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Ideas for hosting a very merry birthday party.
April 20, 2012 8:59 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for ideas to host a great Alice in Wonderland-themed potluck golden 30th birthday party.

Hello all,

I normally don't do too much for my birthday, but this is a big one. I had an Alice in Wonderland party about 5 years ago that was great; afterwards I had the feeling that if we really went all out it could be the best themed party of all time, and now I want to make that happen (with your help, of course). Here is what I know so far:

*My plan is for people to come over around mid-afternoon (teatime), and for it to go into the evening. Not too late because it's a Sunday.
*My place is the upper level of a duplex house. We have a backyard, and I am hoping the unusually warm weather will hold enough to spend a lot of time outside.
* I am inviting both family and friends, and there will be kids there.
*My grandma is making a cake, so dessert is taken care of.
*It will be a potluck.
*It will be a costume party. I am going as Alice.
*It is also my 30th birthday, and my golden birthday.
*I am getting a bouncy castle (unfortunately, I can't find any shaped like a mushroom or anything Alice-like. If you have recommendations for Minneapolis, please let me know...).

I am looking for your ideas on:
*Foods. It will be a potluck, but I want to give some ideas so that it will vaguely fit the theme. My inclination right now is to go towards "tea party" foods, but I want to make sure we have filling food, too. I want to provide some kind of main course, so ideas for that are welcome. Some things I have thought of are small cakes labeled "eat me, tarts, and mushroom-based dishes. I will create a Google doc where people can sign up for appetizer, side dish, dessert etc, to try to make sure we get a variety of things.

*Drinks. Any ideas for drinks that will fit the theme are welcome. Someone mentioned Magic Hat beer to me, as an example, and we are also looking for kid-friendly drinks too.

*Decor. I will set up a croquet set in the yard, and have plastic flamingos to use as clubs. I have thought of decorating flowers with eyes in the yard. I have giant novelty cards that people can wear or we can put around. I am trying to borrow my work's projector to play various versions of the movie on the side of the house. I want to go all out in decorating, so ideas for both inside and outside would be great.

*Costumes. Any more obscure characters I can recommend to party-goers at a loss?

*Activities and Additional tie-ins with the books/films. Any ways we can tie in quotes from the book or strengthen the theme that I haven't mentioned. Maybe a Caucus Race or Lobster Quadrille? Any ideas on tying the (Facebook/email) invitation to the theme?

I have seen some past questions that were focused on costumes, but nothing on the whole package. Also, if you have ideas for tying the Alice theme with golden 30th birthday, that would be sweet.

Thanks in advance for your help!!
posted by ialwayscryatendings to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you haven't got The Annotated Alice, it might be worth getting for the delightful, obscure details which might in turn prompt some ideas.
posted by idb at 9:04 AM on April 20, 2012


Not so kid friendly, but perhaps you could set up a hookah lounge off the the side for the adults, a la the Caterpillar. Even if its not used it would be a good decoration.

Those tiny top hats would be fun to give out. Even better, get some plain ones and let the kids decorate their own. I think I have seen plain ones or styrofoam ones in a craft store.
posted by halseyaa at 9:54 AM on April 20, 2012


Mock turtle soup could be your main. The recipe sounds very flexible, and you could make it thick and stewlike.

Anything with treacle.

For people at a loss for costumes, Tweedledum and Tweedledee were pretty easy, just button down shirts and shorts with neckties. Or the March Hare, that just needs rabbit ears. Or the Mad Hatter - a top hat should do it.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:17 AM on April 20, 2012


Foods:
Some sort of mushroom dish. In the book, one side made you grow, the other made you shrink- perhaps stuffed with two fillings side by side?

Oysters of some variety. Extra (although slightly morbid) points for giving them shoes.

Mock Turtle Soup.

Activities:
Croquet. Do not use small fury animals, but you could have the balls painted.

Chess and playing card themed activities. I've always found human chess boring, but some people do like it.
posted by Hactar at 10:21 AM on April 20, 2012


omg...eyes on flowers! yes...googly eyes? those would be fun...at the craft store you could maybe also pick up some sticky-backed craft foam (it's thin, like 1/16" or 1/32" thick) in pink and red to cut out tiny little lips for them too...you could put out a blanket and some small pillows in their beds.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:44 AM on April 20, 2012


I'm picturing bright blue mashed potatoes. Of course, with butter they will probably be more tealish/greenish. Food coloring can be darn fun.
posted by Glinn at 11:06 AM on April 20, 2012


Gin infused with earl grey tea is delicious-- add a bit of lemon and plenty of ice and it's a perfect tea party drink for adults. You could freeze (edible) things into the ice cubes, too, to make it even more fun. Or make themed ice cubes using a tray like this one.
posted by dizziest at 12:33 PM on April 20, 2012


deviled eggs, yolks mixed with curry, whites pickled in beet juice. delicious and appalling looking and mad tea party-esque.
.
posted by beckish at 2:02 PM on April 20, 2012


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