Get on track and plan your next Polar Express Adventure. Let the journey begin!
Polar Express Party
This is our second year celebrating this newly classic Christmas party. I can’t even think of not celebrating this party or else….! My 4 year old, at the time, started this tradition.”Mommy can we watch the Polar Express movie and invite Kylee and Addie over?” And so the preparation began!
Design & Decor
Planning for a child’s party can be lots of fun, because in the end, all the kids want to do is run around and have a blast! The planning is just as much fun, or more, as the actual party! Let’s face it…when a kids party starts, you need to be prepared, organized, and on your toes or else chaos will win the battle! So I have my fun before the party starts, and pretend to be a kid again, and remember all the things that caught my attention at parties!
Inspiration was of course trains! Creating the invitation can be just as fun as decorating for the party! Remember the invite is a hint at what your guests can expect at your party! Don’t forget the golden ticket, which must be presented at arrival, in order to board the party train! Bringing things to life helps a child (me too!) relate to the real things in life! That golden ticket will become the beginning of a great adventure. Have fun writing your party details by making your party the real deal! You can include famous quotes from the movie to add to your invite. Here is a sample of our party details you might want to use for your next Polar Express adventure!
For a Polar Express Adventure
Date: Christmas Eve (party date)
Time: Five minutes before midnight (party time)
Train Station: The (host)
@ Platform # (Host address)
Destination: North Pole!
Hot Chocolate and Treats will be served
Pajamas required for all passengers
Well… are you comin’ ???
RSVP Conductor: (Host name)
@ (host contact number)
Ticket required at Boarding Time
Setting the table
Sometimes deciding what to set for a party table can be hard, but this one came easy when I found the perfect winter plates. These winter paper plates were designed with stripes of blues and snowflakes which gave inspiration for the right table decor. Draping ribbon across the table, adding a few homemade snowflakes, and sprinkling some fake snow gave a simple but perfect winter feel for our little guests. Check out http://www.highhopes.com for easy instructions on making your own snowflakes.
I really like the idea of having a centerpiece that can also be used for the party. Often times we place things on the table and they are never used. These visual decorations can be great but for a kids party, the more touchable and edible, the happier they are!. So, these yummy marshmallow snowmen treats were the centerpiece and a special treat for each of our guests to enjoy! We simply filled a bowl with sugar to resemble snow and stuck them in!
These were super easy to make. Just melt your white chocolate. Stack 3 marshmallows on a stick. Dip into chocolate and spread with a spoon in order to cover all the marshmallows. Save enough chocolate to dye orange for the nose later. Place in refrigerator until set. Melt a small amount of chocolate for the arms. Place melted chocolate into a small baggie, snack size, and cut a very small slit at corner. Draw your arms on and do the same for your nose with saved white chocolate dyed orange. Return to refrigerator to set.
This party favor became a part of our table decor as well. At each place setting we labeled a paper cup “Hot Cocoa to Go” and filled each one with a layered cocoa mix and a candy cane for later! Unfortunately, blue candy canes were scarce in our tow,n so we opted for the traditional. A blue candy cane would definitely fit into this color scheme!
Keeping on Track!
Attention to detail can make your party stand out above all others! Remember bringing things to life really helps a child adjust to a new and fun environment. Children love becoming a part of the action, so we took the time to transform our home into an unforgettable adventure! Black electric tape and brown construction paper became tracks and the look on the little guys faces as they entered were all worth the extra effort!
Daddy even joined in on the fun and was our conductor for the evening. Thanks daddy!
We added a little more detail as the children walked in.
A Letter to Santa!
Waiting for all your guests to arrive, so the festivities can begin, can sometimes be hard for little ones. With an attention span of a 4 year old, they just can’t sit and wait patiently. The anticipation is overwhelming and that’s OK. We had our guests write a letter to Santa while they waited! They placed their letter in a special mail bag to ensure Santa received their request! (We handed them to mom and dad later to ensure they were on the right track with their Christmas shopping!)
Some may think I’m crazy for inviting a dozen little guests to my house, but this activity card was the solution to our 12 little guests full of energy! As the children entered, we gave them an activity card to wear as a necklace! We choose 4 different colors and had 3 – 4 children per group. The color will specify what group they are in and how they will rotate to each activity. Once they have completed an activity, their card is punched, and they can move on to complete the others! No one missed out! So get your helping elves in order and let the fun begin. Here are the activities we planned.
Mrs. Claus Kitchen- Cookie Decorating
Sugar cookies and frosting were ready for design! Check out our fantastic sugar cookie and frosting recipe!
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Combine and whisk flour, salt and baking powder and set aside. In a separate bowl beat sugar and eggs until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, add flour mixture and mix until a smooth dough forms. Divide in 1/2 , place in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll out dough and cut out desired shapes. Place on a greased cookie sheet and refrigerate 10 minutes (this helps the cookie to keep it’s shape). Bake 10 minutes.
2 egg whites
2 tsp lemon juice
3 cups powdered sugar
Beat egg whites and lemon juice together. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Use immediately or store in airtight container.
I think Chris got a little of that ‘BELIEVE’ fever, because not often do you find Chris dressed to impress. Thanks Chef Chris for helping out with snack time!
The Elves Den- Games Galore
We had some super fun elves help us out with games like ‘pin the nose on the reindee’r, a
‘snowflake toss,’ and a few more!
Santa’s Workshop – Simple Fun Crafts
Make sure your craft is easy, fast, and age appropriate! Possibly one they can do on their own. That means less for you to worry about, and more time for you to enjoy the moment!
Winter Wonderland – Face Painting
Most children love having their face painted. We chose simple designs like a snowman, Christmas tree, and star.
Our table setting required no utensils, only napkins, to at least try to keep clean. Finger foods were a perfect choice and definitely kid friendly. We took our train theme and transformed our buffet table into a railroad scene from the Polar Express. I think it turned out great! We added a few bowls to resemble cars and filled them with finger foods like pigs in a blanket, brownie balls (coals..my favorite) and crackers. Cheese and olive kabobs along with fruit kabobs filled glass vases of sugar to resemble snow.
This was a favorite! Brownie balls dusted with powdered sugar.
Chocolate Covered Ice Cream Balls
These treats were very easy to make and a big hit at our party! Scoop flavored ice cream of your choice into balls and place on a skewer. Place in freezer for a few hours or overnight. Melt milk chocolate chips in a double broiler over medium heat. Once chocolate is melted, remove from heat and let cool. This is the trick to making sure your chocolate sticks to the ice cream ball. If too hot the chocolate will slip right off! Dip ice cream balls into chocolate, and quickly sprinkle your choice of topping. We chose colored sprinkles, however nuts, crushed Oreo’s, etc. can be fun! Return to freezer to set.