Create a colorful candy buffet featuring several of different types of candy displayed in glass containers of various shapes and sizes, such as apothecary jars, vases, and bowls. Check discount stores like Home Goods and Marshalls for affordable containers, and buy candy in bulk from websites like SweetFactory.com to reduce the cost. (The best deals are usually on bags of 5 lbs or more.) Set favor pails or cellophane bags next to the candy for guests to fill with their favorite treats! (Click here for a detailed article on how to put together a creative candy buffet on any budget.)
Create giant candies from 6 to 10” round paper lanterns wrapped in cellophane and tied off at the ends just like hard candies. Set the candies throughout the party space, and use ribbon to hang them from trees, stair banisters, trellises, etc.
Set up a giant lollipop border featuring extra-large Whirly Pops and huge DIY lollipops made by attaching Honeycomb Paper Daisies to wooden stakes or foam candy cane sticks. (Also pictured above in the last photo: inexpensive foam children's stool seat covers from IKEA were turned into a "lollipop path" by attaching them to large white lollipop sticks purchased at Michael's, then lining them up in a path on the ground.)
Frame and display photos of the birthday boy/girl and their friends & family in contemporary, candy-themed layouts. Enlist the help of a graphic designer friend or use candy-themed scrapbooking materials to create the backgrounds.
Use more of the bright & cuddly animal soft toys to give a playful vibe to the candy buffet and gift/favor tables.
Make a cozy play area for little ones with colorful bedding, fluffy pillows, and oversize candy-shaped pillows.
Don't forget the game! Display one or more Candyland games in a prominent area to play up the theme. Guests can even play the game during the party! Click here to check out more fun Candyland-themed activity ideas from Peppers & Pollywogs.
Creative Food & Drink Ideas:
Serve drinks with colorful packaging, such as Hansen’s Natural Soda, which comes in sweet flavors like Cherry Vanilla Crème, Key Lime Twist, and Kiwi Strawberry.
For lunch, offer guests one of these candy-themed menu ideas:
1. mini cheeseburgers (sliders) with french fries served individually in paper snow cones
2. finger sandwiches served and gourmet kettle chips wrapped up individually to look like candy pieces (Place a handful of chips in the center of a cellophane square, wrap the cellophane around the chips & roll into a cylinder shape, then tie the ends off to create the look of a piece of wrapped candy.)
3. mini pizzas, salad, and breadsticks twists formed in a cane shape to look like candy canes
Serve candy-themed cupcakes. If your party guests are very young, decorate cupcakes with lollipops made from frosting. For older kids, you can use real candy to decorate the cupcakes. (see the "on the menu" tab for ideas)
Click here to view the entire photo album from the Candyland 1st Birthday party thrown for Max Sutter. (The cute personalized lollipop lunch boxes, t-shirts, and plates given as party favors were custom made by EM Tanner Designs to match the party theme.)