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.
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?
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
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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: Tablescape Thursdays, Metamorphosis Mondays, Merry Monday, Celebrate & Decorate, Party in Your PJs, Homestyle Gathering, Beautifully Made, Thursday Favorite Things, Best of the Weekend, Take Me Away, Saturday Sparks, Love Your Creativity, Sunday’s Best, and Snickerdoodle Sundays
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Wonderful party. Do any of your friends give parties, also?
Most of my friends’ parties in recent years have been for special family events — weddings, bridal and baby showers.
Playing games is such a great way to interact with friends. I am of that age that appreciates those long ago games played at showers. Still have some filed away, just in case.
I have found that both my millennial sons and their friends (guys and girls) enjoy playing games at regular get togethers. Not just corn hole and other outdoor stuff, but also new board games. My husband and I have joined in on several occasions while visiting them. We always played games as a family when they were growing up. During trips to Grand Cayman and recently in Iceland, we played card games and other easily transportable games together almost every evening.
Games are always a great icebreaker, even for those who hate games.
I’m not sure why some people saw they hate games — maybe they think shower games are too cheesy? At Love is Sweet Bridal Shower, I was delighted by the 3 fun, quick games the bridesmaids had put together. It seemed liked they were enjoyed by all ages.
Debbee, I did not think you could out do the peacock post, but you sure went over the moon with the flamingo croquet and their hats. Is there a house for sale on your street. Now I know that street must be the center of the city. Love your post. Tell me how in the world you store all your props. Keep up the good work, for I will be checking out what great post you will come up with. Lilly
Hi Lilly, I knew you were partial to the peacock party, but I guess you didn’t know (what my family and friends have been dealing with for years…) is that I’m a pretty over-the-top kinda person LOL! That’s why they call me Queen of Theme. Actually, there is a house for sale at the end of my street! Storage is a really big issue, especially with the Wonderland party. That’s why I’m selling many of the decorations (wreaths, dolls, tier servers, etc.) and things like the flamingo mallet covers. No more room in the inn!
I still have lots more to share about the Alice event (menu, gift exchange, dolls and other decorations), but I’m a little afraid my readers may suffer from Wonderland overload?
How fun, Debbee. I bet your friends are already wondering what next year’s party will be.
Last year on my big birthday, my husband’s sister had a “kids” party for me because I am the youngest of all his (and my) families. We played pun thw tail on the donkey, clothespins in the bottle, and pinata. It was a surprise, and a lot of fun. I’m certain you gals had a blast.
Rita, as the Queen of Theme, I hereby bestow the “fabulous idea” title on your big/kids birthday party! It sounds like a blast! At my oldest son’s high school grad party (after the grownups had mostly cleared out), when I went to check there was no “funny business” going on, I discovered they had pulled out our old kids games. No booze, but Candyland, Hungry Hippy, Mouse Trap, etc. being played by groups of 4-6 at a table! So when son #2 graduated, they all did the same thing.
What fun! It looks like everyone was having a great time! Love the flamingo mallets. Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle. Pinning.
Beverly, didn’t you recently host a flamingo theme party? Next time, you’ll have to add a round of flamingo croquet (fascinators are not required LOL)!
Tweedledum here. I enjoy your parties, but really love admiring all the beautiful items you make including food.
Thanks for sharing where you find items like the whale. So looking forward to more buzzingXOXO
Hi! It’s especially nice to have party guests comment on the blog! Having family and friends is what makes it all worthwhile.
I found you on Snickerdoodle link up and had to scroll thru your party pics. Looks like a blast! Especially the outdoor flamingo games. Just read Alice in Wonderland with my daughters so I appreciate all the little details you put into it.
Thanks for visiting! Did your daughters enjoy the story? If you ever do a Wonderland theme birthday or tea party for them, be sure to check out Alice in Wonderland Unbirthday Party and DIY Teacup Fascinators.
Oh wow that looks like you all had such a great time. I’m jealous!
Have a great day Debbee!
Thanks Christine, it was a lot of fun — even if the yard was a bit soggy! No need to bee jealous, it’s so easy to slip a flamingo over a croquet mallet.
What a fun party Debbee. I love your creativity. You sure know how to dress a table and entertain your lovely guests.
Thanks Linda, I always appreciate you stopping by. Sorry it took awhile to reply, I had a family health emergency in Florida with my parents. You know how that goes…
Flamingo croquet, I love it! You look like such a fun bunch of ladies.
Maybe a fun activity for your craft group sometime?
It looks like you all had so much fun! I love those flamingo mallets. I used to play croquet with my grandparents ALL the time! I was awful at it but I loved it.
Heavy rains with wet grass made it more challenging, but the ladies all got into it. My sons asked that I keep the flamingo sleeves so we can always play that way, LOL!
Such a fun party! I’d love to have you share it at Party in Your PJ’s!
Thanks Ann. I’ll check it out.
This must have been the most fun party! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ’s. You are being featured on my blog tomorrow night!
Ann, thanks so much! I’m new to the party and am delighted to bee featured. The Unbirthday theme party was the best birthday party ever — especially being surrounded by family and friends.
You and Tina Turner are simply the best.
Oh K, you always make me smile. I was just thinking of you too! Wish I could sing like her!