Monday, November 10, 2014

Claire's Halloween Birthday Party

When we heard that Claire's due date was October 30, we knew we just might have a Halloween birthday on our hands. No problem—my birthday is July 4, and having a holiday birthday has been so much fun over the years! Claire ended up being born late on November 1, but her big day is still always intertwined with the Halloween holiday. Last year, we even trick-or-treated on her birthday because of heavy rain the night before. I knew she'd have Halloween-themed birthday parties at least a few times throughout her growing up.

So this, her third birthday, was her first holiday-themed party, partially because the church had the audacity to schedule its fall festival on her actual birthday, a Saturday, so if the party was going to be before Halloween anyway, might as well go all out! With our family Wizard of Oz costumes Claire was the witch, a classic Halloween figure in its own right, and she was the wickedly precious star of her party.

Theme and Décor
It was a classic, kid-friendly, non-scary Halloween party. Orange and black and a bit of green, witches, ghosts, spiders, and pumpkins. I bought a big pack of orange and black cardstock at Michael's and used it for the invitations (thank you, Pinterest, for the ribbon bat idea!) and for pennant banners to hang on the mantle and doorways.

I reused some of the paper fans from BGC's bug party a few weeks ago, adding some white yarn for a spider web on the wall. Usually there is a collection of crosses hanging on that wall, so there were plenty of nails to wrap the yarn around, and on which to mount little Styrofoam ball and pipe cleaner spiders!

Frightful Food

There's always a point in the day or two before a party when I start to feel I'm going overboard with thematic food and such. I'm proud, at least, that I let a couple food items go at the last minute, telling myself "It's okay just to sit and rest for the 20 minutes before guests arrive!"

My mom made chocolate-covered pretzel rods, which I thought of as "magic wands" when combined with these witch hat cookies made from Hershey kisses and inverted Fudge Stripe cookies.

I bought a pack of Halloween picks months ago (as an add-on to get free shipping on VBS supplies from Oriental Trading, I recall!) and they were really cute on the cheese tray, as were the clementine "pumpkins" with celery "stems."
Also from Oriental Trading were the little pumpkin cups that I put out for the kids, beside our "witch's brew" green lemonade and "pick your poison" ice bucket with beer and sodas.

I had planned on cake pops being the main sweet, but it would have been awkward to stick three candles in one for blowing out, so I'm glad I found this little mini-cake ready-made at Kroger. It had a candy Frankenstein monster on top, which I replaced with this little witch figurine we already had around the house.

Ghoulish Games

I planned three games/activities for the kids to play during the party. 

First, "Pumpkin Bowling." I made the pins with empty water bottles (a little water in them to weight them) and styrofoam balls glued to the top covered with scraps of a worn-out sheet set. The kids knocked down these ghostly pins with pie pumpkins—the perfect size for little hands.

I positioned the game on the front porch with a wall behind it, but pins and pumpkins still ended up rolling down the driveway and into the storm drain. Alas!

Another activity was "Make-a-Monster." I'd originally planned to have little pumpkins the kids could decorate but the more I thought about that, the messier it sounded, and I didn't want little costumes smeared with paint or even Sharpie. So instead, I used the leftover green plates from BGC's party as faces to be decorated monstrously!
I cut out a variety of shapes, and had googly eyes and glue laid out for the kids to go to town with their creativity.

Third, "Pin the Broom on the Witch." Kate had enough practice with it before the party to learn to feel her way to the witch's hand and get the broom right on there (a trick she promptly taught the other kids), so we had quite a lot of "winners." There was still some spontaneity to it for the smaller kids, though!

Even the grown-ups got in on the dress-up action for the party. My in-laws were Mary Poppins and Bert, my mom was a black cat, and my dad was the Great and Powerful Oz to complement our family Wizard of Oz ensemble. We also had Elsa, a dragon, a cheerleader, tennis pro, and football player. A rocket, shooting star, and the cast of Peter Pan were unable to make it at the last minute :0)




I'm sure it won't be the last Halloween birthday party for my little fall baby, but it was a fun first!
Happy birthday, Claire!


EMU said...

SO cute!

Rachel Moss said...

What a great party! Of course, all of your parties are awesome.
I love the Mary Poppins and Bert costumes, too!

johan32 said...

Awesome Halloween birthday party!! I just got stuck on these brilliant ideas to celebrate kid’s birthday. I would like to make use of your ideas on my daughter’s birthday that we want to celebrate at one of the best birthday restaurants NYC this year.

Drew Watts said...

Yeah dear, that was really adorable and watching these images was a pleasure. I also have been to the best birthday party of my friend’s niece and ambience at that event venue Chicago was really amazing and mesmerizing.


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