Wednesday, June 18, 2014

our not-so-frozen "Frozen" birthday party, with a gelatin ice castle recipe!

"Frozen" birthday party ideas


after going through several theme ideas since the conclusion of her last birthday (kites, rainbows, princesses), Sweet One at the last moment settled on a "Frozen" theme based on the hit Disney movie. i am sure all mothers of young girls out there are shocked, shocked i say. here is where we ended up with our "Frozen" birthday party...

the cake


i think i can claim this one as my own. at least, i haven't seen it done yet. this is a gelatin "ice" castle cake, using a dollar store sand-castle pail as a mold, white grape juice as the liquid, and fancy sugar sprinkles for the additions that make it sparkle and give it that ethereal North Mountain feel (if not nearly the exact look... i'm not that crazy, and thankfully my daughter is not that literal). see the separate gelatin "ice" castle cake recipe post for the full how-to...

the rest of the menu


we followed a largely blue-and-white theme on the food front, including...
frozen yogurt blueberry pops
  • yogurt frozen pops (vanilla yogurt with pureed blueberries, poured into Dixie cup molds with lollipop stick handles)
  • carrot "snowman noses" with ranch dressing dip
  • white chocolate-covered pretzels
  • frozen blueberries
  • popcorn
  • marshmallow snowflakes, and "snowballs" made from the extras
my dear friend Krista introduced me to the wonders of homemade marshmallows on a gourmet camping trip (i provided the homemade graham crackers). and ever since i have found that i actually like marshmallows! i never was a fan of the store-bought ones. part of the allure is, of course, the ability to adjust the flavor as desired. i religiously use the Smitten Kitchen marshmallow recipe. for the birthday party, i used half vanilla and half almond extract for flavoring. yum, yum. some of them i coated in sugar that i had mixed with blue food coloring.

if i had to do it over, i would use the snowflake cookie cutter and make actual cut-out cookies. using the cookie cutter on the marshmallows wasn't very exact and they ended up looking more like stars than snowflakes.

the kids liked the blueberry-yogurt frozen pops the best. which was awesome, because it was the healthiest thing on the menu. ha! take that, sugar high! although, speaking of sugar high...

the activities


we joined a popular "Frozen" party activity by making marshmallow snowmen. we used homemade marshmallows, pretzel sticks, dark chocolate chips, and baby carrots cut down to size for noses. kids made their snowmen as they arrived or in between snacking.

full credit for our single party game goes to my creative friend Aryn and, more specifically, her epically brilliant young daughter, who is even more enamored with "Frozen" than my girls. little Rayne had the awesome idea of playing freeze tag. and to unfreeze a player? you have to give them a hug! oh, Olaf would be so proud... and, it is the perfect way to run off a sugar high! just let it go, girls. let it go...

"Frozen" birthday party game freeze tag

the prizes


i put in my online order way too late. and even with going to a record-breaking eight stores in a single day trying to make up for such bad planning (two stores in a day is my usual emotional limit), i still didn't find
dollar store microphone bubbleswhat i had planned for the treat bags. the key missing prizes were blue rock candy sticks and sparkly snowflake stickers. making your own rock candy takes two weeks, and i definitely didn't plan things that far in advance. the snowflake stickers at the "Frozen"-train-riding craft store were stupid expensive (keep in mind, we're still in the stick-the-stickers-into-one-amorphous-pile stage, here). so instead we ended up with some primo blue and white candy from our local sweets shop: birthday cake-flavor coated caramels, and blue raspberry burst gummies. some Disney "Frozen" brand stickers that were reasonably priced. and we topped it off with a great find from Sweet One at the dollar store: bubble wands in the shape of blue microphones! perfect for a "Let It Go" singalong... and i don't need to tell you that a singalong did ensue with little girls clutching these microphone bubbles, with no prompting whatsoever. i got a deal earlier on the soundtrack for our "entertainment," although as most of you can probably guess, the girls needed no help with the lyrics for their bubbly singalong...

the decorations


3-D snowflake
no big decorating here. just a couple six-point snowflakes cut from white and silver paper, then placed on a blue tablecloth. there are several instructions online for creating six-pointed snowflakes, such as here.

to highlight it all, though, i went for a giant sparkly 3-D snowflake made from a silver-foil gift bag using these instructions and suspended it from the light fixture, centered prettily above the cake.



below you'll find affiliate links to some of the products i recommend for Amazon shoppers looking to replicate our "Frozen" birthday party:

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