First, we went to the Farm and Ranch Museum for pony rides. It was a cost effective way to give all the guests a pony ride.
It worked out well because the guests had other animals to see, bleachers to climb, and fences to perch on while waiting for their turn on the ponies.
Then it was back to the house for some more fun. Our friends had a lamb that was a couple of weeks old and she was the star of the party! We also had our thirteen chicks out to be held. They received a lot of love.
We were pretty chill about the games. The kids were taken with the animals so we didn't pressure them into playing the games in an organized fashion.
The biggest hit was panning for gold. We filled the wagon with sand and buried pennies throughout the sand (you could also use fool's gold or chocolate coins). The kids used a sieve to find the pennies in the sand. Several of the kids stayed at the wagon for quite some time. I project those kids are going to be future business owners!
We also had barrels set up to mimic barrel racing and let the kids ride their hobby horse around the course. This works best for kids who are at least five. The younger kids had a great time having a "race" on two rocking horses.
Along the sidewalk, we scattered bugs and snakes which made perfect targets for the water guns. We used this big snake for a game of "toss the snake in the boot" but not many of the kids wanted to touch the slimy snake (this one came from the dollar store and expanded in water).
We also had a hula hoop to "lasso" the rocking horse and some cowboy cuffs for the kids to decorate. To make a cowboy cuff, you fold a brown, paper sack in half and staple the top underneath the bottom flap. Then you cut the bottom section into tassels. Other games you could play might be a kid's game of horse shoes and "toss the biscuit into the pan."
The best way to decorate for a cowgirl party is to use a bunch of denim, cow print, and bandanna material.
The "loot" bags had a plastic horse, a sheriff's badge, and some gold, chocolate coins in them. The kids also took home their water gun and a few plastic bugs and snakes (hopefully not for hiding in their moms' beds). We turned our puppet stage into a bank.
I grabbed an old pair of pants from the Goodwill pile and they made perfect signs. Here are some of the food signs as well as a couple of other signs for the house. We also had "bug juice" aka lemonade (you could also use "prickly pear juice") and "rootin tootin beans."
The horse stable housed the rocking horses and the hobby horse when they were not needed.
And really, you can't have a cowgirl party without WANTED posters!
We kept the food super simple. Hot dogs are always sure to please at a kid's party!
The "campfire s'mores" are just jumbo marshmallows dipped in semi-sweet chocolate and then pressed into crushed graham crackers. Easy, peasy and even my husband liked them.
We needed a pair of boots so we could have a cake for each girl. My husband cut the boots out freehand and I did my best to decorate them. They could definitely be improved upon by someone who was more skilled with frosting!
I wish we had gotten around to making a sign saying "C & A's Dude Ranch" or something similar. You could use black shoe polish on an old sheet or some butcher paper to create a sign to hang over your front door. We had a blast with this party. Hopefully these ideas will help you plan your own rocking cowboy or cowgirl party! Good luck y'all!