This year, his theme was Skylanders, and we held his party at The Main Event. A lot of his friends have been having parties there recently, and he wanted exactly what big brother got a while back, rock climbing, followed by laser tag and video games.
I sent out an evite, which Carl helped me customize as best as I could.
I added this text into the body of the evite:
Young Portal Masters, your presence is requested for Ryan's 7th birthday party. We need your help to restore the core of light and master the elements.The boys will be rock climbing and playing laser tag*. Arrive 15 minutes prior to check in and get suited up for rock climbing. We'll eat pizza after rock climbing, and then play a round of laser tag. Come Join the Adventure!You can't do much for decorations at Main Event, but I went with light blue, dark blue and green - sort of the water and sky elements.
I ordered a bunch of cupcakes in these three colors, and with Carl's help, printed, cut and mounted these little skylander pictures on popsicle sticks and stuck them in each cupcake.
It looked cute on its stand, but I couldn't move the stand once the cupcakes were on it, and the way the party room is set up, it wasn't feasible for birthday boy to blow out his candles facing away from the crowd. Thus he ended up blowing out candles on one little bitty cupcake.
They boys had fun rock climbing.
Even little cousin Connor got into the action!
Ryan especially loved that during the safety demonstration, HE got to show off his skills and climb the wall like Spiderman and ring the bell before any of his friends did. ;)
Yes, they are all watching you, Ryan.
This is Ryan's favorite activity at Main Event, so we did this for an hour before we broke for the pizza and cake.
Then, it was laser tag time, followed my video game play. As an added bonus with Main Event, Sunday birthday parties give you $10 game cards per child, instead of the standard $5. Bonus!
For party favors, I made the mistake of showing Ryan some ideas on pinterest. OF COURSE he wanted all the really fabulous, impossible to make (for me) party favors. We ended up compromising on candy bars, keychains, and reusable cups. Personalizing the keychains and cups ended up being WAY more work than I thought it would be. The keychains were made to hold photos, and these suckers are hard to open. I broke several and ended up having to buy extra packages. :( The keychains were priced 4 for $2, but since I broke so many, my cost per item was more like double that. Somehow I have no pictures of the keychains, but I printed out a gazillion of these skylander images (also used for the cupcakes) and then paired them in the keychains with the kids' names on the other side.
The cups were meant to hold children's artwork, but I just printed out these images with the children's names on them on regular printer paper and stuck them in the cups. I bought out the stock at several Michaels stores, and with various sales, they were $1 each.
The candy bar wrappers were created by a lovely, kind stranger on the disboards site I found back in my Disney planning days. Its good for more than just Disney!
We also brought in balloons for the party room. I didn't take a good picture there, though, so here is what they looked like. I ordered helium balloons from Party City in my colors, and then with a sharpie, did my best at drawing the skylanders elements on them. Someone with any artisitic genes in their body would have done a much better effort, but a certain someone in my household was tired of party assistance at this point.
Ryan had a great birthday party, and that's all that really matters. He just loves celebrating his own special day, and having his friends and family around him.
Even if we don't end up with any great family group photos to prove it. ;)