Party Ideas

10 tips to help make your party planning easier and less stressful!


If you are planning a party and feel like nothing is going your way and you can't make anyone happy - this is a post for you!


Soda Float Fountain Party

An old-fashioned soda float fountain bar - great for birthdays, fundraisers and work parties!  Super quick, easy and inexpensive!


Carnival Party

With a roller-coaster cake and carnival games.  A ton of fun for birthdays or just a fun activity in the summer.


Top Chef Meets Chef Boyardee Party

Have family and friends full of culinary talents?  Put them to the test with this Chef's Challenge party.  Kids can do it too!


Spring Reading Party for Kids

I'm part of the parent advisory council for our daycare and we like to host a party for the daycare families every few months.  Recently we held a spring reading party.  Now this was intended for the daycare families and about 100 attendees but would be great for any size group - including a home-school day.  This is also a nice party because it doesn't take a lot of time to set up or clean up and you really only need about an hour for the children to do all the activities.

The various age groups of kids did art projects in the weeks leading up to the party that served as cute decorations.

A popular area at several of the parties was a large "carpet" made from a roll of crafting paper taped to the floor with pictures and coloring supplies spread out.  The kids loved to lay down on the "rug" and color.

We solicited a local dairy who makes homemade ice cream to donated a couple of pails of vanilla ice cream for the families.  Volunteers brought in simple toppings: chocolate and caramel syrup, pineapple topping, maraschino cherries, whipped cream, sprinkles, crushed Oreos and gummy worms.  Bring spring-colored tablecloths brightened the room as well.

A low table served as a great craft station for decorating paper pots using markers, glue dots and spring-themed foam shapes.  Snack-size baggies held an expanding dirt pod and a few sunflower seeds to take home and plant.

A reading corner was set up with rugs and a favorite local author came to read her book.  She also had extra copies of her book on hand and signed them personally to any of the kids who bought one.  Anyone with a good reading voice could do the book reading and some local libraries can refer you to someone who does their book reading/storytelling events.  Its nice to have a book with a repetitive phrase so the reading is more interactive with the kids repeating the phrase when the reading pauses.  


Godiva Liquor Party

This one is a blast but one for the grown-ups only!  Have a taste-test party to sample different drinks and recipes made with Godiva chocolates and liquors!


Hockey Party

Getting together for the Stanley Cup Playoffs or do you have a future NHL star in the making with a birthday coming up?

Hockey Jersey & Stick Cakes
Hockey Rink Cake
Hockey Party & Another Hockey Rink Cake


Curious George Reading Month Party

Hands on activities to encourage a love of reading!  This would also be a great birthday party for curious George fans.

Banana Pudding with a Serious Upgrade - served sundae-style!


Football Party

Hubby have a dedication to football?  Why not make it fun with this easy spread you can put out for him and his buddies without slaving away.


Neverland Party

Do you have a mix of pirates and fairies in the family?  This Neverland party is great for a party of girly girls and rough and tumble boys.  Turn your backyard into Neverland with a few dollar store tricks and stuff you can find around the house!

A couple of years ago my daughter wanted a fairy birthday party.  Because we have a large number of boys in the family we have to find a way to incorporate them into the theme as well so we decided a re-creation of Neverland was the way to go.  We always try to see what we have on hand first and then hit the dollar stores.  The girls were invited to wear their fairy attire but warned that they would be playing outside and getting wet so they should wear the play stuff, not the really good stuff!  The boys weren't much into the dressing as pirates and Indians part but they loved the setup when they got there - even the teenage boys got into it.

First, we had an inflatable pool that became the Mermaids' Lagoon.  At the dollar store I found $1 stuffed dolphins, whales, and mermaids.  I also found a small basket full of shells.  These all went in the pool and a couple of paper flamingos I found at Hobby Lobby were parked next to it.  Signs with sayings from the stories named each of the locations around the yard.
Nearby was light blue shower curtain that we had painted rocks on with craft paint.  We found foam crocodile head masks at the dollar store as well which worked perfectly to park on the shower curtain to make Crocodile Creek. 

A large pine tree was adored with parrots, a small cardboard treasure chest, and plastic skull and bones - all found very cheap after Halloween.  The treasure chest was filled with stickers, jewelry, pencils, gold chocolate coins and other "loot" for the kids to take home.  This was the Skull Rock area.

Nearby was a hulking "Jolly Roger" made using several large appliance and mattress boxes we got from a local appliance store and a mast made of PVC, baler twine and and old sheet.  Toward the end of the party the kids had a water balloon fight to destroy the ship.

A tan and greeen dome tent adorned with dream catchers and fake fall leaves became the Indians wigwam.  A second larger tent was the Lost Boys Hideout.

And the crowning jewel was "the Home Tree" which was our large ash tree adorned with bells, tulle, fairies, play jewelry, lights, wind chimes and other things as mentioned in the "Never Fairies" books.  All scrounged from my daughter's playthings and other oddities from around the house.  We hung things from the tree with zip-ties which made them easy to take down after the party.  That night after the party was over my daughter and I enjoyed laying out in the Lost Boys tent looking at the lights and treasures hanging from the tree.

The cake was made with two boxes of chocolate cake and a homemade buttercream.  I used metal mixing bowls and cupcakes placed together on a tray to create the "hill and stream" shape.  The fairies are actually Pez dispensers that were out at the time except for Tinkerbell which was a cake topper we found on clearance at our grocery store.  The flowers are just sugar flowers from the grocery store.  We had a screen tent out for the food because of the bugs.

The cost was minimal because most of the items were scrounged from around the property or the dollar store.  This was a great party and the kids - even the boys - still talk about it. 


A Tea Party Fit for a Queen - and Her Favorite Doll

This makes a great birthday party for those girls who want to be big girls but still like their dolls and little girl things.  The tea party itself is fit for a ladies' tea or brunch, or even a group of teenage girls as well.

Tea Party Table Setting for Dolls
Tea Party Table Setting for the Girls
Tea Party Treats - Blueberry Sparkle Punch
Tea Party Treats - Dragonflies
Tea Party Treats - Unicorn Horns with Frozen Yogurt
Tea Party Treats - Dainty Sandwiches
Tea Party Treats - Pink Hot Chocolate
Tea Party Treats - Orange Fruit Cups


Edible Halloween Sensory Experience

Add a little EEEEWWWW and goo to your kid-friendly Halloween party.


Gingerbread House/Candy Creations Party

A fun holiday or kid craft party idea.  Great to keep kids busy during that long winter break.

Spring Organization Party

This is a fun spring housecleaning themed party.  Another idea I got from winning a Ziploc theme party through House Party.  The idea is to share fun organization and spring cleaning tips with friends and other moms. 

I absolutely love the Ziploc Flexible Storage Totes (in the corner of the picture) - they are breathable and have handles and they work great for odd shaped items like Easter baskets and eggs.  They also work great for hauling sports equipment or outdoor gear like snowpants and snowmobile helmets because they let the air circulate.  I use the large size for organizing the "stuff" in the back of my SUV - great for the umbrellas and scrapers and flashlights and other miscellaneous things I need to keep in the truck but don't want rolling all over.  The Big Bags are also excellent for storing dog and cat food.  I keep one hanging on a hook in my mudroom for all the hats and gloves in the winter.

This is a fun party for the spring theme and you can find lots of great inexpensive party supplies in bright spring and Easter colors.

In keeping with the spring theme, we had the kids use this easy way to start seeds in the gallon Ziploc bags.  Laying down 2 damp paper towels, sprinkle seeds across the paper towel, cover with 2 more pieces of damp paper towel and press together gently to seal the seeds between.  Slide into a gallon Ziploc bag and seal the bag tightly.  Place in a warm spot near a window but not in direct sunlight (this will fry your tender sprouts).  This is a great way to make fresh bean sprouts or asparagus sprouts for cooking too!  In a couple of days your seeds will start sprouting.  Once they are about an inch long you can plant them into a flat or small pots.  This is a fast way to sprout seeds with harder shells that usually take much longer such as sunflowers, beans, and watermelon.  Use a Sharpie to write the plant name and date planted right on the baggie.

Of course Ziploc has a lot of great food products and spring is a time when many of us decide to tackle losing a few pounds.  We decided to try a few new healthy recipes from the Ziploc website such as the Warm Sesame Cabbage Salad made in a Ziploc Zip and Steam bag.  This was a tasty and colorful dish and even the kids liked it - as you can tell it was mostly gone before I could grab the camera!  It was very fast and easy to make just popping the Steam bag in the microwave for a few minutes.  The bag even has microwave times for common dishes such as making fish in the microwave.  I doubled the recipe for the size of my group and used a couple different colors of peppers.  A great side dish to serve with fish, pork chops or egg rolls and a great light lunch option too.

A popular fast dish in my house is yogurt parfaits which can be made with just about any type of fruit, vanilla yogurt, and some kind of crunch like granola or corn flakes.  We used the small Twist and Lock containers for guests to layer their fruit and yogurt and the snack-size Ziplocs to package the "crunch".  I provided enough containers for my guests to take home samples of the dishes we tried for dinner with their families.  Besides the goodies I provided through Ziploc, my guests each brought and easy snack to share (like the quick bruschetta my sister-in-law made in the picture - crackers, ketchup, mozzarella and Italian seasoning).

We also packed some healthy 100 calorie snacks in the one-cup containers as a bunch of us were doing Weight Watchers.

The divided lunch containers were another product we all loved - finally a divided container where the lid actually seals BETWEEN the sections!  We all shared tips on our favorite organizing and cleaning methods and talked about our problem spots.  We had this as a light lunch party so everyone had time to go home and start cleaning!  It is a fun way to share ideas and get inspired and energized for spring cleaning.


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