Aqua-Tots Surprise hosted my family for the purpose of a review. Our opinions, photos and love for mermaids are 100% ours! This post contains affiliate links.
My kids started swim lessons at Aqua-Tots back in the spring and have become amazingly strong swimmers. My son went from barely making it across the pool to competing in swim team championships by the end of summer. My daughter is hoping to follow in her big brother’s footsteps and join the swim team next summer. Because we’ve had such a great experience at Aqua-Tots, I knew that it would also make for a fun birthday party venue. In Arizona, indoor venues are a must for summer birthdays. Even outdoor pool parties are too hot for the adults who aren’t swimming. Our guests were grateful for the indoor pool and provided lifeguards at Aqua-Tots in Surprise. The kids all had so much fun with the Aqua-Tots staff!
Once the perfect party venue was secured, we needed a party theme. Hosting a joint sibling birthday party always proves to be a little challenging when deciding on a theme. We’ve done a superhero joint party, an art themed sibling party, a Finding Dory sibling party and a baseball sibling party in the past. This year was an easy choice – mermaids and sharks! We surprised the kids by inviting Amanda the Desert Mermaid to join in on the festivities. She played pool games with the kids, did crafts and gave the girls a mermaid makeover with face gems. Amanda was the hit of the party and my daughter is still talking about how a REAL mermaid came to her party! It was the perfect way to keep the kids entertained.
My mom made the beautiful cake and completely outdid herself. She learned how to decorate cakes just for her grandchildren and makes all of their birthday cakes. This under the sea cake might just be my most favorite cake yet of hers. She used seahorse and starfish silicone molds with fondant to create gorgeous white on white cake decor. She also cut a thousand little fondant circles to create the mermaid inspired scales on the bottom layer in ombre coloring. The gold seaweed on the side is also crafted out of fondant and painted with edible gold. I created the cake topper out of gold glitter card stock using my Cricut Maker and attached it to two skewers.
Along with the amazing cake, my mom also made the mermaid tail and shark royal icing cookies. Here’s one of my favorite party tips for you: buy non-frosted cupcakes from your local bakery and decorate them yourself! We dipped our non-frosted cupcakes into a batch of colored icing and dipped the icing into a variety of different sprinkles before piping white or aqua icing on top and sticking a fondant mermaid tail or shark fin on top. You can use mermaid or shark molds to create the cupcake toppers with fondant or melted chocolate.
To add a few more shark details to the party, I decided to have a small candy bar at the party complete with gummy sharks and shark tooth candy necklaces. I filled in the candy bar with inexpensive purple taffy, white gum balls and aqua rock candy. I also decorated pre-made rice krispies treats with melted chocolate mermaid tails and stuck tiny gold forks in them. I couldn’t plan a mermaid themed party without a nod to Little Mermaid’s dinglehopper! They were so easy to make and who doesn’t love rice krispies treats! The small candy bar went on the cake table, covered with an sequin aqua tablecloth.
I love giving party favors that are useful or reusable. I’m not a fan of the plastic trinkets that tend to break after one use. I just feel like that’s a big waste of money. We decided to give our guests pool towels with a starfish gift tag and mermaid/shark bouncy balls. It was a mix of something useful and something fun. We handed out the towels as guests walked in and handed out the bouncy balls as they walked out. I also made the girls “Mermaid Vibes” coverups and the boys “Shark Attack” shirts with my Cricut Maker. I love making matching shirts for those group photos!
One of my favorite party traditions is to have an embroidered birthday shirt made, with their age on it. K5designsByKim on Etsy did such a great job on this year’s shirts! I’ve kept every single birthday shirt since their first birthdays and I plan on turning them into a giant birthday quilt. I think it’ll be fun and a little bittersweet to reminisce over their birthday memories once they no longer want themed parties. That is exactly why I put my heart into planning these over the top themed birthday parties for my kids. My kids love them, I love planning them and I know that one day I won’t have kids at home to plan a party for. Maybe I’ll learn how to make the cakes for my grandchildren!
Head to the Aqua-Tots website to book your own mermaid and shark birthday party! Tell them that See Vanessa Craft sent you!