Hiking Party

My daughter is a thrill seeker. No tree too high. No water too rapid. No story too dramatic.  We threw A Hiking Party for her 7th birthday on the level of a “Grand Traverse.”

Our neighborhood provided the backdrop, It’s just one of the perks of living in Duluth, MN and why this city was recently named Best Town 2014 by Outside Magazine.  We set the tone for this adventure we these homemade-invites.

You Are Invited!

You Are Invited!


Mid-October in Northern Minnesota is a crap shoot as far the weather is concerned. It could be sunny and warm or we could have snow.

My philosophy is go with the flow. If you want to be outside, be outside. If  you enjoy the activity and dress for the conditions your guests will too.

We had a rainy cool morning on the day of the party. We stuck to our plan and set off with compasses in hand to the place “where the waters run toward the mighty Gitchie Gummi.”

The Traverse

Our hiking party took us a half mile west to a neighborhood park designed around a river and waterfalls.

A Grand Traverse

A Grand Traverse

Our hikers were armed with clipboards, compasses and field notes. The field notes included a map of the area as well as a scavenger hunt and a place for observations.

The Aid Station

We sent our “Sherpa” AKA Grandma ahead to secure a location and set out our Trail Mix Bar. Our mix included (pretzel) Sticks, Lake Superior Rocks (candy covered chocolates), Rainbow Trout (Goldfish), Brown Bears (Teddy Graham), Berries (Cranberries and Diced Apricots), and Sunflowers Seeds.

Trail Mix at the our 1st "Aid Station"

Trail Mix at the our 1st “Aid Station”

Back at Base Camp another “Sherpa” (A.K.A. Dad) tended our camp fire and the grill.  At the birthday girls request we served hot dogs, carrot sticks and apple slices.

Keep it simple when feeding the masses.

  • Cut and bag your food pre-party. Place bag in serving dish. When it’s time to eat, dump the bag and serve.
  • Carry a cell phone. We phoned Base Camp as we left the Aid Station to let our Sherpa know our ETA.

We served dinner inside 5 minutes of our arrival to Base Camp. An absolute party victory.

Base Camp

It was a crisp evening but the kids didn’t complain. When parents came to pick up their kids, they grabbed the blankets from our wheelbarrow and hung around the fire while the kids toasted marshmallows.

Decorations provided by nature!

Decorations provided by nature!

Plan ahead.We paired down marshmallow sticks ahead of the party and set out the chocolates and graham crackers away from the fire. This kept the s’more assembly moving and kept the kids from crowding the fire.

This was a fun party to host. The kids loved the adventure. The food and decorations were simple. Nature provided the ambiance. The budget… low, low, low.


 Sources & Inspiration

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