Decorations & Games:
It was hard to find decorations for Indiana Jones, until we found an American Science & Surplus store by our house. If you are looking for weird science stuff; spiders, fossils, sealed frogs in a bag, or petri dishes, this is the store for you. We decorated the tables with alligators, spiders, snakes, and fossils.
The best decoration; my son's drawing of Indiana Jones.
We had one game, which was to win clues (letters) to find Dr. Jones' cargo box filled with treasure. You had to fish in the snake pit and make a mummy bear to get a clue. No one seemed interested, except my oldest son - who kept asking why no one was trying to get clues. If they received a clue, they taped the letter on a piece of paper where it was numbered. I ended up putting the answer up after I realized no one was going to finish it. The kids had to form a line and hum the Indiana Jones theme song while we marched around the house, then my husband put the cargo box outside and the kids helped themselves to some candy.
The $40 snake pit. I thought I could walk into a store and buy a bag of snakes for $10, but most stores don't have snakes and if they do, they have one or two. So we bought a few here and there and then realized we didn't have enough. It seemed everyone was coming home with snakes and soon the pit was full. I put them in a small blow up pool with a hula skirt inside and used a cheap fishing game for this part of the adventure.
The clues and antidote, in case you needed some after fishing in the snake pit.
Mummy wrapping station.
Cargo box found at Michael's we stained and painted and covered with burlap fabric.
Indy's treasure - Goodwill trinkets and lots of candy.
I don't know how long this took because I didn't do it all at once. I bake the cakes the night before, put the tiers together and slowly decorate. I used butter cream frosting and fondant for the ropes. The rocks are M&Ms I found in the bins at Target. I found a picture on line and will post a link when I can find it, but she used fondant over the entire cake. I like how fondant looks, but it doesn't taste good, so I went with frosting.
I taught myself how to decorate cakes through trial and error and there were many errors. For years all my cakes would stick in the pan until someone told me to use parchment paper. It's ridiculous to make cakes like this, but I like trying new things and swearing in my kitchen at midnight. When I showed the cake to E, I wanted to hear, "Mommy this is the best birthday cake ever, and you have made my life complete. One day I will start to take a sip of beer when I am underage and I will stop because I will remember the beautiful cake you made for me and I won't want to disappoint you."
Instead I heard, "It doesn't look like the picture...where is Mutt? Mutt is the new character who was on the motorcycle in the picture of the cake I was trying to follow. Mutt was no longer for sale at Target - I checked four stores - they must have them in some warehouse with all the snakes.
I think I am running out of room on this post - can they be too long? Random thoughts; I swore I wouldn't have theme parties when my kids were younger - I didn't want the corporate man telling my children who to worship, that was my job. Now I let them have a theme party if they want - I still enjoy non-commercial themes - pirates or robots, but Indiana Jones was a lot of fun. One little boy told me he couldn't eat the cake because he gave up chocolate for Lent, which I thought was cute. Another told everyone while we were eating that he had diarrhea. Always an adventure.
The end...next party is this summer and the Riddler has escaped from Gotham City Jail...