Christmas Sock Parties!

Now that we are starting to mingle with friends again (thanks to the amazing people that develop vaccines!) here is an innovative party idea. Similar to an ugly Christmas sweater party, may I present (drumroll please) the Christmas sock party!

Merry Christmas and ‘Fleece’ Navidad! Yes indeed, sweaters are out, and socks are in. I LOVE Christmas socks! Fluffy ones, patterned ones, ones with pom-poms on them, ones with jingle bells, ones with funny faces. So let’s get Sockin’ around the Christmas Tree!

There are three concepts you can go with, when planning your Christmas Sock Party.

1) Similar to a Cookie Exchange Party – Everyone brings a couple pair of socks and each person is able to go home with some new socks picked from the table filled with Socks, Socks, Socks, Socks!

2) Similar to an Ugly Sweater Party – Guests come in wearing the most outrageous socks they can find and there is a contest and a prize for the best socks. You can designate sock categories for additional prizes (IE Most Comfy, Most Tacky, Most Festive, etc.)

3) Similar to a Gift Exchange Party (Secret Santa) – Your friends bring a pair of socks filled with a small gift. The socks are picked by each person per their number drawn from a hat. As they select a pair, they reveal the gift. The next person can choose a new pair or steal from a previous recipient.

Whichever plan you pick, incorporate some games for the night. Here are some ideas…

1) DESIGN A SOCK – Have crayons, markers and paper available for the guests. Set a timer and see who can design the best sock!

2) MATCH THE PAIR – Gather a basket of unfolded socks (they don’t have to be Christmas socks, in fact similar color and patterned socks make this more challenging – also make sure you throw in some unmatched socks) Have guests get into partners. Set a timer and see how many pairs of socks they can match.

3) SOCK STUFF – You will need old socks, a spoon and sand (cheap cat litter will do). Allow each person 60 seconds to fill a sock up with as much sand as they can. The heaviest will win a prize.

4) SOCK THROW – This game needs to be played outside. Fill a thick sock with coins and tie off. Give each guest a try at throwing the sock. The person who throws it the farthest wins!

You must have food that matches your theme, right? A Christmas cookie cutout can come to your rescue. You can make sugar cookies or pizza dough (for individual pizzas) into a sock shape. How about Fruit by the Foot (get it, ha-ha) or arrange a vege tray to look like a Christmas sock. You can find plastic cowboy or santa boot cups (looks close enough to a sock for me!) and fill them with popcorn, peanuts, Christmas colored M & M’s, Caramel Corn or any smaller sized treats.

When it comes to decorations, you will need to get creative. I have seen little commercially made, other than Christmas Stockings. Grab some twine or ribbon and make a garland with paper sock cutouts along and Christmas tree cutouts. You can also make garlands by incorporating Christmas sock components, like puffs balls, jingle bells, ribbon bows, Christmas plush animals, reindeer ears and Santa hats. You can attach the items to a colorful string of lights for even more fun. Make a large sock from poster board or brown paper wrap to hang on the front door, welcoming guests to your Christmas Sock Hop!

And speaking of Sock Hop, it brings to mind theme music. Maybe a 50’s theme playlist will be prefect for your party. If that is just too much for your ears to handle, pick Christmas music that suits you. Whatever you do, have fun and have a Wonderful Holiday! I thank you for a year of following my blog. It has been a tough one for all of us!

Covid-19 Event & Party Guide

Covid-19 Party Collage

It’s graduation season, wedding season – and Father’s Day is coming up. And birthdays keep coming—last week I supplied balloons for a birthday “parade”. They all drove past the kid’s house honking their horns. I’m sure the neighbors were thrilled… actually they probably were. Anything to break up the monotony.

You can still have that bachelorette party – and all your other events, and they don’t have to be boring. You are your biggest hurdle – think creatively! Try to think about ways people can still have fun at a social distance. And put in place some important safety measures. Here are some ideas.

I would first start by not thinking of it as a pandemic celebration – that feels so anti-celebratory! You’re creating a celebration, a gathering, or an event that happens to be during our “temporary new normal”.

In-person events are going to be a challenge, but can be achieved. As the host I know you have the right intentions, but haven’t been prepared for the attendees’ mindset around coming together in person. You need to realize that the attendance may be much lower than you anticipate, because your guests might not be prepared to gather in person, after being separated for so long. Lack of attendance is not a personal reflection on you, just a normal human reaction. Perhaps you should consider a hybrid event between live and streaming?

Keeping guests down to a smaller group is the first thing that must be followed. When setting up tables and chairs for your friends and family lessen the settings per table. A 60” round table or an 8ft. banquet table usually seats 8 people per. Spread the chairs apart to seat a maximum of 4 to 6. If you want to place 8 chairs at a table, fill a few seats with large stuffed animal friends to bring some joy to the process. If placing only chairs around the party area make sure they are 4ft to 6ft apart. If someone wants to get closer it is on them to move. You have done your due diligence. Make sure all the tables and chairs have been sanitized properly before guests arrive. Rigorous cleaning of the other areas of your home or venue should be done too. Wipe down with appropriate disinfectant agents. Remember door knobs, hand rails, bathrooms and counters. When setting your tables supply hand sanitizer on each table and perhaps some baby wipes.

For the health of yourself and your attendees conduct temperature screenings as they arrive. You can purchase a no touch forehead thermal thermometer for around $30. Individuals with temperatures higher than 100 F should be gently asked to leave. Make face masks available for everyone, if they feel unwell. Implement a “No Hand-Shake” policy at your party. Use fist bumps, “ebola” elbow bumps, virtual hugs, air waves and hellos, and other mechanisms to replace the handshake during the crisis. You can supply people with small pom-poms for hello waves. Wash all hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after any eating, blowing of the nose, coughing, sneezing, and using the bathroom.

Safety measures for food preparation can be difficult. It is suggested if you have a buffet setting that you need to have splash guards and sneeze guards. Since this isn’t something readily available in a home environment you might think about getting individual box lunches/meals delivered or pick them up. You can do this on your own by wrapping sandwiches and placing salads in inexpensive plastic containers. Cookies and other snacks can be purchased in individually wrapped packages. You can also buy individually wrapped plastic cutlery at Walmart or a restaurant supply. Drinks can be served by the can or bottle. Make sure you place hand sanitation devises near the meal station. Some folks may not have been able to get into the bathroom to wash their hands. Just try to be on the safe side.

Setting up an area to carry on a Virtual Party for the people who could not attend will help include everyone. The right chat platform will be different for different groups. I like Zoom because it’s user friendly and it’s easy to send invitations to anyone. The drawback to Zoom, though, is that the free version will only allow for a 40-minute group meeting. Google Hangouts, Facebook, and Skype are all viable options, and there are many more. Choose whichever platform your family and friends are most familiar with or like best. Be sure to give your virtual people instruction on how to use the service you choose, especially the older folks.

Designate one of the younger “geekyer” family members to monitor the Virtual station. They can give the networked guests a blow by blow description of what is going on. They can guide everyone at your event to make sure they stop and visit the electronic invitees. Decorate the Virtual area with balloons and streamers to make it stand out. You can also hook up to a flat screen television to make a bigger impact.

I trust these ideas will help you begin to get back to a place where we can all be together again! “And Party!”

Spring Equinox Celebration

Spring Equinox Party

The spring equinox, or Ostara, is also called the vernal equinox and has long been celebrated as a time of renewal, rebirth, and new beginnings. The exact date and time of the spring vernal equinox changes slightly each year and marks the first astronomical day of spring in the Gregorian calendar. The word equinox is derived from Latin. It means “equal night.” On the day that the sun passes over the equator, the length of day and night are said to be approximately equal. This means that there will be approximately 12 daylight hours and 12 hours of darkness on both the spring vernal equinox and the autumnal equinox.

The spring equinox is an awesome reason to celebrate with friends and family. Try getting everyone together (aside from Easter) to enjoy the change of season. Celebrating outside is the optimum way to enjoy Spring. But, since next week the forecast is rain, you can bring the festivities inside or under a covered patio. You can plan on a day party or late afternoon into evening party. If it is clear enough it is fun to have the party flow into the evening to view the night sky and stars. You can have a constellation naming contest. If weather permits consider a bonfire. It is always fun to sit around the fire and tell stories, sing or make smores.

Since you are celebrating the beginning of the Spring Season make sure you display lots of jars or vases of flowers from your local Florist or Grocer. You can decorate walls with cutout flowers and birds. Make them yourself or buy pre-made cutouts from a party store. Balloons in beautiful spring colors can be tied to chairs or bundled and weighted down around the party area. Decorate a Spring Nature table. These tables are used for placing natural items that reflect the season. It is meant to be explored and used as a nature study. Ask your guests to bring something to add to the display. Allow them to share the story behind the items they give. The benefit of hosting this party is that you can keep the nature table intact. If you have children you can study the table and the children can add things they discover outside. Playing with nature tables provides a rich sensory experience for the developing child. See more about nature tables here https://rhythmsofplay.com/spring-nature-table/

Serve fresh food reminiscent of Springs bounty. Fresh fruit skewers made of strawberries, kiwi, pineapple and grapes. Green salad with lots of cut cucumbers, shaved asparagus. Radishes, cherry tomatoes and the like.  Deviled eggs and local fresh baked breads. Fire up the grill – even if it a little chilly outside and make up grilled chicken and vegetables. End the evening with fun delicious macarons decorated like chicks. Here is a great video on how to make them! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7j9jCuHzvw

Since the spring equinox celebrates a time new beginnings a fun activity is to have everyone make a list of new things they want to do. Share them with each other. You might find other people that would like to share the same experience with you. Or you might find someone that can help you achieve the new skill. An example is that you want to learn the piano and someone in the group knows how to play and would love to help you with that dream. Another activity, if you are so inclined (for the mess it makes!), would be for everyone to get their fingers in paint and get creative. Children and adults alike will enjoy this. Set up a table with plenty of paper or canvases, finger paints, paper towels and paper plates to use as palettes.  Make sure you cover the table with newspaper or a plastic table cover. Let your guests make paintings of all things related to spring. You can find a ton of ideas here https://rhythmsofplay.com/the-best-fingerprint-and-thumbprint-art-ideas-for-kids/  Finally send home all your party goers with a small flower, vegetable or herb plant that they can plant themselves. Make sure you print out some simple instructions in case the little pot goes home with a novice farmer.

Happy Spring!

 

Plan a Game Night Party

There really isn’t anything more fun than introducing your kids to classic games that you loved when you were a child or getting together your adult friends to indulge in your guilty pleasure!  I don’t know about you but a classic game of Monopoly, Scrabble. Twister, Parcheesi, Candyland or Sorry are more fun and engaging than everyone sitting on the couch focused on their phones, not communicating and self-absorbed.  Who knows, planning a game night with friends and/or family might start a trend of talking and laughing with each other regularly! Here are some ideas to get you started on this new adventure!

Greet your guests with a fun “Move ahead 12 Spaces” sign, laying down directional squares (like a game board) made from colored napkins or construction paper, and brightly colored balloons. As your friends enter the party area, make sure your food table hits them in the face with the fun theme. Make a backdrop from air filled round foil balloons in different colors. Tape them together to resemble a twister game mat. Attach to your wall with Command strips. If you don’t have the budget for balloons use colored paper plates.  Pile up games as risers for glass containers or bowls filled with brightly colored candy. Wrap water bottles with candy dots; add a homemade Monopoly inspired “Water Works” sign. If you are serving sparkling drinks serve them in candy rimmed glasses. To do this dip the rim of each wineglass in melted white chocolate and then press into a saucer filled with confetti sprinkles. Use scrabble tile food signs next to your food’s trays. Serve simple foods that can be taken to game tables and eaten casually during the evening or day (based on the timeline of your event).  Popcorn is an awesome choice, make Domino inspired popcorn bags using white bags and colored card stock. You can find instructions here https://www.hwtm.com/2015/12/game-on-5-easy-creative-ideas-for-game-night/ Make crispy treats, cookies or a cake and decorate with M & M’s. The bright colors and circle design mimic so many board games. Some other heartier food items that tend to be mess free are Miniature Corn Dogs, Miniature Pizza’s, Hero Sandwiches, Taco Dip and Chips, Cheese and Crackers, Pigs in a Blanket or Chicken Fingers.

Making decorations for your game theme party may need a trip to a thrift store. You can make garlands from Uno Cards or Monopoly money. So, not to steal from the game you are using to play with, take a trip to a second hand store and buy up any games you can find to tear apart and use for decorations! Tape game cards on helium balloon ribbons, hang from the ceiling and use as place cards or invitations! Use Poker Chips or gold Coins to scatter on tables like confetti. Fill flower vases with poker chips and place flower stems inside. Wrap paper cups and cutlery packages with playing cards. You can hang game boards from the wall behind game tables or beverage stations.

Create several game stations. Set up games in various corners of the room. Using 3ft or 4ft card tables and chairs (4 at each table) is a perfect setup. If you don’t own these, consider renting them. Divide guests into groups of 4 and let them start a game circle. Set a timer for a specific time (15-30 minutes) and let the fun begin. When the timer rings, guests move to the next station noting who was the winner at each station. After everyone has played all the tables the best 4 people will have a playoff. The champ gets a prize, like a special edition of Monopoly.

Everyone walks away a winner when you reveal the biggest surprise of the party: secret prizes hidden behind the balloons (or paper plates) at the buffet! As you setup your twister backdrop, tape scratch off lottery tickets on the back of each balloon or plate. Then at the end of the party ask each guest to pick one for their prize!

I hope you try this fun party and find you have created new bonds with friends and family! My family always plays board games on holidays but after writing this blog post I think we need to get together more often! God bless!

Jungle/Safari Parties for Young & Old!

Jungle-Safari Party

A jungle themed party is fun for a wide range of age groups. Safari/Jungle themes can be used for Juvenile Birthdays, Older Children, Adult Parties, Baby Showers and even a Wedding Shower theme (Tropical Destination Weddings). You can find a wide range of decorations for any of these age groups. Crossover to a tropical theme can make this party idea more grown up.

Decorating your house, garden, or rented space for a jungle party is great fun. You can always buy jungle party decorations but a little imagination and some clever use of materials, balloons and decorations will really set the jungle scene. The good news is that jungle colors can be any colors really, as long as you include lots of green. An archway of green, red, orange, yellow, blue and brown balloons would be a great way for guests to enter the ‘jungle’, and how about attaching some strips of soft green and brown material that will hang down like vines, making them feel like they really are headed into the undergrowth. I love the Balloon Columns & Centerpieces (pictured) placed around the party area and on tables.

You could present each guest with a map and a passport so that they feel like real explorers. Or alternatively, you could give them animal masks, which you can pick up pretty cheaply from most party shops, so you can get them all monkeying around in the jungle.

Cover your chairs and walls in green material, and hang green streamers from the ceiling like crawling vines to make your party space look really wild and untamed. And if you don’t mind a bit of extra mess, you could even scatter some leaves about that you’ve collected from your garden. Stick some google eyes to the green cloth to make it seem as if there are lots of animals peeping out through the trees. There are lots of jungle backdrops available today so you can use those along with green plastic tablecovers, leaves and house plants to create your jungle. Using stuffed animals or cardboard cutouts of safari animals go a long way to make people feel like they are in the wild.

You can convert most common party games into a Jungle theme. Things like Charades, Pin the Tail, Backyard Tag and Scavenger Hunts take on a Safari theme easily. Crafts can range from decorating your own Safari/Pith hat to Making your own Animal Masks. Face painting is always a favorite for kids, you can paint on the animals faces. For older party goers consider pasting an animal name on each guest back as they enter. The game is for them to guess what animal they are by asking only “yes” or “no” questions to others to gain clues.

Food for a juvenile party may consist of Animal Crackers, Unshelled Peanuts, Gummy Worms, Bugs on a Log (Celery with peanut butter and raisins) or Animal-striped Pizzas (you can be very creative with this one by making your own pizzas using alternates of white, yellow and orange cheese strips to look like animal print. You can also add toppings in alternates, like a row of olives in a diagonal, then a row of cheese, another row of olives, etc. for tasty animal stripes). Feeding older crowds can include a specific cuisine. You can decide what jungle you may be re-creating and choose the cuisine to match. The ten most amazing jungles are in Borneo (Indonesian), the Brazilian Amazon, India the Jungles of Kipling, Sri Lanka (Indian Ocean), West Africa, New Guinea, Australian Christmas Island, New Zealand, Peru and Costa Rica. As you can see you have a wide range of foods you can choose from.

Whatever direction you decide to go just make sure your get your “ROAR” on and enjoy!

Teen Parties Volume II

Teen Parties Vol II

In this second post for teen parties I have uncluded two amazing events that your teen will love! The first party, and the most relaxed and easy to do is a “Bon Fire Party”.  Few things can beat the pleasure of a night out with friends, music, and a bonfire. It is also easy to set up outdoors rather than frantically cleaning every corner of the house. It’ll be a great idea during winters.

What you need:

Small chairs, sitting mats or hay bales, Bluetooth speakers or a guitar (optional), fairy lights, small candles. If you don’t have a fire pit already in your backyard there are many available at hardware and home stores.

What you can do:

  • Decorate the place with candles, fairy lights, small cushions, chairs or hay bales, and sitting mats.
  • If your teen’s friends love playing musical instruments, ask them to bring them. Maybe, they can all tune in together for a warm party.
  • Keep the s’mores, roasted marshmallows, cake, pizza and refreshing drinks ready.

The next party is a bit more challenging but if your child’s friends are fans of Cosplay this party will be something talked about for a long time. Here are some ideas for an “Anime Cosplay Party”. The term “cosplay” is a contraction of the words “costume” and “play” and simply means, “the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genre of manga and anime.” If this group of friends have a particular game, comic book or movie they favor, make the party a single underlying theme: Examples: Dungeons & Dragons, The Avengers, My Hero Academia, Overwatch or Super Smash Brothers.

Decorations can be character specific or general. Decorate with Comic Book character posters, bright colored balloons, bright colored streamers, bright table covers for tables and wall décor and bright paper lanterns and tissue decorations. Incorporate Anime cutouts into centerpieces and table décor. Make sure you have an area that the guests can get together for photos. This is a must at every Anime Convention, so it will be at the party as well! Put anime in photo frames. Go to a craft store or dollar store and purchase a dozen or so photo frames. If you have photo frames around the house, you can use those instead and put the original photos back in them after the party. Print out some great anime screenshots or images that will fit in the frames. Place them around the party area.

For games you can play charades, karaoke and maybe twister. Pick up a character pinata, every age kid loves candy after all! Maybe you want to play anime video games or trivia. You could also do a twist on Pictionary by playing an anime-based version. Another idea is to play card games, such as Beyblade or Yu-Gi-Oh! card games. Glow in the Dark items can be a great activity for this type of party too. Conventions usually have Glow Parties after the day’s events. Set out bowls of Glow Sticks, Glow Necklaces and Bracelets for guests to use when they want. Prepare music playlists. Find anime songs online. Make some playlists that will last about as long as you think the party might run. Set up speakers or plan to stream the music from a Smart TV with an internet connection. Consider playing anime on TV or DVD. You can play it with the sound low or off if you don’t want it to compete with the music. If you have a projector you can use with a DVD player or computer, you can project anime onto the wall. You may want to watch some classic anime shows like Yu Yu Hakusho, Pokémon or Dragon Ball Z.

If you’re planning to have a large party, it might be easier to order food than make it. Find Japanese restaurants in local directories online or in the yellow pages. Ideas for main dishes include teriyaki meat or salmon, and stir fry with chicken or beef, noodles, vegetables, and toasted sesame seed sauce. Some examples of appetizers or side dishes are sushi, fried rice, soup, clams steamed in butter, and fried shrimp with dipping sauces. There are various Japanese-themed drinks you can serve at your party. Some examples are green tea, cherry blossom tea, soy milk, and Japanese sodas from a local Asian grocer. Use cake decorating supplies to draw anime faces or characters on mocha, cookies, donuts or cake pops. Make or buy cupcake picks of different characters for use on a cake or cupcakes. Enjoy your teen!

 

Tween/Teen Party Ideas

😜 Teens tend to be difficult to entertain. Because they are growing up the classic children’s party is way to “square” or “boring” to them. Teens love lively and happening birthday parties. But throwing the perfect party for a teen is no easy task. You need to plan and organize carefully to the satisfaction of your child. Your teen’s happy face at the end of the day will make all worth it. Here are of couple trending ideas for those hard to please Tween-Teens.

Bring in some social media into your savvy teen’s birthday party. It surely will be the most exciting and stylish birthday party of the year! Enter the “Instagram Theme Party”! You can purchase customized social media selfie frames on Amazon. This one prop will be the center of attention the entire night. Make sure you add plenty of photo props like funky glasses, hats, feather boas, 3D noses, fake teeth, banners and moustaches. Use shimmer curtains, balloons or a favorite fabric for the backdrop in the photo area.

There is actually a fun set of hashtag and camera balloons, plates and napkins available from Havercamp Products. Print out Instagram icons and place on the table and/or walls to decorate. Use a Black and White check table cover found in the car racing section of your local party store. String pennant banners, homemade or purchased, behind the cake/food table and pin photos of all the guests to them. Check with a local bakery to see if they can make Instagram Cookies or try yourself, baking them from sugar cookie dough and icing.

Since creative crafts are always a favorite, supply each guest with an old white dress shirt (the thrift store will have plenty). Set out markers, glitter pens and like. Let the teens create works of art on each other’s shirts. This will be a great souvenir and awesome photos for Instagram!

Another cool party that has a lot of product available to purchase is an “Emoji Theme Party”. What better way to share those radical teen emotions than with fun emojis? This event is a whole lotta yellow and happy. If you don’t want to go to the expense of printed plates and napkins just stock up on every yellow (and Black) thing in the solid colored party aisle. Decorate with an assortment of Emoji Foil Balloons and Smiley Face Latex Balloons. Make arrangements for around the room and on tables. Hang Yellow and Black tissue fans on the wall in back of the food/cake table. Add a huge OMG in black letters cut from construction paper. Bake Emoji cookies using a sugar cookie recipe and frosting.

Create a Photo Booth with a yellow background using plastic table covers. Have the kids make Emoji faces on yellow paper plates and tape to the wall. This activity not only makes a great backdrop but includes the teens in a creative craft. Set out plenty of paints, glitter, buttons, string and the like so they can really get into it! Set out Emoji Photo Props for the kids to use in their Selfies. Have bowls filled with an assortment of Emoji toys for the youths to tinker with. Oriental Trading Company has a bunch of fun items like Balls, Clappers, Squishies, Dice and Wind-ups.

Fix your own food parties that involve each guest preparing his/her own meal are always a hit. Have ingredients for mini pizzas with toppings to create faces. Supply yellow or black aprons for each party-goer or, if your budget allows, emoji aprons found on many websites.

Fun Camp Out Party

Camp Out Party

Any scout can tell you what makes the great outdoors so great – the cool accommodations! At this party the action is centered around a large tent set up in the yard. It can be organized as a sleepover or just an afternoon/evening event. Now that fall is upon us, evening temperatures are not sweltering and more pleasant for this type of celebration.

Of course, the main décor item for this theme is the TENT, but you can spiff up the inside with crepe streamers and tie helium filled balloons on the fence surrounding your back yard. If there is a tree near the tent site, consider colorful pennant banners tied from the tree to the tent. A large Happy Birthday banner can be hung across the face of the tent. Tissue balls and party lights can be hung in all the trees surrounding the area. Make a fun “Camp *******” sign to stake in the grass. Make up animal tracks and place on the ground to guide guests to certain areas of the party. Set out tin cups with each camper’s name written in permanent marker at each place setting along with compasses, flashlights and/or binoculars. Use red gingham table covers or lumberjack designs.

Party activities can be classic camp games like one legged race game, nature scavenger hunt or flashlight tag. Having a real campfire is a plus. If you don’t have the capacity for a pit in your back yard use a hibachi or rent/buy an inexpensive fire pit. You can sit around the fire and tell spooky stories, sing songs or play an interesting I spy game. What could be better for kids than classic camp out crafts. Decorate t-shirts, make keychains and make popsicle stick picture frames. Designate an area for taking pictures. Purchase a Camp Out theme photo prop set along with fun hats, jackets, backpacks, lanterns and other camping props.

The highlight of the evening can be an outdoor Movie. Reclaim the spirit of old Drive-in theaters, it will be a unique experience for little ones. Borrow or buy an inexpensive projector (maybe on Craig’s List) and use a bed sheet for the screen. Have fun snacks like popcorn, smores and trail mix. The main meal can consist of Hot Dogs and Hamburgers, cook over the fire or on a barbeque. Bake up a Camp theme cake or cupcakes. Have fun and enjoy the outdoors!

Circus Theme Carnival/Party

A Carnival can be for a family Birthday Party, a School/Church Carnival or Neighborhood Get-together. A Circus Theme is favorite of mine. So colorful and entertaining. Try some of these ideas in your planning.

Balloons, Concessions and games all make a Circus/Carnival theme fun for everyone.

A “must” is hiring (or if a friend is able) a Clown to make Balloon Animals and other creations for the kiddos. If you have some children that are afraid of clowns many professionals offer friendly clowns. Some of these companies can offer Face Painting as well, which is a much-loved activity. Otherwise, you can have some of the older kids set up their own booth. You can see a tutorial on what you need to “do it yourself” here: https://www.howcast.com/videos/418834-how-to-set-up-a-face-painting-booth

Some games you might want to set up are a Bean Bag Throw and a Circus Shootout. For the bean bag throw, make a target out of plywood or foamcore. Paint the board with a circus related design and cut out holes large enough for the beanbags to go through. Each player gets to throw three beanbags at the target. You can make a shootout game by setting out ping pong balls decorated like clowns or circus animals on top of weighted 2-liter pop bottles. The player must shoot the ball off the bottle using a water or nerf gun. If you want to offer prizes for the game booths you can choose instant prizes that all the players win for participating or organize a Redemption system, where players earn tickets or punches on a card that they can redeem for larger prizes.

If you have the budget Petting Zoos and/or Pony Rides are an outstanding and memorable experience for party-goers. If you are lucky you may have a willing horse and/or animal owner in your group of friends that might volunteer. If not and you do not have the budget to hire, how about creating a petting zoo with stuffed animals? Find or borrow animals found in the circus – Lions, Elephants, Monkeys, Horses, Tigers, Giraffes, Zebras, Llamas, Birds, Bears, Sea Lions, Cats and Dogs. Surround the stuffed animals with a plastic fence, add some hay bales for effect and the kids will love it!

Food choices for this party scream Concession Machines. You can find Popcorn Machines, Cotton Candy Machines and Sno Cone Machines available for rental at your local Party Rental Company. Add Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Peanuts, Candy Apples and Cup Cakes and everyone will get their fill of  “Junk Food”!

And last but not least, Balloons! What Circus/Carnival would be without them. If the budget allows, hire a balloon decorator for Balloons Arches, Centerpieces and special Circus Theme Décor. Helium and Air-filled designs are perfect and the overall impact will make an event to remember. Be sure to add colorful plastic table-covers or linens to the tables and use Streamers, Pennant Banners and Paper Decorations throughout the areas for a color overload! Enjoy and come back to see our next post! We’ll surprise you!

Summer of Love Party

Summer of Love Party

The Summer of 1967 was a turning point, a funky juncture where innocence converged with disillusionment. Music got a little edgier. The music of 1967 beautifully captured the spirit of the Summer of Love, that is what this party is all about. A sampling of the titles that were popular that year are as follows (I got chills just writing this list, the music and Artists are so timeless);

All you Need is Love–The Beatles, Light my Fire-The Doors, Whiter Shade of Pale-Procol Harum, I’m a Believer–The Monkees, The Letter–Neon Rainbow, San Francisco–Scott McKenzie, Dedicated to the One I Love–Mamas & Papas, I Think We’re Alone Now-Tommy James & the Shondells, White Rabbit-Jefferson Airplane, Carrie-Anne-The Hollies, I Can See for Miles–The Who, The Beat Goes On-Sonny & Cher, Let’s Live for Today-Grass Roots, I Had to Much to Dream Last Night-the Electric Prunes, Society’s Child-Janis Ian, Here Comes My Baby-The Tremeloes, Happy Together-The Turtles, Let’s Spend the Night Together-The Rolling Stones, Nights in White Satin-The Moody Blues. Other Artists Popular in the late 60’s were; Janis Joplin, Canned Heat, Buffalo Springfield, The Grateful Dead, The Byrds, The Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Association, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and Sly & The Family Stone. Make sure you put together a playlist of this great music to play in the background and to dance to during the party.

Use the “words of the day” in the invitation like; Groovy, Far Out, Can you Dig it, Hang Loose, It’s a Gas, Heavy or That’s Boss! Remember to tell your guests to dress the part. Decorating can be a lot of fun. These ideas can be used indoors and outdoors. If you don’t own them, Rent Black Lights, Strobe Lights and any other Multi Colored Rotating Lights. Colored Christmas Lights work well too. Brightly Colored Paper Lanterns, Peace Signs, Plenty of Cut Out Flowers and Smiley Yellow Faces can be hung about (walls, trees, fencing Etc.). Go to the thrift store and try to find some albums (Vinyl) from the era and use them to decorate the walls also. Place Daisies in Mason Jars for the tables & serving areas. Along with having enough tables and chairs for guests consider getting lots of pillows and blankets to throw on the floor or grassy areas. You can sew slip covers for the pillows out of random fabrics or pick up pillow cases from the thrift store and Tie Dye them.  Decorate with 60’s Theme Foil Balloons and Brightly Colored Latex Balloons, helium and air-filled designs can be used both indoors and out. Have some large 3ft Air-Filled Balloons laying around for guests to bat back and forth.

If you can find Glow in the Dark body paints or Neon Paints, have a table set up with paper plates & brushes for your ‘Hippies” to adorn themselves with drawing! Have some Peter Max art photos lying around for inspiration. You can set out temporary tattoos also, find them for this theme at party stores. If you have your black lights on in this area everyone will glow under them. Include some coloring books and crayons for doodling as well. This table will, for sure, be a favorite. Fill some wading pools with water and set some garden hoses in case people want to get crazy and wet. Learn and teach your guests popular dances from the 60’s, Examples; Loco-motion, Twist, Swim, The Mashed Potato, The Shimmy, The Hitch-Hike, The Monkey, The Jerk or the Watusi. Play a Trivia Game using the Popular TV Shows from that Era, Examples; Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan’s Island, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie, The Munsters, Bonanza, My Favorite Martian, Leave it to Beaver or The Brady Bunch (just to name a few).

Food for this party should be towards the natural side. Raw Veggies, Variety Cheeses, Nuts, Chips and Guacamole, Fruits and maybe a yogurt bar with Granola and other toppings and a Burrito Bar. For a special dessert make sure you make some Brownies (whether you spike them or not is up to you and your guest list,,,,shhhh).