Birthday Party Themes: Fancy Tea Party

Have them raise a pinky as they sip from teacups at this civilized affair.

By Lisa Freedman

decorations
Turn on classical music. Break out the linen tablecloths, fancy napkins, demitasse spoons, and real tea cups, which they're usually not allowed to touch. Adorn the room with flowers and lace. Place little bowls of cubed sugar on the table. Very young grandchildren might enjoy your inviting all the birthday kid's stuffed animals to look on.

munchies
Substitute hot chocolate for herbal tea for sweeter palates, stack cookies or animal crackers high on a plate, and give guests the fixings to make their own finger sandwiches. Watercress or cucumber sandwiches add a nice touch, or you can just do peanut butter and jelly. Fancy little petits fours are a big hit for dessert.

activities
Fill a few laundry baskets with your old party clothes, hats, and costume jewelry — all the necessary ingredients for the kids to play dress-up and party like it’s 1979. You can also buy toy watches for the boys and little tiaras for the girls that can be adorned with colorful little gems. After lunch, the kids can pair up and pretend to "waltz" to the classical music.

your role
Garçon. Wearing a crisp tuxedo (or other formal clothes) with a white towel draped over your arm will instantly turn you into a waiter. Bonus points if you can speak with a fancy accent while assisting your diners.

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