HOLY BIRTHDAY PARTY, BATMAN: HOW TO THROW A BATMAN BIRTHDAY PARTY
Got a young (or grown up) Batman fan? One of the top ten most popular superheroes of all time, Batman is still a favorite of people of all ages. A Batman theme party is just what you need to celebrate his or her birthday or other special occasion. This theme is a BLAST to play around with, and the effort you make will be rewarded by the smiles and exclamations of your party guests, whatever their ages may be.
This guide is packed with Batman birthday party ideas, including tips for decorations, activities, games and food, that will complement your theme. They range in price as well as in complexity of putting together. However, just about every Batman party idea here can be adapted to fit both your budget and your level of creative skill.
DECORATING FOR YOUR BATMAN BIRTHDAY PARTY
Start your decorating plans by choosing a “staging” area. This will be the room or part of the house where most or all of the party activities will be occurring. This way, you won’t feel compelled to decorate the entire house, and you can focus all of your time, creative energy and party budget into one area and make that one room look AMAZING.
Your color scheme should include Batman’s costume colors, black and yellow. We would suggest throwing in white as an accent color. Used sparingly, you can even add a fourth accent color, like red or royal blue. (If you’re throwing a Classic/Retro Batman party, your color scheme should consist of blue, yellow, black and gray.)
Your decorations can be as simple as black and yellow streamers and balloons put together creatively. You can find these, as well as other black and yellow party goods (paper plates and cups, table covers, etc.) at most party supplies stores or online. Many party supplies stores also carry Batman-theme decorations and even Batman party kits (which contain everything you need in one handy package, so you don’t have to hunt down goods separately).
If you are creative and/or crafty, there are tons of awesome decorating ideas that you can put together for a Batman party. Here, we’ve included instructions for two cool decorating projects: a Gotham City backdrop and a Bat Garland.
1) GOTHAM CITY BACKDROP (CITYSCAPE)
Difficulty level: Medium
You don’t necessarily need to be a skilled artist for this cool decorating idea. All that’s required is an ability to use a ruler and a little imagination.
- Large section piece of black paper (such as from a roll of black Kraft paper or fabric paper). To figure out how big a piece you need, measure the area that you want to cover with your cityscape backdrop. You can also use a more rigid material, such as black posterboard or foam board if you don’t need your cityscape to go around any corners.
- Scissors or X-Acto knife
- Optional: Small piece of yellow or light blue paper or yellow or light blue tempera or poster paint (if you want your city buildings to have windows)
Using your ruler, draw out tall, narrow skyscraper-type buildings onto your black paper with your pencil. Try to have at least four or five, but you can include more if you have a bigger space to cover. Make sure each building is a slightly different height, and vary the styles of the tops of the buildings if you can. Leave just a little bit of space between each building, and keep buildings connected at their bases. Use your ruler to maintain straight lines and even spaces between each building.
Cut out your cityscape. Again, make sure that your buildings are connected at their bases. You should end up with a single cutout consisting of several buildings. If using cardboard, posterboard or other heavy material, you’ll need to use an X-Acto knife for cutting and a large, hard surface to work on (like a garage floor). Add a thick layer of cardboard between your cityscape and the floor, if necessary, in order to prevent your knife from damaging the floor.
For windows: Either draw windows onto your buildings and paint them in with yellow or light blue tempera or poster paint, or cut out squares for windows from your yellow or light blue paper and glue them on.
If your Gotham City backdrop is made from paper, affix to the wall using tape, tacks or adhesive putty (will prevent damage to your walls). If using a heavy, rigid material, you may be able to stand your cityscape against the wall on the floor or a table top.
Note: This cityscape backdrop is also suitable for use with other theme parties, such as Spiderman or Superman.
2) BAT GARLAND
Easy (but will require ample time for cutting and connecting)
- Bat template (there are many available for free on the Web)
- Heavy black paper or black cardstock or black felt
- Connecting material (string, jute, etc.). See instructions
- Optional: There are two ways to create your bat cutouts, depending on what type of material you choose to use. If using paper or cardstock, you can print out your bats using a computer and printer (easy and quick). If using felt or paper that is too thick for your printer, you’ll need to print out a bat template, cut it out, and then place it against your felt/paper and trace around it. To figure out how many bats you’ll need, measure the length of wall you want to cover. Measure the length of your bat template and divide the total length of desired garland by the length of a single bat. (Total garland length ÷ length of one bat = total number of bats.) So, for example, if you want to cover ten feet (120 inches) of wall, and your bat template is 6 inches long, you’ll need 20 bats in total.
Cut out your bats:
Join your bats together either wingtip to wingtip or at the widest point of their wingspans. (Note: Most bat templates feature curved wings, so if you join your bats by their wingtips, you’ll end up with a more curved, rather than straight, garland.) There are a few options for joining your bats. Felt bats can be joined together with a couple of simple stitches at each connecting point. Paper/cardstock bats can be joined together using an inch or so of heavy string, cord or jute between each bat (affixed with tape). Alternately, you can punch holes at each wing tip (or at the widest point of each wing) and run string through the holes.
When it comes to decorating, here are a few more Batman birthday party ideas:
- Don’t bother stringing your bats together. Just stick your cutout bats directly to your Batman party theme wall. If using the Gotham City backdrop as part of your decor, you can place your bats above it.
- Create a simple pennant banner using black and yellow triangles (or gray and blue for a retro Batman theme) with letters on them to form “Happy Birthday” and the birthday child’s name, or “Welcome to the Bat Cave.”
- Turn your party room (“staging area”) into the Bat Cave.
- Create Batman-inspired speech / thought bubbles out of colored posterboard or cardstock and fill them in with words like “POW!” “BAM!” “ZAP!” “BANG!” just like in the comic books, or with things that Batman might say, like “You’ll never get away with this!” or “To the Batmobile!”
- Create goody bags by purchasing kraft paper gift bags in black, yellow, gray or blue. Create Batman’s logo using your computer and printer (one per bag), cut them out and glue one to each bag. Fill with goodies for your party guests. OR, purchase plain, light-colored cloth bags and write or stamp “Gotham City Bank” on one side and a large dollar sign on the other. Fill with treats and tie off the tops for presentation to guests.
- Purchase two bunches of helium-filled black and yellow balloons. Place one bunch on either side of the food table or gift table…easy, inexpensive and super cool!
- Create your own Gotham City Theater marquee out of heavy posterboard or foam board. On it, print the words “Now Playing: [Birthday Kid’s] Batman Birthday Party!
- Create a “Welcome to the Bat Cave” sign.
- Create several paper chains using black and yellow paper/cardstock links. Make them long enough to reach from ceiling to floor. Hang chains side-by-side from the ceiling to form a curtain.
BATMAN BIRTHDAY PARTY ACTIVITY IDEAS
*Create your own “photo booth.” Collect a few Batman-themed costume pieces (i.e. black cape, mask, bat ears). Give each guest a chance to dress up using one or more of the costume pieces and then take a photo of each child (or a photo of groups of two or three kids). Before guests leave, print out their photos and let each child take home a picture of himself or herself.
*Make your own Bat Signal Flashlight: Purchase one flashlight per guest, in black or yellow if possible. (Inexpensive ones will do just fine. Check your local dollar store.) Do an online search for a batman bat symbol (the one with rounded wings). You’ll need to end up with a bat symbol that fits snugly over the lens of the flashlight so play around with it and resize it until you find the right size for your lens cover. Kids will love this easy batman birthday party idea!
Once you find a good size, print and cut out the symbol. Trace it onto black cardstock (one bat per flashlight) and cut out. Place your bat cutout over the lens cover. Then find a dark room, turn on the flashlight and send out your bat signal!
*Make your own Batman Masks: Find a template of Batman’s mask online. You may have to adjust the size of the template using your computer in order to make it “kid-sized.” Once you find a good size, print it. Cut out out the mask. This will be your template.
Purchase sheets of black foam. This is typically available in letter-size sheets, and you’ll likely be able to get 1 to 2 masks per sheet, so purchase enough so that every guest will be able to make a mask. You’ll also need to purchase a roll of black elastic cord.
Trace your mask template onto the black foam. Guests can then cut out the mask shape. Using a hole punch, punch one hole on each side of the mask. Cut off enough black elastic to make the mask fit snugly around each child’s face. String each end of the elastic thread through the holes and tie off into a good, tight knot. Now your party guests are ready to fly off into the night and fight crime and save the city!
If your Batman birthday party guests are very young, you can simplify this activity by having all of the masks and elastic cords pre-cut for each child. All they need to do is put them together.
*Face painting: Hire a face painter (your local high school may have art students available for this job) and let guests have the opportunity to get their faces painted like Batman.
LET THE BAT GAMES BEGIN!
Here are some fun Batman-themed party games you can use or adapt (depending on the age and skill level of your guests) for your event:
*Batman Obstacle Course– Set up a backyard or basement obstacle course. You can use simple things that you have around the house (old tires, pillows, a kiddie pool filled with foam peanuts or paper shreds, a sawhorse, a tricycle, etc.). Tell each guest they must use their Bat powers to get through the course as fast as they can. Give each guest a small prize for completing the course, and a bigger prize to the guest who has the fastest time.
*Bat Scavenger Hunt– Hide paper cutout bats and have guests try to find them. Guests can work solo, or you can divide them into teams to see which team finds the most bats.
*Pin the Bat on Batman– Batman’s costume is not complete without his bat emblem! Find a poster of batman, or print out a picture of Batman. Print and cut out Batman’s insignia. Give each guest one chance to stick the emblem in the right place on Batman’s suit while blindfolded. (If you don’t want to use pins, rolled up tape works just as well.) The guest who gets the closest is the winner.
*Extinguish the Villains– For this game you’ll need 3 to 4 tall taper candles and a squirt gun. For each candle, print out a picture of a different Batman villain (Joker, Penguin, the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Two-Face, or your child’s favorite). Make sure that the picture is a couple of inches shorter than the candle. Cut out the villain. Glue it onto a piece of cardboard, or have each villain laminated (the pictures may end up getting wet). Affix each villain to a candle or prop it up against the candle (just make sure it isn’t near the wick).
To play the game, place each candle and its corresponding picture on a table, spaced about 6 inches apart (or more). Light each candle. Give the player a water-filled squirt gun and have him shoot water toward each flame trying to extinguish it (and its corresponding villain). This game is best played outside or in a large indoor space. If you play indoors, put down tarps or plastic to contain the wet mess.
*Batman, Batman, Joker – This party game idea for younger Batman party guests comes from blogger Mom, Tina (“Mamas Like Me:” http://www.mamaslikeme.com/), former elementary school teacher turned daycare provider and mother of four Batman fans. She played this game at her own son’s Batman theme party. It’s played by the same rules as “Duck, Duck, Goose!” and little Batman fans just LOVE it!
*Batman Balloon Pop– You’ll need lots of black balloons for this game. Blow up a bunch of balloons, but before you do, place a slip of paper inside only a few of the balloons with the names of some of Batman’s adversaries. Have guests pop all of the balloons and try to find the balloons with the papers inside. The guests that find the right balloons and vanquish the villains by bursting the balloon wins a prize.
*“Who am I?”– This game works best with older children (ages ten and up). When guests arrive, pin or tape an index card on their back with the name of a character from the Batman comic or tv series (it’s okay if two or more guests have the same character). Don’t tell them what name they have! Once all the guests have received their “secret Batman character identity,” they must ask each other “yes” or “no” questions to try to figure out which character they are. The first person to figure out which character is on their index card wins a prize. Keep playing the game until all guests have figured out who they are, even if it takes the rest of the party (it’s a great way to get guests mingling and talking with each other!).
*Batman Bingo: Print out bingo-style cards with five columns and five rows. Fill in each box with pictures of Batman characters and villains, bat symbols, different colored bats, etc. Make one card for each guest. Each card should have all the same pictures/symbols but arranged in a different order on each card.
Make one extra card and cut up all of the squares. This will be for the bingo caller’s draw. Play the game just like regular Bingo, drawing one square at a time and calling out the picture/character on it. Each child then crosses out that square on his or her playing card (or use bingo dabbers just like in real bingo, or poker chips to cover the squares so that the playing cards can be re-used). The first guest to get five in a row wins.
You can also take just about any other traditional birthday party games that you know and adapt them to fit a Batman Birthday theme (Batman Balloon Race, Batman Bean Bag Toss, The Joker’s Egg and Spoon Race, Mr. Freeze Tag, etc.) Just use your imagination, and some help from your Batman birthday boy or girl.
YOUR BATMAN PARTY FOOD MENU
Whether you’re planning to serve an entire meal or just dessert, we have some Alfred-approved food ideas for your Batman party:
*Batman Birthday Nachos – Did you know that Batman’s favorite food is nachos? Nachos are a fantastic meal-like snack and appeal to Batman fans of all ages.
*Batman Birthday Bat Wings – Of course, they won’t be REAL bat wings. Instead, make up a batch of chicken wings in your guest of honor’s favorite flavor. (If you’re not a cook or don’t have time, purchase frozen and pre-sauced wings from the grocery store or order some from a local restaurant or deli.)
*Batman Burgers – Perfect for a summertime barbecue. Cut cheese slices into a bat shape using a bat cookie cutter.
*Batman Birthday Cutout Cookies – Party supplies stores, both on and offline, may have a selection of Batman-themed cookie cutters that you can use to make decorated sugar cookies with. If you can’t find cookie cutters that are specifically Batman licensed, you might have better luck finding a bat-shaped cookie cutter. Alternatively, you can make round or oval-shaped cutout cookies and decorate them with bat symbols.
*Bat Signal Oreos – Dip sandwich cookies (such as Oreos) into yellow melting wafers. When dry, embellish with a bat. You can do this with melted chocolate or dark-colored icing or pre-made candy bats (sometimes available at party supplies stores). The same idea also works with cake pops or with jumbo marshmallows on lollipop sticks.
*Joker Juice/Penguin Punch – Make your guest of honor’s favorite punch and place a sign beside it that says “Joker Juice” or “Penguin Punch.”
*Robin’s Rice Krispie Treats – Dip Rice Krispie squares into red melting wafers. When dry, re-dip just the tops into green melting wafers and let dry again. Use melted wafers or icing to draw on a dark colored circle with a yellow “R” in the center.
*Batman Birthday Mr. Freeze Pops – Just dress up ordinary Freezies or popsicles as though made by Batman’s adversary, Mr. Freeze, or make your own using popsicle molds and your favorite fruit juice or smoothie recipe.
*Have a Batman Birthday Candy Buffet – This Batman party idea works for kids as well as grown ups. Serve black and yellow candies and treats. Some suggestions include: M&Ms, jelly beans, lemon drops, rock candy, gumballs, licorice, Oreo cookies, Starburst, macarons, gummy candies, gummy bananas, marshmallow bananas, pretzels dipped in chocolate and yellow melting wafers, butterscotch hard candies, jelly or gummy black raspberries.
Of course, the focal point of your Batman birthday party will be the cake! Whether you choose to serve a layer cake, sheet cake, square cake, round cake or cupcakes, you’ll find lots of Batman birthday cake ideas on the Web. If you plan to make your own cake, you can simply ice the entire cake in yellow, grey, blue or black. Border it with an accent color using a piping bag and broad icing tip, and draw on Batman’s insignia with a smaller icing tip. If you’re a skilled cake decorator, you can experiment with more complex designs using fondant, fondant sheets, gum paste and different types of icing. And if you’d rather leave it to a professional, find a baker who can design a one-of-a-kind Batman cake for your little fan.
ANOTHER RAD BATMAN BIRTHDAY PARTY IDEA VARIATION: LEGO BATMAN!
With Batman having been made into a Lego set, and then Lego Batman turned into a box office hit movie, a Lego Batman birthday party is ideal for the young fan of Batman who also happens to love Lego. You can combine both Lego and Batman birthday ideas together for a doubly-memorable event!