Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Movie Themed Birthday Party!

My oldest child turned 9 this past week. 9! A 9 year old boy's birthday party is a little bit trickier to plan than birthday parties of years past. In some ways it is easier. He has outgrown most party games (variations of pin the tail on the donkey and pass the present etc.). He still has a group of friends he wants to invite over and celebrate with. He wants the party to be cool. Cool to a group of 8-10 year old kids has to be cool in their eyes, not the eyes of the birthday boys mother.
We looked into options beyond hosting something at the house. We have a set budget of $100 for everything - food, decorations, party bags, activities - everything. We looked into going bowling with just a couple of close friends and having a pizza after. He liked the idea of that, but didn't want to leave any of his friends out. We proposed going to the movies. We knew we could get a Costco Kids Movie pass for about $10 each, they could see a movie and have the kids pack of popcorn/drink/candy. He really liked that idea, but there weren't any movies playing the day he wanted it that would work. (Cartoons being too babyish and nothing really tween in theatres that day).
My husband came up with a movie alternative. We could have a movie theatre party at home. We could borrow an LCD projector and screen and turn our living room into a theatre. He could invite more friends too. He loved the idea! Chosing the movie was the next tricky part. We searched out New Releases on iTunes and again, nothing really Tween oriented popped out. We figured that we should try to find a movie that most of them hadn't seen too. I teach at the school my son goes to and remembered how we had shown National Treasure for movie night in the spring as that age group's target movie. The kids had really loved it. It is a slightly older movie that is clean, but still adventurous enough for them to enjoy. Plus, most of them hadn't seen it before. I tried to think of another movie that would fit that description. Night at the Museum came to mind. We showed our son the preview and he thought it looked really funny and approved the choice.
Once we had the go ahead, I went to into Planner Mom mode! Here's how the party played out:
First, the setup - 
The Concession table

I bought most of this at the Dollarama - I gave tickets out to each guest to spend on their movie treats.

The bowl of popcorn cake
 I wrote directions on how to make this cake on my foodie blog Whatcha-Eatin?  You can find them here.
The snacks ready to purchase

Concession Pricing

Now Showing...
The entrance to the theatre
The Hollywood Star wall with all the kid's names
And now the party:
It was a beautiful hot, sunny day so we spent the first hour outside playing water games.  I gave them all water guns and let them go - they loved this!  I did have some ideas for indoor games if needed but the forecast was cooperative.

Our second game was a bucket race.  I had a large bucked of water at the front of the line and a bowl at the end of the line.  Each child had a cup.  The first one had to scoop water into his cup and pour it over their head into the cup of the person behind them, continuing on until the last person poured it into the bowl.  So much fun!

Each child got to pick a "prop" (funky party glasses from the Dollarama).  I did take individual pictures of the kids each as well.

Opening the gifts

Enjoying the movie.  I did rearrange my living room furniture into movie theatre rows.  We served them pizza for supper to munch on as they watched.  My friend Jen (thank you Jen!) made popcorn too which we served to them in individual popcorn containers (from the Dollarama) that they got to take home.  The kids also used their tickets to purchase drinks and candy from the concession.

We had a movie intermission for cake

Overall, the movie themed party was a success.  I'm very glad we pulled it off!  What surprised me the most was how much the kids loved the tickets aspect to buy their concession.  They really, really loved it!  Instead of goodie bags, the kids took home their popcorn containers, water guns and funky glasses.  Most important to me is that my son loved it and that he and his friends had a good time.  (And yes, we did it all for under $100)

No comments:

Post a Comment