- It was a co-ed party and this is a great theme to appeal to both boys and girls
- There are movies and soundtracks that make great background for a party
- It is obviously going to be a ton of sugar
First, we made Golden Ticket invitations. I found some fancy templates out there on the nets, but we opted for the easier solution of just printing the invitation information on white paper, and glueing that to a rectangle of shiny gold cardstock from the craft store.
When guests arrived they were asked to sign a contract, just like the kids had to do before they went on the tour of the factory. It was all birthday jargon, like "by signing this contract you agree to wish H. a very happy birthday from now until blah, blah, blah it went on and on. All the guests signed it, and that makes a nice memento for the birthday child to keep.
Then they could enter the "chocolate room", which was just a spot I had set up with a chocolate fondue and stuff for dipping. This was a lot of fun, until the kids dropped so many mini- marshmallows in there that the fondue got gross. But by then we were moving on to the next activity, anyway. :)
We had the older Gene Wilder version of the movie on for background, and the kids watched it off and on - they seemed to know which scenes were their favorites, and of course we turned up the volume for each of the Oompa Loompa songs.
I had a game ready for each of the four characters other than Charlie:
- For Augustus Gloop we did a eating game, with donuts tied on strings from a broom handle, and the kids had to try and eat them without using their hands.
- For Violet Beauregard we had a "juicing" game for when she turns into a giant blueberry, and the kids were blindfolded and given stick pins to try and pop balloons. The balloons had candy inside them, so when they popped they got to eat the candy that fell out.
- For Verucca Salt we had a "sorting room" game, and I had a bunch of plastic easter eggs with either real peanuts in the shell or those circus peanut candies in them. This was a bit post-modern, because no one could agree which was actually the "good egg/nut" and which was the "bad egg/nut".
- For Mike Teevee, we had a cardboard box made to look like a TV with holes for targets, and they shot a nerf pistol at it.
After the games were all done and the movie was over, we had cake and ice cream, and then we had a "candy shop" as kids exited and so more candy served as the party favors. Sugar overload was a serious issue.
The cake could have been really fancy, but I opted for a simpler cake and just decorated it with big candy and a chocolate "river" down the middle.