I’ve always had a tendency to go a bit overboard when it comes to my boys’ birthday parties. It’s partly because I like choosing a theme and seeing what kind of creative ideas I can tie to it. It’s partly because I love seeing how impressed kids are with the food, games and decorations. But mostly it’s because when the party is over and everyone has gone home, I get to see the look of utter contentment on the face of my children.
This year, my oldest son turned nine and we decided to have an outer space birthday party. I started with the Space Blast Ultimate Kit from Costume SuperCentre to take the pressure off of decorating. With themed plates, napkins, cutlery, streamers and a fun balloon cluster, it had the outer space look I wanted at a great price.
After that it was time to move on to the food. I turned hot dogs into rockets with a simple swirl of puff pastry, a triangle cheese top and a cupcake liner bottom. I also made fruit rockets with pineapple, watermelon and strawberries. Chips, vegetables and dip rounded out the table. And for extra fun, I couldn’t resist making a batch of sugar cookies decorated to look like planets!
For the cake, I stayed fairly simple with a cake mix baked in a round bowl to create a half moon. But since the cake was already in a great shape for hollowing out, I decided to cut the centre out of the cake and fill it with candies! Then I used a whipped buttercream frosting to simulate the surface of the moon. An alien on top provided the perfect finishing touch!
With the food planned, all that remained was the games. Having a trampoline in the back yard came in handy; I simply renamed it the “Moon Bounce” for the day. I also painted ten rocks with metallic colours and then buried them in the sandbox so that the kids could dig for moon rocks. Because the weather was chilly at the last minute, I cut out a large paper circle and printed an astronaut figure to create “Pin the Astronaut on the Moon” in case the boys wanted to come inside for a while.
But the highlight of the Outer Space Birthday Party was one that Zackary himself requested just a few days in advance…water bottle rockets! I foolishly assumed this would be a fairly simple addition to the party but soon learned the project required constructing an actual launch pad!
Luckily, the NASA website came to the rescue with downloadable Water Rocket Launcher plans and a detailed shopping list!
The rocket launcher took some trial and error to get just right, but with the help of my ex-husband we managed to get it shooting into the sky with impressive results. While a bicycle pump will work for creating pressure, an air compressor makes the job of pumping the bottles with air much easier. Watching the boys chase the bottles as they launched was one of the highlights of the day for me!
The Outer Space Birthday Party ended with treat bags for the kids containing Meteor chocolate bars, sour candy and “Space Blaster” water guns. And when the parents arrived to pick up the kids, we couldn’t resist sending a few more rockets up in the air for them too! Overall it was the perfect party and surprisingly easy to put together, aside from the water bottle rocket launcher.
And since I’ll be able to use that for years to come, the work was worth it in the end! Thanks to the Space Blast Ultimate Kit, which you can learn more about when you follow CSC on Twitter, easily prepared food like the hot dogs (which I actually prepared the night before) and simple active games, Zackary’s outer space adventure with his friends was a hit with everyone!