Sunday, June 17, 2012

Brave Birthday Party

Bug-a-Boo’s fifth birthday is coming up and we are trying to decide what type of party to have.

For the past four years we have had two parties a year at our house.  One for friends and one for family.  Each party every year has been themed.

Year One:  Winnie the Pooh (MI family) and Flowers and Butterflies (OH family)

Year Two:  World of Disney

Year Three:  The Princess and the Frog (New Orleans style)

Year Four:  Unicorns

This year we have tossed around a few ideas that would involve having the party at an outside venue which would free me up from doing A LOT of work (although I will admit, I love planning and executing a fun party). 

A few of our ideas have been:  The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, The Santa Maria ship in Downtown Columbus (pirate themed) or a local movie theater with the hopes of being able to see the new Disney movie, Brave.

As of right now, Bug-A-Boo has said that she wants to have the pirate party on the Santa Maria. This would be incredibly cool, however she is also pretty into Princess Merida from Brave right now and I fear that if I reserve the boat for the party she will change her mind and want to have a Merida/Brave party at home and we’ll be out $100 deposit.  So I am waiting to make those arrangements until after she sees the movie next weekend.

In preparation for a house party that would be themed Merida/Brave I have started making some plans and getting some ideas for the party.  I thought I would post them here not only as a way to share the ideas if anyone else is thinking of this type of party but also as a way to keep all the ideas and resources in one place that I can access them easily.

To start things off we need to decide how many kids will be at the party.  We have settled on 8 (including the birthday girl). Eight is a great number seeing as how most party supplies/favors come in counts of 8.  This makes it very easy.

The next step I always think about when planning a party is the food.


In order to stay with the theme of the party but also be kid friendly I don’t want to go over board with the food.  In the past, I have made a lot of food that was incredibly themed for the party (ie. Princess and Frog party – Gumbo, Muffaletta, mac& cheese) and the kids were so excited to be at the party that they didn’t really eat the food – except for the cake.

This time around I figured I would keep it simple and at the same time themed.

In the movie there is a dinner scene with Merida’s whole family.  They are eating Haggis and turkey legs (I think).  Since thereis no way I’m serving Haggis I thought the next best thing to large turkey legs would be plain boneless chicken wings. They are small and perfect for little ones.

The plain boneless chicken wings at Buffalo Wild Wings are $35.99 for 50 and they come with 40 pieces of celery and blue cheese dressing which brings me to my next item.

Veggie Arrows. I want to get brown plastic cups and some twine and create an arrow sheath.  Then I plan to pour some ranch dressing in the bottom of the cup and then cut up some carrot sticks and the celery sticks (from Buffalo Wild Wings) into arrow shapes and serve them as a side.

Some other snacks I plan on serving are Fish & Chips, goldfish crackers and potato chips, that is.

And the best part of any birthday party is the desserts.  I’m debating about whether or not to have a traditional cake for her party with her friends.  I am thinking about having two different kinds of desserts instead – Bear Claw Chocolate Cookies and Scottish Sweet Buns.

In the movie Merida’s mother and brothers all turn into bears, hence the bear claws and the Scottish Sweet Buns are a favorite of Merida’s triplet brothers and they are always scheming ways to steal more.  I figure I can put the Sweet Buns on a tiered serving platter and put candles in the Sweet Buns.

I will definitely do a traditional birthday cake with a Merdia and Angus cake topper for her family party, most likely ordered at the grocery store.

For drinks I will probably serve cider, lemonade and water.

My next party planning step are the decorations.


Like any other character based party there are sure to be licensed supplies (ie. Plates, napkins, stationary, cups, etc.).  Brave is no different.

The easiest and most affordable way to do this is to buy a party pack that includes everything.

This pack includes 8 lunch plates, 8 dessert plates, 16 napkins and 8 cups.  I also plan on getting the table covering, birthday banner, balloon bouquet, invitations and thank you notes.

I’m also thinking of getting some fun medieval style goblets for the kids to drink out of which they could also take home with them as part of their favor.

These are the standard party needs and easiest of thedecorations.  Since I am never one to do anything easy I want to take it a step further and try to decorate a section of our deck to look like a castle yard, similar to the one at Disney World were we met Merida.
Disneyland Park - Merida
Source:  Disney Parks Blog

Magic Kingdom Park-Merida
Source:  Disney Parks Blog

It was such a great area and I have a spot on our deck that has three walls that I think I may be able to transform (at least a little). We also have a 10x10 pop up tent that I may be able to do something with.

I’m not quite sure yet how to do everything but I have some ideas.  First I’ll have to clear everything off.  The canopy has to stay (it’s bolted in) but I think I know what to do with it.

While doing searches online I came across some really cool backdrops that will make the walls look like stone.  I would need about four of them to cover everything but I think it could work.

I also want to do something with the family flags and tapestries, since they play such an important part in the story.  Unfortunately, I have been unable to find posters of the tapestries that are used in the movie so I’m going to have to improvise.  I found a Merida table cover that I’m going to cut and hang on a dowel with string to look like aflag.  I also figure that I can make some of the other family flags using felt.

Another important part of the story are the Will o’Wisps that Merida follows to the witch where she makes a wish to change her fate.  I want to make will o’wisps out of blue tulle and hang them from fishing wire so they look like they are floating.

I’ll have the guests follow the will o’wisps to an area of the backyard where I will have a black cauldron on some type of pedestal and some cards and pens and the guests can write a wish they have for Sydney on the paper and drop it in the cauldron.

The cauldron wishes leads us to the next step of planning the party…


Basically we are going to have a kid friendly version of some Highland Games.

I have several ideas (most of which I have stolen from other websites and Disney Parks)

1.   An archery contest: I plan to make a target similar to the one that Disney had at the Merida meet-and-greet area.  Each kid will receive their own bow and arrow set, which will double as a favor.

2.   Brave Musical Bears (instead of Musical Chairs):  I would get 8 stuffed “triplet” bears.  Put 7 in the middle (holding 1 out).  Start the music.  Whoever doesn’t have a bear when the music stops is out and they get the bear I was holding to take home.  Repeat until every one is out.

3.   A version of cornhole: I’m going to try to make these cornhole boards out of plywood and then paint them myself with the triplets on them.  I can make beanbags out of fabric and beans or rice.
Source:  All Ears Blogger Kristin Ford

4.   Mini Caber (Log)Toss: I can either purchase foam already in this shape or I can buy fabric and some stuffing and make my own.  I think that is what I’m going to do. Then at the party I will make a pitch and the kids will have to toss them.
5.  After all these physical games it will be nice to have an activity that is a little low key to get the kids calmed down…coloring sheets

Last but certainly not least are the Favors for the guests.


At this party a lot of the things we are using for the activities are doubling for favors.

1.   Bow and Arrow set
2.   Stuffed bear – if we do that
3.   Knights cup – if I order them
4.   Coloring Sheet

Some other ideas for favors are:

I really think this could be a very fun party.  I don’t know whether she will decide to have a stay at home Merida/Brave party or not but if she does I’ll be ready and if not then maybe these ideas will help someone else plan a Brave party.

Follow me on Pinterest for more ideas.

Follow Me on Pinterest


  1. Great ideas...
    My idea for caber toss (9 year olds) is to take rolled up yoga mats, tape them closed, then cover in muslin or brown wrap paper.

  2. Thank you for giving credit and adding the link to my coloring pages blog for Medrida - rare these days - and still so very much appreciated :)

  3. Last year we did a Harry Potter party so have been thinking how to possibly rival that this year. I thought about a Brave party but was unsure about how to pull it off. After reading your ideas, I'm sure this is the way to go. Thank you .

  4. For our Caber we used the 54 inch box our castle backdrop came in...then I covered it with wood grain contact paper...I had to buy strong sport adhesive but it looks incredible..

  5. great ideas, thanks for posting

  6. Can you give me more ideas about how to do the Veggie Arrows? My son is bridging to Boy Scouts and the arrow is a symbol in the ceremony. Thinking of making an arrow-shaped snack.

  7. Your all ideas are great to have the best nye party nyc.I also would like to give you one suggestion regarding decoration. You can use star-shaped balloons exactly above the table, on which you have planned to put birthday cake.