“Avengers Assemble” Birthday

Do you know how hard it is to pin down a 12-year-old for his birthday theme? It seems like every time I had an idea, he shot it down. “Too lame”, “nah” and “um, no” were popular responses. Every time he had an idea, which usually involved inviting 25 classmates over for a sleepover, I had the same responses.

After weeks of negotiations, we finally landed on Avengers. When I first mentioned it, he was all, “That sounds cool.” So I immediately shut my mouth for fear of saying anything that might sway the response. It worked. He got excited, helped me in the planning and came up with some cool ideas. Whew. You can follow my whole Avenger inspiration board over on Pinterest.

It was a fantastically fun night. He did pierce my heart when he said, “Well, I guess that was my last birthday party.” Clearly, he doesn’t know me well. Someday I’ll tell him about the 16th birthday party (and prank of the year) my parents pulled on me. He’s got birthday parties for life as long as I’m around. Let’s get to it, shall we?

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In an effort to up the cool factor, I decided to stay away from the literal interpretation of the Avengers. So, no coordinating character partyware. I was not sad about that. For the younger set, they don’t care, but tweens do. I used the characters sparingly and then dressed them up a bit with some fun papers from Chickadee Digital. At $4.25 for all the paper, I considered that a huge steal.

Let’s start with the invitations. Using that patterned paper and trusty InDesign, I created these invites, had the birthday boy address the envelopes and then dropped them in the mail.

Two things here: 1) I think when your kids are old enough to write legibly, they should be addressing invitations and 2) I love sending mail to people. Doesn’t everyone love to get something in the mail that isn’t junk or a bill? Email is great and I’ve used it for a few parties, but I’m usually an old-fashioned gal when it comes to paper invitations.

For the fonts, I just googled “comic book fonts”. Not to be confused with Comic Sans, the worst font ever created. {ahem}

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When the boys arrived. All 14. I had a mini-stroke. Our plan from the beginning was to wear them out before we sugared them up. I found some great games online, Thor’s hammer throw and pin the eye patch on Nick Fury, to name a few. We opted to go a slightly different route since the boys were older. Scott walked all 14 down to the neighborhood park for a competitive and fun hour-long game of basketball. They came back hungry and smelling like boy. Welcome to middle school. After they downed 24 bottles of water in lightning speed, it was time to play a little Xbox.

Our neighbor, Dan, pretty much rocks. When he found out we were doing an Avengers themed party, he stepped up, y’all. He gave me food name suggestions (brilliant!) and lent us his Xbox and the Marvel Ultimate Alliance game. Winner winner chicken dinner. It’s definitely not a game for the younger set, but just fine for 12yo boys. While they played Hulk and friends, Scott and I got the burgers going and the bacon cooking.

We started with this:

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Three minutes later it looked like this:

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Cracka me up. There was also a run on Gamma Ray Juice. Look at that line! We couldn’t make it fast enough.

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There was lots of feasting and eating. Laughing and poker playing with cherry sours. Several “thank you” Mr. and Mrs. Whitaker’s and many full bellies. As I glanced around the room at that happiness, I was so grateful for this set of fine young men with which Will has surrounded himself. I was also thankful I snagged a burger before they disappeared.

Here are a few photos of the dinner and movie snack table. The “Stark Chips” were just plain tortilla chips and some salsa-flavored red chips. Those “Cheese Mjolnir” (the accurate name for Thor’s hammer, who knew!) were just pretzels sticks in small blocks of cheese. I found it was easier to let the cheese set out a few minutes before inserting the pretzel. The “Gamma Ray Juice” recipe is below. For fun, I added some “Shield Twists” (twizzlers) and cherry sours.


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That color banner? Yeah, that’s paint samples, stitched together, from The Home Depot. Thank you for the brilliant, and super easy idea, St. Pinterest. I just had my boys pick out 5 samples of each color and then I ran the samples through the sewing machine. In total, it took me less than four minutes. Because I couldn’t get them to attach to the wall, I purchased three pieces of foam core and taped them together from the back. Then, the banner taped easily to those. I’m saving them for another party!

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After a bit more Xboxing, we put on the Avengers movie and settled in for the two+ hour showing. It was at that point I had to ask myself, “How many of these kids have phones and iTouches?!” I told Will not to get excited. No phone for him until high school. {mean mom alert} While they watched the movie, I picked up the kitchen a bit, got the littles in bed and then set out the cookies, cake pops and party favors.

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After eight bags of popcorn and a strong showing of the “Happy Birthday” song, the boys ate the last of my sugar and drank the last of that juice and headed home. As always, Polkadots created *the* most amazing cookies and cake pops. These lasted less time than the burgers!


For party favors, I bought green Gatorade, replaced the label with paper and then tied the PEZ candies to the back with baker’s twine. Each boy received a PEZ Avenger that I purchased them from Amazon. The only downside was that I couldn’t select the characters. I received three Spidermans and only one Thor. But, I don’t think the boys really cared.

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My absolute favorite photo of the birthday boy!

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Happy birthday, Will. You’re loved!

The nitty gritty:
Paper: Chickadee Digital
Cake Pops/Cookies: Polkadots
PEZ Dispensers: Amazon
Banner: The Home Depot
Popcorn Containers: Dollar General
Food Cups: The TomKat Studio

Gamma Ray Juice Recipe
Lime Sherbet
Lemon-Lime Soda (I used Sprite)
Limes, 5-7

Slice limes and put in the bottom of the container (bowl/pitcher), add lime sherbet, then pour soda over. It bubbles when you do that, so go slow. Because they drank the juice like beasts, I used a half gallon of sherbet (8-9 scoops), 3 liters of Sprite and 3 limes, TWICE. There’s no real science. It’s just pure sugar and tastes delicious.


  1. Shandra on April 16, 2013 at 9:11 am

    You’re my hero! Love this party idea. You plan parties just like I dream of doing. 😉

  2. Nicole on April 16, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I think I want to be you when I grow up. Or at least be able to throw a party like you. You are nothing short of amazing with how you put it together and pull it off. I’d love it if you shared any catastrophes or mishaps from the day. You seem to plan it all so well, that I think it would be hard to have any!

    Great job!

    • Kathryn on April 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Oh, Nicole. The worst mishap was ten minutes into my son’s 6th birthday, one of his friends broke his arm in the bounce house. And both of his parents are lawyers. ACK! Good thing we were friends 😉

  3. Claire on April 16, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Nice Colts jersey!

  4. 7 Quick Takes: Precious Time on April 19, 2013 at 12:22 am

    […] you missed it earlier this week, I shared the highlights from my 12yo’s Avenger birthday party. Yes, I am still a kid and yes, that gamma ray juice was seriously delicious. 8 million calories, […]

  5. Jen on May 22, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Loved this, thank you! Planning an Avenger’s party for my son’s 4th birthday and you are totally inspiring! Was also planning on having a bounce house at said party. Second plan, aborted!

  6. Chere on August 24, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Hey, I’m planning an Avengers party for my son’s 6th. Thank you for all the great ideas. Would you please go into more detail on how you did Pin the Eyepatch on Nick Fury? Thanks.

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