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21 Sep 2011
A "Cowboys and Aliens" Party
A bit western a bit alien|sophie-party.com

As anyone who saw this past summer’s lineup of blockbuster films knows, one of the big hits was this crazy film called “Cowboys & Aliens.” It’s an interesting concept for a movie, and as it turns out, an awesome concept for a company picnic.

I had a chance to put it into practice a few weeks ago, and the party was a blast.

For centerpieces, I took the basic concept of a mason jar filled with sunflowers and alien-ated it! I found these adorable inflatable aliens at Rhode Island Novelty. They were tiny little guys made to hug a person’s arm, so they were perfect for the centerpieces. I wrapped the top of the mason jar with a bandana for a bit more cowboy flair, and then hooked the alien to the mason jar, so it looked like he was hugging the centerpiece. The effect was whimsical and fun, and everyone loved it. The kids went wild for them, and every single one went home with a guest.

To add to the fun, I set up a cowboy carnival, with an alien shoot-out: a game where kids use Nerf guns to knock over little balloon-headed aliens. There was also a rocket launching game - where kids shoot bop rockets through cut-out holes in the painted galaxy backdrop, and a lasso the cow game with a stuffed cow that I made from a bed sheet mounted on one of those “open house” signs. The kids won tickets to redeem at a little prize stand which featured 5-foot blow-up aliens and sheriff badges.

Our alien shooting game|sophie-world.com

Our cow ring toss game|sophie-world.com

The big aliens also served as decor. I placed them all around the grove where the picnic was being held, peeking out behind trees, popping out of bushes, hiding in the outhouse... it was a hoot. Again, the kids went crazy for them!

Cowboy and Alien decor|sophie-world.com

For extra added fun, we had a craft station with ceramic cow-shaped banks for painting, hats for decorating, and used CDs for alien space ships. We also played old fashioned games like horse shoes, potato sack races, and water balloon contests. It’s amazing to see how those time-tested games that have been around for years and years still serve up the best entertainment.

One of our craft projects|sophie-world.com

As you can probably guess, this company is very laid-back and fun. They did all the catering themselves, and even made their own beer, so the feel for the event was playful and fun. I don’t know if I’d suggest this theme for a sophisticated dinner party... but for a picnic in the woods, it was just right!