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What toddler boy doesn’t love trains?  This Train themed third birthday party was easily put together, and the costs kept low by shopping around and a lot of DIY.

We’ll give you all the info you need to throw a train party of your own for a low cost!

I designed and printed my own invitations (and they are available fully customized HERE on Etsy), but there are a lot of adorable fill in the blank invitations for great prices out there!

The trick to saving money for ANY themed party is to start planning early. We started three months early by choosing the theme so that I could keep my eyes out for the best deals on what I needed. Big costs come along with last minute planning, because you have to take what you can get, no matter the price. I kept my eyes peeled for train themes items for the goodie bags. I wanted some fun costume pieces, and a train whistle.

We were able to find:

Train Whistle: $1 each in Target’s Dollar Aisle
Bandanas (Red for Boys, Pink for Girls): $1 each at Walmart
Conductor Hats: $2 each in Target Party aisle
Train Stickers: $1 for a book, each child got a page from the book

We splurged for the hats, but that was because it was a last minute purchase. Places like amazon or Oriental Trading Company are great places to find the hats or ANY party items for great prices.

The items were placed into brown paper bags we found at Michaels, with name tags I created tied on with ribbon.

We also used bandanas for decor on tables!

For other decor, we hung a banner I made using scrapbook paper and string

and had some balloons

we also laid duck tape train tracks out in front of our house, along with posting our Train Depot sign (printed onto paper and glued onto a stake) out front.

For activities, I wrapped a few diaper boxes with white butcher paper and made wheels from construction paper for a fun train that we left out with crayons and stickers for the kids to decorate. It was a hit!

We also had a “Maintenance Yard” set up with smocks for the kids to paint wooden trains and coloring pages I made. Each child was able to bring home their works of art!

And last but not least, our final activity was a Pinata! I found it online for $11, and filled it with single serve bags of goldfish, teddy grahams, fruit snacks and raisins. The kids used their goodie bags to collect the “loot”.

For food, we wanted something that my son liked to eat, but was child AND adult friendly because I didn’t want to buy or make tons of different food! One of my son’s favorite things to eat is Grilled Cheese, so rather than make plain ‘ole grilled cheese ahead of time and eat cold grilled cheese, we set up a Grilled Cheese Bar (get all the details, including recipes HERE)!

The cake was homemade, saving us a ton. I may not be the Ace of Cakes, but I sure gave my first cake decorating experience a B+ for effort. I used boxed cake mixes, but added a small box of instant pudding powder for each box of cake mix (my secret to make the most MOIST cake!) and to frost the cake, I used THIS recipe with THIS tutorial.

Overall, it was a great day and all the kids left happy and fed, and my three year old loved his train party.