My son’s birthday is at the beginning of the school year which kind of stinks for timing because everyone’s adjusting to being back to school. One year we compromised by doing an end of year party for his class but this year we thought it would be nice to host something that brought some friends together for a fun night that was closer to his real birthday. We decided that a Movie Night was an easy, low effort, all-ages option.
For this party, the planning & set-up had 4 main components: Invitations, Concession Stand, Movie Theatre and Food & Drinks.
1 – Invitations
I started by creating an invitation that looks like a ticket stub and sent them out via email:
2 – Concession Stand
I love the snack boxes kids get at the theatre (like this one) and loved the idea of having a mini snack station that the kids could access themselves.
This is what I set-up the afternoon of the party. I moved the kids’ play table out of the playroom and put it in the kitchen so there would be adults nearby.
The backdrop is the same wrapping paper I used for my daughter’s 5th birthday earlier this year. The marquee-style star & SNACK BAR letters came from Michaels. The Everything else on the table is from Dollarama, other than the candy. Cheap and cheery as my Aussie husband calls it. But when you set it up, no one will ever guess.
This is what it looked like during the party…did I care that my vision of how it would be used including those cute little baskets and individual candy bags didn’t happen? Not.One.Bit. The only thing that matters is that everyone is having fun.
3 – Movie Theatre
We took every comfortable cushion and blanket in the house and threw them into the playroom to make it easy for little bodies to pile themselves inside. I added a poster outside in an Ikea Nyttja frame like you’d find at the cinema to let you know where the move is playing. And I moved our Smart TV from the living room and put it on top of the shelves in the playroom. Did you know that if your TV has wifi you can stream Netflix even if it’s not hooked up to your cable? How fantastic is that? Instant theatre.
4 – Food & Drink
I found really cute plastic milk-bottles and knew I had to find a way to make them work for the kids’ drinks. Out came my drill and after a couple practice runs the lids were ready for straws. During the party I wrote names on the lids with a permanent market so everyone knew whose was whose.
I set-up the drink area with both the kid and adult options so that the adults would be able to help the little people.
My husband put together a charcuterie board and we had some fruit but overall we kept the food really simple. I ordered pizza and had it scheduled to arrive 45 minutes after the party start time. Napkins, no plates and everyone just helped themselves throughout the night.
Clean up took under an hour the next morning. The whole thing was perfect and we’ll definitely do it again.