How to Throw an Amazing Nintendo Themed Birthday Party

Monday, June 12, 2017

I partnered with Nintendo for this post. I received no monetary compensation but they did send my family a Nintendo Switch and accessories for the party. All opinions are my own.
Nintendo Switch Review
Flashback two months ago to a conversation with my son. We were talking with him about what kind of birthday party he wanted, and he had no clue. We gave him all sorts of ideas from the local amusement park, to seeing a movie, to going bowling. Nothing was exciting him at all. Every idea was just "ok." Mind you this is a soon-to-be seven year old we're talking about, not a teenager. It's not like he had an attitude about it, he just didn't know how he wanted to celebrate. My wife and I were a little frustrated and honestly getting a little concerned. At this point we were thinking the party could possibly consist of a bowl of cereal and a video rental from Redbox.

Then one day everything changed. We came up with an idea. Would he go for it or would the idea be discarded like so many others we had presented in the last few weeks? We gave it a try and told our son what we were thinking. His eyes lit up and the answer was a resounding "YES!" What was the winning theme? A Nintendo party! After the excitement and jubilation has died down a bit, reality set in. We realized we had never thrown a character themed birthday party before. We both grew up around Nintendo, so we had a good start. But that is mostly all we had, a start.

Nintendo Switch Review

We did have one more thing. We had a centerpiece to the party, the new Nintendo Switch. So if all else failed at least we had an amazing video game system to keep my son and his friends occupied. But more about that later. The next place we went was Pinterest. I created a board to start loading up on some food, game, and craft ideas. Lastly, we came up with a few ideas ourselves that we thought we could work in. We may have had some "Pinterest Fails" along the way, but we definitely learned how to put together a Nintendo party. Here is how we did it, and how you can throw your own Nintendo character themed party!

The Food

Nintendo Switch Review


We knew the food was going to be important. You can't have a birthday without cake, right? At first we thought about an NES cake but then decided to go a bit simpler. We found a happy medium between pre-made appetizers and artistic food decorations. One tip that we did discover is that you can print out a label on the computer and your food can become anything that you want.

Fire Flower Vegetable Platter
Nintendo Switch Review

Ingredients: Sliced yellow bell pepper, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, broccoli, ranch dressing, black olives.

Directions: Arrange vegetables on large platter as shown in picture. If you want to create this ahead of time, place empty bowl in the middle of the head. Fill bowl with ranch dressing and olives when you are ready to serve.

Bowser and Koopa Shell Cupcakes
Nintendo Switch Review
Nintendo Switch Review

Ingredients: Your favorite unfrosted cupcakes, red frosting, green frosting, white chocolate chips, white fondant.

Directions: We saw this on Pinterest and decided to trade using all fondant for using frosting and fondant to make it simpler. Frost half your cupcakes with green frosting and half with red. Top green cupcakes with chocolate chips. Freeze cupcakes. An hour or two before serving, take out cupcakes. Roll white fondant into skinny ropes and place on each cupcake as shown.

Nintendo Switch Ice Cream Sandwiches
Nintendo Switch Review

Ingredients: Ice Cream Sandwiches, red, blue, and black fondant, white icing.

Directions: Flatten red and blue fondant with a rolling pin. Cut fondant in shape of Switch controllers. Flatten small balls of black fondant to make joysticks and buttons. Remove ice cream sandwiches from wrapper. Arrange fondant on top of ice cream sandwiches. Use white icing to write "Switch" or create the Switch logo on sandwiches. Place back in freezer until ready to serve.

Skittles 8-Bit Link From The Legend of Zelda
Nintendo Switch Review

Ingredients: 1 bag of Skittles or other multi-colored candy

Directions: Arrange candy as shown to create an edible picture of Link from The Legend of Zelda.

Koopa Shell Fruit Salad
Nintendo Switch Review

Ingredients: Watermelon, sliced bowl of mixed fruit.

Directions: Hollow out half of a watermelon. Scrape the edge of the watermelon shell with a vegetable peeler. Fill the shell with sliced mixed fruit.

Nintendo Themed Snacks and Drinks
Nintendo Switch Review

Try and choose appetizers that can either relate to your kid's favorite characters or that you can create labels for to give them a connection to the games. If you can't think of anything, Google it or ask your kids.

Nintendo Switch Review
Nintendo Switch Review
Nintendo Switch Review


Party Games

Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch Review

I have to admit that I didn't think I would enjoy the new Nintendo Switch as much as I have. We have had some intense family game nights competing against each other in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and in ARMS. Of course there is no way that I let my kids win. They have to learn Mario Kart in the school of hard knocks like I did. One of the most fun experiences with the Switch has been playing The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild with my kids. It's not just the sensational graphics, or the storyline that draws you in, there is a deeper reason.

Nintendo Switch Review

This has helped me travel back to my childhood. I grew up in the 80's when the original NES came out. We didn't own one at my house, but there were many Friday nights where my friends would spend the night and we would take the journey down to one of our favorite places, the video store. We wouldn't go for movies however. We would rent an NES along with some of our favorite games. Fueled by chips and soda, we would prop our eyelids open and stay awake late into the night engaged in epic video game battles. We would then wakeup  early and play as long as we could until my friends begrudgingly were taken home, leaving me to complete whatever quests we were entrenched in. Until of course, the game system had to be returned to the video store from whence it came.

More often than not, my friends and I wouldn't be competing against each other. We would be immersed in games like Zelda where one person would play, and the others would cheer him on and help where needed. Sometimes we would have a game guide, because there was no internet to look tips and hints up. These are the times in my childhood that I will always remember. The original Zelda was one of those games that we spent countless hours trying to solve together. However, as much as I love those childhood memories, they are a distant second to the memories that I am making with my kids when we play games like Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild together. What really is fun is when I take a step back and watch my daughter and oldest son helping each other to figure out how to beat a certain enemy, or how to get up to a certain place on a tower. It's teamwork just like my friends and I would use.

Nintendo Switch Review

In other words, the Nintendo Switch, and Legend of Zelda, are two components of your party planning that you will definitely want to include.

Real Life Mario Kart
Nintendo Switch Review

Materials: Large Super Mario balloon, tricycle

Directions: Place Mario balloon on tricycle and have kids push it around a track, or from one end of the yard to another. See who can do it in the best time. The trick is that the oversized balloon will always try to come off so it makes for some really hilarious moments when the kids try to keep it on.

Nintendo Switch Review
Nintendo Switch Review


Game Stations


Nintendo Switch Review

Materials: Balloon targets, Bows and arrows, marshmallow shooters, marshmallows, water bomb soaker balls.

Directions: Set up three game stations with balloons as targets. We had inexpensive plastic bows and arrows for Legend of Zelda at one station. The second station was marshmallow shooters which we said was fire flower power. The last station was water soaker balls that they just dunked in water and threw at the balloons. These could be anything related to video games.

Nintendo Switch Review

Added touch: Make sure everyone has Super Mario stick-on mustaches to play the games with!

Nintendo Switch Review


Craft
In place of goodie bags (which every parent hates), we had the kids make foam swords and shields based on The Legend of Zelda!

Custom Legend of Zelda Swords and Shields
Nintendo Switch Review

Materials: Foam sword, foam shield (or kick board), foam stickers, duct tape, stapler, felt, markers.

Directions: Cut foam kick board into the shape that is shown for Link's shield. We got enough kick boards for everyone at the dollar store. Try and get blue if possible to match Link's shield color. Wrap the outer edge with duct tape. Turn shield over to the back. Cut a strip of duct tape long enough to go across the shield to serve as a handle. Cover the middle of the tape with a piece of felt. Stick tape to back of shield and then reinforce with staples. Place two more short strips of tape over each side and staple again. Let the kids decorate their own shield with foam stickers.

Nintendo Switch Review

We bought the foam swords at the dollar store as well. Have the kids decorate them with foam stickers and marker.

Nintendo Switch Review

I hope you have as much fun planning your Nintendo themed party as we did! This is something my family will always remember and we can't wait for the next one. Of course I have to throw in a couple more random party pics below just to try and entice you to try some of these ideas. Please share this with your video game loving friends who would enjoy it!

Nintendo Switch Review
Nintendo Switch Review

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