. But for the most part, we just enjoyed looking at all of the live animals.

We also do like to make cute animal-themed cakes for our kids in honor of our fun at the zoo. The giraffe cake below was a fun creation that everyone enjoyed!  The idea came from Martha Stewart and you can see the instructions here.  I'll thank my dad for planting a seed in me of how fun pieced cakes can be!

Another animal-themed cake I have made is this simple and cute Tiger cake. The face is made from a round cake, the ears are from cupcakes. I used miniature chocolate candybars to form the insides of the ears and mouth, and black licorice to create the stripes. The little eyes could be from & m's or skittles.

Also, to go along with the zoo theme, check out our monkey-themed party and Z is for Zoo Preschool Theme! My son loves monkeys so much, he had another monkey cake this year. This time, I made it from two round cakes. The first round cake formed the face. I cut the other round cake to make two large ears. I used chocolate and vanilla icing to create a monkey face. I mixed the chocolate and vanilla icing together to form the light brown icing.

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