Idea No.


Goonies Treasure Hunt -9yr- Sloth Cake Pops



April 2015


Julie in Frankfort, KY USA



A Goonies-style treasure hunt for my 9-year-old daughter and her friends which lead them through historical events of their hometown (Frankfort, KY) with real characters from history mixed with a bit of creative writing and a lot of fun. My daughter LOVES history and adventure (and The Goonies movie,) and this party idea was the perfect mixture of the two.   

Invitation : A rolled up map with curly scrollwork in a recycled Starbucks Frappucino bottle, a black cardstock replica of the copper bones key from the Goonies movie attached with white writing saying The Goonies, Y’all and the girls’ names and a pink bow. The invitation included clipart from the Goonies and read, Hey You Guys! We’re having a Goonies party to celebrate A’s 9th birthday. Join the scavenger hunt downtown to look for the rich stuff. Movie and sleepover to follow.  A separate column read : It’s OUR time down here! and listed the address, party, and RSVP info.   

Decorations : A few small signs with characters from the movie, which I placed in Dollar Tree frames. Also, I added an old plastic pirate sword and some gold pieces to our front door wreath with a chalkboard sign that read : Welcome to A’s Goonies Party! I used extra gold pieces and jewels from the favors to spread along the snack counter for added effect.   

Activities/Games : I had to do a bit of research and went down to the history center for some pamphlets on city history. I found two ghosts from one century and a wily scofflaw from another that would do perfectly to weave an adventurous tale with some real historical value for the girls. I made a treasure map out of an old paper bag (burning and crinkling it to age it,) a dubloon and copper bones key out of clay that hardens when you bake it and painted them to look authentic all nearly identical to the ones in the movie. I also copied and pasted an old Frankfort city newspaper and typed an article about the opera singer that went missing from a local mansion during a party, clutching a strange skeleton key (ghost 1.)

There was a love letter from the opera singer to a soldier named Kendrick (ghost 2) which was aged and dated to fit into the mystery. There was a signature on the map that we found belonged to a man who lived a century after the opera singer went missing, who lived in a dynamic and story-filled part of town that is now occupied by a giant city complex. The man was a rogue and an outlaw, but very much loved by the people in the neighborhood he lived in.    

We took the girls to the overlook park and held up the dubloon to find our locations to check (the Old Capitol, the theatre, and ultimately the mansion where the opera singer went missing.) Driving downtown, we began our hunt.    

The girls quickly found the copper bones key at the first location. Racing to the theatre a few blocks away, they recovered a journal with the impression of the copper bones key on it. Inside, there was an entry dated 1805 from a soldier named Kendrick, explaining how the treasure was hidden and it would remain so because he could not be without his love. And to whomever found the journal and the dubloon, may they find the happiness that he did not and record their story.

The second entry was from the outlaw, dated 1920, detailing how he had found the strange copper bones key as a child and ultimately came into possession of the journal, dubloon and eventually the treasure, which he used to help others. He urged whomever found the journal to use the treasure to help people and record their story as well. And to begin their search at the mansion where the opera singer was lost.   

We raced to the gardens of the mansion, finding the treasure after a valiant search and a whole lot of giggles and laughter, and then returned to the house where all of the girls wrote their accounts of the treasure hunt into the journal.    

After dinner, (Domino’s pizza just like in the movie!) and snacks and presents, the girls got into their pajamas and we snuggled down to watch The Goonies movie. It was the first time viewing for most of the girls, and being able to see their reactions to the classic movie was priceless, and in addition to the journal entries, my favorite part of the entire party.   

Party Snacks : Sloth character cake pops. (These were HILARIOUSly lumpy and hideous, and the girls adored them. I took a photo of them all holding one and making Sloth faces which was so funny.) Dubloons (yellow chocolate-dipped mini vanilla wafers sprinkled with gold sprinkles.) White grape juice and apple juice mixture with the sign water on it beside the sign of Mama Fratelli scowling and saying It’s wet, ain’t it? Drink it! Cracker Jack popcorn with mini M&M’s in it to resemble treasure. And of course, mini Baby Ruths beside the Sloth cake pops. 

The following morning I served Mama Fratelli’s Frappucinos and French Toast Bake for breakfast, which provide some giggles to the nearly sleepless girls.    

Cake : The cake was Rocky Road flavored, frosted in pink with black writing The Goonies and a chocolate copper bones key and dubloon on top. I sprinkled multi-colored sprinkles and gold sprinkles to resemble treasure.    

Favors : Tiny treasure chests (found at Michaels) with pieces of gold and glass jewels (Dollar Tree) a necklace, a golden compass (Hobby Lobby) and an ornate key (Michaels.)    Costumes : I made black t shirts for all of the girls and wrote The Goonies, y’all in pink, glow-in-the-dark puff paint and added a tiny white skull above the I like the movie logo. All of the girls wore them on the hunt and we got some great photographs!   

The girls said they had a wonderful time and my daughter says it was her best birthday ever.

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