“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” ~C.S. Lewis
I can never remember a time when I haven’t loved The Chronicles of Narnia. My mom introduced the books to my brothers and me at an early age and I never looked back. I’ve always loved a good fairytale but there’s something extra special about Narnia—the writing, the story, the symbolism—just everything. I mean, I named my youngest child Edmund if that’s any indication. It’s one of those stories that keeps getting better with time. I recently read them aloud to my own children and I was falling in love with them all over again.
That’s part of what makes this project so special; years of imagining this magical place and finally being able to bring a little of it to life–this time for my kids. And getting to do it all alongside my dear friend Hannah (who’s an even more avid Narnia fan than I am if that’s possible), made it that much more fun.
Back in the spring, Hannah and I were up late rocking our baby boys (Beckett and Edmund, born a month apart) and chatting about everything under the sun. The topic turned to parties and costuming and Hannah said, “Hey, if you ever have a Narnia party, I can hook you up with some costumes.” To which I obviously replied, “Ummm….why don’t we throw a joint first birthday party for our boys?!?” She chose to embrace my crazy and said “Yes!” and the plan started to take shape right then and there.
We spent the next few months planning and scheming. One of the things we quickly discovered was the lack of similarly themed parties online. We were able to gain inspiration from a couple (mostly here, here, and here) but for the most part, it was uncharted territory. And I love that because I feel that we were able to create something truly unique. We also knew that in throwing this party, we would be doing so primarily for our older children (and ourselves of course. We’re as childlike as they come when Narnia is involved). One year olds don’t remember much if anything about their first birthdays, so this was mainly just a pretense to throw an epic costume party. And boy did we have fun with the costumes! A large portion of our guests came dressed in characters from the various books which helped take the party up a notch.
I’ll share details and sources in the captions, as well as a complete source list at the end, but the overwhelming majority of this was either thrifted or things we had on hand.
From the start, we knew we wanted to take the kids on a journey to bring to life the things they had read about and seen in the movies—from the wardrobe to being crowned kings and queens of Narnia.
On the other side of the wardrobe, a winter wonderland was waiting.
Inside the tent, the White Witch (played by another fabulous sister-in-law) greeted the children and offered them a taste of her enticing Turkish delight. I half expected a few of them to refuse to try it, but their curiosity ended up getting the better of them. And ironically true to the story, they kept going back for more.
The next guest the children met was Mr. Beaver (played by my Dad) who took them to his home to meet Mrs. Beaver (My mom. It should be abundantly clear by now that I have very obliging friends and family).
They served the children “fish and chips” a.k.a sardines and French fries (which surprisingly many of the kids loved) while they reminded the children of the prophesies and told them the exciting news that Aslan was on the move!
“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight, At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more, When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death, And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.“
“When Adam’s flesh and Adam’s bone, Sits at Cair Paravel in throne, The evil time will be over and done.“
Then, knowing that the wolves were on their heels, the beavers led the children across the broken ice until they reached safety.
Once they were safely across the ice, the children sat down to play “Beaver, Beaver, Wolf” (a spin off of Duck Duck Goose)
Next, they were able to enter Aslan’s camp.
In the camp, the children spent time decorating gold crowns with jewels.
They also received their swords, shields, and armor (found at Dollar Tree) to aid them in their battle against the White Witch.
The boys especially, had been
patiently waiting the whole party for this so this was their favorite part, I think. For the rest of the party, we mainly just let the kids do whatever they wanted: which mostly consisted of battling among themselves. There was some confusion as to who were the good guys and who were the bad guys, but when the White Witch came back out they rallied together and defeated her swiftly.
After the battle we had to, of course, hold a coronation. This was personally my favorite part. We didn’t quite have the budget to create the Castle of Cair Paravel, so we lined a path from Aslan’s Camp to what we dubbed the “Stone Table” with handmade Narnian flag bunting and some large branches. It still managed to feel very regal.
The adults lined the way as the kids were one by one led down the path and crowned kings and queens of Narnia.
After this, the kids spent the rest of the evening playing and eating the rest of the Turkish delight and cupcakes. Speaking of cake, remember how I said this was a birthday party for two one year olds? Here’s a few shots of the birthday table spread which doubled as our stone table:
And lastly, here’s one of the two birthday boys enjoying their cake:
In the end, I’m not sure who had more fun: the kids or the adults. I know that I certainly felt like a child again. To me, this party was living proof of the quote from C.S. Lewis I shared in the beginning: that whether you’re young or old, you can always enjoy a good fairytale.
So that wraps up the first installment of this party. Next time, I’ll share more details about the costumes!
- Source List:
- Snowflakes: Small ones were from Ebay. Large ones were borrowed but originally purchased at Walmart. I couldn’t seem to find the link but I saw them the other day for $2.97 a piece.)
- Turkish Delight Favors Boxes: Ebay
- Gold Paper Crowns: Target
- Jewels: Amazon
- Shields, Swords, Breastplates: Dollar Tree
- Reepicheep Cake Topper: Etsy