Well, Saturday night at eight o'clock
I know where I'm gonna go
I'm a-gonna pick my baby up
And take her to the picture show
Everybody in the neighborhood
Is dressing up to be there, too
And we're gonna have a ball
Just like we always do
Saturday night at the movies
Who cares what picture you see
When you're hugging with your baby
Last row in the balcony
Ok, are you hearing the Drifters crooning about going to the movies, yet? Ahhh, love some old Drifters.
Anyway, this past Saturday, we had our very own night at the movies in our very own backyard. No balconies, and I was hugging my actual baby, but it was still quite magical. See, my little baby turned 7.
I can't believe Molly is now officially 7. I'm pretty sure I say that with each birthday, but, well, it's still true. Molly is a social butterfly. She wants to be doing something, seeing someone or going somewhere every minute of the day. Truth be told, it exhausts me. (Ok, if you know me at all, you are not surprised by this.)
So, when it came time to planning her birthday party, she wanted a huge party with everyone she knew invited. We started counting it up, and we were upwards of 30 kids. So, because I started having a nervous panic attack at the thought of that many children in my house, I told her we had to cut it down. I tried to convince her to have an art party at an art studio, but told her she could only have about 6 guests. And, she's been wanting to have a slumber party for a couple years now, so I said that we could do that, but, could only invite 3 girls. (No way am I having a ton of kids overnight!). Well, Molly, ever the people-pleaser and sweet soul, didn't want to leave anyone out. It was a no for the art and the slumber party.
After much discussion, we finally came up with a compromise. We were turning it into a girls-only party. And, because she really wanted a sleepover, but wanted more people, we started brainstorming. That's when someone happened to mention that they'd had an outdoor movie birthday for one of their kids. Perfect. It would be in the evening/night, so it was almost like a slumber party, but all the kids went home, so she could invite all her girlfriends.
Of course, next step: Pinterest. There are some great ideas out there, and I just took 'em all.
With the end of school happening, the party kind of got pushed back into the recesses of my mind, so I didn't start planning as early as I normally do. I did manage to make the invitation in advance. Honestly, of all the invitations that I've made, this is my favorite. I thought it turned out super cute.
I really should've planned better and done my shopping for the party before school was out. But, well, I didn't. So, I did all my shopping with both girls in tow. They really aren't bad, but when you have a million places to go, getting in and out of the car with two kids just makes everything take longer. I was ready to pull my hair out on Friday afternoon after a whole day of errand running, let me tell you.
What was a pleasant surprise is that Party City has a whole movie night section. I totally scored with a lot of stuff such as the plates, napkins, tablecloths, etc. I ended up having HyVee make the cake. I of course found one online that I liked and brought the picture in to them. They said "no problem." It was great, because that was only about a week and a half before the party! Cutting it close, people. Though, I'd originally told them a number of people, then we got more RSVPs, so I started freaking out if we would have enough cake. Cory to the rescue. He made cupcakes just like I'd found online.
We also kind of freaked out all day because it kept spitting rain. We had a whole plan for the backyard and rain was not in this plan. Luckily, it finally turned around and cleared up. It ended up being a beautiful night.
So, enough prep stuff. It's party time!
Everyone started arriving around 6:30. I had bought a background for the girls to take pictures against. They could practice their best red carpet poses. It ended up being a great idea because the girls loved it. FYI, Molly really wanted to wear her pajamas, so the invites told the girls they could wear theirs. Most of them did.
|With just a couple girls at the party, we practiced our posing.|
|Some more posing.|
|And, crazy posing! Check out Charlotte on the side with a cookie :)|
As the girls were arriving, we played video clips and music videos on the TV as a sort of preview stage of the party. Cory and I had debated the best way to show the movie. We thought about doing a projector, but knew we weren't planning to wait until it got dark to watch the movie. If it were a teenager's party, sure. But a bunch of 7-year-olds? Nope. Not keeping them up that late. So, we put our TV from our basement on the lawn. Cory built a base and stand for it. I wanted to make curtains to go around it like a real theater. They looked better in my head than they turned out. But, you can still see the idea. The tent over the top is just in case it started raining. We wanted to protect the TV!
|The whole backyard scene.|
|Watching some videos.|
After a while of "previews" and once most of the girls arrived, we opened the concession stand. We had popcorn, a million kinds of candy, and drinks. Cory was the concession stand worker.
|I'm also super proud of my concession sign. I made it on PS, then printed it at Walmart. I loved how it turned out.|
|So, tip for next time. Write the name of the drink before you fill up the container. It's very hard to write cute in chalk at that angle.|
|I already had the red bowls, but found the popcorn bowl and the popcorn boxes at Party City.|
|The CANDY! We had one tray that had full-size candy bars. Each girl was limited to one of those. The twizzlers and small candy were fair game.|
|Cory worked the concession stand.|
Once everyone was loaded up with the popcorn, drinks and candy, the girls got comfy on the piles of blankets and pillows on the lawn. And, we started the movie. In case you couldn't guess from the fact that Molly is a 7-year-old girl, we watched "Frozen."
|Ready to watch Elsa and Anna!|
The girls were good for a while, but we knew the natives would start getting restless after a while. So, halfway through the movie, we had an intermission. During the intermission, we sang "Happy Birthday," ate cake and opened presents. It worked out like a charm. As the kids were getting more and more fidgety, we gave them something else to do.
|Molly and her cake from HyVee.|
|The cake was beautiful and just what I had wanted. It didn't, however, hold up with the humidity. We should've served it first thing. It was kind of the leaning bucket of popcorn. Oh well, it still tasted delicious!|
|Cory's adorable popcorn cupcakes! They were a hit amongst the kids.|
|Proud parents and their 7-year-old.|
|The aftermath of attempting to cut the leaning bucket of cake. We finally got out a spoon and spooned it on plates. It really was delicious tasting, though.|
|Getting ready to open presents.|
|Surrounded by girls!|
|I just loved the excitement on Molly's face. It's Rarity! (A My Little Pony for those of you not in the know.)|
After presents, we settled back in for the movie. As it got darker, we pulled out the glowsticks and the girls had a blast making necklaces, bracelets and jump ropes(?). Don't ask me. Kids are crazy.
|The last four girls. I just loved this silhouette.|
All-in-all, it was an incredibly successful party.