With the recent release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the Indiana Jones theme has become a popular birthday party request from kids these days. There are some kits you can find, but this article will provide you more ideas if you want to throw an Indy party.
To provide a theme for your party there are some basic elements: the plates/cups/napkins for the table, banners and other decorations, the cake, mylar balloons, pinatas, games to play, background music, goody bags and party hats. Here are some specific ideas for an Indiana Jones birthday party.
Plates/cups/napkins: These can get pretty expensive. If you can find the theme you want at Target, they will have the best prices on these items. To do the party economically, just get cake plates with the Indy theme, colored plastic cups and brown napkins. Even at a somewhat pricey party supply store, you can get 8 cake plates for less than $4. If you are serving food, use regular plastic or paper plates which hold more and are much less expensive than theme party plates. Party supply websites offer kits which have plates, cups, napkins, balloons, hats, etc… and this is a useful option though not the most economical way to go. The most bang for the buck will be to use decorated cake plates, but everything else “standard issue” but color coordinated.
Banners: A regular Happy Birthday banner will do or perhaps you can make one with your printer if you have banner software. You may be able to find a birthday banner for $1.00 at the dollar store.
Other decorations: One thing you can do to decorate a table is to get a package of plastic snakes and scatter them around the table. The party supply stores (like Diddams) have packs of snakes and other places like Target do as well. You could also find a wig form (styrofoam) and spray paint it gold for a table decoration. If you are able to find something ark-like, you could put your goody bags inside of it.
Mylar balloons: You can find mylar Indiana Jones balloons on eBay or at a party store.
Pinatas: If you want a pinata, you may find these with the party theme kits online. There are Indiana Jones pinatas. Many pinatas these days are the pull string kind.
Games/events: One idea is to have a treasure hunt in the format of either follow-the-clues to treasure, or a scavenger hunt. If you have a sandbox, you could have a fossil dig with items you buried before the party. If you are having an indoor party, you could play Indiana Jones bingo with cards you make yourself. You can find Indiana Jones Bingo kits on eBay which will give you an idea you could copy.
Goody bags: To avoid the total junk, try your local dollar store. Some of them have Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull activity books. You could also get a survival tool, with compass, flashlight and magnifyer (again at the dollar store). For obvious reasons, whips seem like a really bad idea for a party favor (you know kids will love them until someone gets hurt). Instead of whips, you can find some nice jump ropes that can stand in for a whip but aren’t quite as dangerous.
Party hats: Instead of the traditionally cone shaped hat, you can find Indiana Jones paper hats. They are not that common, but they have been ordered from Toyhunt.com. You may be able to get them as part of a party pack from some online party sites.
Hat for Mom/Dad: You can find Indiana Jones hats pretty commonly right now. One was spotted at Diddams made of leather-look stiff cloth for $20. (Very stylish too!). Mom or Dad can dress up like Indy with a hat, a whip (or jump rope) and a bandana.
Cake: There are Indiana Jones cake kits available and Safeway (and other bakeries) sell the cakes made to order with the Indy decorations. The decoration is a holder for a large ball (about the size of a tennis ball) which rolls toward an Indiana Jones action figure. You can find these decorations on eBay and Amazon. You could also use Indiana Jones actions figures or Lego kits as a cake decoration. With the Lego kits you (or your child) will have to put it together ahead of time, but it will be a fun toy to keep.
Music: Download the Indiana Jones movie music and play it on your ipod connected to a stereo if you have one (set it to continuous mode). The Indian Jones theme music is very nice for setting the feeling of the party. You may be able to find an Indiana Jones movie music CD that you could play as well.
Put it all together and you will have a very fun Indiana Jones party! Your child is certain to get a few Indiana Jones Lego kits, adding to the fun.