Thursday, July 19, 2012

Under the Sea Adventure

A rocket ship & outer space theme came in a close second this year, and there were brief considerations of a superhero or Lego party, but in the end Joseph's love of the ocean, sharks, and sea creatures reigned supreme.  Deciding to break free of our habit of having a backyard shindig and thinking a destination could be fun and unique, we held Joe Joe's 5th birthday party at a local water park that we've come to know well over the past several summers, The Water Mine.

There are water slides of varying levels, sprayers and floatables, a huge central pool that never exceeds 3 ft deep, and the fun & relaxing Rattlesnake River that circles the park in which to take a lazy ride in an inner tube.  We were able to reserve a picnic area called the "Funbrella" for a few hours where we could set up camp, decorate, and serve lunch.

I had planned on an aqua, blue & orange color scheme (and luckily found the invitation above that coordinated so well).  We had to have blue gummy sharks and salt water taffy as well as some ocean water (blue Hawaiian punch) to drink.  Some convenient last minute finds at the craft store were perfect - squishy sea urchins and small beach baskets in the right colors to hold party supplies.  The tables were also decorated with this adorable "Fish Food" dish set I got at, which were perfect for serving goldfish crackers, of course.

My friend Carrie is a paper crafting genius, and she made this fantastic custom order sea life birthday banner.  (I'll post some close ups of it later.  You have to see the details!)

I stumbled upon the greatest cookie cutters for $1 at Sur la Table, and although I hadn't originally planed on doing much of the catering as I usually do, I knew I had to bake up these lobster, seahorse, and starfish sugar cookies with royal icing for our guests to enjoy.  We sat back for a change and let the park do the catering with typical "pool food" - pizza, hot dogs, and fries, but the party menus also included tickets for everyone to get water ices too.  I'm pretty sure everyone left adequately sugared up!

We were thrilled to have several special guests from out of town.  Grandpa & Grammy (with her broken wrist) helped hold down the fort while everyone splashed around.  Mimi was in charge of transporting the most precious of cargoes to the party - the birthday boy himself, and the cake I baked for the occasion.

Here's a sneak peak of the cake.  I loved it so much I think it deserves its own post!

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