Invite school-friends to follow the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole and host an unforgettable girl’s birthday party full of whimsical details and decorations. Draw inspiration from the much-loved children’s classic for a topsy-turvy tea party fit for Alice, the Mad Hatter – even for the Queen of Hearts!
A Very Important Date
The party guests won’t want to be late like the White Rabbit, so make or buy card invitations in the shape of teapots, pocket watches or using over-sized playing cards if you can find these. You could ask guests to come in a pretty dress, or wearing a ‘mad hat’. Dress the birthday girl in an Alice-blue dress complete with black Alice-band and striped black and white tights. Alternatively, have a dressing-up box of tutu skirts for everyone.
Get everyone to enter the party via the rabbit hole, by hanging decorations from the doorway or better still, using a plastic crawl-though tunnel at the entrance. Giant playing cards will make great decorations, suspended from the ceiling at different heights with clear nylon. Add Cheshire cat grins and key shapes made from card, helium balloons and red and white ‘rose’ pompoms or lanterns floating above the table, as if the entire party is tumbling down the rabbit hole. Dot homemade signs around the room, pointing to nowhere in particular, saying ‘this way’ and ‘that way’ (though make sure they all know the right way to the loo).
Tea at the Mad Hatter’s
Cover the table with a bright cloth and have a ‘grass-look’ runner down the middle, fashioned from a green tablecloth or craft paper with a fringe-cut edge. Dot with homemade paper flowers. Mad is the Hatter’s order of the day when it comes to décor, so lots of bright colours and bold patterns are a must. Polka-dot plates and cups or vintage-look partyware both work well. A couple of old-fashioned alarm clocks if you have them, set to ‘brrriingggggg!’ at teatime will surprise everyone. Blow bubbles over their heads as they all sit at the table for extra magic. Fill real or cardboard teapots with bright flowers and party picks in flamingo and playing card shapes to put in the centre, alongside a few cake stands and platters of party food in different heights.
Buy or make flags with cocktail sticks and paper, and write ’Eat Me’ on them, to stick into cupcakes and pinwheel sandwiches. Alternatively, bake and decorate heart or crown-shaped biscuits in different colours, icing messages on each one. Serve individual jellies turned out from rabbit-shaped moulds or in mixed china teacups. Don’t forget the Queen of Heart’s favourite, jam tarts. In little clear bottles, serve drinks such as pink lemonade or clear lemonade with a few drops of food colouring – you could make each a different colour. Add a stripy straw and tie a ‘Drink Me’ label around the neck of the each bottle.For the main event, a heart-shaped birthday cake or red and white iced magic cakes will work well.
Nothing but a pack of cards
The Queen of Hearts played (or rather, cheated at) a mad game of croquet with Alice but if you don’t have a flamingo or a hedgehog to hand, try Alice-style twists on party-game favourites, such as Pin the Grin on the Cheshire Cat, Musical Chairs and Queen-of-Hearts Footsteps. Designate the games area like a giant chessboard by taping down squares of black and white craft paper. A treasure hunt around the house using riddles could be fun, as well as any other silly word games that spring to mind. End the celebrations with a nod to the Caterpillar, a colourful butterfly pull piñata. Theme the prizes too, handing out playing cards, stickers and sweetie watches. As this is a mad and most peculiar party, everyone ought to win, so make sure you have enough party prizes to go round!
For party bags, gifts from the flowers such as a pack of butterfly playing cards or a flower press each will make a lovely souvenir of their time in Wonderland. Filled butterfly party bags fit the bill perfectly. Perhaps even include a copy of the much-loved story itself, to read at home.