1920's Chicago Speakeasy Party 4yr
James in Suisun, CA USA
For our son's 4th birthday, we has a Roaring 20's theme. For the INVITATIONS, we found some old daily planners that featured the art of Erte. We got them for $1 each, and cut out each painting and pasted it to cardstock. On the back we printed the party details in an Art Deco font, and made it sound like it was the grand opening of an undergound Speakeasy called Club 26 (he was born on the 26th). Inside we included a printout of important things that were happening in the 1920's as well as slang from the era so people could practice. There was a sepia-toned photo of our son in a newsie outfit (knickers & hat), a business card advertisement that Harry Houdini would be performing, and some colored feathers. I used the new Gary Cooper stamps for postage. Guests were instructed to find the password to the speakeasy in the classifieds. The DECORATIONS all had an Art Deco feel, and we also included a little Mardi Gras with beads, feather boas, and masks hung all over. I made some stained glass windows using special paint on clear plastic sheets and taped them in our windows. I did some stained glass accents on a trifold standing mirror we have too. I painted reproductions of famous paintings from the time, and those hung throughout the house. The dining room was done in black, white, and red with a pyramid of plastic champagne glasses. Black utensils were tied into white napkins with red ribbons and feathers. At the guest tables we has placed paper fan placecards with names of famous people like: Charles Lindbergh, Theda Bara, Babe Ruth, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Charles Lindbergh. We had 24 people in all and above each placecard was a small wallet sized silver frame with photos of them. We used bud vases with red carnations for each table as well as some pearl strands to complete the table settings. Outside where I did the magic show, we stapled up Houdini posters as well as 1920's movie posters. FOOD: We had non-alcoholic pink lady punch, faux champage punch, and different sodas placed in glass wine bottles with our own labels for bath tub gin, whiskey, brandy, bourbon, and vodka. My wife made lots of finger sandwiches - turkey, roast beef, muffaletto, PB & J. She also served a waldorf salad, fruit cocktail salad, olives, nuts, deviled eggs, stuffed celery, melon & prosciutto, and shrimp cocktail. The birthday cake was the classic Nabisco Famous Wafers ice box cake and cupcakes made with the same recipe. We had homemade ice cream molded into a bundt pan and sliced for each guest so it would be pretty. GAMES: We had planned several games, but the kids weren't really interested in playing them. We wanted to do a game called Who has the flask. One person stands in a circle and the others pass the flask behind their backs. IT" has to figure out who is holding the flask. Capture the bottle was capture the flag but we had a large plastic real maple syrup bottle that looked sort of like the old moonshiners bottles you see in movies with XXX on them. The winner of a Charleston contest took home a trophy cup. We had Mah jong and Crosswords available and we played Frisbee golf with real Frisbie pie tins. We planned to teach the kids how to shoot dice (alley style) but never had time. ENTERTAINMENT: I practiced doing simple magic tricks for about 2 months straight before the party and ended up giving an hour long show. The adults got a bigger kick out of it than the kids and thanked us many times for giving such a good show. As the kids arrived we had them make a cartouche of their name with Egyptian hieroglyph stamps since King Tut and anything Egyptian was all the rage. GOODY BAGS: My wife made goody bags using newspaper and tied with black and white print bows. Inside was a Dick Tracy wallet made from Duck Tape. In it was a reproduction dollar bill from the time period a ticket to a Jack Dempsey prize fight a Babe Ruth baseball card Winnie-the-Pooh & Princess Frog stickers and a Henry Ford postage stamp showing the Tin Lizzie Model T Ford. Other small gifts in the bags were bubble gum cigarettes playing cards a Dick Tracy junior detective certificate a Charles Lindbergh postcard a mini Houdini poster stapled to a wire puzzle PEZ candy a Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie signed photo and a Popeye button. FAVORS: We gave all the boys Gangster hats and all the girls feather headbands when they arrived. As they were leaving they all got bubbles. The MUSIC was various cds of 1920's jazz. It turned out to be a really nice and relaxing day! "
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