Sleepover -13yr- Summer Days & Nights
Rebecca in Albany, CA United States of America
For my daughter's 13th birthday party, she wanted to do something very unique and fun. I had promised her I'd do something really special for her 13th. Since her birthday is in December, it's cold and foggy around our area and often rainy. Katie (my daughter) told me she wanted it to be like a taste of summer vacation" so I decided to create a Summery sleepover party for her.
INVITATIONS: The invitations had a "message in a bottle" theme. I bought decorative glass bottles ($1 each) from Joann in each girl's favorite color. I sprinkled colored sand ($1 from Joann) that was the same color as the bottle inside each until there was about an inch of sand. I popped in a couple of decorative seashells from Petco so it looked beachy and pretty. Next I misted low-quality white cardstock with coffee I put in a spray bottle. I let it dry and the edges crinkled a bit. The slightly stained/crinkled appearance made it look like it had been floating on the ocean for years while still looking elegant. On the paper I inked the invitation. It said "Greetings from the shores of Hawaii! You're invited to a warm seaside party…." and went on to explain the where what to bring etc. I tied each note neatly with a white ribbon and placed in in the bottle which I corked shut. Then I tied a pair of miniature foam flip flops ($0.59 at Joann) in each girl's favorite color to the bottle using hemp string. It looked summery and sweet!
PART ONE - SUMMER DAYS
DECORATIONS: We rented a big room at the community center near my area. It's large and open with a little "bar" in the corner and big glass doors leading to an indoor heated pool. We originally planned not to use the pool and instead to take the girls to the community pool beforehand but decided that it would be more convenient to use the one in the space. We hung a large white curtain that divided the room into two parts. We rented a projector to project a seaside image to make the girls feel like they were on a real island. My husband used some wood to constuct a huge shallow sandbox which stretched around the half of the room the girls would be on first. We filled it with sand and placed a blow up palm trees in various locations. We laid out some colorful beach towels that we had and a couple folding chairs. We decorated the bar to look like a smoothie shack using some straw and coconuts and put blue streamers on the walls. The place looked nothing like it did before! It truly looked like a beach especially since you could see the pool through the glass doors bt the smoothie shack! We played hawaiian music over the speakers.
COSTUMES: My husband and I dressed in beachy hawaiian wear. He wore a hawaiian shirt and white pants and I wore a bright pink muumuu dress. We bought cute little beach dresses (Like muumuu's) from Macy's for really cheap one for each girl in their favorite color.
ACTIVITIES: As each girl arrived we handed them a tote bag with their name painted on it. It contained a towel ($ store) their muumuu and a flower lei ($ store). Each girl changed into their muumuu and their bathing suit and flip flops (which they were asked to bring on the invitation). They were happy to do so because it was acutally pretty warm in the space! Katie's little brother and his friend Keenan walked around in attire matching my husband's offering hors d'oeuvres to Katie and her friends as everyone got there. The girls spent the first half hour running along the warm sand (it really was warm!) in their bare feet. They had a blast! Then everyone went into the heated pool. They splashed and played and had so much fun! The girls hadn't been swimming in a long time since the pools are closed for the winter and it really gave them the summer memories. All the girls were relatively strong swimmers but we had my nephew (age 19) lifeguarding the pool the whole time. While they played my husband barbequed up hot dogs and burgers while I set up the "beach" for the afternoon games. We put up a volleyball net that we borrowed from our neighbor and a ping pong table that the community center let us use. My husband put out the barbeque and set up a real summer lunch. After an hour of swimming the girls dried off and ran out for food. There was fresh watermelon (which was great even though it wasn't in season) hot dogs, burgers, chips, and a plate of veggies with dip. The girls headed over to the smoothie shack where Katie's Grandpapi was serving up smoothies, sodas, water, milk, and juice, with a smile. Each drink had a tiny paper umbrella and was served in plastic pineapple cups ($ store). The girls laughed and sat on a huge picnic blanket in the sand while singing and dancing along to their favorite songs.
GAMES: First the girls played five on five "beach" volleyball. They had so much fun they played for over an hour! They also spent some time playing ping pong. After the sporty games we went on to some classic party games. For prizes we went to the Target dollar section and picked out things like sand buckets flowery hair clips plushie tropical fish scented lotions etc. We placed them in a big tub. We started with "clothespin tag." Each girl had to clothespins pinned to the back of their muumuu. On our go they ran around trying to unclip the clothespins from the other girls' backs. If both yours were pulled off you were disqualified. The last person standing won and got to select a prize from the prize tub. Next we played "smoothie smackers." The girls sat blindfolded in a circle and were each given a dixie cup.
Katie's grandpapi made a smoothie with three different fruits and poured a small amount into each dixie cup. The girls all drank the contents of their dixie cup removed their blindfold and then wrote a guess of what three fruits were in the smoothie on an index card. They shared their answers out loud and whoever was the closest won! At one point Grandpapi made a smoothie using the vegetables and dip from the vegetable platter. The girls' guesses were hilarious and when I told them what was in the smoothie they all laughed until they cried. Next the girls wanted to get back into the pool so I decided it was time for the diving contest. My Husband Nephew Sister Katie's Grandpapi and I all sat in folding chairs next to the pool. We had three categories - Biggest splash smallest splash and freestyle. Each girl took a turn off the diving board for each category and we each held up a score of one to ten. The person with the highest score on each round won a plastic medal ($ store). We originally only planned the three categories but the girls wanted to do more. We ended up also doing best flip funniest jump best dive most graceful jump best animal impression jump and many more until all the girls had medals.
PARTY SNACKS: They were hungry after so the little boys came out with their hors d'oeuvres to serve. Katie's grandma prepared these and placed them on trays for the boys to carry around to each girl. My son had a tray of vegetable spanikopita. The girls were a little hesitant to try these but when they did they couldn't stop! There were also tiny squares of cheese pizza (a big hit) and dixie cups full of flavorful pasta salad we purchased from Andronico's. Good thing we didn't make a huge amount of these though the girls would have filled up before dinner!
PART TWO - SUMMER NIGHTS
DECORATION: The second half of the room was designed to look like "the night life" of hawaii. There were black curtains around the room with classy silver purple and black balloons strung in clusters around the edges. We set up three "shops". One was named "Katie's Luxurious Beach Spa" Another was "Kiki's Sandy Souveniers" and the third was "Katrina's Gourmet" (a restaurant). Each was set up to look like a large stall each run by a few of my old friends. We had velvet ropes to simulate lines and the whole area looked high-class and party-like. We left an open area for a dance party later/freeze dance.
COSTUMES: The women in the Summer Nights area wore Simple Black Dresses that they already owned and the men wore Black suits with white undershirts. The kids got to keep their muumuu's on so the really stood out against the velvety black walls.
ACTIVITIES: When it got dark we led the kids into the "Summer nights" area. As they entered Katie's little brother (in a suit and sunglasses) handed them each a black bag with fake money and a "VIP pass" card in it. My daughter mentioned that her friends said they felt famous. The girls were split into two groups. Five went to "Katie's Luxurious Beach Spa" and the other five went to "Kiki's Sandy Souveniers". At the "spa" the girls each laid back in lawn chairs. My friends Kaya Laurie and Carmen as well as Katie's aunts Maria and Krista (all in black gowns) each tended to one child. First each girl was given a mini facial using a clay mask we bought at CVS for a few dollars. They got to sit with cucumbers over their eyes while getting a foot massage. Then each girl had their hair done and nails painted. They had so much fun and felt like divas. After 20 minutes at the spa the girls switched. The girls who were at the spa went to the souvenier shop and vice versa. Katie's Grandpapi ran the souvenier shop. Each girl used the money in her bag to buy knick knacks from the dollar store and target. If they didn't have enough they could try to get Grandpapi to haggle the price down by making him laugh (which is easy if you know my father-in-law). The girls had fun lots of fun! After time at both stations we all headed over to "Katrina's Gourmet" for dinner. We set up a long table with a fancy tablecloth and flowers. There were also shells scattered around the table. The girls were served three courses (prepared by Katie's Grandma). The appetizer course included Caesar Salad and Tomato Basil Soup. The main course had pasta pizza and roasted veggies. Finally it was time for dessert.
CAKE: I made Katie a beach themed cake. I carved out a mound from a vanilla sheet cake in the shape of a small island. I covered the cake in vanilla buttercream icing and then sprinkled graham cracker shavings over the top to simulate sand.I made a palm tree out of Rice Krispies Treats and covered that in green and brown fondant so it looked realistic. I surrounded the cake with "water" (blue fruit roll ups) and a few "fish" (swedish fish). On the "island" I used colorful icing to draw a beach blanket. I found some sugar decorations that were shaped like flip flops and placed those on as well. It looked fantastic and my daughter loved it!
AVTIVITIES: After dinner and cake it was about 8:00pm. The community center allowed us to rent the space overnight for very little extra so we took the offer. We set up some colorful lights while the girls chatted and then shut off all the other lights. It was dance party time! We played the girls' favorite songs and they danced and sang and laughed for a few hours. At 11:00 we turned of the music and headed back to the "beach" where my husband had made a "campfire" with the gas firepit. I started cleaning up the shops with my friends. The girls sat around the camp fire roasting marshmallows singing songs and laughing. It was magical. Finally at midnight it was bedtime. The girls set up their sleeping bags on the "beach" while my husband and I slept in the now empty "shopping center." The curtains were pretty soundproof and the girls probably stayed up really late. In the morning we served the girls pancakes in bed. Then their parents started picking them up.
FAVORS: As the girls left they each got their Tote bag with the towel their muumuu their lei their pineapple cup and the knick knacks. This birthday party was so fun for my daughter and her friends that they still talk about it almost 6 months later! We saved up knowing that she wanted something special so it wasn't a hard hit financially. It was so fun and I know other families would enjoy it too! "
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