Idea No.


Mad Hatter Party - Photos of Everyone



January 2005


Karin in Arlington Heights, IL


Costume Party

We sent out homemade invitations shaped like various crazy hats.  The rule was that  everyone attending must have a hat on their heads...that rule applied from the smallest baby to the oldest adult.  We had a supply of hats on hand for those who forgot their hats., or thought they could get away without having a hat on.  People who came in hats that were just too simple (baseball caps, or ordinary hats) were given a really crazy one to wear.  Imagination was encouraged. At some parties, we even left out some craft items so that guests could make their hats crazier.  It kept the kids occupied as well.
When the guests arrived, they had their pictures taken in a designated area.  Polaroids are always fun, but be sure to take several pictures of your guests.  They make great "thank you" gifts.

Guests were given a ballot to vote for vaious kinds of hats.  These ballots changed over the years, but can include things like "craziest hat," "most useful hat," "biggest hat," "ugliest hat," "best homemade hat," "sexiest hat," etc.  People then were off mingling and discussing hats with each other, as well as getting to know each other.
Some parties included hat games...Catch an Egg/water balloon in your hat, hat relays (stacking hats on your head), hat tossing (try to get the hat on your partners head), musical hats (like musical chairs), etc. Prizes are optional, but ribbons were often given to the winners.
What was most fun about the parties was that kids and adults could participate together for every aspect of the party.  It allowed people to show their crazy side and sparked a lot of conversation. There were many hats exchanged during the course of the party, and we had mirrors out so that guests could see themselves in the various hats. 
People just laughed a lot...which is what you want at a party.

The best hats were ones that people made themselves, but you can probably find a really crazy hat in your costume box at home.  Some sports/fan hats are pretty crazy.  Store -bought hats were allowed, but we never had too many of those.
Variations on the theme were "Hats Off to the Graduate," when my daughter graduated from high schol.

At that party we were mixing relatives, neighbors, and high school kids.  It make mingling a lot easier.
Hats make great decoration you can easily hang them everywhere.  You can also stick serving bowls in hats to display the food.  It's easy to pass a hat around with snacks in it. It's easy to make a cake into a hat. Hats aren't seasonal, so you can do this party any time of the year, and for any occasion.  They're great inside or outside.

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