We re-used the movie party theme for Carson from a couple years ago for his 11th birthday party. It's a whole new crew of friends and Carson didn't seem to mind one bit. A movie party is one of the simplest parties to pull off because you don't need to entertain. No craft projects, no games. It's especially true for 11 year olds. The entertainment was the movies themselves. I only needed to feed them. And had a blast doing it.
My sister let me use her invite (above). She was doing the same party theme for my sweet 4 year old nephew. So we swapped party ideas and shared info and printables back and forth for a month...saving us both time. Worked out awesome.
Here's the birthday boy!!
The best investment? A $5 roll of raffle tickets (2000 count). I used them for everything. That's the backdrop 'ribbon' and made the display look really cool!
I couldn't find official 'movie trays'...but crafted my own using the cardboard that holds 12 cans of canned food at the grocery store. It was the perfect size. I spray painted them black and add a label to the side (printed onto sticker paper...you know, my favorite thing!)
The movie poster turned out awesome. Even if Miles did crunch it right down the middle while it was rolled up. Can't keep that kid out of anything. Printed at Costco...$8. Love how it looked.
Of course we had all the movie goodies covered.
Each kid received an envelope of tickets to use. I wasn't sure if they would be too old to think this was fun, but they were so into it! They were trading and sharing food, pooling tickets together, bargaining. They absolutely loved it.
Nachos were a huge hit. I dressed up these 'fry' containers (from Pick Your Plum) with labels and washi tape.
All the candy was from the dollar store. They package some of the mini candy bars in packages of 6-8. It worked out perfectly because I only wanted a few of each kind, but didn't have to buy the $5 bag of fun size bars at the grocery store. I limited them to 1 box of the large candy so most of them shared.
And we pulled out the movie theater popcorn maker for the occasion. Always a hit (and a huge pain to clean...but so worth it).
I opted for bottled soda instead of cups/lids. They were super pumped about it.
Of course hot dogs served as the main course. Only 1 ticket for a hot dog to make sure they didn't skip over it. Really hoping no one got sick from binging on candy!!
And the veggies were free! Such a steal, right?!
The cake was really simple. Just a couple box cake mixes, four 8-inch layers. Yummy white fluffy frosting. I found a trick on pinterest to make these super long candles by melting two together. It made the cake unique without being complicated.
Favors were loaded into these popcorn bags from the dollar store. They stashed their leftover candy in with some microwave popcorn, silly string, and glow bracelets.
Ready for the movie! Such great boys....all of them! They watched Avengers and Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief.
We paused in between for cake and presents. We broke our usual no present rule this year (birthday party usually = birthday present). But we've been planning something for weeks and figured his birthday was the best time to reveal the big surprise....a trip to Las Vegas with his dad to see BYU and Gonzaga play in the WCC basketball tournament in March. He was so pumped!! I went on a trip on my own with my dad when I was 10 years old to Washington DC. I've always remembered that, and we've been looking for an opportunity to do the same for Carson. The stars aligned and it all worked out including a best friend and his dad joining up with them too. So fun! So, so excited for them. I made an 8 page letter full of all the details.
His friends sure know what he loves...iTunes gift cards and Skylanders. He got loaded up with both and is heaven. Still.
I think Carson and his friends really had a great time. They were all smiles and chatter with full bellies of unlimited popcorn refills. I wasn't sure if I was out of my mind when I decided to host seven 11 year olds for 5 hours, but they are all great kids and made Carson feel so treated on his birthday. It makes it all worth it!