Having three children still at home often requires a bit of creativity when it comes to planning outings, shopping trips and, especially, birthday parties. For each child’s birthday a theme is either chosen or requested, and this year it took a little bit of both before a decision was made. Between the two of us, Anna and I chose a cowgirl theme for her 7th birthday party.
Of course if you’re going to have the theme you have to dress the part, and the children were more than thrilled to do so. That excitement reached a new peak when they saw the party location: Big Boot Ranch in Ellenwood, Georgia, which is 30 to 45 minutes south of Atlanta.
When we arrived on the ranch, the children emerged from the van and immediately took off running before I finished my sentence, “You can g…” While I was grabbing the other supplies, I glanced up and witnessed them running full speed, uninhibited with arms waving or pumping to check out the surrounding areas. I took in the surrounding area – as excited as the children to be there – and absorbed the beauty. The music floating through the air, the combination of rustic and landscaped, the pond and all of the surrounding areas felt like home. And what I could see was only a small portion of the more than 15 acres of land owned by Johnny Sturdivant.
Overpowering that sound, a good portion of our three hours there, were the squeals, screams and belly laughs of the 13 children there. They played full tilt at the park, only a few feet away from the pavilion, where they floated on swings; scampered, climbed and ran on and around the wooden play structure and bounced on clouds of plastic.
Shortly after arriving the children had the chance to ride on a guided horse or pony. I thought the children who had ridden horses before would be put off by them being guided, but they were all very excited to make the smooth stroll around an almost track-sized area covered in soft grass and shaded with beautiful trees.
Inside the pavilion, which was cooled by two high-powered fans, we enjoyed vittles from the chuck wagon. Johnny offers a choice of three different meals or you can have your event catered, order pizza from a nearby spot or make use of the provided grill. After everyone had eaten it was time to light the candles and sing Happy Birthday to my little cowgirl.
Before guests began to leave they were treated to a hayride around the property, which must have been a lot of fun because the children sought me out (I’d stayed behind) as soon as they were finished. They exclaimed how much fun it was and how close the wagon came to the water. For me the best part about the party is that Anna had a rootin’, tootin’ good time.