Idea No.


Cabaret Night Party - Kids Cabaret



April 2008


Ami in Waltham, MA USA


Music Party

Okay, so I have six kids and they have all expressed interest in taking voice lessons. So we signed them up for a group class and they have all really loved it. But when a recital rolls along, they get really really nervous. Instead of mumbling little tunes on a hot, boring recital at their school, I planned a night for them to perform at our house in front of friends and family! This is what I did...

INVITES: Three of the kids wanted to help with the invitations and they all had different ideas so we sent out three different types. This was nice for families with twins to see two kids get different types of invitations :) I highly recccommend it!

TYPE 1: SImple Flyer. He put a black and white picture of us in the right hand corner. For a border he put swirling black lines and printed it on light pink paper. For the text he wrote: November 18th and there'll be snacks games and chocolate too! Hope to see you there!" Then he included our address RSVP information times etc... on the bottom.

TYPE 2: Pull Out Chocolate Bar. Since our main dish was going to be chocolate my daughter made a chocolate bar invitation. She printed out the hershey's logo from google made a bunch of copies and pasted them on cardstock paper. Then she made a sort of pocket for the who? what? where? when? why? info by pasting a silver piece of paper on the back of the hershey's label but leaving one side open. Then she typed up a little who? what? where? etc.. card to slide into the hershey's pocket and finally taped a little tab that said PULL on it so the guest would know what to do according to her :) These were cute.

TYPE 3: The youngest kid on our family is 1 1/2 and of course she can't sing in our recital. Our last type of invitation was made with her help! My other son folded over some nice white paper and told her to write COME TO OUR PARTY on the front of it with markers. She knows a couple of letters but it was mostly just scribbles. He made about 15 of these. Then on the inside he wrote: WHAT JONI WAS TRYING TO WRITE WAS the (FAMILY NAME) are having a party and YOU'RE INVITED. Then he included all the information. Our party was on a friday night and it lasted from 6pm-1030pm. 

SET UP & ACTIVITIES: So we had 4 main rooms for the party.

ROOM 1: KITCHEN. This was our chocolate fiesta location. We also hired a babysitter to act as bartender for the night. We set up a table for her and huge ice container as well as three sleeves of plastic cups. Then we had the following chocolate dishes:
1. Chocolate dipped Strawberries
2. Peppermint bark (make one layer of dark chocolate one layer of white chocolate sprinkle crushed peppermint on top delicious!)
3. Hershey's Kisses and Chocolate Bars (Costco!)
4. Bird's Nests (melted chocolate with crushed shreadded wheat and chocolate eggs in the middle)
5. Chocolate Mousse in little cups
6. Death by Chocolate Ice cream and Chocolate Chip Ice cream with Chocolate Sauce Chocolate Chips and Crushed up Oreos (we made a little station
7. Fudge.
8. Chocolate Cake
9. One Bite Brownies and some of these items had two platters worth. Our guests were shocked. They were all told to eat dinner beforehand but in case of allergies or someone who doesn't like chocolate we also set up some munchies throughout the party rooms and asked our second babysitter to carry around little snacks on trays. We had her wear a pant suit to look like butler. Munchies included little quiches mini cheese quesadillas chips with salsa little tiny salad bowls cheese sticks etc...

ROOM 2: Den- This was our little cabaret was! What I did for this was say each kid could perform two songs. They each prepared two and they would signal me in some way saying if they just wanted to do one or two. In the front of the room was the piano and we also set up couches all facing the piano pillows for the kids to sit on the floor and a bunch of chairs. From 730-8 we had our "show". The kids loved it and got into it. My daughter sang a disco song and she wore a boa and sparkly dress.

My son sang Summer Lovin from Grease and wore aviator sunglasses and tight jeans. My little daughter sat on the piano and danced around as she sang a ballad. The kids LOVED it. They all sang two songs and now I feel they will be confident enough to sing ANYWHERE which was my goal :) We borrowed a projector from a friend a played a movie for the younger kids later around 930 when they were sleepy later.

ROOM 3: Living Room- In this room we had an PRIZE DRAWING. As each guest entered they were given a handful of pennies. We bought cute little prizes from all over and set them up on long tables with ballot boxes in front of each one and a description if necessary. Each ticket that you could buy to put in a ballot box for the chance to win the prize cost 3 pennies and my mother "sold" the tickets. Some of the items were: a huge box of candy from costco a really nice painting we wanted to get rid of in our house 15$ gift card to Target a bunch of cans of bubbles and wands a weekend getaway in Cape Cod (we have a vacation house there and we agreed to lend it to someone) a mystery item (it was princess dress) a set up gel pens (costco!) etc.. Everyone thought this was really creative.

The drawing began at around 8. and we actually drew the names around 930. So beforehand in the den we rented an ice cream maker that you hand crank. It cost us 25$ for the night and it was delicious and so much fun. Google it. It took about an hour and all the kids were thrilled to get a chance to churn the ice cream! Then we scooped it out and it was so creamy and delicious! Oh my! One of my favorite moments of the party!

ROOM 3: Basement- This was where all the kids hung out. They could also use their pennies here because we set up a carnival! Our basement is completley empty. We made 5 games and a prize table. Everything was chocolate themed.

GAME 1: Dig for the chocolate coins! We had a big bucket with sand and we put chocolate coins throughout. Each kid would get 3 scoops and they could either keep their chocolate coins and eat them or trade them in for another prize at the table!

GAME 2: We put a bunch of cups with different values in a small box. Then we marked a line and the kids had to throw a Hershey's Kiss inside the box of cups two times. Add the amount of points they get and give them chocolate coins to trade in our keep and eat.

GAME 3: Feed the chocolate bar! My husband painted a piece of wood like a chocolate bar with a face and hands and then we cut three holes in it and propped it up against the wall. They were given bean bags to try to make it through the holes. 3 chances. Chocolate coins to keep or trade in based on how many times you get it through the holes.

GAME 4: Basketball! (This wasn't really chocolate related..) but we have a little hoop. Each player was timed for thirty seconds and however many baskets they got = number of coins to eat or trade in.

GAME 5: Pin the  tail on the.. Hershey's kiss? We colored a big silver hershey's kiss without the little wrapper thing sticking out of the top and the player was blindfolded and spun around then hand to try to stick it on. Chocolate coin given for how close.

PRIZE TABLE: 1 chocolate coin worth prizes: Hershey's Kisses Ring Pops Lollipops stickers etc… 2 chcolate coin worth prizes: Little cheap necklaces Hershey's Bars Sour gummy worms. 4 chocolate coin worth prizes: Nail Polish Hair clips blow up sword things flashlights. 6 chocolate coin worth prizes: Little key chains silly putty little cheap disposable cameras lotions. 10 chocolate coin worth prizes: Big glow in the dark things little portable radios.

ALL THE PRIZES WERE GONE BY THE END. Some kids spent the whole time down there and were crushed when no prizes were left. When they were given prizes they were also given a white bag to put them in and when the prizes were gone my husband cleaned up these games and we set out markers for them to color their bags with down in the basement but most just wanted to watch a movie at that point. This may sound like a very expensive thing but it wasn't. We bought the prizes in bulk so they were so cheap and we made the games and the signs for the games all on our own. We started this around 7:15 and it lasted till about 9:30. 

ROOM 4: The PORCH: At the beginning of the party we hired a caricaturist to draw the kids and a lot of adults pictures! We had him come from 6-7 and it cost us 40 $ which I think is reasonable considering he did about 35 drawings. They were great! Then for the rest of the party this was like the quiet talking area for adults. I think this is important to have because some people don't like the chaos and loudness. So a lot of the older grandparents sat out here and they said they had a lovely time just watching people pass. 

This party was so successful it gave my kids the confidence to try out for plays and sing in concerts because of the support they got from their first singing experience. The adults enjoyed being involved in a raffle that they didn't have to pay to be a part of. The kids loved the carnival and winning all their little prizes. And even I had a good time which is often not true of a hostess so I highly recommend having a cabaret night!  "

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