My son's favorite thing, it seems, is to re-enact every story he watches or reads. At the end of each he always says "can we play that game?" It's amazing to see his little mind spin through the possibilities of who can play what part and what we should be doing. He's our little director and often switches roles multiple times through our little dramas. When it came time to plan his birthday celebration we used this concept along with what I would consider every child's fun + favorite activity - DRESS UP!
We called it "The Big Adventures of Jack: The Boy who turned 5" and invited guests to be Cast Members and join in on the fun. Adults and kids alike were invited to have a part in this performance and I was pleasantly surprised (ok, really excited) that everyone played along and were such great sports.
Outside we lined our driveway with "Celebrity Parking" signs and guests entered through the door to Jack's dressing room.
Moving on... Time for Concessions and CAKE!
After snacking and some play time outside my husband gathered all of the children and shared the story they were about to act out. The adults also played a huge role (the audience of pirates) and took their parts very seriously. Arghh.
The kids were helped into the costume of their choice and they were in heaven! With a tiny budget it was very helpful to use items already on hand. I used some of Jack's masks and found dollar store costumes as well. My mom helped with a batman cape and had little wraps we used as tutus for the girls. They were sooo cute! Definitely my favorite part of the party!
It was quite rainy the week leading up to the party. We hoped to set up the stage area outside but decided not to chance it so at practically the last minute we set up the stage area on our patio. A little bummed, just for photo purposes, that the sky paper didn't reach to the outsides of the red curtain and the tacks were oh so visible but oh well. My dad and husband did their best and the kids didn't care! The good thing was even though it rained the morning of the party the weather was great in the afternoon.
I found some fun 'silent movie' music for the 'drama' while my husband narrated. The kids looked so cute wiggling their fingers (and toes) and trying to get the "pirates" to laugh since those pirates looked so 'mean.'
We let the kids play in their costumes and after a little time had passed we had Jack open his gifts with his friends' help. On the way out each guest got one of my star cookies and our young guests took home their cups along with a little trophy for being a star performer!
I feel so unbelievably blessed. I'm so thankful for all of our friends and family and everyone made Jack feel so special. I'm so.. so grateful.
All in all I absolutely cannot complain. My son kept telling me it was his 'favoritest' party ever and that is the absolute best thing a mom can hear. It was all COMPLETELY worth it!
P.S. Thanks to Elissa of One Stone Events for all the help with references - she's my Broadway guru. :D
I am offering this printable party design in my etsy shop and thought I might share a few of the ideas I didn't get to employ in case you had the time for your own event.
1) For the cake pops, I envisioned them standing up (ball up) and in a little base. I was going to have a red ribbon swag from each pop, lining the front of the table to appear as a stanchion for the "red carpet." (here's my rough sketch. lol) I was going to have a red runner leading back to the cake.
2) The pretzel rods were also supposed to have a chocolate coated top half to look more like orchestra conductor batons.
3) I wanted the cake to be the "box office" (fondant accents) and the cupcakes were to have toppers in the shape of 'tickets'. (the tickets are a part of the printables set)
Pirate cardboard hats, eye patches & trophies, sky paper, mask crafts: Hobby Lobby
Director's red horn, red straw cups: Party City