At the very beginning of this series, I said I don't do over-the-top birthday parties. And normally, I don't. I prioritize accessible over ostentatious, easy over extravagant, because I don't think kids need a crazy shindig to feel celebrated and loved. (See: the past 30 days of posts.)
Every once in a while, I splurge. It's not the norm, it's not competitive. It's about that child, that year.
Which brings us, friends, to the last birthday party of 31 Days of Birthdays.
The Princess Party
Like many preschool girls, Teyla was enamored by all things princess by the time her fourth birthday rolled around. I figured I'd do some sort of a pink-filled party for her. But then Corey and I went to our school's annual auction, and up for bid was a party package for eight from Minneapolis-based Princess Party Pals. The chance to have a real live Disney Princess of our choice come to our house and throw a party for our daughter? We jumped. Yes, the price point was higher than usual for a birthday party us, but consider what a party package like this entails.
Cinderella came to our front door on a cold January morning and greeted our birthday girl like it was the most natural thing in the world.
(The look on Teyla's face? Priceless. That right there was worth the price of the party.)
She proceeded to set up a face painting station in our kitchen, and cheerfully helped Teyla and each arriving guest choose a design which she expertly painted on.
She gathered the girls around and read them her story. (You've never seen girls so transfixed by the story of Cinderella as when they are getting told the story by the princess herself.)
She opened up her trunk full of princess clothes and helped the girls choose skirts, tiaras, boas, wands and accessories so they, too, could be true princesses.
She taught the princesses-in-training to curtsey, to bow, to twirl and to dance.
She sent each girl down a red carpet and introduced them as princesses of the court.
She then sat down and had cupcakes with Teyla and the girls, never breaking character once. When the girls left, she handed out gift bags she designed and filled…
...collected her goods, cleaned up as best she could and left in her car (the pumpkin carriage was in the shop, she was terribly embarrassed).
Teyla floated for days. And Corey and I were impressed beyond words. Nicole, the woman behind the dress, is a professional actress, and it shows. Thanks to the magic of amazing costumes and make-up, she can appear at a party as almost any of the Disney Princesses (or Dora or a rock star, should your child choose). She was an utter delight throughout the party, gently guiding Teyla and her guests through a morning of activities, and always ALWAYS in character. Teyla was so in awe that Cinderella was in her house that it took most of the party for her to let her guard down. (I mean, that would be unnerving, right?) But by the end of the party, she was in heaven, asking Cinderella if she would sit next to her during the birthday song, serving her a cupcake, chatting her up as if they were old friends.
Teyla still asks when Cinderella is coming over again. I'm telling you, I can't really put a price tag on this party. If you live in the Twin Cities area and you want to indulge a little girl who loves princesses, I highly recommend Princess Party Pals. This is a splurge worth every penny.
The only thing I did for this party was make cupcakes - and that was my choice, because I'm a baking goober.
I made the best chocolate cake ever and used foil cupcake liners to add a touch of sparkle. I piped pink buttercream (of course) on top and sprinkled pink sanding sugar and pearl candy on top of that. They were simple, beautiful and yummy. Princess approved.