When I hear the expression “The Apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree” I always think about my crazy children! They really do seem to like what my husband and I like. They have their own personalities but a large piece of them comes from us (which can be good or bad depending on what piece we are talking about). However, in this regard, I am talking about their love for Halloween and the Day of the Dead. These are big days in our house; the only thing bigger is their birthday parties. So you can imagine my delight when my daughter advised me that she was going to have a Day of the Dead themed birthday party this year! I typically have a party for each of them, but with the new job this year I decided we would move his back and hers up a few weeks and throw a party Halloween weekend for the both of them. My son went along for the ride (he probably would have preferred Pokemon but didn’t speak up – or at least not louder then his sister) however by the end of the party he told me it was the best one yet, so I’ll take it.
When I throw parties I like to keep the decorations festive, food delicious, have lots of sweets and make sure there are fun things for the kids to do to keep them occupied and happy. I think this one fit the bill. The centerpieces included all sorts of festive skulls and tissue paper flowers I learned to make online (Tissue Paper Flower Instructions), as well as vases I picked up from a local Dollar Tree. Some of the skulls were from my collection of things I keep in the house year round as decorations with wedding pictures and some we purchased from Micheal’s Craft store the week prior to the party and got a great deal on them!
I set up a table with craft supplies and masks for the kids to decorate, which was awesome at keeping them occupied while we were getting food out. My daughter and her friends were obsessed with this table and all made a ton of masks to take home with them. It was adorable watching them color and trade masks across the table while they raved about each other’s Halloween costumes.
I made small cakes for each of my kids and then cookies and cupcakes for the guests. I think cupcakes are more party friendly because you can eat them standing up and this cutout recipe is the best ever! I will post it and add a link ASAP for you – trust me you will never go back. These are my silly skull cookies, I decided I am a terrible cookie decorator and they look more like voodoo dolls, but the kids loved them and they tasted delicious (try not to judge me too hard).
We also had a walking taco bar which OF COURSE I didn’t get a picture of before people dug in to eat lunch. I failed my people, I know!
I set up a toilet paper ghost bowling game and bean bag toss for the little kids that would be at the party because I knew some of the games we planned for the bigger kids they wouldn’t be able to or want to play.
The kids played the donut on a string game where we had to keep reminding them that they were not allowed to use their hands. And we had them play a game where we had them toss around balls of string and create a tangled spider web. All the kids enjoyed getting trapped together and it made for some hilarious techniques to try to remove themselves from the web while potentially sabotaging your friend. Link to the spider web game instructions
I also made them a sugar skull pinata with one of those large punch balloons I found at the dollar store, newspaper, glue and paint (Pinata instructions). Can you see the spunk in my daughter as she is swinging that bat? She’s a lively one (human tornado)! My son on the other hand does everything a little more laid back and relaxed (like a turtle stuck in peanut butter) than his sister. Because we were having the party the Sunday before Halloween instead of giving the kids more candy we filled the pinata with tons of prizes: spider rings, glow sticks, stickers, tattoos, small figures, plastic mini nail polishes and fruit snacks and mini rice crispie treats so that they could bring them for lunches that coming up week. The pinata turned out stronger than we thought. We called it the pinata that wouldn’t die! It took about 3 rounds with the 17 kids there in order to break that sucker!
All in all it was an amazing party, we all had so much fun and their friend’s are still talking about it. My daughter got really into the theme and we created a sugar costume for her out of some clothes she already had and adding face paint and some bone leggings. I think it was just an excuse to get me to curl her hair and wear makeup, but she did look adorable if you ask me.
How do you guys throw parties? Over the top or keep it low key? Do you celebrate Day of the Dead? Are you Halloween obsessed? I’d love to hear from you.