Take Me to Neverland!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

This weekend was Perry's "big party." His Neverland themed party for all his friends, and lots of family too.

We decided to play off of last year's family halloween theme because well Perry makes such a darn cute Peter Perry Pan and it is just teeming with cute ideas to play off of. Perry doesn't know the whole Peter Pan story terribly well. But he is all about the junior spin-off Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

He knew he was having a big "Peter Pan party" for the months leading up to it as he started to see red feathers and hooks taking over our house. He wanted to invite everyone we talked to about it. Starting hospitality in him young.

We were not about to have a couple dozen preschoolers in our house because 1. we value our house and 2. we still have our Christmas tree up (don't judge). Instead we had the party at our church's "Treehouse" which was perfect. A big open space for us to play and eat. And decorate.

Here are some details and some (ok a lot) of pictures.

 Food was kept simple. At least the food I was responsible for making/getting. Hot dogs (dressed up with pirate ship flags), cheese and crackers, fruit, veggies. The cake and cookies were anything except simple and we are so blessed to know some amazing bakers in the area that are willing to be creative and a little crazy with me and consistently up with amazing cake and cookies. Thank you Heather and Telah!

For drinks we whipped up some sea water, which is difficult living so far from the coast, so we had to improvise with a blue Hawaiian punch, 7-up, and pineapple juice mixture. Probably tasted better than real sea water too. :)

You will notice that we tried to tie a lot of the decorations and areas in the room to different geographic areas of Neverland. It seemed appropriate that the drink station be Mermaid Lagoon.

Every year since Perry's first birthday we have bought a book that corresponds to the party theme to have guests sign. I have every intention to keep doing this...even through the awkward pre-teen and teen years when I will probably get a lot of "mommmmmm...do you have to do that?!?" And one day he will have a whole set of birthday books to take off to college (ok yeah right...but one day he will love them). Of course this year the book was Peter Pan.

We set up a large kid table in the middle of the room, constructed from a huge piece of plywood sitting on cinder blocks. It was the perfect height and it was great to have all the kids eating together. It really worked out better than I could have imagined. And all the table decorations came together beautifully too in gold, green and red. Several high top tables were sprinkled around the back of the room for adults to sit/stand at as well.

There was a dress up area right by the door so kids could play along and dress up as tinkerbell, peter pan, a pirate or an indian. I think the swords were the biggest hit among all the kids. There were many a sword battle happening all around. And sometimes costumes would get some creative leeway and you would see a tinkerbell running around with a sword, or an indian running around with a hook for a hand. Perry changed from his "never grow up" shirt into his Peter Pan costume (seriously have gotten our money's worth out of that halloween costume).

Our friend Lyndsay Abel painted this amazing canvas for us!

These pictures of Perry and Ellie Mae dressed up and playing as Tinkerbell and Peter Pan make me smile so much.

 Here's a picture of the whole room...well most of it. Pirates cove is off to the right and the kitchen and food is all behind us. It was really a perfect space. So much room for kids to run and play. I had Jake episodes going on the big screen (on mute) for a little added entertainment...in case you got board of everything else.

We had Pirates Cove with lots of fun pirate-y games. Including a hook ring toss and a walk the plank balance beam. For the 2-3 year old crowd we kept it pretty close to the floor. I had so much fun painting the ring toss board to look like captain hook and figuring out how to make a ship sail out of some wood and fabric. Needlesstosay Pirates Cove was a happening place during the party.

We also had skull rock where treasure (presents) were deposited and opened.

Kristen came in town for the party weekend. We loved having her around!

Another corner of the room was the home of the Indian Camp. Complete with teepee and campfire. Santa must have had some tip off that this might come in handy when he brought it to Perry for Christmas this year. The kids loved playing in and around the teepee and pretending to roast marshmallows and hot dogs over the fabric flame.

We so very carefully moved the cake from the food table so Perry could have easier access to it for the singing and candle ceremony. He did great blowing out his candles and happily requested a slice of the middle chocolate layer. We did three different cake flavors (again...thanks Heather!), white almond on bottom, chocolate in the middle, and lemon on top. Every one was spectacular.

Crocodile Creek as home to a ferocious looking crocodile pinata. Actually it was an alligator but I don't think anyone noticed the difference. Shhhh. We rigged it onto the end of a flag pole that a brave soul (thanks sweetie) held and let kids take turns hitting it. We let all the little ones go first and afterwards we let the bigger boys (Ben and Riggs) take care of the old croc and spill his insides onto the floor.


Thank you to everyone who came and helped us celebrate our big 3 year old! It was an amazing party, because we got to spend it with the people we love! Perry has some of the sweetest kid friends in the world.

Special shout out to Kristen and Adrienne and Chad who spent hours Friday night up at Rivertree with us getting everything set, Granna who kept Perry Friday night for us so we could do all that prep, and Travis and his mad woodworking skills for helping me with some crazy sign and sail construction requests. I don't know what we would do without our village! 

Thanks for coming to Neverland with us!

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