Heading back to Wonderland for some flamingo croquet and house of cards building, during the Queen of Heart’s (aka yours truly) Unbirthday Party.


I have included two or three games for each My Favorite Things Party. Since many of my friends and family members only gather together once a year, the games provide a nice ice breaker and opportunity to mingle and get acquainted.

The party games also allow everyone to let their hair down for a bit of fun, laughs or even silliness.

I know many people claim to dislike bridal and baby shower games. But,  my group seems to really enjoy themselves. It’s an opportunity for middle age women to be young at heart and channel our inner child. All the ladies are all really good sports and have a playful, competitive nature.

Tag along while we play flamingo croquet and attempt to build a house of cards.

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Making Up Teams of Characters

There were 16 guests, in addition to the Queen of Hearts (yours truly), at the Alice in Wonderland, Unbirthday Party in June.


I divided the ladies into teams of four, depending on the storybook character depicted on the glass at their place setting.


Here is an example of the Alice glass, engaging in a game of flamingo croquet herself. An unfortunate hedgehog is poised under her foot. Tied around the stem of the goblet is a pink flamingo charm. Lacy paper butterflies on the rim of each glass served as place cards.

I hand-painted all the glasses as favors and for drinking iced tea. In addition to Alice, there were character glasses for the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts. See examples of the other goblets in Alice in Wonderland Table and Party Favors.

Or, learn to create your own with, DIY Hand Painted Glasses & Champagne Flutes.

When putting the seating chart together, I made sure everyone knew one or more of their tablemates.


But, I purposely mixed things up in creating teams; to give my friends the chance to know each other better. For instance, I separated my aunts and sister-in-laws. And, I tried to give the out-of-towners the opportunity to meet my local friends.

Let the Games Begin!

After the first course of Finger Sandwiches & Savories, I gave the girls a crash course on the rules for flamingo croquet and building a house of cards. Then I explained who was on what team and sent them off for a second course of Scones and beverage refills.

It was time for the Wonderland games to begin! As the White Rabbit in the DIY Alice in Wonderland Invitation proclaimed, “Characters Wanted!”


Teams were organized to play on a rotation basis. At any one time, three of the four teams would either be playing flamingo croquet or building a house of cards. The fourth group could “float” around the house and yard as spectators, revisit the buffet table and beverage stations, or take a break.


I also floated, helping with the games and taking pictures. Here, the Queen of Hearts is overseeing the official counting of cards.

Queen’s Rules Apply to Flamingo Croquet 

Because I didn’t want the party games to go on for more than an hour, we set up two courses of flamingo croquet — one in the front lawn and the other in back. That meant that half of the guests were playing at any given time.

I also imposed a 20-minute time limit. Guests were asked to wear watches — so they could keep time and not run late!

The nine wickets and two stakes were arranged in the standard double-diamond pattern, but on a shorter field of play. Because of the contours of the yard, each course was somewhat sloped and skewed. An appropriately mad course for flamingo croquet!

Two other special rules applied to the game; you must use a flamingo mallet, and wear your fascinator during play. Shoes, on the other hand, were optional in the wet grass, LOL!


Even though my husband had cut the lawn the day before, the overnight deluge contributed to soggy conditions and grass that seemed to have grown by an inch! Sister B elected to go barefoot.

Proper Form

Most of the ladies couldn’t remember the last time they played croquet. Tweedledee on the Queen Team was a little confused on which way to position her flamingo mallet (it’s backwards!) on the front course.


While her sister, Tweedledum, showed proper form on the back flamingo croquet course — that’s probably why she won on Team Mad Hatter. So who’s dee and who’s dum LOL?!


Whoever finishes first, or was furthest along after 20 minutes, won. I’m not sure if anyone actually completed the entire course?

One winner per team was awarded a large hive and bee cookie cutter (William Sonoma).


Are you game to try a round?

No Real Flamingos (or Hedgehogs) Were Injured

It’s all make believe in Alice in Wonderland. Two sets of large plastic flamingos were used for flamingo crochet. Hubby drilled two large holes in each flamingo, so that they would easily slip over a regular wooden mallet.


Although we used two croquet sets to play, only four mallets had flamingo “sleeves.” The ladies shared mallets, but each had their own color ball.

House of Cards Building

While eight ladies were playing flamingo croquet outside, a team of four attempted to build a house of cards around the kitchen table. Earlier the Mad Hatter Fascinators Shop had been in this spot (see How to Make Whimsical Teacup Fascinators).


In this game, the team worked together to win. They had ten minutes (I provided a timer and four decks of cards in a giant teacup) to build as big a house of cards as they could.

My husband, son and I tried this ahead of time to determine a realistic time limit. We discovered a tablecloth was necessary to help create a base for the cards. Otherwise, the underlying glass table with the plastic cards was too slippery.


It’s harder than you think. At least that was the case for Team Alice. Their house of cards, well…never stood for long! It takes a light hand. I also don’t recommend you attempt this outside as the slightest breeze might knock the cards over.


Team Queen took a slow and steady approach. Look at their concentration!


If, if you don’t succeed, try, try again…


Go ahead, pull out a deck of cards and try it yourself. How’d you do?

Counting Cards

The Queen of Hearts made the house of cards game and the scoring system. Feel free to decree your own rules.

A point was earned for each connected card standing at the end of 10 minutes. No team was able to build a multi-story house of cards, so no bonus points were awarded.


But, with 52 cards in a deck, there was some pretty impressive scoring all around — Team Alice 55, Queen 152, White Rabbit 175, and the winning Mad Hatters 196. That’s using nearly all cards in four decks! The winners each received a large butterfly cookie cutter.

Bee sure to check out more Alice in Wonderland posts

If you were wondering what I would have done if flamingo croquet had been a washout, I did have a rain plan. In that case, I had an Alice in Wonderland trivia game put together. I also would have had two teams building a house of cards at the same time.



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I regularly participate in: Metamorphous Monday, Share Your Style, Tablescape Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Saturday Sparks, Happiness is Homemade, and Love Your Creativity.


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