If you notice stars in your kids’ eyes each year when they watch the Academy Awards, then chances are you have a great candidate for a Red Carpet Kids birthday party on your hands. The all-inclusive birthday party experience opened last month and takes place in an 1890 townhouse on New York’s Upper East Side. At the Red Carpet Kids mansion, the birthday child is greeted upon arrival by a shower of light-bulb flashes from a paparazzi team (of professional actors), a personal butler, and a red carpet. Party guests are then interviewed by a press table before meeting their director, who warms them up with improv games and helps them along as they record an original movie filmed in front of an in-house green screen. While the kids enjoy food and entertainment, their performances are edited into any one of the Red Carpet Kids’ original movies—a Western, a princess movie, a spy film, or a pop star biopic(according to the birthday child’s interests). Before the end of the night, their original movie will be ready for its official premiere, and awards are given to the starlets at a mock-Oscars ceremony.
The concept of Red Carpet Kids is the brainchild of actress Eva Shure and her fiancé Craig Saslow, who was a director of special events and graduated from Cornell’s hospitality school. Shure calls Red Carpet Kids a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” and blow-out affair. There are, however, plenty of pieces of the red carpet experience that can be recreated on any old school night. With Oscar night around the corner on Sunday, there’s no better time to start rolling out a red carpet for kids, even if yours only leads them to the couch in front of your TV. Check out Eva Shure’s tips below for hosting a glamorous at-home Oscar party with kids. —Artie Niederhoffer
–Purchase a red carpet: “At Red Carpet Kids, every entrance and exit has a red carpet.” You can find one for the entrance to your living room on the Oriental Trading Company website for only $6.25.
–Print your hands on the walk of fame: Using a stencil, paint gold stars on construction paper and let your children make handprints and autograph them.
–Get dolled up together: Mothers can let their children apply makeup and get dressed together in both of your favorite outfits.
–Invest in a feather boa: “This one is essential,” stresses Shure, for instant glamor.
–Make a home movie: Shure suggests using a flip cam, which makes editing easy. Use the project as an opportunity to teach kids about how movies are made, and introduce them to behind-the-scenes roles like editor, cinematographer, and costume designer.
–Host an awards ceremony: Think up creative categories for awards and hand out toy statuettes, which are available on Amazon.
–Make food and decor in a red and gold theme: Shure suggests experimenting with red food coloring or making a red Jell-O parfait.
–Visit the Hollywood section of Partycity.com for more fun at-home ideas.