DIY Paintball Party
I know it's cliche but i just can't believe how the years have gone by and that my eldest son is now 11! I'm not sure how many more themed parties I have left for him but since we kept it a bit lower key last year and the fact he's never done paintball, we opted to give it a go. It was an easier decision. since we found a great place that does indoor paintball and at with low impact guns for the age group.
Being in the GTA there was a couple places that offered some packages. It was harder to find paintball that is low impact for kids though especially in February as most are outdoors. We did happen to find a great place with affordable packages that wasn't too far from me or anyone on the west side of Toronto. Splatzone in Cambridge offers a great birthday package. They also have other party options like Nerf and Archery. It was first time experience for most of the boys and they all had a blast. We were able to somewhat see them off the field in viewing area. They played many games about 4 I think. The games on average last 10-15 minutes. They come off field while other group goes on and they fill up air, take a breather and have a run down of next game before going again. They certainly worked up an appetite after.
When I started planning the party, going with the theme paintball, and when I couldn't find what I was looking for in the look of the bag, I decided to make the goody bags. I mean, it is a bag, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on bags of all things. I managed to get brown lunch bags at the dollar store. Think it was a package of 50 for $1.25. I had lots of brightly coloured paper so I decided to cut out what represented splotches of paint. I figured they coincided with the cake design. Another idea would be to actually use paint! I drew them all out first so I could cut quicker and get the boys to help too making it a bit of a craft project.
For what was in the bag, I thought the Nerf Jolt (the kids seem to be loving them more then the big Nerf guns) would be a nice touch. I ordered 10 on Amazon for less then $5 each. The candy I bought ages ago. On Halloween I decided to get this warhead box along with other chocolate mix etc. I put out half to give away and reserved the rest in case we got more kids then usual and if not I could use in Feb. We didn't run out and I saved for party.
For the cake, I started days before like 3 or 4 with making the fondant. Of course you could buy it, but it's really easy to make and tastes better. It seriously only consists of marshmallows, icing sugar and water. You will need shortening to work it though and some icing colours to tint fondant. If you are going to try the Marshmallow Fondant for yourself you'll need a resting day which is partly why I say 3 to 4 days before the party to make. Store bought you should still break up making cake in two days.
I like to bake the cakes the day before. This way it's cooled enough to add icing and well the process of decorating is time consuming. I also find a scratch cake is tastier next day.
I made the cakes in a 9x13 pan. I used standard 2 8-9" cake recipe and used fit well in 9x13. Just need to adjust time think it was about 10 min less for me. Both cakes were tasty, I was really impressed with the white cake though, new recipe try for me from Sugar Spun Run. Think it was the suggested letting items sit out for few hours to room temp that did make a difference. The batter on top just folded out fluffy. The chocolate cake is from Ricardo and have used this method with the coffee and boiled water few times from different sources. I just crumb coated cake with a simple buttercream icing and I didn't use much, just enough to stick fondant and level out. It would've been easier to place one on top of other but if you opt this way keep in mind you need to level each layer and carefully cut the halves to match.
While cake was baking in oven I worked on colouring fondant and cutting out shapes as well as letters for birthday message. This way I was only putting the cake together the next day breaking up the work.
To cover cake, roll out fondant until a couple inches bigger around, roll onto roller and gently unroll over cake. It helps to have a fondant smoother to smooth off the cake. Because I went over too quickly and had a split with the two cakes I had a bit of a snag I couldn't get out without rolling out again, however with the design of this cake all I had to do was use one of the decorations to cover making this and easy design for first timers.
I randomly place blotches and used gumballs (such a hit were the gumballs) around the cake looking like the paint-balls themselves. Then you just go over with a damp paper towel or wet food brush and dust off icing and sugar. There you have it, a DIY Paintball Party!