Birthday Pool Party!
My daughter decided to have a swimming party at UBC pool to celebrate her 9th birthday. So we made that the theme of the party.
If you are in Vancouver, I recommend UBC pool as a place for a kid's party. The cost was just under $100 for 10 kids, a party room, and a pool leader. The leader joined them in the pool for an hour as they played games and jumped off the diving boards.
DecorationsThe kids spent most of their time in the pool so we kept decorations to a minimum. I found an "under the sea" roll of bulletin board paper at Michael's that we placed on a wall. I also found these pool party cut-outs on Etsy. I printed them on card stock and taped them to wood dowels. The kids LOVED them. We took pictures in front of the poster of all the kids. We also had balloons and blow up beach balls.
We served cake and a few snacks. I put the snacks in beach pails and the kids served themselves using little shovels! I also had a few shell shaped plates for other snacks. We made a balloon bouquet by simply throwing a bunch of balloons on a stick in a bucket! We also had a container of "pool water" as a drink (raspberry Kool-Aid).
Loot BagFor the "loot bag", I found a great deal on a beach towel that turns into a backpack - normally $22 but on sale for less than $6 at Michael's! I even kept one for myself!
I made cookies for the kids to take home. One was a wave. It's a simple sugar cookie with a design I found on Glorious Treats (see her step by step tutorial) and the other one was going to be a life preserver but I couldn't get the red right so I made them "inner tubes" lol. I cut them out with a doughnut cutter I found at a dollar store.
CakeThe cake was pretty easy compared to my son's Plants vs Zombie cake! After looking on the internet for ideas, I combined my faves for this swimming pool cake!
The figures and slide are made out of fondant. The slide is held up with two straws. The cake itself is three Texas sheet cakes - vanilla, chocolate, and "strawberry" (ok - vanilla with pink colouring!). My plan was to make a strawberry white chocolate ganache as the filling but sadly it didn't set properly (too thin). It did however, taste amazing! I didn't want to waste it so I "painted" the ganache between the cake layers and then used a vanilla buttercream as the filling on top of the ganache. The strawberry flavour really came through and made this cake a winner. I plan on perfecting the ganache and posting the recipe as soon as I can!
I "fenced" off the cake with Kit Kats!
To work off some of the sugar, we put on the kids' favorite music and let them dance until they went home.
My daughter said it was her best party ever!
Here is the sugar cookie recipe - it's my grandmother's recipe. It has shortening in it which helps the cookies keep their shape as they bake.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2.5 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In bowl; whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to combine. Set aside.
- In another large bowl beat butter and shortening
- Beat in sugars until light and fairly fluffy
- Beat in egg and vanilla.
- Mix in flour mixture.
- Divide dough in half; flatten each slightly.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
- On lightly floured surface, roll out dough, 1 piece at a time, to 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness
- Using 3-inch (8 cm) cookie cutters, cut out shapes.
- Press scraps together to reroll.
- Bake in centre of oven for about 12-14 minutes or until light golden on bottom and edges.
- Let cool for 1 minute on baking sheets.
- Transfer to racks; let cool completely.
- Decorate as you like.