We used my husband’s 40th birthday as an excuse to have a “Spring Fiesta.” Mexican food plus a frozen margarita machine is our fail-safe recipe for big groups. I enhanced this Mariachi Guy invitation from Announcing It - yes, my husband is a good sport!
Party Games for Grown-Ups that are Okay for Kids, Too
I printed out 25 pictures of celebrities, brand logos, a comic strip and video game – all things and people my husband has some affinity for – and displayed them along our downstairs hallway. Since I included the female hotties whose posters he had on his wall as a teenager, I had to include one of myself. The person with the most correct answers - to whether each was older, younger or the same age as my husband – won a $40 gift card.
This game was so well-received that I also used my back-up – a funny multiple choice quiz about the birthday guy. Both good conversation starters for groups of people who don’t know each other.
The “Guess How Many” game also has wide appeal. I filled a Mexican glass pitcher from Pottery Barn with one of my husband’s favorite candies, and a hanging votive holder from World Market with another. Guests young and old guessed how many pieces of candy each held for a chance to win both the candy and its container. I decorated the pitcher and votive holder with these sombrero headbands from Party City.
Mustaches and hibiscus clips at the door yielded instant grins. Some of the mustaches, which I found at Party City, didn’t stay on well, and those that did made it hard for the wearer to smile. But that only made them funnier. The clips are one of my all-time Oriental Trading favorites – festive, cheap, and they last forever.
My favorite party favors, though, were these Fiesta Donkeys, which I put everywhere.
All but the two oldest boys enjoyed coloring gauze butterflies and wooden snakes, both from Oriental Trading, with Sharpie markers. Don’t get too attached to the snakes’ tongues, as most of ours fell out (now they are worms!). A reviewer on OTC suggested spritzing the butterflies with rubbing alcohol after they’d been colored, as it makes the colors run together. It was a neat effect, but with so many young kids running around I was afraid to leave the alcohol out, so most butterflies didn’t get spritzed.
A pinata rounded out the kids’ activities. Incidentally, this number 40 pinata from Party City holds MUCH more than the animal-shaped ones I’ve used before. And to account for the wide range in ages, I stuffed a mishmash of toys in there – Mighty Beanz, Squinkies (there are boy versions now), mini maracas, jingly bracelets and glitter glue sticks.
Fiesta Party Food
Luckily, we were able to cater this party. We’ve used La Parrilla twice now. I had them hold the sopapillas and we had cookies and ice cream, instead. The kids walked around with trays of single-serving cups of Ben & Jerry’s, Haagen Dazs & Starbucks ice cream -each one has a tiny plastic spoon in the lid. What a hit!
Get the kids involved so they feel useful while you’re running around like a crazy person. Sasha and Luke painted welcome and daddy tribute signs, including this very prominent one by the front door, which we displayed using handy posts from Home Depot.
Attach pictures of the drinks that are inside the cooler on the outside of the cooler.
Replace framed photos with pictures of the guest of honor. My husband’s boss had great fun taking a picture of one of these photos with his I-phone and emailing it around the office.