Connor asked for a Star Wars birthday and Charlie and I were determined to deliver, without a hefty price tag. Hmmm...tons of fun, Star Wars crazy and not a huge hit on the pocket book? It can be done.
First you need a supportive cast at home. Timmy likes to get us in the mood.
Then you spend a couple weeks frantically manufacturing Star Wars paraphernalia. I had a bunch of Charlie's old t-shirts, so I split them down the middle and mom hemmed them. I cut small belts out of brown felt, and voila - instant tiny Jedis. Charlie spent the same amount of time manufacturing light sabers out of pipe insulation, PVC and "duck" tape in bright colors. He put a small piece of PVC pipe in the handle and then did beautiful designs in tape to make them look great. They could whale on each other with impunity with a minimum of tears. I think they were the kids' favorite part of the party and we even had adults from other parties asking all sorts of questions about their construction so they could do the same thing.
Here's Connor modeling his costume and saber before guests arrive!
We held the party at the base community center. This place rocks like you read about, with slides and an infant play area. For a small fee, you can rent a party room and a bouncy castle in the main play area. This excites the kids so much, you really don't need to plan many activities. And even the considerable inconvenience of hauling lots of party stuff through the snow at 30 below sure beats having 20 bored preschoolers and toddlers in your house with every minute planned.
Timmy and daddy sliding!
Connor and his friend Haley playing light sabers in the party room.
Connor jumping with friends in the bouncy castle.
The party food was mostly snacks -- all gluten free of course, with a few completely egg and dairy free as well so Connor's good friend Owen could enjoy. He was so tickled that he had cupcakes, chex mix, popcorn and chips and dip he could eat. Mom and I made little cloth treat bags for everyone too with a few trinkets like space bouncy balls and glowing bracelets and some special birthday M&Ms mom sent. We splurged on a Darth Vader pinata filled with candy. The kids broke it open and Charlie ended up having to shake it to rain down the goodies -- you couldn't see his feet with the resulting shrieking feeding frenzy!
We opened presents shortly thereafter but cut it short once we realized everyone wanted the presents!
I made some gluten free chocolate cupcakes and some dairy, egg and gluten free cupcakes with vanilla dairy free icing and sprinkles. We decorated them with Darth Vader and storm trooper rings to decorate the cakes. We also got some sparkly black candles and let everyone blow them out to help Connor.
The kids then went off to play some more while we cleaned up. Everyone took a costume, balloons, treat bag and light saber home -- lots of laughs, very few tears and a very happy four year old!