Our son turned 4 on Halloween and we celebrated the occasion with a dinosaur birthday party.
Brunch is a great option for a kids birthday party. We invited 3 to 6 year old kids and their families, which included many younger siblings. Brunch allowed us to start at 10 am, and be done at 1 pm, just in time for afternoon naps. Brunch is also a good option because baked goods, eggs, and chicken salad can be made inexpensively, be made a day ahead, and provide a great variety for even the pickiest eater.
The meal needed to:
- accommodate both kids and adults, including a few picky eaters…
- be completely nut-free to accommodate a peanut and tree nut allergy
- include some dairy-free options
- be plentiful and filling enough to feed a crowd of 14 kids and 20 adults
- be able to be prepared a day ahead, with minimal prep time
- be easy to set out and finish up the morning of the party
Our dinosaur birthday brunch & dessert included the following foods and beverages – bold items are described in further detail below.
Dinosaur Birthday Party Brunch & Dessert that will Please Both Kids and Parents
- 4 Varieties of Muffins
- 3 Different Egg Frittatas
- Chicken Salad and rolls
- Dinosaur Juice-Jello Jigglers
- White Cheddar Pirates Booty
- Veggies and Dip (cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots sliced thinly, and cherry tomatoes)
- Grapes (because there were NO watermelons at 3 stores! Otherwise we were going to make a dino-head from the rhine like this one – sad it didn’t work out)
- Dinosaur Dig Jars and Gummy Dinosaurs
- Brownies and rice crispy treats
- Mini Apple Juice boxes
- Sparkling Water
- Ice Water
- Orange Juice
- Dinosaur Ice Cubes
We made Cinnamon Streusel, Lemon poppy-seed, Blueberry and Chocolate Chip Muffins. Even though these could have been made ahead, we made them the morning of the party. It took under an hour using 2 ovens, and made our house smell delicious as guests arrived. Looking back, this was too many muffins; next time, for a group this size, I’d just make 3 flavors (skip the Lemon poppy-seed – the only flavor hardly eaten).
Egg Frittatas – Spinach & Sausage, Ham & Cheese, and Plain egg
Egg frittatas are inexpensive, simple, healthy, and look great on a platter. You can mix and match fillings to your liking. These can be cooked a day ahead; just cool, wrap with foil and store in the fridge. Reheat in the oven at 350 F for 15-25 minutes, or until warmed through.The recipe recommends to serve at warm or room temperature, so they’ll still taste great even if they’re not piping hot when eaten.
Overall, these fritattas were liked by both kids and adults. Ham & Cheese was the clear favorite and was gone long before the others.
- Spinach and Sausage Frittata: substituted spinach for arugula, omitted the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and substituted rice milk for dairy milk to make it dairy free
- Ham and Cheese Frittata: substituted 8 oz ham for sausage, and added 1 cup cheddar cheese (omitted sausage, arugula and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese)
- Plain Frittata: omitted the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, sausage and arugula.
Chicken salad is a go-to recipe for me when hosting brunch and lunch. It is easy to prepare, can be made the day before (just wait to add the apple until the day-of), and can be eaten alone or on a roll as a sandwich. Using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise creates a great healthy option. Kids and adults will enjoy the fruit and veggies that make every bite a little different.
This salad was prepared using the meat from 2 fully cooked rotisserie chickens (from Costco – they’re huge!), 1 cup dried tart cherries or crasins, 1 chopped large apple (I used honey crisp), 2 diced stalks of celery, 2 chopped green onions (green only), 1/4 tsp dill weed, salt & pepper to taste, mayonnaise or plain greek yogurt to desired consistency, and a drizzle of honey, to taste. If you want it just a little sweeter, add some chopped grapes just before serving.
Dinosaur Juice Jigglers
What child doesn’t love jello, especially when dinosaur shaped? When made with 100% juice, they’re a pretty great option for parents too. Two flavors of juice gelatin (100% White Grape Juice and Apple Cider) were made and cut out with T-Rex and Triceratops cookie cutters. In hindsight, I wish I’d used something with a brighter color so they looked a little more fun. Just buy plain Gelatin and follow the package instructions.
Dinosaur Dig Jars and Gummy Dinosaurs
I’m not much of a baker and it can be a challenge sometimes to find a cake that is nut-free, so I was really excited to see the idea for these Dino-Dig Jars on Two Prince Blog. We filled our cups with chocolate pudding, crushed O cookies, and put two Hairbo Gummy Dinosaurs (nut free if you buy the factory-sealed bag) on top. This no-hassle, nut-free dessert was a hit with the kids. We also set out the gummy dinosaur candy, brownies and rice crispy treats for parents and kids who didn’t want a dig-jar.
Tip: The only problem with this dessert was when my son went to blow out his candle, the Oreo cookie ‘dust’ blew back into his face and all over the table. May want to mix the cookies into your child’s cup if doing candles so they don’t blow cookie crumbs into their eyes.
Dinosaur Ice Cubes
I found this idea for dinosaur ice cubes on Pinterest. I found these tiny dinosaurs in the Dollar Spot at Target (20/bag-a STEAL compared to other stores), washed them, and made a set of 12 cubes for the party. These dinosaurs floated when water was added to the tin, so ice cubes were made by filling each tin half-way, freezing, then adding water and freezing again so the dinosaurs were mostly encased in ice.
Clear cups with lids and colored straws were provided so the kids could see their dinosaur melt from the ice during the party.
Our dinosaur party brunch was delicious, and required minimal effort the day of the party. The food was enjoyed by toddlers, preschoolers and parents. Here are a few more pictures of everything the day of the party.
Check out the dinosaur birthday party decorations and favors in these posts: