Our twin son and daughter turned one-year-old this past week and we celebrated with a simple wild-animal-themed birthday party at home. We invited a few friends, created a simple (but delicious) taco bar, and whipped up a pitcher of sangria.

I’m a big believer in celebrating milestones but also don’t want to spend a ton of money or go too overboard. Yes, it’s a first birthday party, but every item does not need to be “Pinterest-worthy.” I also believe if you’re going to invite people over for a party, you should spoil them a little. So I set a budget ($400) and go to work. Here’s how we created a fun (and affordable) first birthday party.

Our budget

$400 Budget

  • Wild Animal Party Decor: $50
  • Wild Animal Party Favors for Kids: $50
  • Taco Bar: $150
  • White Wine Sangria: $50
  • Cakes and Cookies: $100 (but we also had to purchase two cakes, so this may be a little pricier than most!)

Safari Animal Birthday Party Decor

I’ve really been trying to limit my big box store purchases, when possible. So I love that I was able to find almost everything from small businesses and for a very affordable price.

Party Decor Links

Mini Party Hats for Animals ($16) // Safari Party Balloon Garland ($18) // Safari Animal Print Dessert Napkins ($6.50)

Party Outfits for Our Family

I didn’t include our outfits in the overall budget, because we can wear them year-round. But here’s what I did purchase so we’d all have some fun “wild animal party attire” to wear!

Safari Animal Embroidered T-Shirt ($30) // Zebra Bummies for the Babies ($20) // Green Patterned Bummies for the Babies ($20) // 2-piece Cotten Set Denim blue/leopard print ($20 on sale) // Party Animal Block Font Kid T-Shirt ($14.00) // Party Animal Since 1984 Adult Tshirt ($21)

Wild Animal Birthday Party Favors for Kids

In order to stick to our budget, I had to purchase bulk items from Amazon and Oriental Trading Company but I still loved being able to send everyone home with a full belly, some yummy drinks, and some party favors they can enjoy.

Reusable Canvas Travel Bag 20 Pack ($18) // 12 DIY Magnifying Glasses ($5.19) // 12 DIY Unfinished Wood Wigggly Snakes ($15) // 12 Kid’s Animal Print Sunglasses ($8.29) // 24 Jungle Mini Spiral Notebooks ($7.99) // 24 Boxes of 4-Color Fall Crayons ($6.79)

Taco Bar Party Food

In the past I’ve asked people to bring a sidedish (instead of a gift) with them, and then I make a large main dish, like my favorite vegan chili. This time I wanted to control more of the food, due to Covid. We created a simple taco bar to celebrate our wild-animal birthday party. This is an amazing (and super afordable) way to feed a large group of people. And it’s quick and easy to prepare. AND it can be friendly for almost any diet. Vegetarian, gluten free, etc! You can read more about how we prepared and setup our Taco Bar HERE.

Make Grocery Shopping Easy!

Shop my Taco Bar Party Grocery List and quickly add everything to your cart.

White Wine Sangria

If there’s a party, drinks are a must in my mind. We have a kegerator that has a keg of beer in it and that was available for everyone. We also made a large pitcher of this white wine sangria that is so tasty without being overly sweet. It’s very affordable and almost everything can be prepped ahead of time (which is very necessary in my mind).

Make it a great party

With this super easy and delicious sangria recipe!

Safari Animal Birthday Party Cake and Cookies

We are so lucky to have Pink Baking Co here in Wilmington, North Carolina. They do the best job creating gorgeous cakes and desserts for any event. They’ve made the desserts for every event our family has had. I cannot recommend them enough if you’re hosting an event in Wilmington, North Carolina!

Want to see other parties we’ve thrown?

I love to celebrate and try my best to keep it simple – I’m excited to share my ideas and planning with you!

Having a Birthday Party of Your Own?

My advice for any host is to select three “must-haves” and focus on those. Don’t stress much about the rest. I wanted yummy food, good drinks, and party favors for the youngest guests. I didn’t spend excess time fretting about anything else.

Are you hosting your own wild-animal party? I would love to see what you do! Please tag me on social media @appleslices.llc so I can check it out!

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