How to Throw a Willy Wonka Party

With all powerful Shed/Playhouse

Man, I’m proud of this photo. Which is why I have made it super ginormous. LOOK! at the colour of the sky! LOOK! at the way the purple and orange balloons dance in the gentle breeze! LOOK! at how green and soft the lawn looks! LOOK! at the subtle little touches of Wonka!


Right, if you’ve looked hard enough and been slack jawed in amazement *threatens* then I will continue.

For Oliver’s 9th birthday I we decided on a Willy Wonka theme. Hey, the kids are going to be mainlining sugar for 2 hours anyway, why not be up front about that?

I think this was one of my more successful attempts at building memories *bokes up ring* but whenever I ask the kids which their favourite party ever has been they say “The last one” so..*shrugs* (INGRATES!)

Lets start with the invites. I wanted to give each child a Wonka chocolate bar with a golden ticket inside. The golden ticket would be the invitation. How popular I was with the parents’ of the invitees is debatable (bearing in mind that a few christmases before I had held a christmas party and given chocolate filled advent calendars out as invites. Still let’s gloss over that point) as the chocolate bars I ordered from the internet were pretty big. I got some shiny gold paper and formulated my words:


 Greetings to you, the lucky finder of this golden ticket! You are invited to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory  to celebrate Oliver’s 9th Birthday!

 Willy Wonka has temporarily moved his operations to: <insert address>

 Present this ticket at <time> on <Date> for a 2 hour trip around the factory.

 Please contact the factory to let us know if you are able to attend.

 Customer Services Number – <Landline>

  Willy Wonka’s Secretary (can accept texts) – <mobile>

 <In the teeniest writing you can get to still look legible> (Please be advised that Willy Wonka, His Factory or his staff cannot be held responsible for any naughty children being turned into blueberries/sucked up pipes/turned into tiny tiny people etc)

Oh Yeah. These chocolate bars contain many grams of madness

I teased open the end of each chocolate bar and sprinkled poison inside…no. No, I didn’t, I just slipped the golden ticket inside each bar.


OK, I will hold my hands up here and admit that I spent a small fortune on the decorations for this party. Hey it was 2009, times were good. This was back when petrol didn’t make one fall to one’s knees on Esso forecourts screaming at the sky. Back when a belt full of shopping in Sainsbury’s didn’t make you blanche and drool when the total of a few pieces of meat, a loaf of bread and some fruit bleeped in your face. Back when a family of four could go out for a meal without having to first secure a small loan and/or sell their car. Back then.  *sigh*  Anyway, I digress.

I bought a bunch of candy canes and giant lollipops and stuck them in the ground in the garden, and hung them from trees. I attached bunting to the shed/playhouse and arranged helium filled balloons around.

Lollipops are growing straight out of the ground! Mad eh?

It's like CHRISTMAS...In August..WTF?

God I love the Shed/Playhouse.


I didn’t stop there. Oh NO. I also bought a huge banner with Oliver’s enormous FACE on it and stuck it on the front of the house.
My Son’s huge face is staring at YOU stranger.
The day of the party arrived and I went into actual panic mode. I decided that the shed/playhouse needed to be prettied up INSIDE as well. Cos y’know? The inside of a shed is really, like, IMPORTANT. So I sent Tom round to the party porn shop around the corner. (Yes. I live literally 3 minutes away from 2 party shops. I sometimes wonder if the proximity to such caverns of delight and joy have made my party planning addiction worse…and then I feel sad…so I go and have a look around the party shop and feel magically better. SHUT UP!)
Tom came home with more bunting and another bunch of orange and purple balloons, and we transformed the inside of the Shed/Playhouse into…TA DA!
I am aware it is just the inside of a shed. I’m not bloody stupid.

By now, I was pretty much spent on the decoration front. Luckily for me I didn’t have to worry too much about arranging games as we had hired an entertainer. He arrived wearing the sort of clothes only a children’s entertainer will…although I kind of got the feeling that this man would have been wearing his red waistcoat, yellow shirt and spotty trousers out to a nightclub. If you know what I mean.

Anyway, he was great, the kids were in the shed for an hour, playing quizzes and having dancing competitions and apparently some sort of bubble frenzy engulfed them all. What is it with kids and bubbles?


So while they all went nuts in the garden and sweated themselves into small puddles of bubble liquid joy, I got on with the food.


SO, I just went for it really. I threw all my concerns about healthy choices into a great steaming stew of caramelised sugar and just provided the kids with a smorgasbord of unadulterated crap. I got the chocolate fountain out, and made a platter of marshmallows and strawberries (They’re healthy right? I mean, I know they’re about to be dunked in pure liquid chocolate – actually, it’s not pure at all is it? Vegetable oil? GROSS), crisps, pizza and the usual rubbish was supplemented with extra biscuits and cakes.  I mean, just look at it (those with diabetes should look away now) :

98% non nutritional (the watermelon is the 2%)

The Parachute

So, after the kids were really hopping, I thought I’d better get them to run a little bit of the sugar off. One of my good friends runs exercise classes for kids, and she had brought a parachute along. So we had a half an hour of playing with it. I love this photo. It’s so colourful and we look like we’re all really enjoying ourselves…and that’s what it’s all about really…

There is a child inside that parachute. A child spinning around like a dervish.

And so onto the cake.

I found this amazing woman on the internetz who makes “cakes” made entirely of sweets. You can find her here – (Uh, sorry but I haven’t worked out links yet)

She provided me with the most fabulous “cake” in the shape of a number 9

The salad next to it...*ahem*

And the truly genius part of this sort of “cake” is that it can go into the party bags as just a bunch of sweets. YAY!

The inevitable sugar crash has already begun for some.

So, we sang happy birthday, and the kids went home. It really was a terrific party. And I managed not to drink any wine until the last child departed. GO ME! I was, however completely knackered.



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Posted on 06/04/2011, in Party Ideas, Party Planner and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. larainespinks123

    What an absolutely fabulous mum and person you are. X

  2. so who’s stuck doing the clean up??

  3. Nice job! I bet that cake sent the kids over the moon — it’s the cake every child dreams about! 🙂

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