The boys have wanted to try paintball for some time now. They've always loved Nerf and laser tag, so I guess paintball is just the next step. But I've always been hesitant because I've heard lots of stories about paintball being painful. I've seen photos of bruises from paintball pellets and I've read stories of little boys sitting out birthday parties because they got hurt.
Fortunately, our local paintball place has a gentler option: Splatmaster, which features guns that release the paintball pellets at half the speed of regular paintball guns. Since 3Po wanted to celebrate his 11th birthday with a paintball party, I figured Splatmaster would give everyone a good first experience while minimizing the bruises. And since I had recently been selected to host a DisneySide party, I figured I'd combine the two and throw a Mickey Paintball party! I was a bit nervous that the boys would think Mickey was a bit babyish, but 3Po was delighted with the idea. How could I have doubted? The party was a big hit. You're never too old for Mickey Mouse!
We had a total of 10 guests, including 3Po, Jammy and The Pea. Each guest was given a paintball gun, mask, chest protector, and neck protector. I also gave each guest a bandana decorated with Mickey head and paintball splatters (click here for instructions on how to make a Mickey Paintball bandana). The bandanas were painted in either blue or green, which made it easy to form teams and identify team members. The boys loved their bandanas and were delighted when I told them they could take their bandanas home.
After a safety talk, they were led into a paintball field with lots of obstacles to hide behind. A referree was on hand to keep things safe and fair, and to help them reload paintball pellets if they ever ran out. For the next hour, they ran around, ducking, hiding, and shooting. They were in paintball heaven.
While the guests were splattering each other with paint, I set up the party area. The paintball place has a picnic area with about a dozen picnic tables, first come first served. I snagged two tables and decorated one for the kids to eat on. I used Mickey tablecloth, plates, and cups, and I put up a birthday sign to mark our spot (click here for instructions on making the birthday sign).
I arranged the party food, drinks, and goody bags on the second picnic table. Everything looked so gorgeous and festive!
After a full hour of paintball war, the boys were hot, sweaty, tired, happy.... and hungry. Never underestimate the appetite of an 11 year-old boy! I fed them CrunchPak snacks -- prepackaged apples, granola, cheese, and grapes to nourish them, and rice krispy squares as a treat (click here for instructions on how to decorate Mickey Paintball rice krispy treats)
Instead of a birthday cake, I put together a cupcake tower, featuring the most gorgeous rainbow cupcakes decorated with paintball (okay, gumball) splatters! (click here for instructions for making the cupcakes).
After they ate, I passed out bingo cards featuring Disney parks attractions. I gave each guest a pack of Mike and Ike candies and told them to open it and use the candies as bingo pieces (if one or two ended up in their mouth, I kept quiet!).
There's something magic about bingo. The boys were all set to run back out and play tag, but once they started playing, they really got into it. I had some chocolate bars as prizes, and they all settled in to play with gusto.
Before leaving, we passed out party favors. I bought red and black polka dot paper bags from a dollar store (10 bags for $1), and filled them with all kinds of goodies.
Each goody bag had a Mickey pencil, Disney Parks luggage tag, Mickey stickers, Mickey tattoo, Mike and Ike candy bag, CLIF KID ZFruit & Veggie ropes and CLIF KID ZBar Protein snacks. Also, each guest got to take their Mickey Paintball bandana home with them.
Everyone had a wonderful time! 3Po was thrilled with his Mickey paintball party, which made all the preparations worth it.
www.disneysidecelebrations.com for printables, recipes, activity ideas and tips. You can also join in the fun, share the excitement, and stay up to date on any DisneySide twitter parties and contests on the DisneySide @Home Celebrations Facebook page!
More DisneySide party posts:
- DisneySide At Home Party kit reveal
- How to make Mickey paintball invites, birthday signs, and thank you cards
- How to make a Mickey paintball bandana
- How to decorate paintball cupcakes
- How to make Mickey paintball rice krispy treats
Disclosure: I received items from Disney and other sponsors to partially offset the cost of food, decor, goody bags and party games. All costs associated with the paintball venue, equipment rental and activity were incurred by me. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.