Nemo 2yr - Real Fishbowl Centerpiece
Rita in Pasadena, CA, USA
My daughter Sofia was crazy about Finding Nemo around the time she was going to turn 2, so we decided that was going to be the theme. I wanted a big party as we were also sort of celebrating her baptism. The focus was more on the birthday party though. The first things I bought were the Nemo birthday decorations that you normally find at Party City. I bought the Nemo plates, napkins, a Nemo tablecloth for the "main" table, orange utensils, lots of extra orange napkins, orange plastic cups, an awesome orange picnic caddy to set up the forks, spoons and knives on the serving table, and other items. We had invited about 75 people.
We rented a 20x40 tent (they came and installed it the night before the party, it even had lighting for the evening time), about 12 tables and tons of chairs, an AWESOME Finding Nemo jumper/bounce house (it was really nice, it had an actual huuuge Nemo blowup figure on the top, not just the stickers, and it was brand new too - we lucked out), and we also rented a hot water dispenser so that the adults could have coffee or hot chocolate in the evening. For the table decorations I bought white tablecloths and bought a fishbowl for every table. I put two live fish and very pretty blue gravel inside, along with seashells.
I sprinkled the tables with seashells and colorful dried starfish, which I bought through the Oriental Trading Co. Also, my mom was driving up from San Diego and she had found this little store that made centerpieces out of Styrofoam, but they were very, very well made and just beautiful. She bought one for every table. They were about 12 inches high and 10 inches wide. The design was a Styrofoam Nemo "floating" on top of a round base. The base was covered with green, orange, and blue tissue. Everyone looooved them.
Because we had invited so many people, we decided to have the party "catered." We are frequent customers of a small Mexican restaurant that sells great tacos, so we decided that we would serve tacos. We didn't want to spend the better part of our time serving out food - we wanted to get down and party! The restaurant sent two people to make tacos and whenever someone was ready to eat, all they had to do was order up their tacos. My mother in law made gelatin in lime, pineapple and orange flavors and we had two huge bowls of mixed cut fruit. The drinks were kept cool in an orange plastic tub of ice.
The main table was decorated with a Finding Nemo tablecloth. My mother had bought a big centerpiece with the all the characters on it and Nemo in the center. Again, this was made out of Styrofoam, but it was sooo well made. Each individual character was cut out perfectly and the front had the picture while the rest of the piece was colored to match that character. For instance, the sides and the back of Dory was painted blue to match her. The middle said Happy Birthday Sofia Celeste in pink glitter Styrofoam letters. I also put two fish bowls with the fish on the "main table." I set out a couple of bowls of bite sized chocolates with special wrappers that had a picture of Nemo and said "Sofia's 2nd Birthday" on the front and "Thanks for coming to my party" on the back. The chocolates were also a big hit.
We bought two cakes, each decorated in the Finding Nemo theme. On the table I also had a fish net as a decoration and more seashells and colored starfish. I found a really nice swimming mask and wrote "P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney" on it. That got a lot of laughs. There was also a Happy Birthday banner with Nemo on it.
As for the party favors, instead of giving out the usual plastic baggies, I ordered fish boxes from the Oriental Trading Co. as well. They came flat and were made out of paper cardboard. All the kids looooved them. I stuck candy, toys, and more of the bite sized chocolates inside. I put stickers and a couple of Nemo pencils inside as well. The fish boxes were about 4x6 inches. My mom found a great big Nemo piñata in San Diego where she bought the other items. This was a good quality piñata that looked just like Nemo.
There were a few older kids who I knew were not going to be interested in jumping in the bouncer or breaking the pinata, so my husband set out his Arcade basketball game so they could play. We also bought tons of balloons, of course. Lots of green, blue, and orange balloons and about 10 of the Mylar balloons. Because we were sort of celebrating her baptism too, we decided to rent a Mariachi band for a couple of hours in the evening. Everyone, kids and adults, danced and danced and danced. It was great. People are still talking about my daughters 2nd birthday to this day...and it's almost been a year!
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