Our little boy turned two last weekend and we celebrated with a train party in Melbourne.
Alex has loved trains, planes and cars since he was 6-months-old, so not long after he turned one we decided that his second birthday would be a train party.
The birthday boy absolutely loved his party and I am so excited to share all the details from Alex’s special day.
We held the party at the Diamond Valley Railway, which is a vintage miniature railway located in Eltham Lower Park. It is a 30-minute drive from Melbourne CBD, but it is SO worth the trip! I highly recommend the venue to anyone in Melbourne looking for a birthday party venue - the kids at our party ranged in ages from two months to 10 years and all loved the railway and park.
We had our own train booked from 11am for half an hour. Each ride takes 15 minutes and takes 35 passengers so this meant that the birthday boy and many of his friends could take two trips around the park.
We set up the picnic and dessert table on the new adventure playground that is adjacent to the railway. There were six other parties set up at the same time as Alex’s party, so my advice to anyone hosting a party at the park would be to get there early to grab a spot! It is an extremely popular party spot, even more so on Sundays as it is the only day of the week that the railway is open.
Astrid from Paper Playground in Sydney created the most amazing invitation suite and paperie set for the party.
I decided to go with a blue and red colour scheme as Alex’s favourite train is, of course, Thomas!
Alex’s all-time favourite Thomas book is one where Thomas visits the Circus, so I decided to add a touch of ‘carnival’; red and white balloons, popcorn, ice-cream cake pops and bunting. Plus with the party being held at a vintage railway, I wanted to incorporate some vintage train travel elements, so old-school train tickets, luggage suitcases and lawn games.
The invitation suite that Astrid created was absolutely divine and included a train ticket invitation, a circle cover and train shaped itinerary.
Astrid also created luggage tag style thank-you tags for the party favours, juice labels, ticket style toppers for the cups of popcorn, a gorgeous circle bunting, ‘Eat Me’ labels for the picnic snack boxes, and two signs – one for ‘Baggage Claim’ and one for ‘Lawn Games’.
When Alex’s party guests arrived we had the picnic all set up ready to be enjoyed. I also had a ‘Lawn Games’ station with quiots, hula hoops, skipping ropes and bowling pins, everything a two-year-old boy enjoys.
After the kids had a play and snack we wandered over to the train station and hopped onto our cute yellow train.
Following the train rides it was time for birthday cake, sweets and a play on the adventure playground.
Savoury Party Food
The party was held from 10am-12pm so we served morning tea. I served the little ones their snacks in small kraft boxes from Style Party Love. Although the boxes were tiny, they each fit two sandwich squares, carrot sticks, crackers and cheese. I also served little cups of popcorn (Alex’s absolute favourite food!).
For the big kids I served an assortment of quiches and chicken sandwiches.
Sweet Party Food
The dessert table featured jars of fresh berries, Rocky Road, ‘Gumball’ marshmallow pops and a ‘Gumball’ Slice.
(The 'gumballs' were actually chocolate balls from The Little Big Company, but I loved that they looked like gumballs as it is added to the carnival feel of the day. I used my Smartie Slice recipe and then just swapped the Smarties for the chocolate balls. You can also find my Rocky Road recipe here.)
I also served ice-cream cake pops from Burnt Butter Cakes in Richmond and number 2 and train gingerbread cookies from Helen at Petite Cookies in Balwyn. The ice-cream pops were displayed in Sweet Sticks cake pop stands which I hired from Burnt Butter Cakes, and I set up the train cookies on Alex’s wooden train track. Both Burnt Butter Cakes and Petite Cookies did such a beatufiul job matching their desserts to the party theme.
I ordered three bunches of white, red and baby blue helium balloons from Boutique Balloons Melbourne, which were handed out to guests at the end of the party. I used Alex’s favourite trains – Thomas, James and Percy – as weights for the bunches of balloons on the picnic rug, and some of the little ones enjoyed taking the trains + balloons for a ‘ride’ around the park.
Boutique Balloons also created three stunning bubble balloons with train garlands and these were placed on the dessert table.
I bought two 8-inch chocolate flourless cakes from Illy’s in Malvern which were layered and iced with chocolate ganache and I decorated them with chocolate balls, a train cookie topper and a mini bunting topper which I made with some of the leftover bunting paper from Paper Playground.
The Party Favours
Every train party needs a ‘Baggage Claim’ for party favours! I framed the baggage claim sign from Paper Playground and placed this inside our picnic basket with the party favour boxes and the kids enjoyed collecting these at the end of the party.
The party favours were striped cupcake boxes and treat boxes from The Little Big Company, with luggage style thank you tags made by Paper Playground. The treat boxes were filled with a wooden train whistle, bubbles and the birthday boy's favourite sweet treats.
Alexander had the most amazing time at this party and I am so grateful to all our friends and family who came out to celebrate with us, and to all the fabulous suppliers for helping to make it a day we will never forget! Xx