Little Red Riding Hood Woodland Picnic Party

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Does it feel like fall where you live yet?  It's still awfully hot here in Phoenix, but we escaped to the mountains for some cooler weather this past weekend--and a fun Little Red Riding Hood picnic with friends!

There's nothing better than a picnic in the woods on a beautiful fall day! 

I loved fairy tales when I was little.  Still do, truth be told!  And the ones I liked best were always dark, and scary, and gruesome.  I liked Disney movies too, to be sure, but I never preferred those sweet stories to the more ominous versions in my well-worn copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales.

So the fact that a storm was brewing on the day of our picnic seemed pretty perfect, as far as I was concerned!  

We had lunches in individual baskets (left over from buying peaches at the orchard this summer), lined with Ikea dishtowels that I embroidered with various motifs from the Little Red Riding Hood story. 

My grandmother always had embroidered dishcloths--did yours, too?  I still even have and use a few old embroidered dishcloths.  I haven't done a whole lot of needlework in my life, but one of the earliest projects I remember doing was embroidering a kitten playing with a ball of yarn on a dishcloth for my grandma.  It definitely brought back a lot of fond memories to make these special dish towels for the party.

We definitely had mroe food than we needed for our small group of picnickers, but that's part of the fun of a party, for me.  

Muffins and bread (just like Little Red Riding Hood took to grandma's house)

Mini muffins in a basket made out of sugar cookies and icing, and edible granola bowls full of berries, too.

My volume of collected fairy tales was a thick book with gilded page edges (I always thought it was so fancy and fabulous), so I decided to turn Hershey's nuggets into miniature fairy tale books, opened to our particular woodland tale.

I love food that's both delicious and adorable!

Like my chocolate and marshmallow toadstools, and my woodland creature sugar cookies.

I also LOVE costumes and creative play!   The wolf tail wags quite amusingly when you shake your hips back and forth, we found out.  

Evidently our adorable wolf is a vegetarian.  Mmmm, chocolate mushrooms.

Uh oh, the wolf is trying to steal the basket of goodies!  Niamh was deep into her character and wasn't about to let that happen.

Kids don't need a whole lot of games to keep them happy at a party.  The more experience I have, the fewer structured activities I plan.  For our Little Red Riding Hood party, we just had lunch, and then the kids naturally started play acting the story and then had a blast finding interesting sticks and pine cones and acorn caps. (Our baskets came in handy after lunch!)

The whole party came in under $50, and while our party was just designed as a small event for four, but could be scaled up very inexpensively (for far less than $10 per guest--we had a lot of extra food!).  I'll have tutorials for everything you need to make a Little Red Riding Hood party like this yourself coming up in the next couple weeks, from the treats to the costumes to carbonating your own sparkling apple cider.  

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?  Not us!  Yum.

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido