How do I Throw a Birthday Cooking Party?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
A cupcake decorating party can be a good choice for adults.
A cupcake decorating party can be a good choice for adults.

There are three keys to throwing a birthday cooking party that both children and adults can enjoy. One essential element is good planning. The second is the choice of the item that everyone will participate in cooking. The third consists of entertaining interludes for both younger and adult guests.

When making the plan, consider the ages of the children who will be present and how many children there will be, as well an health considerations and food allergies. These three factors will guide considerations such as how long the party will last, how long food preparation can last and how complicated it can be, as well as what types of recipes will suit everyone’s dietary needs. Younger children will mean less preparation time and more immediate gratification are a good idea, so decoration, rather than intensive preparation, is a good idea. Older children may be up for doing some food preparation, going in another room to play some games and watch presents being opened, and returning to their self-prepared feast.

A cookbook and utensils.
A cookbook and utensils.

Depending on how busy your guests’ schedules are, you may want to choose a date and send invitations for your birthday cooking party up to a month in advance. If you choose to send written invitations, you can play up the cooking theme, either with hand-drawn invitations or by downloading clip art from the Internet. Put in a comfortable RSVP date, and add a note on your calendar to follow up with anyone who hasn’t responded. You may want to plan ahead for party favors and tie them in with the invitation art.

Pizza can be a fun and easy dish to make during a cooking party.
Pizza can be a fun and easy dish to make during a cooking party.

Excellent menu choices for your birthday cooking party include pizza, tacos, cupcakes, and ice cream sundaes. These choices are good because they can be made simpler or more interesting depending on the age of the children. While young children might just add toppings to any of the items, older children could roll out their own pizzas, completely fill their own tacos, mix several kinds of batter — for example, vanilla, chocolate, and banana — to make their own cupcakes, and then decorate them, or take turns cranking the handle on the homemade ice cream and then decorate the sundaes. In addition, vegetarian substitutions are readily available for most ingredients in these dishes, as are gluten-free options. Or, for a completely different approach, create a self-limited Iron Chef®-style challenge for the adults while the children are entertained, and then invite the children to be the judges.

Hosts of a birthday cooking party should set an RSVP date so arrangements can be made for the appropriate number of guests.
Hosts of a birthday cooking party should set an RSVP date so arrangements can be made for the appropriate number of guests.

Plan the diversions for your birthday cooking party by modifying the usual party entertainment to have a cooking theme. Instead of pin the tail of the donkey, you could play, pin the chef’s hat on the chef. For entertainment, you could rent the movie Ratatouille about the rat who becomes a chef for the children, while adults are treated to Julie and Julia. A blindfolded taste test can also be fun. Shopping in two sections to accommodate perishable items may be useful. On the day of the party, decorate the house, do any preparatory cooking, and lay out bowls of ingredients or fill them and stack them in the refrigerator if they need to stay cool. Then all you have to do is welcome your guests and enjoy your party.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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Discussion Comments

medicchristy

@momothree: My daughter wanted to have a pizza baking party. We went to a craft store and bought little chef hats for each child. I also bought some cheap white aprons and some fabric markers. The first game that they played was to decorate their own aprons. They had a ball with that!

I bought pizza crusts and all of the fixings. They were very creative in their pizza making!

For the birthday cake, the day before I baked several 6” cakes. After the pizzas were done, each girl decorated her own cake. It was lots of fun.

PurpleSpark

@momothree: I have had a very similar party for my daughter. I let her pick out the decorations. Everything was pastel colored. Her party was cupcake themed. For her invitations, she got pastel colored scrapbook paper and made the invitations in the shape of cupcakes.

The centerpiece on the table was a huge cupcake that was the size of an actual cake. For the activity, they did cupcake decorating. I made the cupcakes the day before and then I bought up all kinds of sprinkles, candies, and anything else that you could think of and then let the girls design their own cupcakes.

I bought miniature boxes so that each girl could take her own cupcake home with her.

momothree

My daughter will be ten soon and she wants to have a cooking party for all of her girl friends. She is only having girls over for this party and she wants them to do "girly" things. Any suggestions?

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    • A cupcake decorating party can be a good choice for adults.
      A cupcake decorating party can be a good choice for adults.
    • A cookbook and utensils.
      By: Vivian Seefeld
      A cookbook and utensils.
    • Pizza can be a fun and easy dish to make during a cooking party.
      By: Kayros Studio
      Pizza can be a fun and easy dish to make during a cooking party.
    • Hosts of a birthday cooking party should set an RSVP date so arrangements can be made for the appropriate number of guests.
      By: Graça Victoria
      Hosts of a birthday cooking party should set an RSVP date so arrangements can be made for the appropriate number of guests.
    • A chef's hat can be used as a decor item at a cooking-themed birthday party.
      By: dp3010
      A chef's hat can be used as a decor item at a cooking-themed birthday party.