While I love throwing birthday parties at my home for several reasons (set up is easier; no need to transfer decor/food/favors; free!), I have discovered that it is also really nice to "farm out" parties to other locations as my kiddos get older (fun activities run by others; no clean up). That being said, we decided to do just that for Banks' sixth birthday party. His first birthday was animal themed, his second was at a playground overlooking an airport, his third was sports themed, his fourth was a father-son campout in our backyard, and his fifth was a pool party. For his sixth, it was time to PUNCH, BLOCK, and KICK his way into SIX!
The amazing gym where Raleigh took gymnastics last year offers weekly ninja classes for little boys, and just so happens to host birthday parties in the same theme. So. That is exactly where we held Banks' party this year, and I think all the little ninjas had a blast! And now for the ninja-riffic details:
The Invitation: My sweet friend, Amy, has an awesome etsy shop with all kinds of amazing printables. I have worked with Amy many times over the last few years for party printables, school gifts, invitations, etc., and I couldn't recommend her any higher! She created the adorable invitation for the party, as well as labels for the food, drinks, and favors and a birthday banner.
The Attire: Although Banks would need to be in comfy, gym-type clothing for the party so that he could perform his best ninja moves, I still wanted him to have a fun shirt to wear, which I ordered from the etsy shop CRAAUS.
The Location: As I mentioned, the party took place at a Charlotte-area gymnastics place, called Gym-Fit. If you are local and looking for a place to enroll your little for awesome gymnastics (or ninja!) instruction, I would definitely recommend Gym-Fit. The staff are amazing with the kids and the facility is really nice!
The Decor: I didn't go too over the top with the decor but still wanted to have a little Ninja flair in the party colors of red and black. Easy, peasy and quick to set up!
The Menu: Because the party was mid-afternoon, and knowing we'd have just 30 minutes for food, presents, and favors, I kept the menu very simple: cupcakes (aka "KAPOW Cakes") and treats, which were definitely hits with the kids! I made the "sushi" out of rice krispie treats, Swedish fish, and Fruit-By-The-Foot (yes, they still make that sugary treat!). I also made the cupcakes and then topped them with ninja and throwing star gummies, which were purchased from this great little online shop called Karate Mart. I also purchased Ninja lollipops from the same site. Drinks were Gatorades, aka "Ninja PUNCH."
The Favors: The favors were really fun and easy to put together and all for a great price (score!). I bought the throwing stars from an etsy shop, Go With The Folds. I made the masks by backing them with plain black masks that I bought from Hobby Lobby and trimmed down to look like ninja masks, which I then covered with red felt cut in the same design. For the ninja bo staff, I bought copper pipe insulation from Lowe's which I then cut to the appropriate size and wrapped with red duct tape. So easy, and let me tell you, the party guests LOVED these!!! I heard from a couple of mommas days later saying that their kiddos were still playing with their staffs, taking them everywhere-ha!
The Fun: Finally, the fun! The party was structured so that the first hour was a ninja class. Two instructors led the kiddos throughout the gym, with activities including dancing, an obstacle course, trampoline jumping, a race through a bounce structure, jumping in a bounce house, rope swinging into a foam pit, and more. It was awesome!
10 sweet ninjas
Ready to show their best ninja moves
Fun on the ninja obstacle course
Fierce ninja moves on the course
Little brother Harrison wasn't QUITE old enough to showcase his ninja skills; so, he watched on from the viewing window :)
Obstacle-ing and trampoline-ing
The birthday ninja had a BLAST!
10 ninjas, ready to race!
What a finish!
Social hour for the parents :)
Ninjas rope-swinging into the pit!
Happy ninjas :)
Sweet ninja ladies
Happy Birthday to you!
Make a wish!
And with that, we called it a day! I think our birthday ninja, and his ninja buddies, had a great time and got good ninja sleep that night. Happy Birthday, Ninja Banks!