Start Your Engines! Inside the Cars-Themed Birthday Bash for Ashley Jones' Son and Stepson
Ashley Jones tells PEOPLE that her "biggest dilemma" in planning the boys' joint birthday party was the fact that "they are four years apart" in age
The festivities were held at Little Knights LA in Los Angeles, where guests and their little ones — including Kaley Cuoco; Ali Fedotowksy-Manno with son Riley Doran, 1, and daughter Molly Sullivan, 3 next month; Amy Davidson and son Lennox Sawyer, 3; and Scott Clifton and son Ford Robert, 3 — enjoyed a day of active fun.
“Both of our boys are obsessed with all things race cars,” The Bold and the Beautiful star, 42, tells PEOPLE of the theme. “Hayden is especially into [Lightning] McQueen, which is quite fitting because his dad works for Disney.”
“My biggest dilemma was planning a joint party,” Jones admits. “It’s tricky because the boys’ birthdays are close together, but they are four years apart. This seemed like a good year to try and do that now that Hayden is bigger. However, I needed a theme and location that worked for both of them and their friends. I found Little Knights LA and loved all that they had to offer.”
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The kids had a blast on the sunny day, taking rides in mini cars and on bikes, bouncing in the bounce house, playing in the sand, petting animals, busting open a car-shaped piñata that was chock full of candy and mini cars, climbing on various outdoor play equipment and much more.
Between activities, guest noshed on a full barbecue lunch spread from Stonefire Grill that boasted tri-tip steak, lemon chicken, chicken salad, macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers and breadsticks.
Sips were provided by LaCroix, which was the center of a “Bubble Bar” where attendees could garnish their Lemon, Tangerine and Key Lime sparkling water with assorted fruit.
“We did a decent amount of pre-planning,” Jones tells PEOPLE of the successful event. “The night before, Joel and I were up late making a pseudo balloon arch to transport to Little Knights LA. We had a few balloon casualties, but all in all, it served its purpose.”
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Polkatots Cupcakes provided the colorful sweets making up the impressive (and delicious!) dessert table, which featured cupcakes, rice-crispy treats and a two-tier cake.
The intricately decorated confectionery centerpiece — which read “Happy Birthday Huck & Hayden” — sported red and yellow frosting on the top layer with a black-and-white checkerboard-patterned bottom layer, complete with multiple tiny matching flags and fittingly topped with a Lightning McQueen car.
“I was thrilled with the cake and treats from Polkatots Cupcakes,” Jones raves to PEOPLE of the sugary creations. “She nailed the race-car theme!”
Each child went home with their own car-themed labels and tags from Mabel’s Labels, affixed to goody bags including a Hot Wheels blanket from Blankie Tails, ModFamily paint pens and Squeasy Gear bottles. As Jones says, “It’ll really help parents get ready for summer camp and school next year.”
Jones and Henricks didn’t pull off the fête without a little help from their friends. As The Young and the Restless alum recalls to PEOPLE, a couple of her pals helped set up “all the tablecloths, piñata, food, balloon arch, table décor, etc.” — for which she was “so grateful.”
“I told them we didn’t really need help, but I’m not sure what I would have done without them,” she says. “To anyone else having a location party, make sure you have a friend come help you do all the setup and cleanup. It’s hard to do and watch your kids at the same time!”
And as a result, Jones “truly couldn’t have asked for a better day. Huck and Hayden had a magical time,” she says. “Even the weather cooperated — it has been rainy in L.A. so often, we had to have a backup plan.”