An Outdoor Autumn Party: 60th Birthday Bash and Railroad Retirement

This weekend I had the opportunity to visit family back home and attend a pretty autumn party. My uncle was celebrating his 60th birthday and retirement from the railroad. My aunt is an amazing hostess who always goes that extra inch to make her events special and beautiful. I’m sure my uncle would have a few things to say if he saw that I used “pretty” to describe his birthday/retirement party, but you should also know that there was lots of beer and great food. I’m told it all balances out. 😉

My aunt and uncle live in a beautiful old farm house that they have been restoring and their yard is gorgeous and perfect for outdoor entertaining… especially this time of year. We couldn’t have asked for a more lovely autumn day in Mid-Michigan!

beautiful autumn in pure michigan

fall colors in pure michigan

autumn corn field in pure michigan

beautiful autumn in pure michigan

original vintage farm outhouse

cut logs

adorable vintage chicken coop

My aunt had cute seating vignettes set up all over the yard. Here is a wide shot with just a few of the options. So beautiful.

beautiful seating vignettes all over the yard for conversational out door parties

I love the fall theme that she carried throughout all of the decor.

fall themed outdoor decor

She used extra hay stacks to provide extra seating with a colorful blanket draped over it.

hay stacks with colorful afghans provide extra seating and beautiful decor at an outdoor party

Here are some more of the little details that made the day extra special.  First up are the can koozies which served as party favors. They featured my uncle’s name and retirement date on the front and a fun cheeky saying on the other side. My aunt had these displayed on a beautiful painted dresser next to one of the fun vintage arm chairs that were placed throughout the barn.

party favors displayed on a pretty painted dresser with a comfy vintage arm chair

"You can kiss my caboose goodbye" Railroad retirement party favors

can Koozies as party favors for a railroad retirement party

kiss my caboose goodbye. Can Koozies as party favors for a railroad retirement party

There was also a kid’s station where my aunt made colorful koozies for the younger guests to decorate and personalize with fun stickers. She also had bags of crayons and railroad themed coloring pages for the kids to decorate and hang up on an adorable clothespin line.

Kids Koozies party favors and decorating station

kid's art corner to personalize koozies and color pictures

I didn’t take many pictures of the food because I was too busy eating everything. There were plenty of hot dogs, chili, mac & cheese, pasta salad, and two full tables of desert. I seriously couldn’t move after eating. There was even a coffee and hot cocoa station which I frequented several times. I can’t turn down a good cup of hot chocolate. I did take a few pictures of some of the desert options and the massive cake. My aunt kept the railroad theme going and set up a working train track around the cake! So cute!

yummy deserts

60th birthday and railroad retirement party with a working train running around the cake.

Now that my uncle is retired, my aunt has a long list of things to keep him busy around the house. However, after he finishes “The List” he will need other activities to keep him busy. So, she set up a “bucket list” station where guests could write their suggestions and place them inside. This also served as the gift/card table.

retirement party "bucket list" area. Have guests write down suggestions on how to spend your time. This also serves as the gift/card table

There were lots of activities for kids including corn hole and a kickball field painted on to the grass. One of my cousins even brought in a huge speaker system to supply fun tunes for everyone.

set up outdoor games for kids such as kickball and corn hole

Unfortunately, I did not get any photos with this in action, but my aunt set up a s’more station so that the kiddos didn’t have to get so close to the huge bonfire. She used a glass table top set on top of hay bales to make the kid-friendly table. Then she filled a wooden trough with small stones and sterno cans for roasting.

glass table top on hay bales to make a kid friendly roasting area with sternos at your next outdoor party

One of my favorite details was the vintage chest that my aunt used to store extra blankets for her guests. October is chilly here in Michigan and this party went full swing into the night. She collected cozy blankets for a couple bucks at garage sales and grouped them all together in this pretty display. There is nothing quite like bundling under a comfy blanket with some hot cocoa by the bonfire.

collect comfy blankets at garage sales and display them together in a trunk for guests who get chilly. Outdoor Fall Parties!

outdoor party tip: have some extra blankets for your guests to bundle up next to the bonfire

Whew! And there were so many other things that I didn’t get pictures of because, like I said, I got distracted by ALL the food and visiting with my family. However, this post is already very photo heavy so I hope you don’t mind!

My aunt and uncle are such wonderful and loving people. They are always willing to help anyone without asking for anything in return. It was wonderful to celebrate such a huge milestone with my uncle and I am so happy to share some of my aunt’s lovely work and attention to detail with all of you today. It was such a beautiful day and I am so thankful that I was able to spend time with my family!


2 thoughts on “An Outdoor Autumn Party: 60th Birthday Bash and Railroad Retirement

  1. Pingback: HeartHavenHolidays: Easy Holiday Treats | HeartHavenHome

  2. Was. Looking for the railroad koozies that you have on here for my husbands retirement party, they are purfect! Where could i get them?

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