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11:55 AM EDT, October 4, 2013
Every year, we host a big backyard party, in honor of both of our boys' birthdays which are four days apart. I smile when I think back on all of our "themes". The "Fabulous Fair" featured a cotton candy machine, a small petting zoo and booths of games. When we were really into Harry Potter, a bird specialist brought hawks, falcons and owls to fly around and delight the crowd...completely awesome. This year, we weren't really sure what to do...but, after much discussion, we decided to make the fiesta a finale to our summer of reading the Percy Jackson series. We transformed our house into a cross between Camp Half-Blood and Poseidon's sea world. We're pretty happy with the end result....it was a blast...and kids left our house saying, "I can't wait to read those books!" So, having a crazy party that actually inspires excitement about reading is pretty cool.
In case you ever want to embark on a similar celebration, here are some ideas!
* I found a great invitation on Etsy.
* Based on those recommendations, I designed a "blue table". In the books, Percy's mom always makes him blue food. Blue corn-chips, jello jigglers, M & M's, sugar cookies with blue frosting, fruit roll-ups, blueberries and black (they looked blue!) grapes adorned the table.
* Rather than blue Hawaiian Punch, I mixed up my own concoction of grape juice and ginger ale.
* I then decorated the table with sea stars, battery-operated blue candles and fishermen net. It actually looked really beautiful (for five minutes...until the little campers trashed it, I mean, consumed it!).
* We rented a bouncer "maze" to resemble Percy's adventure in the labyrinth.
* We set-up capture-the-flag, archery practice and sword-dueling stations around the house.
* My husband and I dressed-up as Athena and Poseidon while the boys wore "Camp Half-Blood" shirts for added fun.
*Goodie bags consisted of golden drachmas (coin candies), Camp Half-Blood beaded necklaces (parts purchased from a craft store and constructed by Mom), a pen (in honor of Riptide) and a bookmark.
Have fun! And please share any ideas you have for a fabulous party!