As my oldest son leveled up to the grand age of 9 this past weekend, it was GAME ON for me to pull together a SUPER MARIO-velous celebration for him and 20 of his closest buddies!!!
***Photo credit to Heartwing Photography for pictures of Keegan over the mantel.
My first challenge in preparing for his party was to come to terms with the fact that the Gaithersburg/Rockville area has *very* limited venue options for a pure arcade experience for video game loving kiddos! (Needless to say, the new Dave & Busters opening in the Rio can happen sooner rather than later this year.)
Next I researched video game truck options, comparing the prices and availability of several competitors. Luckily, Certifikid came to the rescue with an amazing offer from the wonderful people at Mobile Game Extreme Madness (http://www.mobilegamemadness.com/index.html), which included 2 hours of video game play time for up to 20 attendees. Working with the owner of Mobile Game Extreme Madness was a breeze. He made the process of planning and coordinating with him easy and worry-free!
Knowing the gaming guests would largely be glued to leveling up for most of my son's celebration, I wanted to ensure I powered up the end of the festivities with food and fun. So I unleashed my inner Princess Peach to score decoration designs for the win!
Spending quality time with my Cricut craft creations was of paramount importance to add special touches to the day. Early on I determined that downloading the "Polygon Party" font for free would be used for banners, boards, shirts, and food signs. I turned to Etsy's ButterflyAndScopio storefront to purchase SVG silhouette images of the iconic mushroom, star, and cloud shapes to hang from our stairs and off of our upstairs railing balusters using fishing wire to give the images the illusion of flying in the sky.
One of my favorite finds was the clever use of Perler beads to resemble our favorite original 8 bit Super Mario Brothers' characters unearthed through MadamFANDOM and NatalieSlaysCrafts on Etsy. They were used in clay pots for decor, cake toppers, and zipper pulls for grab bags.
Finding relevant fillers and goodie bags to correspond with Super Mario theme came next. Turning to Cricut, once again, to design Mario and Luigi overall bags proved to put a smile on all our faces. While including the perler bead zipper pulls, question mark boxes filled with candy, Mario pencils, glow in the dark toppers, and amazing sugar cookies from Ed's Country Bakery in Frederick!!!
With a true hatred of cake from my oldest born, I sought non-cake counsel of the pastry perfecters at Ed's Country Bakery and determined raspberry and chocolate filled donuts were definitely the best way for players to power up at the party!
Mario and Luigi pizzas galore along with Fire Up Power cheese balls as well as Power Up Flower Fruit and Veggie Trays went a long way to feed 20 hungry boys! Candy stations were an added bonus with Princess Peach Rings (peach gummy rings), Ice Power (marshmallows), Yoshi Eggs (skittles), Cheep Cheeps (Swedish fish), Fire Up Power (fire balls), and moustache lollipops!!!
For photo fun festivities, we visited KateStoreArt on Etsy to create a Super Keegan foam board, and scored a Super Mario photo backdrop from Amazon.
No party is truly 'Moss'ed up without apparel to complement the theme. As a result, the birthday boy and I designed shirts donning the names "Super Keegan" and "Super MOM-io". Keegan's younger twin sister and brother transformed into overall wearing Mario and Luigi. Additionally, a table of moustaches along with Mario, Luigi, and brick cutouts welcomed guests as they entered.
Jumping for stars, coins, and joy ultimately proved to be the ultimate end result for my new 9-year-old, which is truly what adds extra "life" to this perpetual party planning parent!