The theme of this year's birthday party for Lucas who turned four on April 26th was super heroes. While he loves all kinds of super heroes -- Captain America, Flash, Spider-Man, etc., I really wanted the party to be about the super powers of Lucas and his friends (I spend enough time getting shot with spiderwebs and saving people in the Batmobile).
The invitations were printed in black and green on heavy white cotton paper with a clean, minimal design highlighting Super Lucas. Each invitation set included custom tattoos and instructions packaged in a small glassine envelope for each guest. The tattoos had the guest's name (i.e. Super Connor) as well as super hero speech bubbles with expressions like "WOW", "OK", "YES", and "COOL" instead of the usual "POW" and "BANG" expressions. The envelopes were lined with a pattern of the same super hero expressions.
It's been our tradition to have Lucas' birthday parties at Tilden Park but this year we had the chance to have it at his preschool's outdoor space. It's an awesome space that's safe and enclosed, with fun play structures and multiple levels for the ultimate in superhero fun. The only downside to having it at the school was that we had a guest limit.
Last year I took Lucas to breakfast at one of our favorite places, Elmwood Cafe. We did it again this year and I think I'll make it a tradition. Since the day was all about Lucas, we had Theo stay home with Po Po (grandma) which he didn't mind one bit because she is the world to him. And side note here - it is WAY easier with just one kid. Just sayin'. We ordered yummy coffee, a latte, orange juice, an egg sandwich, a frittata with organic greens, and a buttermilk waffle with lemon curd and blueberries on top. After breakfast we walked down the block to pick up donut holes for the party -- a Jackson kid party tradition!
Lucas got to open one small surprise gift from us - a Lightening McQueen race car. He hasn't seen the movie Cars yet but somehow it's one of his favorite characters and he talks about him all the time. Needless to say, he was floored when he opened his eyes to find this little red racer in his hands.
For party favors, we made custom (no sew!) capes for each of the kids so they could wear them on the day of the party. It was a huge hit with the kids and so fun to see them running, jumping, flying around with them. Some of the kids even wore them to school the next day and beyond. A huge thanks to my mom for pretty much doing all of the hard work -- from measuring, cutting, and washing the material, to helping me paint each of the letters on late at night. We also made paper masks (simply cut out the mask shape onto colored card stock and then staple a piece of elastic on both ends) that kids could decorate with markers and star stickers.
My husband Nick also crafted a building scene out of old cardboard boxes, tape, and spray paint as a backdrop for a photo booth. Each guest was encouraged to strike their best superhero pose in front of the buildings using an instant Fuji Instax camera. The guests could stick the photos into a memory book and jot down something for Lucas to read later.
For lunch we catered mini bean and cheese burritos for the kids from a favorite local Mexican restaurant. For the grown ups we catered Vietnamese banh-mi sandwiches and spring rolls. And for dessert I made a yummy chocolate cake (Lucas' favorite) and cupcakes with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. And lastly, our parties wouldn't be complete without our traditional donut holes wrapped in paper cones.
Everyone had a blast, even Super Theo who came to the party with Po Po and Nana right after his nap.