Parents know that birthday parties are always more work than you originally plan. I always have the intention of keeping it *simple* but unless simple means gala-style, I don't do simple - one of those unavoidable truths I'm going to have to accept in my life. Worse even, a truth Husband will have to accept too.
Normally for me, throwing a birthday party is hard work, not so much because of the actual party but because I'm looking for decorations in a country where finding everyday things (like bananas) is sometimes hard to find so finding specialty items? Let's just say I start planning her October birthday in August and have been known to hole punch my own confetti. But this year, as luck would have it, our good friend (and one of Rafa's Godfathers) is getting married in September which meant that the kids and I stayed in NJ an month extra. I took the chance to not only celebrate her birthday party with our family and friends that never get to celebrate with us but I also got to throw a birthday party in the land of ease, where everything is accessible and easy to find and if it's not at Target, it's on Amazon. God, I love the U.S. sometimes!
Since we arrived here this summer, she has watched My Little Mermaid everyday (yes, I know she calls it My Little Mermaid). She's been giving me checkups as per Doc McStuffins, wears necklaces to mirror Sofia the First's amulet, dances to "Let It Go" like she's on So You Think You Could Dance, and treasure hunts with Jake and his Neverland Pirates. So...Disney was Captain Obvio theme and though the guest list was short - the festivities were big!
(I gathered many ideas via Pinterest and came up with the rest. Feel free to check out my Disney Birthday Party Pinterest page.)
This is my absolute favorite part of birthday parties!!! Guests walked into the entryway and grabbed a Mickey Adventure bag. The bag had a few small toys already but would be used for the game prizes they would be winning and for the piñata candy!
From here they opened the front door to Arendelle:
...and the backyard tent with more balloons and the Princess piñata.
It wouldn't be a Cuban thrown party without lechon (roast pork) and bocaditos (yummy Cuban-style finger sandwiches) so those were provided my Mom Extraordinaire. As for the rest, the typical snacks were made kinda fabulous by festive Disney signs.
The first game we played was Ariel's Under the Sea Search. I filled a baby pool with balloons and about an inch or two of water, dropped in a Nemo figurine and then covered the whole thing with a net. The kids then put on a blindfold and had to search for the fish through the balloons and water. This was a fun one to watch although my Princess chose to not use the blindfold… cheater. Everyone got a Disney coloring book for playing! (Shout out dollar store - where most decorations and prizes were bought.)
Next, we played Doc McStuffin's Help Put Doc Back Together Puzzle Hunt. I bought a 24 piece Doc McStuffins puzzle from… you guessed it... the dollar store and separated the pieces into six groups of four. I put those pieces in a Ziploc and hid them around the backyard. The kids had to hunt around the yard looking for the pieces and once they were found worked as a team to put it together. I really liked this game. (Hint: Write down or remember where you put all of the pieces.) They all won a Jake and the Neverland Pirates magnetic picture frame for their Adventure bags.
The last game we played was another Doc McStuffins game: Pin the Band-Aid on the Band-Aid. This was a variation of a game I found on Pinterest where they pinned a band-aid on Lambie or Stuffy but I didn't have time to make a character so I used something from - drum roll, please - the dollar store. With the kids blindfolded, they had to stick a band-aid on the band-aid puzzle piece. The prizes for this game was a Disney pen and flashlight. (Did I mention how much I love that dollar store?!)
Having both the Snow White Apple Station and the Ice Cream Station worked out well since I was able to use the same toppings for both: marshmallows, shaved coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, caramel, dulce de leche, chocolate frosting. And these pumpkin cookies my sister made were To. Die. For.
And of course…
The Princess with her Princess Cake
And after all of that our Princess was pooped.
Just kidding. She wasn't sleeping. She was hiding candy.
This was a special birthday for us but perhaps my favorite moment was when Rafaella changed into her Princess Belle dress and came out to everyone singing Happy Birthday. My parents had my sister and I make an entrance to our birthday parties and I remember it fondly - I don't know that my sister felt the same way about it but I lived for it. I didn't plan for Rafaella to make an entrance but it sort of miraculously worked out that way and I couldn't have been happier for the unexpected opportunity.
The Planning Crew,
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