Alice in Wonderland Party—Playing Card Army—Age 9—
Grand Prize Winner

Submitted by Victoria of Cambridge, Mass.

Invitations. On the cover of the invitation, I wrote “Read Me.” On the first page, I had a picture of the White Rabbit running and looking at his watch with a word bubble that said “I’m late. I’m late. For a very important date!” On the second page, I had a picture of Alice peeking in the Rabbit Hole with a word bubble that said “Now this is curious. What could a rabbit be possibly be late for. It must be a party or something.” The third page had a picture of Alice down in the Rabbit Hole with a bottle with the words “Drink Me” and a plate of cookies that said “Eat Me.” Underneath that, I wrote, “Would you come join us to have a bite to eat… The fourth page had a picture of the Mad Hatter’s tea party where I wrote “and then have some tea… On the last page, I had a picture of the Queen of Hearts playing croquet and added “and play a game of croquet at (birthday girl’s name) unbirthday.” “Don’t be late for this very important date!” Then I added our address, and the day and time of the party and told them to RSVP to the Queen of Hearts. I asked the guests to come as their favorite character if they wanted to.

Decorations. I made a large banner that said (name) with pictures of Alice in Wonderland characters on both sides. My daughter dressed up as Alice. She wore a blue dress and my mother gave her a white apron and I put a blue ribbon in her hair. I went as the Queen in the actual costume that I found online. I asked family members to play the different characters and we provided the costumes.

I opened the gate door all the way so I could attach a large rabbit hole from cardboard and taped it at the bottom of our gate so the kids could easily crawl through it if they wanted to and it could easily be moved, but not detached, so the adults could easily walk inside our front yard. I enlarged a picture of the White Rabbit and taped it on top of the cardboard. 

My husband made a door out of an appliance box that the kids had to go through to get to Wonderland. We tied mirrors to the branches on our trees in our front yard. Then we placed mirrors on the ground right under the trees.

Games and Activities. My brother who played the White Rabbit (in full costume) repeated to each guest “I’m late. I’m late. For a very important date!” When the guests entered the Rabbit Hole, my brother told them that they needed a key for the door to enter Wonderland, and showed them the key on a table. Before they went to get the key, my brother offered them some juice in a glass that said “Drink Me.” After the kids drank the juice, he asked them to look up in the mirrors hanging from the tree which made them look smaller. He dangled the key in front of them and as soon as they reached for it, he would pull it away. Then he gave them a small cookie on a plate that said “Eat Me” and told them to look in the mirrors below them so they would look bigger. He held the key out again, but he still didn’t let them retrieve it. Then he gave them some more juice to drink and he finally let them have the key to go through the door.

When they went through the door, they saw a sign that said “This way” with an arrow pointing to the back where the first tables were set up for the Tea Party with mismatched teapots with “Drink Me” written on them and mismatched tea cups. The Mad Hatter (my other brother in full costume) was sitting at the table waiting to welcome everyone to the unbirthday party. After tea and some cookies, they followed a sign that said “that way with an arrow pointing to some white rose bushes.

There were white rose bushes that we painted on cardboard and there were two Playing card men (my husband’s brothers) who were painting the roses red. We gave out smocks to wear over their clothing and gave them some brushes and red paint and let them paint for awhile.

While the kids were painting, a small Playing Card Army (more family members) wearing large playing cards, with me as the Queen came marching over. The kids followed us to where we set up a Croquet matching game. We had a sign that said “Royal Croquet Court.”  I had inflatable pink flamingos on the lawn. I made Playing Card Men by creating life size playing cards and glued a painted cardboard head and legs to the backs of the cards. Then I bent the cards and secured them in the ground with garden stakes and we used them as goals to get our balls that I covered with faux fur to look like hedgehogs like in the movie. When we got to the Croquet Court, I asked my guests if they played croquet. When they all said no, I bellowed “Off with their heads.” As the game was being played, I walked around and shouted “off with her head”, “off with his head”, “off with their heads!”

When the game was over, we served lunch. The food was labeled with “Eat Me” and Drink Me” signs that I printed. We had the party catered with a variety of hero sandwiches like chicken parmesan, meatball parmesan, sausage and pepper and grilled vegetable. There were trays filled with cold appetizers, crackers and cheese, veggies and dip, a fruit platter, and a cookie and pastry platter with some tarts that I asked to please include.
After lunch, we walked them over to a corner of the yard where there were a few signs that said “this way”, and “that way.” While they were figuring which way to go, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, (two friends of mine) in full outfits, came bouncing over to them. The kids asked them which way they should go. They playfully argued with themselves a little and then they brought them over where I set up for a three-race with large garbage bags and a starting and finishing line.

When the three-legged race was done, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum showed them to a sign that said “That Way,” which led them over to my garage that we turned into a courtroom with the Queen and King played by my husband and a jury. What was the trial about? All the Queen’s tarts were missing and the Cheshire Cat was being found guilty of stealing the Queen’s tarts. When everyone sat down, I got up and bellowed “Someone stole the tarts!” I had a large drawing of the Cheshire cat (with a removable grin) with some tart jelly on his grin. When the Queen looked at him and saw the jelly, I screamed at him “Wipe that grin off your face! No! That’s where the evidence lies.” I had someone stand in back of him and remove his grin. The Queen bellowed “Off with his head.” Then the King said to the Queen “You can’t behead him if he hid the evidence.” So the Queen sent the guests on a mission to find the hidden grin. I hid copies of the Cheshire cat’s grin all over the yard, but one had some jelly on it that I added with red puffy paint.

After we handed out the prizes (goody bags) we had cake. All of a sudden, I as the Queen, stood up and pointed to my daughter and exclaimed to her that she is on trial. She looked shocked and asked for what. And I said, “guilty for being the sweetest daughter a mother and father can have!” Then I bellowed “Let them eat cake.” We had two cakes, a Queen of Hearts cake that I used a decorating cake pen to draw hearts with and the second cake was a clock. The goody bags had white rabbit plushies, a deck of cards, chocolates that I made with flower shape molds and placed them in baggies with a note saying “Eat Me.” Our thank you cards were designed like Queen of Hearts playing cards with my daughter thanking everyone for coming to her unbirthday. Our party is still being talked about with parents saying they don’t know how they’re going to top it!