We usually wait for a special occasion to throw a party – a holiday, birthday, or milestone. My kids spend months dreaming up birthday plans, imagining a cake, playing party games in their heads. Sometimes we bake cupcakes after school just for fun. I’ve even thrown an impromptu tea party. When Disney generously sent my family a DisneySide party box, however, I decided to explore what would happen if we threw a friendship party mid-February just for fun.
Our DisneySide box included decorations and prizes primarily aimed at the preschool set, so I sent invitations to families from our local Interfaith Moms Group. The party theme of Cars set, with decorations, cake mix, and even party games provided by Disney, all I had to do was set up and provide the venue. While the friendship party certainly had a kid’s theme, I invited moms of all ages to the party to enjoy good conversation and fun.
Hosting a Friendship Party can be as simple or complex as you’d like, but the idea is to gather for a fun event without the pressure of a huge holiday, must-have photos, or pleasing a birthday girl or boy. A friendship party is “just because” and an awesome way to surprise and delight your friends.
How to Host a Friendship Party
- Make a Guest List. Choose your audience and this will help guide your theme and activities. Our party was geared toward a morning activity for toddlers and social time for their moms.
- Choose a Date and Send Out Invitations. I am a huge fan of evites. Save some trees, save on stamps, and provide an easy way to RSVP.
- Make or Buy Decorations. This event is intended to be stress-free, so pick the route that works best for you. Would your kids enjoy making decorations one afternoon? Do you have a Dollar Store nearby? Maybe you just hop onto Amazon and order some no-fuss supplies using your prime account.
- Arrange Refreshments. Our DisneySide box came with an awesome Duff Tie-Dye Cake Mix and Mickey Mouse cake tin, so we made a cake. Without the tin, I probably would have gone with mini cupcakes. I also put out Goldfish crackers and Craisans, along with juice and ice water. We invited our friends to bring a snack and they happily obliged, with muffins, apple slices, and strawberries. A tip for a toddler gathering: I bought ice cream, but it wasn’t necessary. They enjoyed the snacks and mainly just at the frosting off of the cake.
- Plan for Simple Party Games. Disney generously sent our family directions, cut outs, and even prizes for our games. I’ll be honest – games at parties usually stress me out and I wasn’t sure if we should use them. My mantra for the friendship party was, “If it’s stressing you out, you’re doing it wrong.” These games – Bingo, Pin the Smile on Mickey – were totally low-key. Kids who wanted to play joined in, with no pressure either way. We had simple prizes – a puzzle, matching game, crayons, and coloring book, but you could play games without them too.
- Play and Chat. The novelty of a friendship party is that there is no “star” of the event. You aren’t worried about a happy birthday girl or boy, there are no presents to unwrap or fight over, and the party is for parents too. It is a play-date “plus,” a party just because. The kids came in with an “ooh” and “ahh” over decorations, enjoyed snacks, then promptly went off to play together. Moms then relaxed and chatted. When all was over, we vowed to do it again, maybe even once a month.
- Give Out Party Favors. You can stop at step 6 if you’d like. Our DisneySide box had adorable little party favor boxes. Since our party was near Valentine’s day, we added one heart lollipop and a Disney character heart eraser to each. Disney also offered party favors for moms – Twinings Herbal Tea and fun chore charts, which they loved. You could also have the kids each make a fun art project and take that home.
Thanks so much to DisneySide for sending us an amazing box filled with everything we needed for a fabulous party! They even sent along a DVD for planning your Disney vacation and luggage tags – just what one family needed.
Disclaimer: I received items from Disney to throw this party. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links included.