Sunday, August 30, 2009

Alice in Wonderland Part 3: 21st Birthday Party Ideas

I have a cool widget on this blog that not only tells me the location of readers, but what they might have searched for to land on my little blurbs. Earlier this month, I posted a couple of Alice in Wonderland party ideas (see August 09 posts). Some hip cat from Australia recently searched for "Alice in Wonderland 21st Birthday Tea Party Ideas." Anonymous kitten, I thank you. Now I get to dream up an Alice party with a mischievous, cheeky edge. Me-ow!

These red and white fabric rose light strings bring the Red Queen's garden into your Alice party. Whether your event takes place outside or indoors, interesting lighting will set the mood. I wouldn't go too crazy with these, though. Just a few strings in a strategic place such as a banister. This isn't going to be your grandmother's kind of Alice party!

I hate balloons. I think they're totally played, allergenic for some people, a problem in the landfill and a general party nuisance. They invariably fall down, then some fool starts popping them. But I love the idea of things hanging from the ceiling. The problem is solved: an array of paper and/or silk Chinese lanterns! Grouped en masse in your color scheme, these will be Mad indeed!

Prosperity Lantern - Red

This lantern reminds me of Alice's blue dress!

If you can pull this off (costume below), you definitely should! Love her flamingo croquet mallet! I would love to have cocktails served by cheeky versions of the story's characters! I've seen these get-ups representing the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit and Alice herself. You could position the characters strategically at check-in, guest book, and coat stations.
If there are doors leading into your event space, you could decorate them to look larger and smaller, and include large and small doors alongside the real entrance. Let Mad Hatters lead them into the party, pressing small bottles (you know, like airplane sized) into their hands. Label them "Drink Me."

I think this breathalyzer is a good thing for a host to have at a 21st birthday bash. You might need to prove to someone just how much fun he or she had, and prevent them from driving anywhere. Especially with young, inexperienced drinkers who may not be aware of their own limits!

Peace Cookies

Fancy cookies are a must at all Alice parties. These are my choice -- "Where my hippies at?!" Am I wrong to assume those who choose a Mad Tea Party for a 21st birthday may be amused by psychedelia and other 60's iconography? Anyway, these are from one of my favorite vendors, Organic Bouquet.
You should have some cookies or petit fours proclaiming "Eat Me." Recently, I saw chronicles of a fantastic Alice Party on Lark and Lola. At her party, she expressed this idea in take away boxes with tiny cakes and Chessmen cookies available at practically any store.

Two Dozen Classic Red Roses

What is a Kitty style event without flowers? No Alice in Wonderland party is complete without roses - red and white. Roses are one of my favorite flowers to work with at events because of their staying power. They're easy to work with and can be revived by recutting the stems and soaking them in water. Cut the stems off and float them in water, group them in tiny vases, and use petals wherever you like.
Only music trumps my love of fresh flowers at parties. At my own wedding 100 years ago, I gave the DJ a specific playlist and instructed him to take no requests because I am so serious about music that I would have ditched my own reception if I had to listen to the Macarena or some similar such foolishness. Maybe you're not such a stickler, but an Alice party has to have some staple songs.
iTunes (the greatest invention on the planet, in my opinion second only to the wheel, without which we would have to click slowly through our playlists) has the soundtrack to Disney's Alice in Wonderland. If you have a great mixmaster (DJ AM, rest in peace), you can work these soundbytes into your party playlist to lend authenticity to the evening's long strange trip. Another song you must have include: Jefferson Airplane's classic, "Go Ask Alice." If you're a Jazz person, there are tons of options on iTunes; just type "Alice in Wonderland" into the search box and you'll get some great songs.
I've mentioned my loathing for party games, but Dizzy Bats is more fun than a barrel of monkeys. For an Alice party, adapt the game to croquet. For those who didn't have quite as much of a ball in college as Hubbs and I, Dizzy Bats is a game in which a baseball bat (croquet mallet) is held upright on the ground. Players touch their foreheads to the top of the bat, then turn themselves in circles (usually wearing large floppy shoes or flippers or bear slippers- whathaveyou) then try to race down to the end of the playing field, chug a drink, then race back. Dizzy and falling down. The running part can be omitted; instead, try to guide the players through a croquet course. It's hilarious and apropos for a 21st birthday, but by no means does your Kitty condone binge drinking. Please drink responsibly and have plenty of sober drivers/taxi cabs available for your guests.


  1. I love those lanterns! The Alice in Wonderland theme is really just too fun...from coquet to all the roses to the "drink me/eat me" proclaiming-food....possibilities are endless!

  2. Such great ideas. I am so with you on the lanterns instead of balloons. I want to go to this party!

  3. SR2: balloons are a total sensory issue for me. if you're over the age of 7,they don't belong a your event!

  4. Kitty-Do you not have your email address on your blog? I frequently see things I'd like to send you, but can never find how to contact you. I have to send you a photo of the Alice in Wonderland hat/bow I just got.

  5. great ideas... love the cookies :)

  6. marinik: i've tried to make cookies like these; they're a mess when i finish with them. no hand-eye-icing coordination here. i'm not ashamed to order cookies during the holidays!

  7. Can you please Help! Im having a alice in wonderland themed 21st but i have no clue what i need to have or do.. any ideas would be lovely! Thanks

    1. Hello, Sammii! Sorry for the delay; your Kitty has been celebrating! There are many ideas on this blog for your Alice-themed party. I suggest costumes! If you hit the Alice in Wonderland tags at the bottom of this post, you will find some great ideas! Your interest has inspired me to do a new post on my favorite party twist. Stay tuned. XOXO Kitty!

  8. What a nice idea! That blue lantern is wonderful and really reminds on Alice's blue dress.