50's Bowling Party - 50's Costume Dress-up
Laura in Grapevine, TX, USA
My daughter knew that she really wanted a bowling party, and a 50's theme seemed to go right along with that. The party was held at our local bowling alley, which had a reasonably priced package deal, and it was super fun.
INVITATIONS: I downloaded a great 50's style font for free and found some cute bowling clip art. The invitation said, Hey all you kittens and hep-cats! Come hit the lanes with birthday girl for a 50's bowl-a-rama birthday, at time on date at place. Wear a poodle skirt or grease back your duck tail and we'll have a gas! If you can dig it, give me a jingle. Mom's name and number. Just to make sure everyone understood all the slang, I printed a translation on the back! I printed them on white cardstock, and put them in aqua envelopes. I printed the guest's names on the envelopes using the cool 50's font, and they were hand delivered.
DECORATIONS: Unfortunately, we were not able to do much decorating, as the bowling alley had parties booked back to back in the room. I did bring a large aqua and black balloon bouquet to set up at the tables where we were bowling, which we later carried into the party room. I also brought additional balloons for the party staff to inflate and place in the room. I brought paper plates that looked like old records and aqua colored napkins with a 50's style design on them.
It would have looked awesome if I had also brought black and white checked tablecloths, but the bowling alley had discouraged too many extra things to set up since time was so limited. I set up a CD player and played a cd of 50's music in the party room, and I set out all the party favor bags and the cake. It was not a lot of decorations, but it was still cute when it was all set up.
ACTIVITIES: Of course the big activity was bowling. Many of the kids had never been bowling before, and they seemed to have a good time. We put the younger kids all on one lane so that when they lost interest, they would not hold up the older kids games.
COSTUMES: Of course, this was the most fun of all. All the kids came dressed in poodle skirts and rolled up jeans, with ponytails and slicked back hair. My daughter had a turquoise and black bowling shirt that her great-grandma had made just for her party. She wore it with rolled up jeans, bobby socks, black flats, and pink cat eye sunglasses. SO cute!
FOOD: Once we moved into the party room, the kids were served pizza and root beer or lemonade. (I had originally thought we would serve hot dogs in red plastic diner baskets, but decided to do pizza because the kids would enjoy it more, though it didn't suit the theme quite as well.) We were able to order a couple extra pizzas so the parents could have some too.
CAKE: We had 30 cupcakes frosted together to look like a cake, but so much easier to serve. A bowling lane went across the cake diagonally, and we put bowling pin candles at the end of the lane with a bowling ball down the middle of the lane.
FAVORS: We used Itunes to make a CD of great 50's music and made labels and CD case inserts with bowling ball clip art of a bowling ball with six pink candles on top. The CD's were placed in a clear cello bag with some retro style candy: a Hershey bar with an old style wrapper (I got lucky and found them at The Dollar Tree), a pixie stick, a roll of smarties, and a wax bottle filled with colored juice. For the girls, we added a pair of white cat-eye sunglasses, and the boys got black wayfarer sunglasses, both from Oriental Trading. The bags were tied with black and aqua curling ribbon. We made name tags by enlarging clip art of a bowling pin and typing the child's name using the 50's font from the invitations. We printed it on white cardstock, cut them out, and tied them to the bags.
The kids and the parents both seemed to have a really good time, and my daughter was thrilled with her party.
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