I really wanted to stay away from licensed character stuff for the most part, so I went with a pop art style look. Being Minnesota, I waited a whole month later than his actual birthday so we would be more likely to have a nice day for the party.
Here's the invite:
I used photoshop and made my son into a cartoon for his invitations. I love how they turned out!
Onto the party itself:
This is the main table with all the treats.
Along the far end is a buffet type area where the main meal was. We went with walking tacos. It was fairly inexpensive and easy to customize for a large crowd. Never heard of them? They are basically bags of chips that have taco fixins thrown in so they can be eaten on the go. Great party food!
But let's focus on the best part first: TREATS!
...yes the cookies took FOREVER. They were worth it though. So cute!
In lieu of the proper cookie cutters, those BAM, ZAP, POW cookies were hand cut. I don't recommend that! Next time I will quit being cheap and spring for some cookie cutters. There's a reason these babies cost so much to have custom made - They are labor intensive, even with the right cutters. They sure added a lot visually though, and they were delicious. I tried my hand at cake pops for the first time too. I would have added some coordinating sprinkles, but I ran out of time. They worked well just plain yellow.
You can also see the POP corn containers in many of the pics above. They were a really cute touch and fit in with the theme so perfectly. I designed and printed off a bunch of little pop arty pieces and scattered them all over the table. I'll offer free printables of these soon!
The other corner of the party room:
Some simple polka dot helium balloons added a great touch, as did a cheap roll of blue wrapping paper with polka dots. The dots worked great with the pop art theme and it is a common pattern to find.
My favorite and thriftiest touch:
Comic book bunting!
This thing looked cool and was easily made for a few bucks. First, I bought $1.50 worth of discount bin comics from a local comic book store. Add a $1 roll of solid ribbon and some tacky glue, and you have everything you need! I picked out colorful pages, cut them into triangles, then stuck them onto the ribbon.
For party activities, I had a decent range of abilities to cater to. Some kids weren't even 2 yet, and we had a few 5 and 6 year olds too. A coloring station worked great, plus it was cheap. Some Google image searches + cheap b&w printing + crayons/markers = a good time for all ages. It is easy to customize for all themes too!
The second activity was a little more unique. A friend that had done a super hero party the year before gave me this gem. I bought a large bag of small superhero figurines from a consignment sale earlier in the year. A dollar store may work well too for sourcing these things faster. The whole bag cost me $3. I froze each one individually in ice using small Solo cups. For the party we took the hero-cicles, and threw them into a big clear tub of water. We gave the kids various kitchen utensils - slotted spoons, ladles, pasta strainers, etc. - and they went to town on trying to rescue their super heroes from the ice and water. I swear EVERY kid loved the game. For an older crowd I would have made it a race, but it worked with no rules for us.
Wish I had gotten better pics, but the game was constantly swamped!
That wraps up the highlights of the party. It was very fun and done on a pretty reasonable budget. The really time consuming part were all the treats, but that is always a labor of love for me.
Stay tuned and I'll offer some free printables of the pop art labels, containers, and decor!