Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Planning the Perfect Party (My Style)

Someday, we're moving. My dream house has a big porch and a first-floor laundry room, and plenty of space for all of our collections (and cats); it will also have a big yard -- we're hoping for a couple of acres. (It's a dream house.)

When we're in this home, I want to entertain. I'm hoping that one of the first things will be a big Halloween party, but if not, most of my ideas can still apply. I've been going over the things I want at this party. Since it's a dream party, I'm allowing myself to go a little over the top. Here's my list so far -- I'd love to hear some other ideas.

Even though we don't have kids, it needs to be kid-friendly, because I'm the auntie. Everyone will be invited to pitch a tent or park a camper and sleep over. My big-time dream home has a guest dorm and several small cottages, but I can't wait that long.

Think carnival, but the first rule is:

No clowns. Too many people are afraid of them. Personally, I'm just afraid of clown dolls (thank you, Poltergeist), so those won't be allowed either.

Ever since I helped work on the school carnival in the 8th grade, and studied a stack of catalogs for related equipment, I've known that someday I would have to have a party and have a cotton candy machine. Sorry kids, you can't operate it yourself, but stand back and let me fix you some. (No cotton candy in the house!)

Other food offerings would include typical picnic/BBQ fare.

Last year, my company had a big "family day" event, and hired a company to do air brush tattoos, face painting and balloon animals. I'm tempted to say that I'd skip the balloon animals, because those areas were chaotic, but I loved the air brush tattoo (we'd have to make sure they had updated stencils), and my niece loved the face painting. So both of those, for sure.

Adult-size moon bounce. 'nuf said.

Bubbles. Just a big area with tubs of solution and giant wands.

Games and crafts area, for families and groups to play together. I think that a few scheduled activities could be planned, with families free to play Uno or dominoes the rest of the time. At a family reunion-type weekend a couple of years ago, a bunch of us sat around playing dominoes. It was low-key and a lot of fun.

At dusk, a hayride or something like that. At our place up north, I've been known to fill up a golf cart to capacity and take the kids for a ride in the woods. We don't need any special props (or full dark) to have the kids scared out of their minds -- Mother Nature does a pretty fine job all by herself.

Once it's dark, maybe we'll all gather to watch a movie projected onto a big sheet. Or, maybe we'll be so tired, we fall into our sleeping bags, or beds, and pass out.

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