1. My DSLR camera broke the day before the party. My pictures of the party aren't as great as I would like, but we still were able to capture most of it.
2. It rained all week in Southern California and it rained the night before the party. After I dried off all the patio chairs and tables, I had to do all the set up and decor outside THAT morning and be ready for guests at 10:30. We ran out of time and didn't get every decoration up, but we did most of it and it still looked great. The weather was dry for the party, but it was really cold. However, I was just happy it wasn't raining so we didn't have to put 65 people in our house!
Despite the two setbacks, the party was tons of fun. We had a bouncehouse, our swingset, carnival games, face painting, a photo booth, a potato sack race, carnival snacks, lunch and cupcakes. Each family left with smiles on their faces and sugar in their tummies (and in some cases, on their sticky hands and faces).
These were the invitations. I posted a tutorial on how to make these here.
I always use my stairs as a gift area. It adds color and fun to the entry and is a great place to store the gifts. PLUS, it eventually added up and blocked straggling kids from wandering upstairs to our playroom.
This was the goodie bag table. I had clear bags for almost everyone, which I stuffed with colored raffia, a clown nose and a "winner" ribbon. Then, I had a sign telling them all to fill their bags with goodies from the bowls on the table--cotton candy, cookies, candy, lollipops and licorice. I had animal cookie boxes for kids too young for candy and balls for the newborns. Sorry the burlap is falling off the sides of the table in this picture. I had to keep taping it back up and I took the pic without looking at that detail.
I used cotton candy from the dollar bin at target. I opened each package and divided it into two ziploc bags. I covered the "seal" part of the baggy with cardstock and dollar carnival cupcake holders I found at Michael's. It was so cost effective and easy!
Cookies for the toddlers who were too young for candy. . .
M&M's, popcorn, peanuts and licorice were out as snacks. I found the big Popcorn bowls at Party America.
Water and soda for the adults and Capri Suns for the kiddos.
Marshmallow "popcorn" cupcakes. I got the cupcake sleeves from Oriental Trading Company, and I made the little toppers from scrapbooking paper.
I diluted yellow food coloring in water and sprinkled it on the mini marshmallows in a ziploc bag. This gave it a lightly "buttered" look. It also slightly melted the marshmallows and made them stick together slightly, but it still worked.
This is where my 2 year old camped out for most of the party. He is now made up of 90% licorice.
I got Popcorn bags from Oriental Trading Company and borrowed my nephew's popcorn machine. The hot popcorn was a nice touch since it was cold outside!
I posted about this banner earlier. You can read about it here.
We have a bounce house we co-bought with two other families. We all pass it around and share it when we need it. It was a nice place for the kids to burn off some sugar.
The vertical picture banners were fun. People enjoyed looking at the pictures of Carter over the past 5 years. You can read a tutorial about these here.
We had little carnival "games" spread throughout the yard. I had face painting, duck fishing, clown ball toss, knock over the cans, three in a row ping pong toss and we held a potato sack race. I didn't do tickets or prizes for the games, as they were more just for entertainment for the parents and kids. Plus, it required fewer adults to "man" the area if it was just open for play at any time.
The swingset was a big hit too!
I made little signs for each game area. I just used prescalloped cardstock squares and used carnival fonts off dafont.com to print the names off the computer. I also used the carnival striped scrapbooking paper.
We had carnival corndogs, fairground fruit salad, and carousel chips for lunch. Yum!
I had a photo booth area over my fireplace just inside the house. We had the camera on a tripod and a remote trigger to take pictures while people posed.
We bought some "dress up" props from Oriental Trading Company for the photo booth area.
There is the big birthday boy--five years old!
Dressing up for the pictures was completely optional.
Of course, we had a LARGE pot of coffee for the moms and dads because it was a very cold day.
It was a fun day and a great party. Happy birthday, Carter!
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