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|
|The snacks ready to purchase|
|The entrance to the theatre|
|The Hollywood Star wall with all the kid's names|
|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.|
|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|
|We had a movie intermission for cake|