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Birthday Party Ideas

 

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Table of Contents

 

Part I: Birthday Party Themes

 

A Birthday Party at the Scene of the Crime

A Casino Night to Remember Birthday Party

A Circus Birthday Bash Worthy of the Big Top

An Egyptian Themed Birthday Party

A Night at the Drive In Birthday Party

A Pirate of a Birthday Party

A Tie Dyed Birthday Bash

Bring the Barbecue to the Birthday Party

Camping Birthday Party Ideas

Classic Movie Birthday Party Theme

Hollywood Birthday Party Theme for Teens

Laser Tag Birthday Party

Mission Possible - Spy Birthday Party

Over the Hill Birthday Party Ideas

Pajama Birthday Party

Reality Television makes for Great Birthday Parties

Scavenger Hunt Birthday Party for Teens

Star Wars Birthday Party

Sweet 16 Birthday Party

Teddy Bear Birthday Party Theme

The Margaritaville Birthday Theme Party

The Perfect Birthday Party for your Little Princess

The Wild Wild West Birthday Bash

Throwing a Mardi Gras Birthday Bash

Train Birthday Party for the Little Ones

Popular Kids' Birthday Party Themes

 

Part II: Birthday Gifts

 

Awesome Birthday Gifts for Anyone

Birthday Gift Ideas for your Parents

Birthday Gifts for Her

Birthday Gifts for Him

Birthday Presents for Boys

Buying Birthday Presents for your Child

Gifts for your Teenager's 18th Birthday

What to Buy for your Child's First Birthday

 

Part III: Birthday Cakes

 

Deciding on a Birthday Cake

Homemade Birthday Cakes

Cake Decorating - Children's Birthday Cakes

Cake Decorating: How About Birthday Cakes For Adults

Cake Decorating - How To Apply Edible Cake Art

Creative Cake Decorating For A Kid's Birthday

Creative Cake Decorating Ideas

Easy Cake Decorating Themes And Ideas

The Finishing Touch Of Cake Decorating

 

Part IV: Links

Links

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Birthday Party at the Scene of the Crime

 

Television shows such as CSI (and the subsequent CSI Miami and CSI New York), NCIS, and Cold Case Files have made crime scenes and crime investigations the new murder mystery parties. They are a great deal of fun when properly planned and well executed but leave a lot of room for failure if poorly planned or inflexible. If you are considering a party such as this, a great party for teens and adults alike be sure that you either have an actual mystery to solve as the evening progresses or that you simply use the theme as a backdrop. There is no real right or wrong way to do a birthday party but if you want to throw the party that everyone will be talking about you'll need to create a crime for the scene you're investigating and leave clues all around to help with the investigation.

 

Decorating your crime scene party can be a lot of fun with crime scene tape and chalk outlines on the floor. Be sure to make them realistic in size by having someone actually lay down for you to draw the outline. You can leave fake footprints, fingerprints, and clue cards throughout the room (not too well hidden unless you want people snooping). You can even enlist plenty of help when leaving the clues and decorating because of the novelty of this sort of party. You do not have to limit the festivities to one room and you can, if you are feeling truly adventurous, have a different case going on in different rooms and have the kids draw numbers for teams and race to solve the crime first.

 

You might also do well to set up a lab, complete with microscope and tables dedicated to sorting out the evidence and make notes for the shocking conclusion of the crimes in question. Of course you will want to make the crimes simple and solvable by leaving clues that the kids will have no trouble finding or deciphering without making it too easy. Use your favorite episode for inspiration if you must and throw in a red herring or two to keep things fun. Young and old alike, the kids will have a good time arguing over the clues and trying to determine who really committed the crimes (and of course making up their assumptions and stories as to why the crimes occurred in the first place).

 

For food you can have an actual CSI cake or go with cookies that are shaped like footprints or thumb print cookies for an excellent play on words. Of course by the time kids are old enough to enjoy a party such as this they probably would be happy with good food rather than themed food and pizza, sloppy Joes, finger foods, chips and dips, and cookies and cake will make an excellent food addition to the party without needing to fit in with any one theme. Be sure to have plenty of pop and bottled water on hand though because crime solving is thirsty work.

 

In real life it is best to leave the jobs of solving crimes up to the men and women who were trained to do so. In the world of birthday parties however, crime solving and crime scene investigating reign supreme as the next great thing in birthday party ideas.

 

 

A Casino Night to Remember Birthday Party

 

Life is a gamble. What better way to celebrate that gamble than by rolling the dice or playing cards all night? A great casino night is definitely a lot of fun to be had by all. You can choose. Of course you will not be able to use real money for this but can allow each guest their own set of chips or monopoly money to play with for the evening and have fun prizes for the winners and funny parting gifts for those who do not fare so well. The important thing is that you are celebrating the great gamble that life really is in the perfect style for doing so.

 

Whether you go for a grand James Bond Style Casino event complete with tuxedos and a full and flowing bar or go for a more tropical sort of casual casino theme it is important that the music and drinks flow freely and that everyone has the opportunity to have a great time. Great decorations for your casino night will differ according to the style of casino you are attempting to incorporate. Needless to say gaming tables, a roulette wheel, and lots of dice are sure to please your guests as great party décor. Otherwise go with the sub theme of your party.

 

Be sure to let your guests know if there is a dress code for the evening when sending out invitations. You may purchase your invitations online quite easily or print your own. Again you will want to go with the method that works best with the theme of the Casino birthday party you are throwing. If it's an over the hill sort of birthday party you might want to make the invitations humorous with some sort of reference to the fact that lighting the candles on the cake may be a gamble in and of itself. Remember to let your invitations begin the party theme and work from there to build things up.

 

On the big night you can raid your local party supply store or an online party supply shop for all sorts of gambling related decorations. From fuzzy dice to oversized cardboard cards and hundreds of things in between you can go as elegant as you'd like with your casino night birthday party or go for some of the more 'party' themed casino settings that you will find as well. You are only limited by your imagination and personal tastes when it comes to properly decorating for your casino birthday party. With that in mind, make the decorations as fun or as elegant as you can stand.

 

As for the food, what sort of self respecting casino wouldn't have a grand buffet prepared. Display your food buffet style and if possible have a catering staff circulating with drinks throughout the room. For your casino night birthday party finger foods are the best. Shrimp cocktail, crab puffs, petit fours, cocktail sausages, meatballs, sausage rolls, pigs in blankets, dips with appropriate bread and crackers, finger sandwiches, and any other great finger food you can think of. Another great addition to your buffet table would be a chocolate fountain with plenty of marshmallows, pretzels, and fruits to cover.

 

You will want to be sure to have appropriate casino sound effects. While it isn't possible to have a wall full of slot machines, at least not in my neck of the woods, you can get the slot machine sound effect for a more realistic feeling in your casino or you could skip the slots and keep this a table games only section with great music overhead. The choice is yours and the sky is the limit.

 

Be sure to take plenty of photographs in order to create a scrapbook of the grand event. Not only will this help preserve your own memories of the evening but it also makes a great gift for the guests who have shared moments in your life and make the gamble worthwhile.

 

A Circus Birthday Bash Worthy of the Big Top

 

If you want a very happy child, considering throwing a birthday party worthy of the big top. A circus theme for a birthday party is sure to thrill and excite your little one and guests alike. Be sure to make the event one worthy of its title though and keep the action lively and moving throughout the event so that little minds with short attention spans do not have an opportunity to move on to more mischievous pursuits.

 

The first thing that is an absolute must for a circus theme is a big top. This may run a little high on the decoration dime but can be done quite nicely without booking a huge back yard with a tent. In fact, you can create a tent in your very own living room if you are so inclined to do so. Helium can be rented quite inexpensively and you can create the illusion of a tent top by filling the ceiling with brightly colored balloons and streamers to match. In addition to this you can have the entrance of the room made to look like tent flaps. Push all the furniture along the wall and allow the little ones to seat themselves on the floor along the "center ring" where all the action will be.

 

Now, you really should make an effort to have some sort of entertainment for the kiddos with an event of this nature. It can be a clown act, magic show, or simply someone making balloon animals for the birthday boy or girl and his or her guests. Face painting is another great activity to include on your list of events and shows and a lot of fun for the little ones. Be sure to include several great games (ring toss, pin the nose on the clown, and corn hole are great games worthy of a circus theme) and a craft activity or two in the running so that the little ones do not sit idly very long. It is always a good idea to keep them occupied and having fun.

 

The big top provides some excellent dining delights that carry over quite well into the birthday party theme. Hot dogs are an excellent lunch for a room filled with excited little ones. Candied apples, popcorn, and peanuts are also a great and fun addition to birthday party food that work well with the circus theme. Be sure to enlist serious muscle for the clean up when all is said and done.

 

Goody bags can be a lot of fun for this particular event by using popcorn bags for the bag and filling them with circus animals, bubbles, glow bracelets, circus themed stickers, and other nifty little items. Oriental trading and local party stores might prove to be an excellent resource for goody bag gifts. Don't forget to include a photo frame with a photo of each child with his or her face painted or balloon animal as a keepsake.

 

The main thing to remember when planning a party worthy of the big top moniker is that the most important thing is that everyone has a good time. Don't sweat the small details so much that you aren't able to enjoy the event. Other great ideas to make this an even bigger event include things such as renting a moon walk for kids to jump and play in, renting a cotton candy maker, and having a real popcorn popper rather than relying on microwave popcorn. There's something about the smell that just makes it feel like a circus.

 

Another thing you need to do when planning a big top or circus themed birthday party is plan for contingencies, such as rain if the party was to be held outside. The show must go on whether it is storming or whether the sun is shining brightly so be sure to have a back up plans in case things go awry.

 

An Egyptian Themed Birthday Party

 

Ancient Egypt is a fascinating place all these years later. From mummies and pyramids to pharos and scarabs there is plenty of fuel for the fascination pyre. Keep in mind however, that the goal here is for the kids to have a great time, not to be frightened so keep the scary stuff to a minimum if possible (even if your child is brave to a fault that doesn't mean that some of the guests won't be frightened and you want the experience to be pleasant for everyone).

 

Decorations for this are not as difficult as you may think. In fact, some of these decorations will double quite nicely for Halloween or may already be in your Halloween stash. First of all, if you have a canopy or tent lying around this will make an excellent substitution for a pyramid. You can fill your canopy or tent with relics that are authentic looking for what would be inside an Egyptian pyramid. Use skulls (leftover from Halloween decorations) on the floor, gold coins (or doubloons, which can be purchased rather inexpensively at many party supply stores), sequins that look like jewels, and fake jewelry that might have been worn during the period. Of course the piece de resistance will be the mummy wrapped in the corner (if this isn't part of your Halloween stash it should be after this).

 

Now, what self respecting mummies home doesn't have a great curse to go along with it? Before allowing the guests into the "pyramid" you need to make sure they are aware of the curse that goes along with it. It's a fun little addition to the theme and a lot of fun to watch their eyes as you tell the tale of the mummy inside and why the tomb is cursed.

 

If you are still looking for excellent activities you can bury treasure in your sandbox (if you have one) and let them all take turns digging up treasures and/or artifacts that they can take home with them. Make sure everyone has at least one turn and gets one thing to take home from the digging.

 

You can either barbecue dinner or order pizza or something simple for dinner. I recommend letting the guests eat inside the pyramid for fun (if it isn't too terribly hot) and allow for a showing of The Mummy afterwards (provided the audience is old enough and interested). You could also allow them to play in the tomb for a while or make it an overnight event and allow them to camp in the tomb if it's a tent.

 

Great goody bag gifts include flashlights, glow sticks, spiders, chocolate coins, stickers, and other candy jewelry. One great game for an Egyptian themed birthday party would be wrap the mummy. Divide the kids into groups of three and have them take turns racing to wrap the mummy (a member of the team) in toilet paper. Do this so that everyone has the opportunity to be wrapped - just be sure to use the cheap brands of toilet paper for this particular project and plan on having plenty in case they get a little overzealous.

 

Most importantly you want to plan an event that is fun to participate in and that will have all your guests eager to come back for the big birthday bash next year. Just remember you'll be expected to top the current theme and might gain a reputation for throwing the cool parties.

 

A Night at the Drive In Birthday Party

 

Birthdays are a very special time indeed. One party theme that works well with people of almost all ages is the idea of a movie night. Whether you want to make your movie a drive in movie or you prefer the modern conveniences of air conditioning in the summer or heat in the cooler months then that is understandable you can bring the movie night in. If you'd like something a little new and different then creating a drive in movie is a great way to go and you can invite all the neighbors so that no one chooses the moment your movie begins (hopefully) to start making a ton of noise.

 

The idea of a drive in movie can be expanded somewhat by the movie you select as well. Screens for playing the movies and DVD projectors can also be rented as well as speakers to play the sound. A good place to put the screen is on a garage door if you are a little lost on that particular matter. Once you've decided the movie you can go about elaborating on the theme. If you choose something that is relevant to a specific time period (such as Grease for the 1950's), Bill and Ted's Adventures (for the 1980's), and the like you can have your guests put on their best 50's or 80's finery and come dressed for the occasion.

 

Be sure that in addition to the movies you have music that is appropriate for the theme to play before dark arrives and afterwards. Everyone can have a lot of fun dancing and you can set up a concession stand area with pop, popcorn (an absolute must - you will be glad to know that you can even rent popcorn poppers for the evening as well), whole dill pickles, nachos and cheese, hot dogs, pizza (if you're feeling really ambitious) and other favorite movie munchies. The idea is to make the evening a fun evening for everyone.

 

Great decoration ideas, in addition to the screen of course would be cardboard cut out cars, movie posters, and Christmas tree lights to create rows for 'parking'. You will want to make sure that there is plenty of seating available. Folding chairs work perfectly for an event such as this. You should also make sure that you have plenty of waste bins available for the garbage that may be accumulated throughout the evening and recycling bins if appropriate (people who do not ordinarily recycle often will if presented with the option to do so).

 

If you take the party indoors you can still accomplish the movie feel but make it feel more like a theater than a drive in. Use Christmas tree lights along the floor and turn off all other lights in the room once the movie begins. You can rent a big screen television for the evening or a projector and a screen. You may also want to consider pushing the furniture back against the wall and leaving the center of the room free for throw pillows that allow guests to sit (or lay) on the floor to watch the movie. Place movie posters throughout the room to set the tone and have the concession stand in another room so that it can be enjoyed and seen without disrupting the movie.

 

A Pirate of a Birthday Party

 

Pirates have for a very long time been a source of great fascination for children. This is why a pirate themed birthday party can be one of the most interesting and entertaining party ideas on the planet if you are willing to pay careful time and attention to the planning process. There are things you will need, of course, in order to pull the pirate's party off without a hitch and the most important is a lot of patience and the ability to organize well, plan for contingencies, and be flexible when the big event finally arrives. If you can do all these things with style and grace then a pirate's life really may be for ye.

 

Set the stage with the invitations. A great idea to use for the invites is a pirate's map. Let "X" mark the spot, give the date and time and remind everyone to dress in their pirate's best (make a costume contest a part of the festivities). This lets everyone know the theme ahead of time as well as the fact that they should show up dressed for the occasion. I suggest making a cute rhyme in a pirate's voice to go along with the invitation. Something like

 

Ho ho hum and a bottle of rum

Our good lad "name" turns nine

So come ye to the Weatherly's

And have a mighty fine time.

 

For decorations you will want to make the party room or the exterior of the house, wherever you are actually having the party look as much like a pirate's ship as possible. It really is best if this sort of party can be had outdoors in order to provide great places for burying treasure and hiding stuff. If that isn't possible however, you'll just have to get creative inside the home.

 

Party games for a good pirate party are almost limitless. You can begin by handing a clue and explaining that there is a treasure map that has been divided into four pieces. The first clue will take you to the first piece, which will then have another clue that will lead you to the next piece until you find all four pieces. This buys a little time for getting things ready for snacks, cake, ice cream or other adventures that may occur later and gives the kids an objective. Once they have all the pieces you can tell the story of the lost treasure and then allow the kids to go on a massive hunt for the treasure. You could of course have teams with two different treasure chests if you want to make it a competition or race though both teams will win their treasure in the end. You could also, for younger kids, have a nice rousing game of pin the peg - leg on the pirate or a game of walking the plank if you have a swimming pool and are certain everyone can swim (though swim trunks are highly encouraged for this rather than pirate's costumes) and there is an adult waiting at the bottom just in case.

 

Whether or not it's a pirate's life for you, chances are quite good that throwing an excellent pirate themed birthday bash will make you the mom of your little one's dreams - at least for a day and will give the neighborhood and, of course, all your guests something to talk about until the next great event takes place.

 

A Tie Dyed Birthday Bash

 

If you are looking for an excellent birthday party idea how about having a hog tie dyed good time? Tie dye was all the rage back in the 1960's and appears to be making a rather lengthy come back with a few fun variations of course. This is a party that will be appropriate for all kinds of kids and many different ages. If you are having a party that will include boys and girls this is definitely a great possibility to consider for party entertainment and even to center the entire party around.

 

First of all, the 1960's produced some excellent music that makes the perfect backdrop for your tie dying and other activities. You do not need to limit your artistic flair to shirts in this instance however, be sure to have plenty of paper, paint, pens, pencils, and crayons around to keep the artistic bent up and running throughout the entire party. If you have a swimming pool it might be a good idea to let everyone play in the pool while the shirts are setting or pursue some other sort of fun activity in the meantime such as a movie or another craft project.

 

One great craft project would be a groovy photo frame for each guest to place a picture of himself or herself wearing their tie dyed creation with the birthday girl or boy. It's a great keepsake and will pass a little of the time during the party. You could also have them work on a scrapbook of the party and allow each one to take one home with them (this is often more appealing to the girls than the guys) or hand painting headbands or bandanas to match their tie dyed tees.

 

We've discussed the activities and the music now let's discuss the menu. You can make a tie dyed tee shirt cake if you are feeling quite ambitious or get one from your favorite local bakery if you are good at describing what you want and place your order far enough ahead of time. You can have fun allowing each guest to create his or her own psychedelic pizza. You would make the dough of course and allow them to decorate the pizza with sauce, veggies, pepperoni, and/or ham. It's a lot of fun, good food and something that will make the party a little bit unique. You will also want to have plenty of good snack foods on hands such as chips, sausage rolls, pigs in blankets, sloppy Joes, fruits, cake, and groovy chocolate chip cookies if you want to be the grooviest mom of the day.

 

Be sure to play good music and laugh a lot. You should also make a point of getting photographs of all party guests in their works of art, a pair of jeans, and bare feet. It will be a cool memory and a lot of fun. This is a party that is cool to have in almost any season (minus the pool in winter in most locations of course) and any location. Be careful though as you are working with dye. You want to make sure that the area you are working in is well ventilated and that you protect your flooring and any furniture in the area (clear plastic drop clothes work wonders for protecting floors and furniture from dye and paint).