Mall Party -9yr- Meet Me At The Food Court
Joyce in Ashburn, Virginia, USA
I read all the ideas posted here and combined and added to get the party most suited for my 9 year old twins. First, I made the invitations in Printmaster Platinum and used shopping bag graphics. My daughters would each lead their own teams and invited 5 friends.
One was the Blue Team and were asked to wear blue shirts, the other was the Pink Team. Each guest was asked to bring $5 shopping money in lieu of gifts. Beforehand, I checked out the mall and chose the stores the teams were to go to. I made a Scavenger Hunt list for the kids and answer sheets for the adults with each team. The order of the stores was reversed for the second team so the teams wouldn't be at the same stores at the same time.
At 5 of the stores, the team members were asked to help the birthday girl choose something for around $5. The adults were given extra money in case the team overspent. At some of the stores, the teams were required to have their picture taken with a specific object, such as a kayak at a Sporting Goods store. At other stores, they had to find something, such as the name of the movie company that Donald was filming at the Disney Store.
The party started with the Hunt, then all the kids got a ride on the carousel at the Food Court. Next, the kids had brownies and juice. While they were eating we played some trivia games, such as guessing the number of stores at the mall. The winners won American Idol activity books.
Next, the birthday girls found out that all the items purchased at the stores were actually their gifts (I think they suspected that anyway). All this took about 2 hours. The kids all said they really enjoyed it, and several of the parents said they planned on using the idea since it was unique and easy to do.
The only problems I had to tackle were what to do with the kids' coats since it was in January, however, we lucked out and had a warm day. Otherwise, they would have had to tote their coats along with them. The other problem was where to put the Brownies and juice while we were all hunting. I ended up keeping it in the car and ran out to get it while the kids were on the carousel.
The backup plan would have been to get a volunteer to stay at the Food Court with the food while we hunted. I would easily do this party again. My 11-year-old wants to do it for her birthday, so I will plan a more difficult hunt than I had for the younger girls.