Wild Thing Jungle Party -16yr- Amazing Zoo Local!
Sue in Chincoteague, VA, USA
My daughters really likes animals and different cultures, so it was no surprise that she chose a jungle theme for her sweet 16. She had saved up quite a bit of money for her party, so I wanted to give her a special one that she would remember forever. Together we brainstormed a list of ideas for an ultimate party: live animals, exotic dancers, snakes, palm trees, vines, an ice cream bar, a grand enterance (like on elephants), and lots of decorations. she said that if she could have just one thing she would pick the animals, so I began to consider the options. We could rent exotic animals, but that would be expensive and not quite what she wanted. Also, most of the venues we looked at didn't allow animals. So, I decided to have the party at the zoo.
The people there were more than willing to give us an after hours rate. We would get to party near the large cats (tigers, leopards) and would have plenty of space to set up a large tent. Also, one of the trainers would bring out some native African animals (like snakes and monkeys) to show to the guests. It was perfect! Animals and a venue all in one!
Now we could send out the invitations. We made olive green miniature suticases as envelopes. We traced the design of a suitcase on a piece of paper, then stacked two pieces of paper together to cut it out. The two pieces were glued together to make an envelope. They were plastered with some stickers advertising countries around the world, along with a sticker with the partygoers address on it. Inside was a passport" that said: Are you ready to party with the wild thing at her jungle sweet 16? along with all the info. a spritz of tropical scent body spray completed the invitations.
With the invitations out it was time ot start some serious party planning. The zoo has many independent vendors that sell their food on the walkways of the zoo so I managed to get an italian ice man to come to the party. We was going to mix 5 of his 20-plus flavors for the big night: pineapple mango coconut banana and cherry. It wasn't ice cream like my daughter wanted but I knew tahht she would enjoy the ice just the same.
Also i needed to rent a tent. I got one large enought to eat under and a smaller one that would be the dance floor. These were very expensive but would fit all the guests. Then I went to a party suppply store and got tables and chairs that looked like they were made from bamboo. I got enough for all 150 guests. For the centerpieces my daughter and I made palm trees with plastic palm fronds and fake bananas from Michaels. These looked rather stunning in tall thin vases surrounded by tealight candles. Full sets of plates were also rented to give the atmosphere a classy finish.
The tables were covered with white table cloths to contrast with the lush green surrounding of the zoo. paper lanterns were bought to hangs from the tents rafters. Vines were also hungs from the rafters like streamers. The samller tent had a table for the DJ and and a space for the animals the zoo was providing. I had covered all of the things on my daughters list except for two: the grand enterance and the dancers. Since elephants were out of the picture I hired 6 college students.
They would wear indian style outfits (like jeannie's outfit on I Dream Of Jeannie)and four of them would carry my daughter in on a table thing with handles while the other two would dance. They were surprisingly enthusiastic about my plans. They created a dance involving palm fronds and created the whole grand entrance procetion. after that they would serve the guests cocktails and non- alcoholic drinks. They named their own price of $25 each not including the outfit.
For food besides the ice my filipeno neighbor helped me make some of her native cuisine along with american favorites like burgers. I made a cake myself. It had a monkey on it and was 3 tiers.
For favors i got tropical body mist and put it in bottles that said : Lara's Jungle Mist. Also we got some custom made M and Ms.
On the day of the party my daughter wore a gold chiffon grecian dress. Her eyes were done up to look like cat eyes and there was a few small lepard spots painted on her cheekbone.
She had a lot of fun at her party and the guests did too. All in all we went a little bit over budget however the party was so fun that none of us cared. I hope you enjoy your jungle party as much as we did. "