Alice’s princess tea party was a natural choice when searching for a last minute birthday party idea. As a child I have fond memories of having afternoon tea on special occasions at Sally Lunn’s; a quaint little tea shop lined with lace doilies and English accoutrements. I didn’t want to drop hundreds of dollars to reserve afternoon tea for eight, especially for a little FIVE year old’s birthday. Since it was a kids tea party I set it up as a picnic on the floor to make clean up simple. Alice and Dot love our special “picnics” which translates into watching TV and eating on top of a blanket spread across our family room floor. Sitting on the floor is a weird extra fun kid thing to do in our house.
The tea party menu consisted of various candy, fruit, cookies, cupcakes and a couple of tea sandwiches. The tea sandwiches stood no chance against the sugar laden spread. I even used little cookie cutters to make them into flowers and hearts, the kids didn’t eat them. The first snack the girls grabbed were little after dinner mints from the dollar store. Out of all the things I laid out they wanted dinner mints? Another child mystery I’ll never understand. I made some sugar cookies with icing, cucumber cream cheese sandwiches, and had some leftover mini cupcakes from Alice’s school treat. The girls had the prettiest pink tea that was flavored with hibiscus, strawberry, and rose.
In our house birthday’s usually consist of a few presents, a cake, maybe a couple of friends, and a banner. We never made a huge fuss over Alice and Dot’s special day. Now that Alice has been to a few of those thunder dome Bounce U bashes, birthdays parties are no like longer unicorns. They exist, they really exist, and she wanted one. She never specifically asked for a party, but she certainly didn’t want to spend it with just lil’ Dottie May. Having a little company seemed like a fair request, so I granted her wish and invited a few friends over.
After the decision to have a small “party” had been made, it was up to me to put something together in less than 48 hours. I started at the Dollar Tree, my usual first shopping spot for events like this. With an upcoming ski trip and my principles on kid parties, I wasn’t ready to drop major money on this event. I exited Dollar Tree with crepe paper, candy, fake birds, little trays, and no paper goods. They cherish their play tea set, so I decided to go all out and let them use a real tea set, silver spoons, bone china, and every other fancy tea thing I own. Delicate little plates with flowers is way more fun to eat off of than a paper plate.
Since the whole event was thrown together at the last minute, I didn’t have time to make little flower wreaths (for a fraction of the price of ready made ones). I bought each girl their own instead of party hats from Target. The second favor was individually wrapped rice crispy treats with sprinkles. I originally made these treats for Alice’s school. After going through the whole process I realized I never looked up how many kids are in her class, and I was short three treats. You can imagine my frustration after making these rice crispy treats, and now having to whip up additional cupcakes on top of the tea party food. There was no homemade dinner that night. Alice let all the girls help her open presents. She got lots of Frozen princess propaganda and a weird Crayola electric color thing that I’m too dumb to use. Thank God she was able to figure it out on her own. Dottie May lost her cool when Alice revealed an Elsa princess dress. She remained this way for a while, another growing pain of being a toddler. The party extended right up to bedtime. The girls proceeded to abandon the tea party and headed into the house where they played, yelled, and did all sorts of things I’ll never know since the grown ups were downstairs drinking wine and having a party of our own. All in all Alice had an over the top birthday , in her words “It was the best day ever.” birthday tea party
How I made this tea party in 2 days and spent less than $50.00 without losing my mind.
- I chose a theme that I already had the supplies for. If you have a son that owns a ton of legos make a lego party. Keep it simple.
- I went to the Dollar Tree for all the accessories except the flower wreathes. The faux flowers were the perfect finishing touch. It filled in the gaps and gave the party that extra magical feel. All of the decorations are tucked away in a box for lil’ Dottie May’s special day.
- I most of the food and decorations with supplies I already had on hand. My ticket item was a helium tank for $25.00.
- I chose to not spend a lot and stuck with it. It would have been easy to rent one of those birthday venues and have a party there. However, I’m dead against spending hundreds of dollars to be rushed from one activity to another while on a tight party schedule. These places don’t even allow time for the kids to open presents. While I understand how easy it is for parents to host a party outside of their own house, I feel like these venues remove the niceties that a child’s birthday party should have. There’s no time to really enjoy each others company and relax. I know it’s for the kids but everything seems to be for kids these days, and it’s time we teach them that there are ways to have a nice time without buying into the modern world’s idea of fun.
One day I hope Alice will realize that frills don’t matter; it’s the people who are there to share these special moments that count.
If you’re planning a tea party check out Teavana’s awesome collection. It’s an affiliate link and buy purchasing from them you will help support my site and sanity.
Enjoy $10 off orders of $60 or more plus FREE shipping & tea sample with code SAVE10NOW at Teavana.com! (Valid 02/01 – 03/31)
Put on a pot of tea and SAVE $10 off orders of $50+ plus FREE shipping with code SPRING14 at Teavana.com! (Valid until 04/06)