Strike the Date, It’s a Bowling Party!
January birthdays in Texas are tricky. Last year, we were playing Quidditch outside and drinking butter beer. This year school was cancelled because of “snow.” I’m super glad we went the indoor party route. And, that I was smart enough not to house 13 10-year-old’s in our casa. Hello, crazy.
We opted for a shindig at Mel’s Lonestar Lanes in Georgetown. It. Was. Fabulous. The owners used to live down the street from us. They are a fine family and it turned out to be a spectacular place to host a party. Let’s get to it, shall we?
Mel’s provided a fair amount of the decorations and I got to choose the colors – balloons, forks/plates/napkins, drinks, pizza, tablecloths, candles. That meant that all I had to bring were the favor bags and sweet treats. YES! That was just enough room for me to add the Whitaker touch and a dash of the birthday boy’s personality. Mel’s also provided us with a spectacular and gracious party host, Sasha. She got the kids’ shoes, drink orders and kept everything running smoothly. We even got a thank you note in the mail a few days later.
I found some inspiration on St. Pinterest and then created my own version. I also created all the other printables which ended up being great fun, especially when there were so many words to play off of in the game of bowling. I led off with “Strike the date and spare the time…”
The main activity was bowling, obviously, but I also had the boys participate in a fun game of “guess how many.” They wrote their answers and the winner took home a fun container of Sixtlets. John Paul and Anna-Laura even practiced some mad math skills by counting all 494 pieces of candy. Our winner? He guessed 501. I love the shots below of Luke and Scott. It’s a miracle Luke didn’t drop a ball on his foot during the party. He was so excited to bowl with the big boys!
Sweets and Eats
Of course, the always-talented Olga from Polkadots made these spectacular cupcakes and cookies for the party. I *may* have taste tested more than my allotted amount of those bowling pin cookies. I added the cupcake toppers, we sang “Happy Birthday,” John Paul blew out the candle and the cupcakes were all but gone in less than five minutes. We saved the cookies for party favors. The boys inserted them into those striped sacks and added them to their take-home favors.
I try, very hard, to give favors that are practical. But, since one can never go wrong with candy, I opted for some fun takes on the bowling theme. The reusable red bucket included “Wall Shot Water” (it’s a bowling term, Google told me so), Hope You Had a Ball cherry sours, blue lollipops, red Twizzlers and blue and red Pixie Stix. The sticker on the front included the guest’s name and reads: “Thanks for making the party a STRIKING success!”
We rarely, if ever, open gifts at our parties. I’ve always chosen to put the focus on playing with friends rather than opening gifts. It’s just a personal family thing. This year, we took it a step further and asked all the kids to bring canned food items in lieu of a traditional birthday gift. Because John Paul celebrated the big 1-0 in style in NYC, we opted to forgo the gift route with friends and donate food to our local food pantry instead. We had sacks and sacks of food! I was so proud of John Paul, and his friends, for helping those in need. It seemed fitting for such a special birthday, to help people in need. The birthday boy even fancied the canned food sign himself. Nice artwork, big guy.
John Paul did a fine job writing these notes to his friends and family. Maybe that note writing lesson I’ve been teaching is finally paying off.
John Paul, another fun party is in the books. Happy 10th! (Oh, and your eyes aren’t deceiving you. We were down a kid. He chose a church event with some cool priests and nuns over us!)
Kathryn, you never cease to amaze me! What fun! and what memories for your kids and their friends! (I’m glad I’m not a mother of one of their friends… how could anyone ever come close to your magic touch?)
I love you all!
We’ve done the food pantry donations for the past two birthdays. My son’s birthday is exactly two weeks after Christmas, and we have a small house, and he already gets more than enough presents from family for both Christmas and his birthday. I reached the point where I couldn’t justify cramming gifts from friends into our small house, when there are people going hungry right in our community. Halfway through the year we buy him a big-ticket item so he doesn’t go 11 months with no gifts. It was a January birthday that inspired this idea, but it has worked so well that if I had more kids I would probably do the food pantry donation for their birthdays too.
Looks like a great party! I love all your special little touches! And the food donation was a wonderful idea.
Ninnie & Daddy John would think you were truly AWESOME! Scott married his true solemate~
Fabulous!! You do the best parties!! I’m not crafty or creative like that but I so love seeing the talents of others. God-given talents. Thanks for sharing!