Archive for the ‘Party Ideas’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Birthday Party Ideas for Adults

Planning birthday party ideas for adults isn’t always easy as it is for kids. But sometimes simple is best and most enjoyed by the guest of honor. Here are a few ideas pulled from Idea Queen’s page of Adult Birthday Party Ideas:

Surprise Birthday Parties
This can be pulled off several different ways. You could do a traditional surprise party where they know nothing about it, or you could plan the party with them, but throw in something special like an out of state guest. The point, of course, is to surprise them in some form.

Restaurant Parties
The best part about holding the party at a restaurant is you don’t have to clean up afterwards. Be clear about what you expect from your guests though – you don’t want anyone thinking you’ll be paying and then hand them the check.

Night on the Town
If you have a smaller group, you can always just take a night out on the town. Go see a movie, go dancing, hang out at the bar – whatever the guest of honor wants to do. Remember to include them in your plans!

Several more ideas for specific age groups can also be found at Idea Queen at the link above. Enjoy!

PostHeaderIcon Birthday Party Activities

Usually kids are pretty good about being able to entertain themselves at a birthday party, but it’s also not a bad idea to have a few things planned ahead of time. Things to do in between presents and cake of course!

Play Games
What kid doesn’t want to play games at a birthday party? Since there’s usually quite a few kids at the party, you can play games that require large numbers of kids. Here’s one example that comes from our Party Games ebook:

Pass the Parcel
Wrap a bar of chocolate (or some other gift), in a layer of paper. Now wrap it in another layer and repeat until you have about 10 layers. Finally wrap it in gift paper (so it looks nice). Sit everyone in a circle and play a short snippet of music. When the music stops, the person holding the parcel removes ONE layer of wrapping. Repeat until the last layer of wrapping has been removed. The winner keeps the present.

Fun Activities
Even simple activities can keep lots of kids entertained. If the weather is nice, you can buy bottles of bubbles in bulk (say that three times fast!) or large containers of chalk for all the kids to play with. This works especially well with younger children.

If it’s a winter party, individual coloring books or activity books work nice as a semi-quiet activity. You can also spice this up by having coloring contests, or other types of contests. Usually you can find bulk packages of small boxes of crayons at the dollar store.

Another fun group activity with paper could include everyone making a piece of a hopscotch line, then putting them all together. Everyone would then take turns trying it out with all the different pieces.

Be sure to check other moms to see what they’ve done in the past for games and activities at their kids birthday parties! Sometimes the best resources are those who have seen/done different things to do.

PostHeaderIcon Teen Birthday Party Ideas

I came across this today, and thought this would be a pretty neat idea. Regardless of where you decide to hold the birthday party (and if you need ideas for where or what, you can check the teen birthday party ideas page on Idea Queen)…..why not send the invitation by email? Almost all teens are connected in some way or another, so it only makes sense the invites go out where they spend the most time.

Visit AmericanGreetings.com for a wide selection of invites, eCards, and printable cards for every occasion. You may never need to search the store for cards again! Worth checking out their free trial at least for the teen birthday party. ;)


PostHeaderIcon Where's the Party Tips?

You may have noticed how few posts we make on party tips. There’s even less on birthday party ideas. Granted there is an entire section on Idea Queen just for Birthday Party Ideas, but they seem to lack here on the blog.

Why is that?

Well I guess I feel like what should be posted on the blog should be more “here and now” posts. Things we can relate to on any given day. I mean how often do we plan birthday parties? Depending on the number of kids you have and how many others you are responsible for, it’s usually not that many. Maybe 4-5 times a year at the very most. Planning milestone birthday parties happens even less for us (really – how many times in your life do you plan a 50th birthday party?).

So maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t think daily readers are interested in seeing gobs of tips on party planning. Seriously though, DO you want to see more? Or is what’s on Idea Queen right now sufficient? I’ll let it be your call….so post some comments!

PostHeaderIcon Birthday Party Food Ideas

For kids parties, usually cake and ice cream are all they care about. But for adults, you may need something extra. Maybe a meal or just “snacks” to give the guests something to do other than chatting.

Now chances are you aren’t going to want a huge meal. If you want something more than just things to snack on, it’s got to be something simple. Chili, pizza, or other single dish items. If you want to make it a major dinner event, make it pot luck. No one person can cater a meal for large amounts of people.

For “snack” like food, you’ll still want something simple. If you have a bread machine, there are all kinds of different breads you can make. Meats and cheese are also a good option, since they are pretty simple to prepare (just slice and arrange!). Fruit is another option – such as apple slices, grapes, and non-messy items.

Chips of any kinds along with sandwiches are another option. They are not as healthy as the fruit, but usually a crowd favorite. Small sandwiches are perfect for smaller crowds.

The main idea is to keep it simple. You don’t want to spend your entire day in the kitchen or getting food ready. Make sure the focus is on the guest of honor!

PostHeaderIcon Birthday Party Planner List

A few days ago I mentioned Idea Queen has gone mobile. Meaning we’ve created a website specifically for mobile devices such as cell phones. It’s a website all on it’s own, and it’s purpose is to be used as a ‘check list’ while you are out running errands.

Part of this new mobile site includes a checklist for birthday party supplies. If you are about to rush out the door, first make note of this site: IdeaQueen.mobi.

For those of you just looking for an easy list to grab, let me give you the list. Granted this is the “short” version of the page, but I think it’s all most of you really need:

– Decorations
Balloons, stremers, table cloth, etc. All optional.

– Plates and Napkins
Paper plates, napkins, and anything else you need for cake and ice cream.

– Cake and Ice Cream
Half gallons usually do, but depending on the number of guest you’ll want more.

– Spoons and Forks
Plastic is good and makes for easy clean up. Get individual boxes, you don’t need plastic knives.

– Games
Crayons and coloring books work for little ones. Party games work for adults

– Gift Bags
Optional. Take a trip to the dollar store for this one.

Need the decorations? We recommend The Party Works!

PartyWorks Logo

PostHeaderIcon Pizza Party

When my friends and I get together, we don’t do what normal people do. We do pizza parties. It’s like a backyard picnic complete with kids, friends, and food. Except of course, it’s held inside and no grill required. Instead we make homemade pizza because somewhere down the line mine has become famous. Now when we decide to do a get together with a houseful a kids, we call it “pizza night”.

First I start with making the crust. I have a bread machine, so it makes it a whole lot easier. Toss in the ingredients, set it on dough, and we’re good. My pizza crust recipe is as follows, and it makes two crusts:

Easy Homemade Pizza Crust

3/4 c. warm water about 80 degrees F
1 Tbl. olive oil
1 Tbl. brown suger
1 tsp. italian seasoning (avoid garlic – yeast will not rise)
1 Tbl. dry milk
2 1/4 c. Unbleached white flour
1 tsp. active dry yeast.

Add ingredients in order in bread machine, making small indention in flower for yeast (Make sure it does not touch liquid). Set bread machine on “dough”. If you don’t have a bread machine, mix ingredients together and kneed dough for 5 minutes. Lightly coat with olive oil and place in bowl. Let rise for 30 minutes.

Use half of dough for thin crust, and freeze the other half if need be. When finished, roll out dough on pizza pan. Poke holes in dough and coat with olive oil, garlic, italian spices, and parmesan cheese. Bake for 5 mins at 425 degrees.

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Next comes the pizza sauce. Sometimes I cheat and grab a can of italian diced tomatoes. Although during the summer when I have tomatoes in the garden, I’ll use my own. I make the pizza “sauce” in the same way I make my salsa – diced and tossed in a sauce pan on high. When it starts to boil, I turn it down to low and let it simmer for awhile. When I’m using my own tomatoes, I put in oregano, basil, and garlic salt. My fresh pizza sauce is a little on the chunky side, but everyone seems to love it. Most likely because it’s homemade and you just can’t beat that.
Next I fry up the hamburger and Italian sausage. Usually we use about one pound hamburger and half a pound sausage. The rest of the ingredients include pepperoni, sliced mushrooms (from a jar), mild pepper rings, and of course shredded cheese. I usually make one “everything” pizza and one just pepperoni for the picky kids.

Now the main reason this pizza has become famous is NOT because of the homemade crust or fresh pizza sauce. Nope, it’s actually because my pizza is called “the mountain pizza” because it’s so piled with toppings. On the everything pizza, there are about 4-5 layers of all the toppings I listed above. I’m not skimpy either. Just for one pizza I require about 2 packages of pepperoni, 1 whole jar of mushrooms, most of the hamburger and sausage, and up to 2 bags (2 cup size, so 4 cups in all) of cheese. Yes this pizza is LOADED.

Now because this pizza is so big, I usually skip the cooking step in the crust recipe. Reason for this is it takes so long for the pizza to cook, the crust risks getting a little too crispy if it’s got a head start.

Because of the size, I also cook it slow. About 375 for at least 45 mins. Cooking it slow helps the crust not to burn, and makes sure it cooks all the way in the middle. You can tell it’s cooked when the cheese is brown all the way across the top.

In all, these pizzas take a whole lot of time, but it’s fun. When we do pizza parties, there is always a house full of kids that love to help putting on the toppings. Make sure you have extra toppings on hand, because quite a bit will walk away with lots of kids around. (My daughter once asked if she could help, then proceeded to steal and eat a pepperoni right off the pizza!)

Give yourself at least an hour for the crust (an hour an a half if you have a bread machine), half an hour to put the pizza together, and at least an hour to cook. We usually start at 2pm to have things at least close to ready by our normal supper time (5pm). The time goes pretty fast when you have friends and kids helping though. ;)

PostHeaderIcon Party Planning – First Birthday

Your baby is one! Hard to believe, isn’t it? It’s a bittersweet feeling – you love to watch them grow, but sad to see them growing up at the same time. Never the less, you want to make this party great.

After holding multiple birthdays for both my kids, I can tell you it does get easier the more you do. So the first thing you’ll want to do is take a deep breath. They are not going to remember this party in the least, so you do not need to stress about it. No need for massive amounts of decorations or anything of the like. In fact, if there aren’t going to be other kids you might want to skip the balloons. They get popped (possibly even by them, which of course wouldn’t be good) and become a hazard to your little one.

Instead you’ll want to just worry about the cake and inviting relatives. No need for invites unless you really want to – just give them a call instead. Just make sure you have your cake and all items you’ll need for the cake (and ice cream too!).

For a list of supplies and some helpful tips, be sure to see our baby’s first birthday party page at idea queen. You can also check out party supplies at The Party Works.

Just remember to keep it simple so the focus can stay on your baby! ;)

PostHeaderIcon Gift Ideas for Teen Girls

The hardest person to buy for has got to be a teen girl. You almost need to spend every single day with them to figure out just the right present. Being the adult, they of course don’t WANT you to spend any amount of time with them. Figuring out a present when you don’t have a clue….not so easy.

Other than a car (the top of the list for every teen), the next best thing is probably going to be clothes or music. Speaking in general that is, since not every teenage girl is all about clothes, make-up, and music. However, it’s usually a safe bet.

Teenages love independence and shopping for themselves. Your best bet? A gift card. While it’s not always a good idea to give cash or gift certificates to adults, it’s the perfect gift for a teen. Let them get exactly what they want the first time around.

If you have a little better idea on what they like, you might try a gift basket. This is especially nice for sweet 16, when you need to make a big deal out of their party. You can stick in multiple gift certificates and other personalized item all in one basket.

The best gift idea, though, for any teen – cash.

PostHeaderIcon Ideas for Party Theme

Having fun at the party isn’t hard, but coming up with the party theme might be. If you are having problems coming up with ideas for a party theme, some of the following might help.

On the Birthday Party Theme Ideas page at Idea Queen, you’ll find details on some of these ideas:

– Pool party
– Motel Party
– Mall Party
– Skating Rink Party
– Park Party
– Plus many other theme ideas

Other ideas include very specific ideas for a party theme, submitted by visitors. There are some excellent ideas on this page, and worth checking out!