20 Dec Alice in Wonderland Birthday Party
I’m late, I’m late! The White Rabbit is running along and Alice is just behind him. In this magical place thought up by a pretty little blonde girl, “Wonderland”, there is a Queen of Hearts, some flamingos, a rabbit, a dormouse, and a teapot… An amazing wonderland full of different colours and patterns!
T-25 It’s almost time for the big birthday. 10 years old. And there’s a new craze – Alice! No, not just any Alice – Tim Burton’s Alice. Well, yes, that wouldn’t be funny.
T-25 STILL I tell myself that an Alice in Wonderland themed party makes sense for my daughter’s 10th birthday. 10 years old is the age when everything begins to change. And Alice topples and hovers between childhood and adulthood. At least Lewis Carroll believes that she hesitates. Anyway, it’s annoying having to theorise everything…
T-25 AGAIN I’m going to make the invitations myself, or at least print them out myself. You could use pre-made invitations, but I want some playing card invitations. This will plant seeds of doubt in people’s minds – there are those who understand that we’re talking about Alice, and then there are those who will think of the Casino. Oooo, the deception!
T-21 – What does the White Rabbit say again? I’m late, I’m late… I, however, am right on time. The invitations have been given out 3 weeks before the party – now that’s coming close to perfection. I must say that Louise helped a lot with this process. She carefully wrote out all of the envelopes in caligraphy, and made them little rubber frames to make life easier. She’s definitely pragmatic…
T-17 It’s time to come up with a rough idea of what you’re going to do. If you’ve found yourself on this page, you must have decided to do everything yourself. Well, good news! The following list is thorough and covers everything so that you can make up your own plan!
T-15 This is the moment where everything could go wrong if you don’t order or buy all of the materials that you need. Therefore, you need to make a shopping list depending on the games and activities that you’ve chosen.
T-10 I’ve done all of my shopping, I know how I’m going to decorate and Louise is going to be Alice. All that’s left to plan is my outfit. Obviously, the logical thing to do would be to dress as the Queen of Hearts. But if you’ve read Alice Through the Looking Glass, you know that the Queen of Hearts is the the White Queen’s sister, and that the White Queen is Alice… so, no! I’ll be the White Rabbit instead. Anyway, the White Rabbit is the master of time, and so am I.
T-1 EVENING IN MY KITCHEN (IT’S actually 5PM) – I imagine that I’m in Top Chef and that I have three hours to make the menu for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Let’s go. Ganache tartlets topped with Strawberry Softies, Nutella chocolate cake, toadstool meringues, black forest cake and eat me biscuits. If I can do that in three hours with only one oven and two hands, I really do think that I’m the master of time!
T-1 EVENING – now in my living room – I’ve come up with a completely crazy party decoration. A mix of things that I love. I start to realise that this decoration is a bit of a dream come true. It’s super simple!
- I close the door between my living room and my dining room.
- I stick different rectangles in black masking tape on the door to give the impression that there are multiple doors of different sizes, overlapping eachother (cf: the work of Monika Sosnowka). I then cut a hole in the middle so we can open the door.
- I stick large strips of black sticky tape on the walls (like the Buren columns). This is super simple and has a great effect (we do this regularly for our exhibition stands).
- I remove my dining room table and set up three second-hand tables… The idea is to make a bit of a wobbley table. I then cover each table with white tablecloths. We’re just missing some chairs now, which I replace with piles of books.
- I inflate around 100 blue diamond balloons to make a balloon swimming pool. Obviously, I have an electric inflator for this. It’s crazy, just like the work of Martin Creed.
- In my living room, behind the door with black tape, I stick a tiny paper door which I cut out and clear space, because this is where we’ll do all of the different activities and workshops!
9AM – My daughter wakes up. In front of her door, there is a helium inflated rabbit which says “THIS WAY”. She follows, and ends up in the dining room. She must be dreaming – it’s not everyday that you turn 10 years old and wake up to a balloon swimming pool!
9:10AM – She has a little play in the balloon swimming pool, before coming to make the party bags for all of her friends. She starts by making different piles: one pile of black striped party bags, one pile of red heart stickers, and one of little surprises (flamingo figurines, red heart lollipops, flower rings etc…).
10AM – She then starts to set the table just like the one at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. There needs to be stuff everywhere, and it needs to be a bit of a mess. This is even more so difficult because of all the balloons. I get out my teapots, jugs, chandeliers, and champagne glasses, while my daughter sets out teacups, cups, placemats and paper plates. Everything is covered in little floral patterns of different sizes! I remind her to stack the teacups and saucers!
11AM – There we go! It’s stunning and completely surreal! “But, said Alice, if the world has absolutely no sense, who’s stopping us from inventing one?”. We’re completely on the right lines!
11:10AM – “If you knew time as well as I do, said the Hatter, you wouldn’t talk about wasting it. It’s him.”. Taking this into consideration, I decide to go back to bed. My daughter sticks “drink me” labels on the little bottles.
1PM – Time to eat lunch amongst all of the balloons.
1:30PM – I fill the jugs with juice, I pour iced tea into the teapots, and I place the cakes, tarts and biscuits on the plates on the table.
2PM – It’s time to get ourselves ready! This is the best part. Alice is ready quick. I try to do a heart on her mouth, before changing my mind and drawing two hearts on her cheeks. She also wears a rabbit hairband. I put on a tutu, an animal headdress, and white eyeshadow. Tim Walker style.
3PM – They’re all here. They seem to all be amazed by my outfit, but not as much as their parents. They follow the balloon rabbit that tells them which way to go.
3:05PM – To get everyone in the mood, I suggest a little Alice in Wonderland quiz.
3:10PM – Let’s do a few rounds of a singsong game to get them warmed up and ready to look through the Looking Glass.
3:20PM – I’m going to give you out some frames (to make with engraving rubber) in which you can draw a self-portrait so that we can make a portrait gallery, just like in the Victorian living rooms – the era in which Alice in Wonderland was written. Once you have finished your portraits, stick them on the wall with a bit of double-sided sticky tape. It looks great! And you all look like little models!
3:40PM – Girls, make a circle. We’re going to play The Missing Object. Here are around ten objects, all relating to the story of Alice in Wonderland. There’s an old key, a teapot (nicked from the Sylvanian Families), a rabbit figurine, an oyster shell, and so on…
3:55PM – I’m going to split you up into two teams. Now, we’re going to have a castle building competition!
4:10PM – I know that you all want to know what’s behind that door. You’ve been very patient, so we’re going to go through to the other side. Do you think that the space that we’re in has been split into two?
4:11PM – Yes, I know, it’s crazy and very exciting. Shall we have a game of Pass the Parcel in the balloons?
4:20PM – It’s always tea time! Or snacktime, for us…
4:35PM – Time to make the Mad Hatter’s hat. Yep, the one that Johnny Depp wore in the Tim Burton version! I’m going to give you all out a top hat and a range of accessories, and now it’s up to you what you want to do!
5:10PM – This is just great! Let’s have a little Photobooth session. Go ahead and throw the balloons!
5:20PM – And now, let’s dance! Each time the music stops in Musical Statues, I want you to pose as one of the characters from the story!
5:30PM – I’ve prepared a little treasure hunt for you all. Each clue is a key attached to a puzzle, which will then lead you to the next clue. The team who can solve all of the puzzles the quickest wins the treasure!
5:50PM – Before the birthday girl opens her presents, how about we play one last game? Who Am I?
5:55PM – You’re all amazing! Now, time to open the presents!
6:05PM – It’s time to come back to reality. The parents begin to arrive, and my sofa is calling my name.
P.S. #1: I actually did have an Alice in Wonderland themed birthday party for my daughter’s 10th birthday, but I cheated a little bit, calling on Felicity is my name to prepare an activity. It was wonderful! You can check out the photos on the community. The only thing that I made the girls do was the portrait gallery!
P.S. #2: I was really proud of the decoration for the party that I threw, but now I want to have another Alice in Wonderland themed party so that I can do all of the things that I’ve thought of above!
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