As the school year comes to a close, kick off June with an unforgettable party that will keep your kids happy all summer long.
By Ashley Ryan
Reminiscing about childhood stirs up whimsical memories of simpler times, but there’s something especially golden about recollections of the summer season: Each one was a chance to escape reality and bask in the glow of freedom. For today’s kids, that freedom means getting active with sports and camps or celebrating the end of another school year by partying with friends.
These get-togethers often take the form of over-the-top socials with creative entertainment, kid-approved foods and decorations that transport guests to another time and place. Although children have a blast, parents can also enjoy the fun atmosphere at the events.
“Attention to detail is really key, and that alone can take an event to a whole new level,” says Gina Persico, who owns Laguna-based Memorable Dream Parties with her sister Doranna. “… We find that our clients all have two things in common: an appreciation for beautifully crafted, top-notch events and a desire for both the children and the adults to relax, be entertained and leave with a memory they can cherish for a lifetime.”
Although the company plans events in every theme and color scheme under the rainbow, the team behind Memorable Dreams Parties shares a few favorite trends to help your own summer celebration shine.
Oversized tissue paper flowers are on-point with the crafty crowd. Create your own with colored paper and scissors for a fun alternative to fresh blossoms that won’t wilt anytime soon. The accents can be customized to reflect a color scheme and, since they don’t need to be kept in water, the possibilities are endless; use them on walls, suspended from the ceiling or arranged into centerpieces for a handmade addition to the decor.
Let There be Light
Adding dynamic lighting to parties while maintaining an elegant atmosphere isn’t always easy, but the popularity of lettered marquee lights solves that problem. Popping up everywhere from local restaurants to baby nurseries, these features make an impact whether used as initials or full words. They also provide a unique, timeless charm. Lightopia, a designer showroom in Laguna, offers a collection of marquee lights in various letters and symbols.
Fun and Games
A popular option with the plugged-in set, gaming parties are tapping into a trend that’s been around for decades, but with a modern twist. High-tech gaming trucks give children an outlet through which to interact and compete with one another. Nearby Corona del Mar is home to the Extreme Game Truck, a party van with six 55-inch screens and a limousine-inspired interior that can host 24 kids at once. The color-changing lights on the ceiling also display a laser light show following the gaming experience. And don’t forget to reward the competitors with prizes.
Inspired by celebrities like Beyoncé and Vanessa Hudgens, metallic flash tattoos have enjoyed an explosion in popularity in the last year. Perfect for preteen girls, the shiny temporary tattoos are made to look like jewelry and often worn on the fingers, hands and arms. They only last for about a week and can be removed with baby oil, making cleanup a cinch.
Works of Art
Delight your guests with unexpected performers like the LA-based Etch Man. The artist, Christoph Brown, crafts Etch A Sketch portraits of your kids and their friends in record time then preserves the image as a souvenir to create the perfect party favor. Entertainment with take-away gifts creates memories of the day that guests will rave about for years to come.
Just a Bite
Although elaborate cakes and intricate entrees are still popular, modern children’s parties are taking a cue from the adult dining trend of serving small plates. With reduced portions, little bellies can try various dishes without filling up. When passed around by caterers, these bites also help keep the party flowing without stopping the energy to eat.
Kim Wilson, the chef behind catering company Pinkiwi Culinary Production in town, offers delicious petite snacks for parties that appeal to palates of all ages. A sample menu might include petite tomato duxelles and mini cranberry-orange panna cotta.