Dan and I wanted to do something a little different for Aiden’s 4th birthday party than our usual home party. Plus, with everything we had going on in 2019 (baby, move, and not to mention his birthday was the day after Thanksgiving) I didn’t have the time or energy to plan something at home. I heard about birthday parties at our local airport and thought it would be perfect for Aiden and his friends. This post is all about how we planned Aiden’s birthday party at the airport.
Dulles Airport offers birthday parties on Saturdays and they have a few different birthday party packages. We went with the basic package which came with the three hours of table space, one activity, free parking for guests, and a party host. We added on an additional activity and I think this was a perfect set up for us.
There are tons of great activity options from airfield tours and demonstrations to games to arts and crafts projects. You can also add items to create a package that works for you. We decided to do the K9 demonstration and we added a tour of the airport fire station.
On our party date, we showed up about 30-minutes before our scheduled party and started set-up. I was thrilled to find we had two greeters waiting for us and our party host (who was SO amazing) already setting up. I found that they really went above and beyond. We brought our own decorations and food and they actually did most of the setup.
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Our decorations were simple I ordered printables from Simple Printables Etsy shop. She created a custom package for me using this design. I got a sign, banner (we spread it across the table), invitations (I sent them via email), food tents, and favor cards. I also got Aiden’s “four” shirt on Etsy from one of my favorite shops Layla Bug Design.
We had about 7 kids at our party (the minimum is 6 and the maximum is 15) and several parents. Our party host gave excellent instructions for our guests and we had a dedicated greeter to welcome everyone and escort them to our space.
We kept the food simple. The party started at 10 am so we stuck with brunch items and did muffins, croissants, fruit, and bags of chips. We also had cake and ice cream. We brought our own plates, utensils, candles, lighter, and napkins.
Once everyone arrived we left for the Airport Fire Station tour and it was awesome. The party staff decorated a mobile lounge for Aiden to travel to the fire station.
Once we were there we got to meet the firefighters, tour the trucks, and the kids got to spray the hose to try to hit down cones. The firefighters were amazing. They were so happy to talk to the kids and show them around. We had a rainy, cold day and they had no issues running out to set up the cones for the kids to spray the hose. They even gave Aiden a ride in the fire truck and let him spray the hose from the truck. It’s something Aiden STILL talks about. Before leaving he got an “honorary firefighter” certificate with a group picture of his friends with the firefighters.
When we got back to the party space we had cake and ice cream. There were coloring pages and crayons available for the kids plus a cute photo opp setup.
After cake, we had our k-9 demonstration. It was very informative and the dog was so friendly. She came out and sniffed out a decoy from a line of suitcases. They took her away and had Aiden hide the suitcase and brought her back to try again. I think, overall, it was a tiny bit advanced for our crowd of mostly three and four-year-olds, but the kids really got a kick out of the police officer and her police dog.
After the demonstration, the kids ran around a little and our guests started to leave. Our party host helped with the cleanup and they even walked our stuff to the door for loading up.
Tips for planning a birthday party at the airport for your child:
- Book early — dates fill up fast since there is only one party per week.
- Keep the guest list on the smaller side.
- Keep the decorations simple — also check to see what is allowed. We found out that we couldn’t have anything hanging (so we had to find a creative way to display it). Plus, the airport itself is an interesting venue with lots to see.
- Select activities that will engage your child and get them to move around. Definitely do the fire station tour it is amazing.
- Don’t go crazy with food. Based on the schedule we had there wasn’t a lot of time to eat. People mostly picked at the snacks we had.
I loved this party and would recommend it to any parent looking for a stress-free party. Our party host was very responsive throughout the process and was amazing on-site to make sure everything ran smoothly.
Have you planned a birthday party at the airport or another unique venue? I would love to hear about it!