Going back in time…
Last school year, one of my fellow Homeschool Co-Op Moms, who I see two days a week but basically stalk her every moment on Facebook, mentioned watching Doctor Who. I had always been curious about the show as I generally like sci-fi, and LOVE binge-watching TV. On happenstance, I mentioned Doctor Who to another friend and he suggested I watch it with my kids.
Really? Kids will like Doctor Who? I had no idea, nor could I have anticipated that we would be throwing a Doctor Who themed party 6 months later for my daughter’s 7th birthday.
This was the beginning of a hardcore obsession between me and my 6-year-old daughter (at the time).
We flew through episodes like eating chips on the couch. It’s so hard to stop.
We would slow down when episodes would get a little too scary or heady. We had a slow start during the Peter Capaldi days (the Twelfth Doctor), but he eventually grew on us. For 5-6 months, Doctor Who was a serious source of bonding for me and my daughter. So much so, our love for it (or constant chattering about it) inspired my mom, my husband, my sister, and her daughter, AND our neighbors to get in on one of the most loved series of all times.
I was amazed by my daughter’s recollection of storylines. Her deductive reasoning was almost as keen as the Doctors, well, his companions, maybe. She blew me away with her attention to detail. She was fascinated by the historical storylines, which prompted us to see Van Gogh’s Starry Night at MOMA in NYC during on Mother-Daughter trip this summer.
We were Whovians.
And, just like most kids, it was pretty easy to look into the future at this point to know she was going to pick a Doctor Who themed party for her 7th Birthday Party.
Where to Start When Planning a Doctor Who Themed Party
Since most of Ruby’s peers do not watch Doctor Who, we put out the message well in advance that they should start watching the series on Amazon Prime…or at least some key episodes to become familiarized.
With the Ninth Doctor
Controversial among my friends, I really enjoy the Christopher Eccleston (Ninth Doctor) season. I think it’s kitschy and if your child is sensitive towards scary things than it feels a little less realistic.
Don’t let the cheesy special effects bother you. It’s part of the charm.
With the Most Prominent Characters…
I think it’s important that people at least meet the Daleks and Cybermen before attending a Doctor Who themed party. They happen to be my least favorite characters in the entire series, but they are certainly the most prominent. Season 101, Episode 6 gives us some tender moments with the Daleks. As for Cybermen, jump over to Season 201, Episode 6 to meet this deadly robot race.
With the Tenth Doctor…
Season 2 starts the really good stuff for me. Some people say to just begin here, and you can. Anything with David Tennant is brilliant and you will certainly meet all your favorite villains within in his seasons.
With the Very Best Episodes?
If you are trying to convert a friend and they don’t have time for a good binge, Blink (Amazon Prime Season 301, Episode 11) is the episode to reel them in.
Introduce How The Doctor Effects History…
Part of my love for me with Doctor Who is the historical fiction, as I mentioned before. Vincent and The Doctor (Amazon Prime Season 501, Episode 10) and The Shakespeare Code (Amazon Prime Season 301, Episode 3) episodes are wonderful for visiting some of the most famous people in history. Look out for the Harry Potter reference in the Shakespeare episode.
If you are getting started and want to watch the episodes in order, I recommend keeping a site like THIS handy. Amazon could really streamline the viewing experience, but it’s not. You have to do a bit of searching between the David Tennant Specials and Christmas Specials to catch everything in order on Amazon Prime. It can be really confusing.
Whovians – what do you think? Any other suggestions on where to recommend guests to familiarize with the worlds of Doctor Who in a time crunch? What are some of your favorite stand-alone episodes?
Now that you know where to direct your honored guests to begin in their Doctor Who journey, it’s time to rock out a great Doctor Who themed Party!
DECORATIONS FOR A DOCTOR WHO THEMED PARTY
You must have The Tardis:
“It’s bigger on the inside!” And, to achieve this effect we bought two Tardis door covers and placed them on our front door and backdoors. We used our large square high top table in the middle of the room as the control panel of the Tardis and a serving table.
Cover your table in blue, purple, white, or silver.
Since I have an eye for design, but not one for making the design, I’m lucky to have a very talented friend who loves a good crafting session. If you are like me, find yourself one of those friends before beginning such projects. I love that she made this design.
Here are the Steps to Create an Easy Tardis Console:
* You will need 8 paper towel rolls (the cardboard part)
* Clear Tape – Both Packing and Scotch Tape
* A Large Roll of Clear Cellophane Wrapping Paper
* Glow sticks
1) Cover the top of each cardboard tube with a square of packing tape to close them off.
2) Cut 8 large equal pieces of cellophane, twice as long as the cardboard tubes. We had 20 inches of the clear paper sticking up past the cardboard.
3) Wrap the cellophane around each cardboard tube at least twice so that it is sturdy and sticks up about 20 inches above the cardboard. Secure the cellophane around the cardboard where it will still create stability.
4) Tape the 7 cardboard paper towel cylinders and place them around 1 center paper towel tube using the scotch tape to create one large cylindrical shape.
5) Take one final piece of cellophane and wrap it around the outside of all the individual clear tubes. Tape at the seam and secure it to the cardboard part of the structure with tape.
6) Once you have your cardboard and cellophane cylinder structure, you will wrap the cardboard section in tin foil. Tape it with clear tape along the seam to secure.
7) Tape the bottom of the cardboard tubes with a few pieces of tape if you need more stability to keep it standing.
8) Right before your party is ready to start, activate your glow sticks and place them into the individual cellophane compartments. We used blue ones but any color would be fun.
9) Place your Tardis Centerpiece in the middle of the table with your other found objects that you have lying around the house. Thrift stores to ma could provide some amazing treasures for you Tardis Control Panel. I added a vintage phone, a wooden activity block for toddlers, a kid’s clock, and all the Doctor Who themed party food and plates.
10) The last touch of creating the inside of the Tardis was to place orange plates on the walls. The perfect ones were found at the Dollar Store. We used putty to secure them around the perimeter of the room. I thought this was a really simple, yet impactful touch.
The Daleks, Cybermen, and Weeping Angels
My mother loves a themed party as much as me and went a bit crazy buying Doctor Who themed party decorations.
The awesome news is that we now proudly get to display our life-size cardboard cutouts of Doctor Who’s most evil villains at Halloween. So, yay, Grandmas!
Probably the cutest of all the Doctor Who characters, these squishy balls of fat had to make an appearance. This was an easy and fun project for the kids to make. I got several large balls of styrofoam and 4 smaller balls for every large one. We used toothpicks to adhere the small balls into the large one to make their body. Then the kids used a sharpie, but paint would have probably worked better, to make the faces.
Relying back on my amazing neighbor, she used contact paper to create this creepy eyeball that appears in the crack in Amelia Pond’s childhood bedroom wall.
Mine would not have turned out nearly as nice, but using contact paper to paint is an easy and fun way to add decorations to a wall. But, I would try this. This eyeball will definitely come out for Halloween!
Christmas is a big deal in the world of Doctor Who. Some of these episodes are among my favorites, so I really wanted to create winter into our outside decorations.
We grabbed our mini Christmas tree and put it out on our front porch.
Yes, our neighbors probably thought we were crazy for writing on our house and having Christmas in August. But, we were going all out. We picked up some white batting at Wal-Mart, but a simple white sheet would have done just as nice to make snow.
My Florida kids had a lot of fun making snowflakes and a snowman out of paper. Our snowman was complete with creepy teeth just like in the Snowman.
The Union Jack
I found this British Flag Bunting free on the internet. Rose might have told me I was hanging it up wrong? I don’t know, but I still have it hanging above my TV. What can I say, I love Britain!
The last decorating touch to graffiti the side of the Tardis (AKA our House) with Bad Wolf. We found this awesome spray paint chalk and my husband used is handy work to temporarily write Bad Wolf on our house, lawn, and backyard.
Activities for your Doctor Who Themed Party
Honestly, we ended up watching a few episodes of Doctor Who inside because it was HOT and raining off and on most of the party. That is what you get for summer birthdays in Florida.
We had planned to play a game of BLINK – using the rules of red light, green light with our Weeping Angel, but we never got around to doing it.
The kids did have fun making their own “Keys to the Tardis” necklaces. We went to the hardware store and asked for a bag of messed up keys which they gave us for free. I had nail polish for the kids to paint the keys with and sparkly twine to make a necklace with. I would recommend doing a clear coat once they are complete, so the nail polish doesn’t rub off.
Pin the Face on Cassandra – Cassandra is probably one of our families favorite characters. “Moisturize Me!”
She is just so bizarre and really lends herself as a great canvas for fun games and food ideas – Cassandra Flat Bread, anyone?
For this game, grab a piece of poster board and cut out the edges making a wavy rectangle. As a craft, we had the kids make a face with crayons, markers, and paper. We used small pieces of tacky putty for the back of the faces, blindfold the kids and played pin the face on Cassandra.
Themed Food for Your Doctor Who Party
- Bowtie Pasta Salad, duh?
- Fish Fingers & Custard – I was actually going to make a custard, but who has time for that? Pudding cups for the custard, it is. And we used chocolate chip Enjoy Life cookies (top 8 allergens free and safe for Logan) and molded them into fish stick shape. Simply rolls the cookies long into some crushed Rice Krispie cereal and voila!
- Should I order pizza? Yes, I should.
- Don’t forget the apples and bananas.
- Chips and dips and veggies – allons-y!
- The cake! I asked Whole Foods Market to do a universe cake in chocolate with purples and blues to emulate the universe. I thought that would suffice. The bakery technically is not allowed to make any licensed characters, but we lucked out with a fellow Whovian as our decorator and came home with this glorious beast. It was super delicious and the loveliest surprise. You can also order edible cake toppers like this on Amazon.
- Not a food item, but I loved the sunflower and roses we got for our birthday girl. An homage to Rose and Van Gogh were a nice touch at the food table.
Although my parties are not known for their food, where I lack in feeding my guests, I succeed in costume and decor.
Costumes Make A Doctor Who Themed Party
I love any excuse to dress in themed wears and I think you should too. Did I put on my wedding dress and buy a veil and wear it to my daughter’s Doctor Who themed party? Yes, I did. I think I made a fine Donna Noble as the Runaway Bride.
The birthday girl wanted to dress as Clara, a toss up with Rose as her favorite companion. We bought her a darling vintage plaid dress on Etsy for $16. It is a great piece in her closet and not just a costume. She paired them with tights and boots, a la Clara. Unfortunately, it wasn’t brisk London but Florida, in August. Oh, well!
Since I didn’t want to be one of a few people dressing up for this party, and I really wanted to recreate the world of Doctor Who for Ruby’s birthday, I demanded everyone come in costume. The request was to dress up as any person in space or time. Broad enough, right?
Just to be safe, I went to a very large costume store that was having a moving sale and scored 6 fezzes, a space suit, vintage style dresses, my veil, and so much stuff for cheap! I distributed them among our friends and insisted they would be turned away at the door if they didn’t dress in proper attire.
Well, it worked! No one was turned away and everyone really got into the theme. Ruby could not have been more excited about spending her birthday in the world of Doctor Who with fellow fans …. and their children.
The Perfect Doctor Who Party Favors
Lastly, a little parting gift for our friends. There isn’t a Doctor without his (or her) Sonic Screwdriver. I purchased this printout off Etsy to wrap around shuttle pens I found on Amazon. They went perfectly with the Doctor Who Mad Libs we got as party favors.
Sometimes I’m my mother’s daughter and go overboard. These cookies ended up being a bit much (and not allergy friendly for Logan) but custom Tardis and Galaxy cookies were so cute, I couldn’t resist. They were going to be the party favor before the Mad Libs and Sonic Screwdrivers got put into play, but one was much tastier than the others.