One thing I have always been known for is taking silly things extremely seriously. If there was a party or theme day during my school days that involved wearing a costume, I was there for it in a big way! Halloween costumes and our annual Halloween Party are things I start planning for months in advance. I love to entertain, and have hosted between 10 and 15 events each year for as long as I can remember. I managed to parlay this into a 15-year career planning events and parties, ranging from large scale charity events to my most recent project: the After Party at the 2020 Marathon Olympic Trials in Atlanta for Oiselle. So, you can imagine with all those events under my belt I have amassed a pretty impressive collection of costumes, décor and crafting supplies. Little did I know that my professional skills and vast menagerie of event paraphernalia would come in handy while being forced to stay home…but they really have!
It was a couple weeks into quarantine and WA Governor Inslee had just issued the “Stay Home-Stay Healthy” order which meant that my husband was going to be joining our son and I in our already 2-weeks-old, and rapidly going stale quarantine. Byron, my loquacious, energetic, and dinosaur obsessed 5-year-old, was explaining to me the imperceptible differences between one type of dinosaur I have never heard of and another. I was nodding and smiling and saying “uh-huh” as I ploughed through yet another sink full of dishes. (SIDE NOTE: Am I the only one who apparently has at least 6 invisible people living with them using dishes whom they have never met?!? But I digress.) As I was nodding along to the dinosaur lesson, I was thinking: there must be a way to get him interested in something I have ANY interest in or knowledge about. Later that evening we were watching Peter Pan and he started asking about pirates. HUZZAH! THIS WAS MY MOMENT! So, I hopped on my phone and ordered him the cheapest pirate costume I could find, and Friday theme nights were born!
What started as a way to help diversify Byron’s rather myopic interests and help us remember what day of the week it is has become a really fun tradition that we all look forward to. In fact, we usually start discussing what we should do for the next week pretty much immediately following the previous theme night and start getting ready. Then when Friday arrives, we decorate, set the table, don our costumes, listen to music, and play games. With each party, Byron has grown more and more invested in the theme and our plans have become increasingly elaborate. We try to buy as little as possible and craft the entire event from things we have on hand. I have discovered several things from creating everything from scratch:
- You can make almost anything out of a pillowcase.
- Sharpies are the solution to just about every crafting problem.
- You don’t need a big budget to throw an epic party!
Week 1: Pirate Paaarrrrty
We crafted a pirate ship out of our picnic table complete with a skull & crossbones flag made from a pillowcase. Our pirate treasure chest is a running shoe box and I made special pirate drinks for all of us (we left the rum out of Byron’s).
Week 2: Tropical Getaway
This theme came about because it was Hawaiian dress up day at Byron’s school. We all love the Tiki Room at Disneyland so for this one we played and sang the songs from the Tiki Room, did the hula and wore our leis and grass skirts.
Week 3: Superheroes Save the Day!
Byron has been really into Captain America lately so we had to do a superhero night! Like many moms in quarantine, I am overseeing most of the educational activities so I have been trying to weave in a few teaching moments in our party prep. Byron and I practiced his coloring and letters while making the table runner and he designed a game for us all to play with Amazon boxes complete with tickets and prizes.
Week 4: Grease is the Word
This is one of my favorite movies so I knew we had to do a Grease Night! We played Twister, did the limbo rock, had a dance off and picked up burgers and fries from our local drive in.
Week 5: Star Wars
Another one of our favorite movies and something Byron fell in love with on our trip to Disneyland! This one might be my favorite of the bunch. We played explode the death star, crafted TIE fighters for the centerpiece, and had a pretty epic lightsaber battle.
We are having so much fun that my husband suggested the other day that we keep it going after quarantine is over! I’m not sure if we will keep up with every Friday but I could definitely see it becoming a monthly thing and undoubtedly will be the source of our fondest memories from this strange season.
Do you have any suggestions for Friday themes? Please let me know! I'm on Instagram @MandyKateLane.