Thursday, January 23, 2014

Space Themed Birthday Party on a Budget

You know what is ridiculous? My older son, Lee, turned 6 in September- 4 whole months ago... and I threw him a fabulous outer space themed birthday party (his choice) on a ridiculously low budget, and I entirely forgot to post about it!
That can't be! I was so super proud of what I managed to do for his party- everyone had a phenomenal time- and I have to admit, a lot of times when I do something like this, I have in mind that it will be fodder for a future blog post, so... it needs to get written up already.
I'm lucky that I still had the pictures on my computer (I tend to get delete happy with photos) and was able to find them easily enough.
So, without further ado- here's how I made this fun, space themed, low cost, pretty healthy birthday party for my six year old and a bunch of his friends:

As always, our birthday parties take place outside, on the dirt patch in front of my house, which gives us more room. We set up folding tables, and placed black tablecloths on them, upon which I sprinkled large shiny metallic confetti to look like stars.

I was trying to think what type of healthy food would be "space themey" and decided to make one platter of "green stuff"- kiwi slices, cucumber slices... Green, because, you know- green Martians, and the moon being made of "green cheese" and all...

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I found star fruit in the grocery store for not too expensive (this was in the summer, mind you, when they were in season, not like now in the winter when they are out of season and prohibitively expensive), and sliced them in to star shapes, which I then put on a plate together with cantaloupe which I cut into crescent moon shapes.

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I made fruit kebab rockets, with grapes, cantaloupe cubes, and watermelon triangles, stuck onto skewers and placed in vases.

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Last item on the menu was green popcorn, my kids' favorite way of eating popcorn- with spirulina, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt, and served it in a "spacey" metal bowl.

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For activities, I made green and purple homemade face paint, and painted kids' faces or hands (whichever they preferred) to look like aliens- you know, green face, big dark oval eyes, etc...

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I had 3 or 4 games prepared, again with an outer space theme.

First game was a treasure hunt for "moon rocks". Lee and Ike and I had collected a bunch of rocks earlier, and painted them green. Once we did that, we hid them all around the grassy area, and the kids had to go and find the "green cheese" moon rocks...

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Which the kids then put together, to make a moon out of "green cheese".

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We played pin the antenna on the alien...

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And supposed to have an "anti-gravity" game with keeping balloons in the air... only the wind didn't cooperate so beautifully, so it ended up being more of a "balloon chase". Oh well.

Then we did an art project- making homemade rocket ships, out of soda bottles and cut paper.

I had collected a bunch of soda bottles from the communal recycling bin, cleaned them out, and sprayed them with a can of silver spray paint. I ended up using one can for all the bottles for the party, so it didn't come out too expensive.

I cut out circles, squares, rectangles, etc... from various bits of colored paper, and had the kids glue them on to their "space ships" to decorate it. They had fun.

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Does the end result look super "space ship"-ey? No, probably not. But who cares. The kids thought it did, and it was close enough, and they had fun, so that's all that really matters.

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I had a really hard time with the birthday cake that I tried to make shaped like a space ship. It simply was not cooperating with me, and I think the end result looked more like a house than a space ship... I don't even remember what kind of cake or frosting it was since it's been so long since the party, but what I do remember is that the kids all liked the cake- so who cares if its destined for "cake wrecks" blog?

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All in all, it was a very fun party, and I don't think I spent more than 20 dollars on the entire thing. And it made Lee happy, so that's what counts!

If you would make an outer space themed birthday party, what would you have done for food, entertainment, decoration, etc? Do you think you'd do any of these ideas?


  1. How have some mighty lucky kids!! Love it!!

  2. AWESOME. Every single thing about that party. Amazing!!!! And the cake totally looks like a spaceship :)

    1. Thank you! :-D My kids had a great time, and that's what mattered. :-D And I liked that it was pretty cheap as well.

  3. This is great! I love that all of the party food is so healthy, yet fits the theme--I wouldn't have thought of the star fruit.

  4. The moon rocks as a game was a fabulous idea and I love crafts so "the make your own spaceship" was a great idea as well! I love the theme of your blog. I am proudly frugal and in the next year and beyond as my husband and I start our family I can't wait to be a frugal parent and also creatively instill those same values in my kids! Thanks for the ideas!

  5. The moon rocks as a game was a fabulous idea and I love crafts so "the make your own spaceship" was a great idea as well! I love the theme of your blog. I am proudly frugal and in the next year and beyond as my husband and I start our family I can't wait to be a frugal parent and also creatively instill those same values in my kids! Thanks for the ideas!

  6. Penny I love your website! I especially loved the moon rocks/party game and "make your own rocket" activity. As a proud frugalista, I look forward to having kids and becoming a frugal parent in the next year. Thank you for the ideas to instill my frugal values creatively in my kids (and more in my husband too!)

  7. My son's friend had a space themed party where the food was just ordinary, but the activities were great! Each child got a 4"x6" card that was their Mission Checklist, and at each activity station a parent or adult friend would rubber-stamp the card when the kid completed the activity; they got a pack of space-themed rubber stamps at a dollar store. These are the activities I remember:

    Train for withstanding G-forces: Sit on an old office chair while adult spins you really fast!

    Launch a rocket: Foam rubber rocket that you set up and then step on the trigger to force air through the tube--cheap toy they already had.

    Repair your ship on a spacewalk: Put on adult-sized motorcycle helmet with face shield, garden gloves, and snow boots. Lumber over to a table where you try to thread nuts on bolts with your hands and vision hampered.

    Explore an alien world: Adult leads you down a path into the woods. (Party was at a playground.) Observe the flora and fauna. It was early October in Pennsylvania, the season for jewel weed, a plant so strange it might as well be alien--so the highlight of the hike was stopping by a large mass of jewel weed to pop some pods and reveal the springy "alien lifeforms".


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