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Beyond Birthdays 

Beyond Birthdays 
By: Jennie Bradford Curlee

Most of us are seasoned veterans when it comes to planning birthday parties. But what about planning a party for no reason at all? The summer months make for the perfect opportunity to plan a party just to plan a party, whether it’s to do something special for the family, gather all the neighborhood kids for a little fun, or to get school friends together between summer trips. Make the most of the summer months by doing something nice for those who mean the most to you.  

Banana Split Party 

Once the dog days of summer set in, there is no better treat than sweet cold ice cream. Throw in bananas, some toppings and a cherry on top – and you’ve got a party. Use some yellow construction paper to make invitations shaped like bananas and enlist your kids to help deliver them throughout the neighborhood. Set up tables outside under a carport or shaded area and get ready to scoop and serve. A banana split party is a fun way to get all of the neighborhood kids together and will make your house the most popular house on the block. 

Movie Under the Stars 

Who doesn’t love to watch a movie? When that movie is being shown outside, there is even more to love. Create your own invitations in the shape of movie tickets and send them to your kids’ friends. Hang a sheet on a wall outside or rent a screen to show a family-friendly movie under the stars. Make popcorn, set out movie sweet treats and drinks for attendees to enjoy throughout the evening. Set up chairs in front of the screen or lay blankets in the yard for friends. Take it up a notch by showing the movie by the pool so guests can watch from the comfort of their pool floats.  

Capture the Flag 

Nothing says summer like neighborhood kids gathering to play capture the flag. Print up the rules and map of the area in your neighborhood where the game will be played and deliver this as the invitation to everyone who wants to join in the fun. Start and finish the game at your house, dividing kids into equal teams. Go over all of the rules once more, give all of the players flashlights as a party gift, and send them out to play the game. Once the flag has been captured, invite all of the kids back for snacks to end the evening.  

Throwing a summer party is as simple as coming up with a creative idea and a guest list. Your kids will enjoy having a special event for their friends at your home and will have something to look forward to as they help you plan. Make your summer party an annual event, creating special memories for your family for years to come.  

Need more party ideas? Try one of these for super summer fun! 

  • Water Balloon War – pick teams and get soaked 
  • Fourth of July Neighborhood Bicycle Parade and Cook-Out – host a bicycle parade and invite the neighborhood over for a cook-out 
  • Pool Party Luau – give out leis, drink out of coconuts, and serve homemade pineapple ice cream 
  • Make-Your-Own Sundae – start with vanilla ice cream and include all of the toppings 
  • Paint Party – paint canvases outside with the kids 
  • Baseball or Softball Game – set up a baseball or softball game with two full teams and have hotdogs and chips after the game 

Jennie Bradford Curlee is the public relations and international sales director for the Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau. She is always looking for a reason to plan a party. 

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