Ideas for a Chicago baby themed birthday party

To ring in our son’s first year and our survival of 365 days (and many sleep-starved nights) of parenthood, I found inspiration from a cute book called Chicago Baby by Jerome Pohlen. And how does that song go? With (more than) a little help from our friends (and relatives), my husband and I threw a Chicago-centric celebration. Check out our ideas to breeze some Windy City style into your first birthday bash!

Da decor

Playing off of the colors of the Chicago flag with the tablecloths, plates and napkins can give the party a classic look with bright pops of red. If you have a crafty buddy with the golden touch when it comes to all things DIY, recruit her to make a banner. The Spritz party supply line at Target has great options. Use red adhesive paper to add the stars of the flag for a first-class decoration in the Second City.

Pies and dogs

Order some classic Chicago deep-dish from Lou Malnati’s or your favorite pizza joint. As a native Chicagoan, I know these cheesy, gooey pies are serious business, so I will leave that deeply personal choice up to you.

For a playful, homemade route, pay homage to another tried and true Chi-town tradition and set up a hot dog bar.

Photo fun

Know your way around Photoshop? Let your tyke take over the iconic skyline for the invite. Display pictures of your favorite outings around the city. You’ll get extra credit if you really pull it together and print up all of those month photos you took and hang them on your rockin’ flag banner. It’s OK if the seventh and eighth month photos look suspiciously similar.

Gear up

Show some pint-sized pride with a city flag or neighborhood map onesie for your baby. Local Goods Chicago (5422 W. Devon) has some great options. Let guests know that they can feel free to wear Chicago-related stuff, too. A nudge to wear Cubs, Sox, Bears, Hawks and Bulls gear is the best gift you can give to the city sports fanatics in your clan. Bonus points if you win the battle against mommy brain and actually remember to wear something that fits the theme, too.

Smashing munchkins

Before becoming a parent, I had no idea that having your toddler attack a birthday cake was a thing. If your nugget has not had much sugar in the first year, seeing them dig into a smash cake is pretty fun. That Chicago flag blue is a great color for the frosting that will end up smeared just about everywhere.

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