This weekend my daughter attended a birthday party that was a first in her vast experience with the five and under birthday party circuit.
While I haven't allowed her to see The Wizard of Oz in its entirety (I have vivid recollections of being scared silly of the wicked witch and winged monkeys), she has a general sense of the plot and the characters. Naturally, she was thrilled when she learned that the party guests were invited to wear costumes. This was one of those parties that truly pulled out all the stops and the kids seemed to have a blast. If you are looking for inspiration, here are some highlights:
Invitations: Paperless Post has a Halloween party invitation that can be easily customized for a birthday party. The witchy shoes and striped tights at the top of the invitation are an unmistakably reminiscent of the Wicked Witch of the East, who was flattened by Dorothy’s farmhouse at the start of the movie. I am usually partial to paper invitations, but this one is adorable and perfect for the theme.
Decorations: When we arrived at the party, a sign invited us to “Follow the yellow brick road.” Sure enough, a yellow “road” led us down an alley and into the backyard where Glendas, Dorothys, tin men and lions were jumping on a moon bounce with wild abandon. Rainbow colored balloons, rainbow colored food, and magic wands kept up the theme.
Food: Large rainbow colored lollipops, diced veggies and dip, chips and salsa, and deviled eggs were the perfect combination of snacks for this late afternoon party. Instead of a cake, the special birthday treat was “cake ice cream cones.” To make them, fill ice cream cones (rainbow colored for this party) half way with your favorite cake batter. Bake about twenty minutes (the party hostess recommended cooking them in muffin tins), or until the cake springs back to the touch. Frost with your favorite frosting once the cake cools. In this case, the cones were filled with red velvet cake and frosted with cream cheese icing. YUM! A word of caution: I helped transport the unbelievably cute cones (topped with a ruby red slipper) from the kitchen to the backyard and they all toppled over on their sides as soon as I picked up the tray! These treats are very top heavy so I recommend setting them in some sort of contraption that will keep them steady or transporting them one by one to your cake serving area.
Activities: The main activity of the party was a moon bounce, but the fun did not stop there. The kids took swings at a rainbow shaped piñata, and played “Pin the Heart on the Tin Man.” Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the box of parting gifts was brought out! Each child was invited to select a mini plush Wizard of Oz character (Dorothy was the most popular and went quickly). You can order these cute little favors from Amazon. While a tad pricey for party favors, it was definitely something different from the standard goody bag.
As someone who appreciates all of the work that goes into planning a party like this, I was really impressed by the attention to detail. My daughter was impressed by the treats. When asked about the best part of the party, she replied, “The lollipops. Can I have those lollipops at my party next year?” At least she didn’t ask for the moonbounce!