I love throwing birthday parties! They are so much fun to play and execute. Since my older two kids have birthdays a week apart I have been throwing them combo parties since they were born. Every year I keep saying I image that will be the past year, each year they surprise me and ask for a combo party! Since one is a girl and one is a boy I try and pick themes that work for both of them. This year, my daughter was turning 10 and my son 8, so I figured they were ready for a “night time” party- and what’s more night time than an epic glow in the dark party?? This probably was one of my most favorite parties I’ve planned and executed. There are so many things you can do and you really can’t go wrong, as long as you have two things” bright decorations and PLENTY of glow in the dark and black light items!
The two most important things you’ll need to throw an epic glow in the dark party are lots of black lights and glow sticks. My kids birthdays are in the beginning of November so I began buying glow sticks as soon as they had them available for Halloween. I think I probably had 500 glow sticks, but we used them all! Between decorating, wearing and playing with, you will need a lot! Besides for glow sticks, here’s what else we did to throw our epic glow in the dark party:
I like to make my own invites if I can, solely for the fact that it saves money! I made these on Pic Monkey and printed them on card stock and then passed them out to the kids friends. They were simple but cute and bright for sure! I was sure to remind the guests to wear white or neon so they’d glow!
Since the guests were going to be wearing white and neon, we obviously had to too! I bought some cheap plain neon shirts for the kids at my local craft store and let them decorate with black light reflective puff paint. They loved decorating their own shirts and still wear them!
Pretty cute huh? They loved making their own shirts and they glowed nicely under the black lights.
To make a glow in the dark party really work, you need it to be really dark with plenty of glow! We did ours in the basement, which was absolutely perfect. We pushed all of the furniture to the sides so the kids had plenty of space to dance and play.
Pardon the blurriness of this picture, but it’s quite hard to take pictures in the dark! This shows you how dark and glowey our basement was! I bought a half dozen black light bulbs and places them in regular lamps around the room and also bought a long black light from Spencers.
I did not swap out the overhead lights with black lights because if there was an emergency, I wanted to be able to turn on the lights quickly and have light to see what was wrong, so instead, we just placed them around the room. We also used some strands of purple christmas lights, which weren’t black lights, but had the same feel.
All of the decorations I basically made. I bought a huge pack of neon card stock and made circles to hang up and paper chains. I also bought some dollar store white table clothes and painted them with neon paint for a large white reflective surface for the black lights to pick up. I also had some mason jars around the room filled with tonic water, since the quinine is black light reflective.
We had plenty of fun neon things hanging from the ceilings too, like banners, tassels and streamers. These added some extra pops of color once the lights were out.
Surprisingly Walmart had an impressive collection of glow in the dark stuff. I got these cool “balls” there as well as some balloons with lights inside of them. I also gave each child a large glow necklace and then placed a basket of glow necklaces on a table so each child could make some bracelets to wear!
For food, we tried to keep it simple. We ordered pizza for the main course and then offered lots of snacks, all served in neon bowls. Things like chips and dip, pretzels and hummus, veggies, fruit, cheese balls and capri suns all filled the table and kept everyone nice and full.
For the table, just like in the basement, I splatter painted a cheap black table cloth with neon paint and threw it over the table. Since the party was primarily in the basement, this was really the only decorations on the main floor.
For desserts, we did chocolate and vanilla cupcakes and oreo truffle cake pops, all decorated in neon colored icing. My kids two favorite colors are purple and green, so I used those colors a lot.
I used as many neon colored paper products as I could and got lots at my local dollar store! It’s always great to check the place out to see what you can find for cheap.
I had music and games for the kids downstairs. Much of the evening, the entertained themselves with dancing, laughing and a little outside time (since it was unseasonably warm that night!), but when they started to get a little ansy, I suggested we play a few games. A few of the ones I planned were:
–Cup Stacking Challenge: I bought 300 cheap plastic solo cups and divided the kids into small groups. Their challenge was see who could make the biggest pyramid!
–Balloon Paddle Challenge: By gluing a paper plate onto a large popsicle stick, I created a simple paddle, and each child tried to keep a balloon afloat by hitting it into the air. This was a fun one- and cheap too!
–“Spin the Bottle”: Relax, relax! This was a modified version perfect for this age group. I filled a soda bottle with tonic water, which is black light activated and a bunch of glow sticks and sat the kids in a circle, one child spun the bottle and when it landed on a different child, they had to challenge them to do something! Kind of like truth or dare, but no truths. Things that were popular were different types of fitness challenges, telling jokes, and running up the stairs to tell the grown ups something silly. It was actually quite funny. I’d suggest monitoring this one to keep the game running with ideas for them.
–Limbo: obviously!! I covered a long wrapping paper tube with ribbon and made it a limbo stick and that was all you needed, besides for some great music!
Since the party was being thrown so close to Halloween being over, I didn’t want to send each child home with a bag of MORE candy- so instead, I opted to get some small treats and glow in the dark items for each guest. I got a lot of clearance Halloween glow items and had plenty of glow sticks too. Together with the cute “My birthday is brighter celebrating it with you!” tag, you can call those little bags complete!
Overall, this party was insanely fun! Downstairs we had all of the kids games, music and decorations and even had some grown up fun for the parents upstairs- since we were all friends! If you have older kids, I would highly recommend planning one of these parties for them: mine are still talking about it!