This past Saturday, I ventured into to “stress mode” (an all too familiar place for me, I have set up residence) as we threw my son’s 8th birthday party. He’s a “planes, trains and automobiles” kind of kid. We have done 3 train parties and 2 car parties, so this year he chose an airplane theme.
Lucky for me, there’s a plethora of plane party ideas out there in cyber land. All with really cute ideas which I have
stolen gleaned from and tweaked my way.
Finding the perfect place was fairly easy. We had eaten last summer at the “Runway Grill” located at small local airport near us. It is decorated with models airplanes hanging from the ceiling and glued on the glass partitions. And it sits right by the runway, so any activity can be seen from the restaurant. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures from the party at all, as I under my stress of not forgetting anything, forgot my camera 😦
A couple of years ago, I had purchased a couple of prints from an artist in Georgetown, CO who does trains and old war planes to hang in my son’s room. So I decided to make use of what I already had and scanned them for the invitations, food picks, and Thank You notes (which aren’t actually printed yet.) I have been working on this for weeks now, and even had mom and dad working hard while they were here visiting. Thanks Mom and Dad! Couldn’t have done it without you!
I decided to forgo the ever cute boarding pass, but did use the baggage check and claim signs. I decided I would have the kids test to earn their pilot license (which I found a image of a real license online with all pertinent information blurred, so they could sign their own names) by playing a paper airplane game. They received a “Pilot” sticker, a lanyard with some really cool looking stunt plane posters I found online, they each got a different plane poster and was told they was their personal plane to fly to their destinations.
They then received their pilot’s folio with their passports and flight plans (which we drew colorful circles and lines on maps to make it look official.) And a “Flyboy” or “Flygirl” button to wear. I also found a really cool wreath made out of maps at Haverford House and made one myself, it was really fun.
I came across some vintage travel/airline posters that I thought were really neat, so I had my son pick 3 different posters he liked and made them the destinations for our flight plans. They went to 3 different tables with that had a poster to match the flight plans they had in their folios. They did a little activity, like throw bean bags in a old airplane made of cardboard boxes (I had made it for my son as a Halloween costume years ago.) They also made candy airplanes, and propeller pops. And then they got their passports stamped at each station.
The party table had a runway (my dad so graciously made) and they ordered off the “Junior Pilot Menu.” I had made food picks for the staff to stick in the food before they brought it out to the children.
I wanted to make an extremely cute cake myself, but soon found I had overtaxed not only myself, but my mom and dad . . . and it just wasn’t going to be done by any of us! So I went to the grocery store picked up a couple of $5 cakes and suspended a couple of airplanes he had in his room on wood skewers stuck in the cakes and added “Flyboy turns 8.”
After all the
insanity fun was had, we gave each child a box we had decorated to look like suitcases and sent them on their way.
Whew!! Another party tackled. We only had 10 minutes to set up as we were late due to major construction backup on the way. The birthday boy was late to his own party due to the construction, and I forgot my camera, and other things pertinent for the activities. But we made it work.
I commented in irritation, “I don’t know why we do this to ourselves! No matter how much we plan – something always gets forgotten, or goes wrong and you seem to spend the whole time stressed out trying to stay on time, forgetting important things that you carefully planned out, and in the end feeling like it was a failure.” And it was pointed out (by my wise parents and mother-in-law), the kids don’t know the difference, they actually have a great time, and that’s what really counts. So yes, I will do this again and again for the enjoyment of my kids and their friends. 😉 At the cost of a few more gray hairs and stress lines! Ahhh, the things we do for our kids. 🙂