A Multicultural Home, Local Fun

Travel Birthdays – Without Leaving Home!

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Why have a Disney party or a shark party when you can have a party that travels?  Get your kids excited about a trip you’re about to take, share a trip you’ve recently taken, or enjoy a virtual trip that’s not likely to be in your budget for awhile.  Our last party was simply an “International Party” – gelato, International children’s films, henna tattoos, and an Austrian breakfast complete with little individual jars of jam and home-made egg cups.

The children’s internal film festival cd was from  the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.  The shorts were fun because they allowed so much more interaction between kids than one long movie.

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Ideas for destination parties:

India: Indian food, henna tattoos, a Bollywood film (try this Bollywood website for ideas on movies, music and more – not all are kid-friendly so use some judgement).

China: Take the bus to Chinatown or your local International Food district, make dragon kites or buy one and try to fly it (legends and more on dragon kits).  Decorate in red and gold, eat or make Chinese food, and watch a movie set in China that’s age appropriate.  Not a Disney version of China but something live action and, perhaps in Chinese with English subtitles (if your kids are old enough to read).  If you’re lucky enough to have a kid with a birthday near Chinese New Year, of course, go celebrate.

Mexico: Mexican food, mariachi music, watch a movie in Spanish, and, duh, a pinata.  If you can find gateau tres leches near you, get as much as you can! Also check local Mexican shops (often just tiny shops where you can buy phone cards and send money) for mexican candy and comic books.  Some have a bakery-delivered Mexican breakfast pasteries.  They look cool – so many colors – but they taste pretty unusual.

France: Crepes, of course.  A make your own crepe bar? Croissant, french pasteries, and quiche too.  View a slide show of famous places and famous art (you can make it from your own trip or from Internet photos).  Sketch portraits of each other using big easels (a la Montmartre).  Encourage the kids to dress in French clothing and perhaps even give away berets or pokka dot scarves as goody-gifts.  Have the kids where them for the meal.  French film pour les enfants?  Mais oui! The Red Balloon is beautiful.  Harder to find PG french films include Argent de Poche (Small Change) or Va Savoir (Who Knows?).

What about a state-themed party?  Alaska?  Wisconsin? Louisiana?

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