Ideas for 60th birthday on farm

Anna264May 18, 2007

I am hosting a party for my parents' 60th birthdays (they are a week apart) in June on my farm. It will be very casual, for maybe 30-40 people. I'll provide sodas, beer, hot dogs, burgers, the basics, with potluck sides.

I need clever ideas!

It will be outside, and I plan to rent tables and chairs. I was trying to think of some clever things to do, but I think I'm coming up short. I have a white pony, and I was thinking of writing "Happy 60th!" on her with washable paint, and decorating her with ribbons and bows and such. She can graze in the yard and be a living ornament. She'll also be providing pony rides for the kids. I also have pygmy goats, and I was trying to think of a way to incorporate them... betting on them for goat races or something, but I can't think of anything more precise.

Basically I figure I'd like to use the unique aspects of the farm to add fun to the party. Any ideas would be appreciated!

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These are some of the things I like to do when we have the family down.

Cover the outdoor tables with quilts, or unfinished quilt tops. (If you don't sew, unfinished quilt tops can be picked up inexpensively; use them for a tablecloth in the summer at your party, and later, you can have them finished as quilts/comforters to give at Christmas.) I use wildflowers or whatever is blooming in the yard for informal arrangements in mason jars, and galvanized washtubs with ice to hold drinks, also fruits like apples for snacks, or watermelon. Bushel baskets are also good to have on hand; put pots of blooimg flowers in them for decor, or set one on the table to corral packages of buns.

As far as entertainment, I've found that if the kids are amused, the adults will have a wonderful time as well, even if they don't get out and engage in the planned activities.
Goat races sound like fun! Have plenty of helpers; someone can hold them at the starting gate and someone to make sure they get caught at the finish line. have some neutral area set aside for the races; you don't want any of the contestents bolting and taking out the buffet. VBG

We raise dairy goats and sheep, and for the most part, either one in the yard is a huge No No. I've found it takes about 60 seconds for a goat or sheep get away from someone, rush over and strip all the flowers off some prized shrub (ACK!!), not to mention that some ornamental plants might be poisonious. I have a bowl of apple, orange, and banana peels handy for people to feed them over the fence as a treat, which people thinkis interesting. If we have any bottle babies, they can come in the yard briefly to amuse small children, but once they've eaten, been duly petted and admired, and maybe had their picture made with the guests, they go back out where they can stay out of trouble.

If you raise chickens, I've found that children are fascinated by collecting eggs. Have extra egg cartons on hand so they can take "their" eggs home, and, if you expect very many kids, you might want to have extra eggs that you can sneak out to the hen house so everyone can "find" at least a half dozen. You might find that some of the older guests will want to tag along, just because it reminds them of when they were young and had to collect eggs as part of their daily chores. (have extra eggs for them too)

You could have egg relay races; divide everyone into teams and give each one a spoon. Each team gets one raw egg they are supposed to hand carry in the spoon to destination X, then turn around and take back to the team, successfully hand off to the next person. Have extra eggs available for this too, as it would be a shame for one team to have to drop out if they break an egg. ;^)

We have a pond, so one or two of the adults usually volunteers to take the kids fishing. Perfect for creating those Happy Family Memories, even if they don't catch anything. If you don't have fish, give them clean plastic peanut butter jars and let them look for frogs and tadpoles. (to be released back into the pond) and if you don't have a pond at all, send them out to hunt grasshoppers. (to be disposed of at the chicken house)

Even a plain old nature walk is a neat idea; make your "trail" wander in and out of as many different kinds of terrain as you have; woods, field, around the pond, through the goat pen, explore the barn. The point is, it's all a different world from what most people know.

Homemade ice cream to go with the birthday cake. The anticipation is the best part, especially if it's a hand cranked and all the kids can take a turn at "cooking".

Oh, and don't forget to set aside an area for photos with the most picturesque, unobstructed view on your place. Remember, most people can get a photo of themselves standing next to a house or garage at home; you have wide open spaces for a background. Set a bench with a couple of baskets of flowers around that. Make sure there isn't distracting with telephone poles, overhead wires, or branches close enough to look like they're growing out of someone's head in thepicture. If you have a really nice barn, set people up far enough in front that you can see the barn in the background off to one side, without giving them the "mug shot" look of being posed against a blank wall. If possible, keep it not too far from where the pony or goats will be, as some people might one or both in the picture. Throughout the day, get each family group together to pose for a picture. (Also a nice gift later)

Hope these give you some ideas, good luck with the party. :^)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 8:48AM
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My mom recently had her 70th birthday and I had a few of her girlfriends over for lunch. I had them play "Pin theTail on the Donkey"

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 3:32PM
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I did my husband's retirement party on the farm. The invitation was sent with an airplane (woodish texture). I got a gross of them at oriental trading post for like $10.00. There were instructions in the invitation to decorate their airplane and be prepared to race it. Old and young alike got so competive! The planes were decorated to the hilt. We broke the guests into 'like' groups and all ages were screaming with delight. The other thing I did was to call the local square dance club and they entertained the party, gave lessons and in general had a wonderful time. They asked for $25.00 and for dinner. The best least expensive entertainment I have ever had for a party.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 6:02PM
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Auntnete, Wonderful ideas! Announcing the airplane contest pre-party was genius. I can imagine how much fun that must have been for the guests designing *their* airplane; not to mention the anticipation leading up to the party. :^)

The Square Dancing is also brilliant; perfect for a farm theme. What a clever hostess!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 7:46PM
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Horse shoe pitching.

Have a big pile of sand brought in with toy trucks and shovels for the kids. (Trust me, you'll never have to worry about them wandering off or bothering LOVE dirt) Plus, they won't be in your house terrorizing the cat.

Lawn chairs and a box fan (for flies and heat) and cool beverages and all will be wonderful.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 5:57PM
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