Today, I was thinking about where we were last year at this time. My oldest daughter was poised on the edge of 6, I’d been laid off for three months, and had more time to devote to party planning than ever before.
And let me tell you, I love to plan parties.
We decided on Alice in Wonderland. Who doesn’t love a Mad Hatter Tea?
I researched on www.birthdaypartyideas.com for some great Alice ideas… and wow. Who knew that site even existed? It’s not a glamorous online destination, mind you. No fancy pictures. Nothing but excited pounding out of parent ideas gone gonzo-crazy with frosting induced enthusiasm. And therapy, because Praise God! there are moms even more nuts than I out there. Yes! I had proof. I was allowed to go nuts and recreate wonderland in my whole house… and thanks to my friend and prop master for our local theater company, that’s exactly what we did. All for about the same cost as the bouncy house I’d planned. Or there-abouts.
At any rate, while wringing my hands today about the current 7 year old Rapunzel Tangled Party bash — do I have enough of this? what if I did that instead… — I bopped back to BirthdayPartyIdeas.com to see what they had to say. There is a definite lack of Tangled parties over there, which I assume will be remedied SOON.
Lo and behold, I discovered that our little Alice in Wonderland 6 year old bash got an honorable mention on the Birthday Party Ideas site!
Here’s what we did…
I had planned on throwing a simple, cupcake bouncy party for my daughter’s 6th birthday until I found this site. After perusing the Alice ideas and discussing the Mad Hatter Tea with several friends, I became obsessed with throwing the best Alice in Wonderland party ever!
A friend informed me the local theater company had Alice in Wonderland props stored in the warehouse, so a call to the prop master, and we were able to borrow several enormous Manzanita branches, arms full of greenery, and some marvelous Prop pieces! A LARGER THAN LIFE TEACUP, neon painted mushrooms, This Way/ That Way signs, and some adorable CARD Soldiers!
If you have a jig saw, use it! Otherwise, Poster Board totally works…
That set the bar high, and off to wonderland I went, designing a tour through the entire house that kids and adults would enjoy! We traced sidewalk chalk RABBIT FOOTPRINTS up the walk to the front door, where you were greeted by a CARD SOLDIER and the LARGER THAN LIFE TEACUP (big enough to stand in).
Once inside, I unrolled yards of butcher paper and painted a Rabbit Hole” for everyone to enter. If you looked up we suspended Doll House chairs from the pendant light for added depth perception.
From the entry we placed branches to make a wonderland forest – using manzanita branches where we perched my daughter’s Cheshire cat and stuffed caterpillar. At the dollar store I found arm fulls of smiling felted flowers in yellow orange blue and purple – which we set in vases all around the house. Those decorations also became gifts upon departure so served dual purpose!
I found a few wood cut out PINK FLAMINGOS at JoAnne’s on sale for spring which I perched in the grass. I also found half priced white roses which I dipped a few in red paint and stuck in moss covered floral foam. Those adorned the backyard for a hint of the “Croquet Game and Painting the Roses Red!”
FINALLY my daughter opened her gifts in a “MAD HATTER CHAIR” also borrowed from the prop warehouse an elaborate bright purple and striped and whimsically wrapped with bows.
ACTIVITIES A friend helped with a Mad Hatter craft where we folded paper grocery bags and covered the tops with fabric. A craft station was set up in the kitchen where each child could glue sequins stickers feathers and draw on their hats which they wore for the rest of the party. We “hired” a neighbor-teenage girl to play “Alice who painted faces, applied whimsical flower and animal tattoos, and made each child feel VERY special with her undivided attention.
COSTUMES My daughter wore a blue Alice” themed dress I wore a white shiny coat a neighbor girl wore her Red Rose Queen costume and my youngest dressed as the White Rabbit – and was charged with a POCKET WATCH! My hubby wore the obligatory MAD HATTER HAT.
PARTY SNACKS Another friend donated “Card Suit” shaped frosted cookies — cut out in spades clubs diamonds and hearts – frosted in red and black! gorgeous and tasty! We played Alice in Wonderland on the big screen volume down until it drew an audience. In the back yard the obligatory pinata was followed by a pizza party and cupcakes inside.
We enlarged a picture of a GRIN-FREE CHESHIRE CAT for a game of “Pin The Grin” on the Cheshire Cat — And also HID TWO tiny WHITE RABBITS around the house/yard — whoever discovered them received a special prize!
At the end of the party each child was gifted with an “UN-BIRTHDAY GIFT” (a pack of playing cards and tiny bubble container – wrapped in a gift bag tied with ribbon. All in all, a great party!
They each took home one of the flowers and an EDIBLE TEACUP — constructed from the top half of an ice cream cone glued with cake frosting to a vanilla cookie sandwich with half a gummy ring “handle”. Each cup was filled with gummy rings and smarty rolls.
It was crazy fun.
It was not on budget. This year, I swear I’ll do better. I promise. Tomorrow, I’ll review my spreadsheet for budgeting and see where we are.