What better way to kick off the holiday season with the cutest group of tweens, than with a Pajama + Pancake Bar party!? Top it off with decorating gingerbread houses and playing games and you have yourself a fun filled morning!
Since our daughter had a spinal fusion just under 2 months ago, she can’t do much of anything active. Since ALOT of activities this time of year revolve around snow and being active… skiing, sledding, snowman building, ice skating ect… we racked our brains to plan something a little lower key that she and all of her friends could enjoy! A morning filled with friends, food, and gingerbread houses was just the ticket!
We set and decorated the table very simply, mixed with disposable and non- disposable dishes and items.Brown Kraft paper worked as our “tablecloth”, which could also double as a writing board for young party-goers. Gold and silver chargers mixed under simple Tartan plaid paper plates (these would be darling too!). We used a dusty blue napkin, red straws, and gold silverware (all disposable). Simple 1/2 pint mason jars made for the perfect glasses ready to be filled with Orange Juice, Apple Cider, or Cranberry and lime infused water. Sisal Tree Card Holders (in multiple colors) added the perfect touch of whimsy. (Similar here and here.) Last fresh greens cut from our back yard added a bit of holiday cheer.
We started the morning with delicious a pancake bar. Two of the girls have nut allergies, and I have Celiacs (no-gluten), so we played it safe with Kodiak Gluten Free Mountain Oat pancake mix (this one is also dairy free).
3 different kinds of homemade syrups. Cinnamon Syrup, Coconut Syrup, and Buttermilk Caramel Sauce Syrup. I am working on getting the other two syrup recipes posted for all those of you that have asked.
Bacon, scrambled eggs and oranges rounded the meal off nicely.
A drink station made it easy for the girls to fill and refill as needed without standing in the pancake line. Orange Juice, Spiced Cider (have you tried this from Trader Joe’s??), and cranberry lime infused water.
The table was festive and simple. The perfect mix for a group of tweens.
Next it was onto gingerbread house decorating!
We pre-built all 17 “gingerbread” houses a few days before the party out of graham crackers and good old hot glue. Each house started out of the same basic shape. 4 sides, and two pieces for the roofs. Then from there each house was made unique and given its own bit of character (my hubby is to thank for that!)
The morning of the party I made four batches of Royal Icing (recipe below + here) and put the finished frosting in individual ziplock baggies (about 1/2 cup. We probably could have gotten by with 1/4 a cup). Later the girls snipped a corner off their baggie and could squeeze the frosting out like a piping bag.
- 3 Tbsp Meringue Powder
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 6 Tbsp of warm water
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (about 7-10 minutes) at a low speed with a heavy duty stand mixer.
Cover with a damp cloth to prevent icing from hardening.
I provided some basic candy for decorating and then asked each girl to bring a bag of their favorite candy to use to decorate gingerbread houses. Have you tried the Hot Cocoa Hershey kisses yet?! So yummy! Find a few here, here, and here.
We ended up with soooooo much candy! It was fun to see all the different options people brought, but we could have decorated 50 more houses! haha!
The girls chatted, laughed, decorated, ate too much candy and had a great time together!
It was fun to see how unique each house turned out! The girls were all so creative!
After breakfast and decorating we played several group games! Oh my goodness, these girls are at such a fun age! I think the most enjoyed were “The Blanket Game”, Octopus 8, and the Colors Game. None of them are games you buy, but were such a blast!