Thursday, November 3, 2016

Train Birthday: Burke Lake Park

We don't always have big birthday parties for the boys, but we have tended to go all out for one pre-school birthday party.  For Elijah, that meant this year when he turned 4 (since he'll turn 5 two weeks into kindergarten).

As evidenced by his Halloween costume last year, the fact that one of his first words was "caboose" and his constant requests over the summer to visit the train station, my four year old is and has always been a complete train fanatic.  With that in mind, I planned a sweet little party for him at one of the nice regional parks in our area, a county over in Fairfax.  Burke Lake Park (click here for more info) is famous in my circles around here for the great running/fitness trail that circles the lake, and the fact that it has a miniature train.  One very similar to the one at the Fort Wayne Zoo where I grew up.  It only runs during the week through the summer, so we planned an early party before school started and while the train was still running.

I basically rounded up every train item in our house, and we headed to the park.  Elijah handed each guest a train engineer hat to wear when they arrived.  I basically set up several stations, in case the main attraction-our huge set of engines and wooden tracks-got busy.  I had a whole table full of train books, a train tattoo station, and do-a-dots art station. But the kids all played beautiful with the tracks for the longest time. 

Eli's old costume made for a fun photo op:

Next up, the main event was the train ride itself.  As one of the last days in the season, it was pretty busy and we ended up having to wait in line for a while, but the kids had fun on the playground while I held our spot.

Luckily, the wait made us right in the front of the line and Elijah was able to pick the very front seat for his ride.

 After the ride, we finally ate some snacks and enjoyed cupcakes.  Train cupcakes of course.

 I love Eli's face in this picture.  He was almost a little bashful as his friends were singing to him.  It was absolutely adorable.

We ended the party with a carousel ride.  Elijah and Zack picked the stationary seats on the ride... they may have regretted it half way through.

We sent the hopefully tired out guests home with train whistles of their very own, and of course, as Elijah is made of sugar, some hugs.
It was seriously the sweetest party ever, and I was glad to bless Eli with this.  I just wish I'd taken more photos!  Oh, which reminds me that we also had a photo display.  The little boys enjoyed looking at all the trains Eli has visited over the years.  So many trains...

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