Our Kentucky Derby Weekend in Chicago (Bonus: My Kentucky Derby Party Planning Tips)

This weekend we had a grand old Kentucky Derby party. We're the hosting types - always coming up with a reason to throw a party. This weekend it was to celebrate Mint Juleps and big hats - er - I mean, the Kentucky Derby!

We had some family and friends over to barbeque, cocktail, and watch the races. That was the intent anyway. The kids were the real stars. Jax and his darling friend went park hopping and Jax had a good time pretending like he was riding a horse while watching the race. He loved it. The whole race he was calling out, "Neigh! Neigh!" and riding a fake horse (his aunt's lap). Don't believe the terrible twos hype. The closer he gets to two, the funnier he gets.

Anyway, if you are interested in throwing a Kentucky Derby style party, here are my tips!

1. Have a dress code: Have some fun with it and encourage family and friends to dress in their finest track-wear and hats. I wish I could have gotten Jax to wear anything other than his Elmo shirt.  Here are some hats I recommend for your next Derby party, trip to the track, or formal event.

1.  Yellow Kentucky Derby Hat | 2.  Black and White Handmade Kentucky Derby/Formal Hat | 3. If you aren't into hats, how about this beautiful formal headband? | 4.  For the husbands, this sexy bowler hat.

2. Good cocktails are a must: We made three different types of Mint Juleps: classic, blueberry, and ginger. Here are the recipes.

3.  Get the right décor:  Make the space pretty with Derby-appropriate décor.

1.  Kentucky Derby themed confetti for the table tops (bonus: it's only $7.50!) | 2.  Beer bow ties | 3.  Kentucky Derby Lollipops | 4.  Kentucky Derby candles for the tables.  Tablescaping is key when having a party.

None of these items are expensive.  I don't believe in pricey party décor.  BUT, they make a huge impact when throwing a party!

Do you have any tips on creating a fun themed party?


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