Dress up the table for young Thanksgiving guests

It’s a detail usually overlooked in the Thanksgiving planning process — creating a special place for the children to sit down to their turkey and trimmings. We asked four local event planners — the pros at Shenanigans Weddings & Events, Sarabeth Events, Details & Designs Event Production and Abbie O. Events — to create their ideal kids’ table. The ideas they offered were not just cute and charming but so practical as ways to keep children happy and having fun that some of the adults may ask to be seated there, too.

Turning a New Leaf

Combining their love of fall with their desire to bring the outdoors inside, Regan Haggerty of Fort Worth-based Details & Designs Event Production and Abbie Oswalt of Abbie O. Events took a cue from nature for their table. It’s peppered with fun details like paper leaves, acorns and owl candy holders for what Haggerty described as a “woodlandlike” theme. Oswalt said their main objective was to find a way to help children understand the meaning of Thanksgiving and why they are celebrating the holiday. For this, Haggerty and Oswalt chose to incorporate paper leaves on which children could write what they are thankful for. When asked what their favorite part of their table design was, they quickly agreed: “The owls,” both creators said.

Get the look

Burlap linen, Grand Events & Party Rental; Mason jar and owl candy holder supplies, Michaels; Sip-Sip Hooray paper straws, Inscriptions On The Boulevard; Juliska Berry and Thread dinner plate, Vietri elm leaf glass plate, Juliska clear glass vases, P.S. The Letter; calligraphy/handwriting, Kathleen Ink Calligraphy; paper leaves, table runner, chalkboard place mats, Mardel Christian Bookstore; candy corn and peanut mix, Central Market.

A Season for Giving

When Kristen Knight of Shenanigans Weddings & Events in Grapevine began planning her table design, she decided to draw inspiration from a familiar place: her own life. Pulling double duty as a mom and as an event planner, Knight said she knew she wanted the table to be practical, personal and kid-friendly. With help from her assistant Deana Sabey, Knight focused on creating layers that would help keep the kids occupied throughout the course of the meal. Among these layers are personalized plates, fun place mats and a chalkboard table runner on which kids can draw. “It’s fun. It’s doable,” Knight said. Even better than that, the table’s design concept is reusable, she added. Her advice to those in the throes of planning their own Thanksgiving get-togethers? The most important thing is to remember who is coming to your event, she said. Like, of course, the kiddos!

Get the look

Personalized plates, Dragonfly Dreams; place mats, chalkboard paper table runner, Hester & Cook Design Group Inc.; ribbon, linen, decor items, Susan Gage Designs; candy and sodas, Hey Sugar Candy Store; small apothecary jars, Pottery Barn.

A New Take on Tradition

As Sarabeth Quattlebaum of Keller-based Sarabeth Events set out to design her table, she knew immediately that she wanted to keep things traditional. With the help of assistant Rachel Burrow, Quattlebaum aimed to create a place that was classic and simple with a few hidden touches. Among those hidden touches: an adorable pilgrim’s hat that pulls double duty as holiday decor and a holder for crayons (great for all that post-meal coloring). Quattlebaum also found ways to sneak in bits of her own personality. “I often say that I have a palate of a 4-year-old,” she said, referring to her taste for all things sweet. It’s no surprise, then, to find that she incorporated glass jars of candy corn, chocolate candies, cookies and scrumptious candy apple place cards.

Get the look

The designer used her own dishware and glassware. For instructions to make the pilgrim’s hat and candy apple place cards, visit