We do our parties at home. Usually they are small, with the birthday person choosing a few friends to come over for some fun and games and cake. This year it was Alex's fifth birthday, which is a big deal over here as you start school as soon as you turn five, so this was reflected in a larger-than-normal guest-list (12 children in total!).
We like to decorate simply. A few streamers and balloons and some decorations that match our theme. This year was a superhero theme so we decorated accordingly.
One of the best home decorating jobs we've ever done was painting one wall of our kitchen with blackboard paint. Normally the kids draw on it and we write messages etc, but at party time it gets a special message and drawings to match our theme. My hubby is the artist responsible!
My very creative Hubby also spent the morning of the party decorating the deck where the party would take place:
We also played some simple games: Pass the parcel (played the 'old-school' way with only one present at the end!), Pin the Bat-wing on Batman (played by pinning a cardboard Bat-wing onto the Batman drawn on the blackboard wall), a Kryptonite hunt (finding green blocks hidden in the garden), and the favourite game of the day: Super-Villan Bowling! We bluetacked printouts of super-villans onto bowling pins, set them up on the deck and let the kids go for it! Here are the super-villans being used as decorations before the game.
The thing I was most worried about was the cake! I have never tried icing with fondant before, but Alex had his heart set on a Superman cake so I decided I would give it a go and here are the results! I had to make two cakes as we had two parties, one for the kids in the afternoon and a quieter affair with the family in the evening.
This was the kids cake:
A few cracks and I didn't trim it very neatly, but no-one noticed. They were too busy eating it!
And this was the adults cake:
This one was much smaller as we had fewer people to feed.
We only did very simple 'party bags'. I'm not really into the concept. When I was a kid, playing some games and having some cake was enough. I didn't need a plastic bag full of cheap plastic toys to make me feel like I'd had a good time. I did little parcels consisting of two chocolate frogs and two balloons wrapped in cling-film (I forgot to buy cellophane...) and tied up with curling ribbon. And it was enough. No one complained that they didn't 'get' much and a good time was had by all.
How do you do birthdays?