For my son's 3rd birthday he wanted a Lightning McQueen themed party. We decided to host his party at the local park because it had great play equipment for all ages and great FREE shelters to utilize. We decorated the shelter with some posters I drew up and painted for the special day and bright red balloons.
We covered the tables with red plastic table clothes and put a checkered flag twisted streamed down the middle.
For gift bags for each of the kids, I used ordinary brown lunch sacks. I then drew and painted the Cars logo and wrote in each of the kids' names on the bag.
Each sack was filled with a personalized rice crispy treat, a Cars fruit snack treat, some sweeties, and a self made packet of sidewalk chalk.
The key component to this party was having the Lightning McQueen cake. I looked online for ways to make a 3D one and they all used marzipan to cover the cake and I just didn't want to mess with that. I made this cake with one 9x13 cake and 4 cupcakes. For the body of the car colored my own vanilla frosting with about a half a bottle of red food coloring. I used chocolate frosting on the cupcakes and sprinkled them with black colored sugar. Then used white and yellow tinted vanilla frosting with an accent decorator to do the embellishments. Lightning's eyes are blue M&M's with dots of chocolate frosting on them. See step by step how I made my Lightning McQueen cake.
On the back I wrote Happy Birthday, and instead of Lightning's signature 95 number I put the number 3 since it as a 3rd Birthday Party.
Most of the time we let the kids have free play since we were at that park but I did have a few activities planned. One of them was pin the headlight on Lighting McQueen. I drew up this little poster and painted it with craft paint. I mounted it on some heavy duty cardboard and stapled it to the shelter's post. We also played an English favorite - Pass the Parcel. I wrapped up 15 pieces of candy in separate layers of a package and the children pass it around in a circle. When the music stops, the child holding the package gets to open up one layer and get a sweetie. The game keeps going on until the prize in the middle is unwrapped. We also attempted to have some water balloon games but with kids (and adults) that can be quite unpredictable in nature so it turned into more of a water balloon fight instead which was great.
Of course a birthday party wouldn't be complete without a pinata and in true "Corrina fashion", I decided to make my own Lightning McQueen pinata instead of spending $20 for one. I like the pull string pinatas because then I don't have to worry about people swinging baseball bats around. Unfortunately, the second string pulled opened up the pinata and my son went for the plastic baseball bat anyways and started wacking away at it to empty out the goodies. Click here to see step by step how I made the Lighting McQueen pinata.
For food, we went really simple. Since the party was from 4PM on we decided to cookout at the park. We brought down our own gas grill and cooked up burgers and hotdogs. I made up a crockpot of a mixed bean salad, a bowl of crab salad, cut up fruit and veggies with dip, and chips. For sweet goodies we had red (Lightning), blue (The King) and green (Chick Hicks) decorated sugar cookies along with our Lightning McQueen cake and some extra cupcakes!
It was a great party and we really lucked out that the weather was warm and comfortable and sunny with a few clouds. Contingency plan would have been to try having it at our house, but my extra prayers to God sure paid off on this amazing day!