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.
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 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.
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!