Being a parent is tough right? I don't know about you, but being a sleep…
In the 6+ years that I’ve been planning birthday parties (10+ if you count other people’s parties), this latest one was my favourite for a few reasons. Firstly, because it was our first at home party, and that is a big accomplishment in and of itself! Secondly, because I organized, planned, prepped and executed on my own from start to finish (and by that I mean without hired activity leaders etc. I did have lots of help from family and friends). But the biggest reason it was my favourite party was because it was an outdoor summer party – foreign to me and my winter babies!
The entire family was sick this past December when my eldest turned 6, so we planned to celebrate when she turned 6 1/2, and immediately started brainstorming fun, summer themes. We had initially wanted to do a camping theme, but with the extreme fire alert, water shortage and complete ban on any sort of flame, we nixed that idea, because what is camping without a fire and s’mores? Our next idea was to do a movie themed birthday party, and we ran with it! We scoured Pinterest and our Movie Themed Birthday Party board was quickly overflowing with so many fun ideas!
Movie Themed Birthday Party Invitations & Decor
First item on the to do list was invitations, so we popped over to minted.com to browse for some inspiration. Boy did I get more than I bargained for! I hadn’t decided if I was going to buy invitations or make my own, but one look at the gorgeous options on Minted and I was hooked. Not only did they have a few great movie themed invitation options to choose from (plus free envelope addressing), but unbeknownst to me, they also had party decor!
This was my first time ordering from Minted, and I appreciated how easy it was to customize each piece I ordered to make them special and unique for my daughter’s party. The only downside is trying to choose from the incredible amount of options available! I love that I can reuse the Happy Birthday Bunting Banner for future parties, simply ordering the different name and photos that I want.
We also ordered 2 helium balloon bouquets with gold, silver and black balloons surrounding a large movie clapperboard balloon to finish off the decorations.
Movie Themed Birthday Party Activities & Goodie Bags
Once we had the invitations and decor sorted, we moved on to planning the activities we would do. With a guest list of 18 – 6 year old girls, we needed ideas that would work for a big group. As it was a movie party, of course watching the movie would be the main activity, but we wanted to have some fun things to do before hand. I remembered a previous birthday party we had done at a local rec centre where the kids painted a wooden picture frame that served not only as an activity but a great take home gift in place of a goodie bag filled with cheap plastic toys or sugary treats. I decided to do the same with this party; we would set up a photo booth, taking pictures with our phones and printing them, and then the girls would paint the picture frames to go with the photos.
I had initially planned to use a black tablecloth as the photo booth backdrop, but I got lucky and found this red carpet backdrop at a local Party City! Add in some dollar store dress up props (we chose feather boas, sunglasses, hats and jewelry) and we had a rockin’ photo booth. We used black, gold and white paint, gold and silver glitter glue, plus gold stars (all from the dollar store) to decorate the wooden picture frames we found at Michaels.
Movie Themed Birthday Party Food
We planned our party in the evening, starting at 6:30 so our guests had already eaten dinner. We decided to set up our snacks like a movie theatre concession stand on a banquet table draped in black, the highlight of which was an authentic popcorn popper we found at Lonsdale Event Rentals! It came with the classic red and white striped popcorn bags which added the perfect touch. We also served individual packages of veggie straws, juice boxes and skittles, all purchased in bulk from Costco.
Of course, what would a birthday party be without a cake! I always make my girls’ birthday cakes and this year was no different. You can find the detailed instructions for my Movie Themed Birthday Party Cake here. The concession stand sign, clapperboard napkins and movie garland finished off our concession stand in grand movie style.
Setting Up the Movie
After all of this it was time for the main feature! We found a local equipment supply store where we rented a movie screen and projector for a great price. We ended up going with a more powerful/brighter projector since we were starting the movie before the sun was set and wanted people to still be able to see. The store provided a HDMI – Thunderbolt cable that allowed us to hook our Macbook directly to the projector. We bought Big Hero 6 on iTunes and played it directly from the laptop. We had all the kids bring their own blankets which we set up around the screen in our backyard. They “ordered” their food from the concession stand, got comfy on their blankets and enjoyed the show!
This was far and away the most fun I’ve ever had with a birthday party, and despite having to rent equipment plus all the different party components, the price was comparable to hosting it at an outside venue. I can’t wait to do this again!