Back in November, it was Harlow’s 7th birthday and I finally have the time to write about her party. She got to celebrate for a full week, mind you, (family party on her actual birthday and friend party a week later), thanks to the fact that I didn’t secure her party venue in a timely manner. This worked out great for Harlow! You can read how she spent her actual birthday here.

For her birthday party… there were pandas. There were doughnuts. There were panda doughnuts. Yep, that’s right. We celebrated with a panda doughnut baking party at Freshmade NYC. Let me just say that having a kid with weird obsessions makes it very easy to plan events and buy gifts.

The party room/kitchen at Fresh Made is bright and cheerful, can fit a large group and has little need for decorating. We just told them what color balloons and plates/napkins we wanted and we were good to go. Harlow wore an iridescent sequin dress and brand new black high heels, that she picked out herself. I think it’s safe to say that we are firmly in #thebigkidyears now. She also brought her new panda doughnut purse that Ruth got her for her birthday, which is the perfect purse for a panda doughnut baking party. Obviously.

At Fresh Made, there is a super long table for the kids, which was prepped with colorful mixing bowls and utensils so that everyone could be very hands-on. They split the kids into groups so that everyone could take turns mixing and stirring their own batch of doughnut batter. Group baking is a bit of a challenge, but the staff did a great job of keeping the kids on track and making sure everyone got to participate.

Harlow got to showed off her professional egg cracking skills and even got into a big of a competition with Luke (son of @LittleMissParty) who said that he was also a pro at cracking eggs. “Yeah, but I have a baking show!” Harlow said. “I have a baking show too!” Luke countered. These things are both true. Luke bakes on his mom’s instagram just like Harlow.

Harlow can crack an egg in her sleep, but when it comes to piping bag skills? That’s another story. She is not nearly as confident in that department. I’m sure this is an insecurity that plagues seven-year-olds nationwide. With a little help from a grown-up, Harlow got the piping bag to work.

Next up was the hardest part of the entire panda doughnut making process— twisting open an Oreo and scraping off the middle. The twisting part is a challenge because you don’t want to break the cookie. But the bigger challenge is using the filling as an ingredient and not eating it immediately. There was lots of groaning, but ultimately, the kids did what needed to be done.

The doughnuts had to hit the oven at this point, so the kids moved on to a craft while they waited. A panda craft, of course.

Everyone decorated panda masks which was followed by a panda fashion show, complete with runway music and runway poses.

I wish I could show you video. The fashion show ended with a group photo of the cutest panda bakers in Manhattan. Probably the cutest panda bakers anywhere— there’s probably not a ton of competition.

When the doughnuts were ready, the kids got to frost them with the Oreo filling and turn their scraped off Oreo cookies into panda ears. How cute is that!

Well, that was what they were supposed to look like. The kids’ versions came out slightly different, but Mike and I weren’t about to give any constructive feedback on the accuracy of the facial features like we did with the panda cake. You are welcome, Fresh Made!

Before anyone could eat their semi-panda-esque doughnuts, they had to eat something semi-healthy. You know what that means— PIZZA!

Then we ended the party with Harlow’s incredibly life-like panda cake, made by my friend Cara. You can read all about how that cake came to be here.

Thankfully, the cake didn’t just have a perfectly proportioned panda snout, it was also delicious.

The party was a huge success and everyone had a great time. Yes, I know Neve looks incredibly pissed off in the photo above, but I assure you, she is not representative of the rest of the party.

Look, even the big kids are smiling!

My favorite part was watching Harlow be herself amongst all her friends. She is such a smart, quirky, special girl and I love seeing kids her age appreciate her personality as much as I do.

When we got home, we opened all the gifts. I think 95% of them were panda themed. Oddly enough, there are so many panda themed items being sold tight now that there was not one repeat. I’m not going to show you everything she got, but this is how Harlow looked at the end of the night.

I’m glad Harlow got to celebrate her birthday in true Harlow style.