Mario Kart birthday party

*Special thanks to Sugar Shack for providing the party cake in exchange for a review.*

A certain someone celebrated a birthday last week.  He was lucky in that his birthday coincided with the first half-day of the school year.  Still, it was on a Wednesday and everybody knows that the best birthday parties do not take place on Wednesdays.  So we had a party on Saturday.  Jayce wanted a Mario Kart theme so that he could play the game with all of his friends.  If you’ve been reading my blog long, you know that I am one of those moms who pushes outdoor play over video games.  Jayce’s party activity of choice, as you might imagine, was quickly vetoed.  We came up with some creative and active ideas that aligned perfectly–even if I do say so myself–with his theme.

First things first, we handed out these kart kits.


Each kit included an empty soapbox with pre-punched holes.  Also included were four wooden beads for wheels, two six-inch lengths of wooden skewer for axels and four rubber bands to hold the wheels in place.  Once everybody had his or her kart properly assembled, we passed out washi tape and number stickers so that the kids could decorate their karts.

Here is the birthday boy and his bff (yes, his bff is a girl) with their finished karts.


We then let the kids race their karts down an inclined piece of plywood.  This activity was a huge hit–much more popular than I thought it would be.

After the kart races, we set the kids loose on an obstacle course that Jeff built in the back yard.  To build the obstacle course, we mostly used things that we had from around the house: ladder, steps, utility table, etc.  Our stations were:

  • crawl under a PVC pipe suspended between two chairs
  • run to touch home plate
  • swerve between cones
  • hop on on one foot around a cone
  • hop on the other foot to the steps (hot tub steps)
  • jump off the steps spread eagle
  • step between suspended pool noodles
  • run to the balance beam
  • cross balance beam (piece of wood suspended on cinder block)
  • race a plasma bike across the finish line



Each finisher received an edible medal.


After these two events, we let the kids run off some of that sugar in the backyard for a few minutes.  And then we rounded them all back up for cake.  Oh, the cake.  It. was. fabulous.  Just take a look…


I got it from a local baker, Christy Acosta.  Her Sugar Shack bakery specializes in custom cakes and cookies.


Aren’t these details just adorable?  That little bomb there?  He was totally edible–made out of fondant.


And speaking of fondant…I’m more of a buttercream kind of girl myself.  I, of course, had to try a piece of Christy’s cake, but if I’m being honest, I didn’t think I’d much care for the fondant.  I was wrong, though.  This cake was absolutely delicious.  It was one of the most moist cakes I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.  And the fondant was placed over a thin layer of buttercream.  Seriously, the best of both worlds.


If you are local, I highly recommend contacting the Sugar Shack for your custom cake needs.  Not only will you end up with a gorgeous custom cake, but it will taste SO much better than anything you might pick up from a grocery or bigbox store bakery.  Plus? You’ll most likely be very pleasantly surprised by the price Christy quotes you.  Really.  Call her.

After cake and ice cream we opened presents and then said our goodbyes to those sugared-up kiddos.  As a reward for all of our hands-on party time, Jeff and I were walking over to the neighbors for drinks while Kennedy stayed home with the littles.  We didn’t even get past our mailbox, though, when we happened upon this.


Dang little suckers camouflage well, don’t they?  Not that this thing was particularly little.  He was about three feet long with a very bold and showy black and white rattle on his tail end.  And he just so happened to be steps from my mailbox.  He had to go.

Some of you aren’t going to understand what I’m about to say.  I know.  I’ve been there.  But here’s the thing: I felt so bad about his beheading.  Seriously.  This guy was totally minding his own business.  He didn’t even bother to rattle at Jeff and I as we approached with our cameras poised.  In fact, even when Jeff hurled a very large boulder at his head, all this snake did was retreat.  But we have kids and a dog and, like I said, this guy had to go.  If you look closely at the picture below, you’ll see a blur where his tail was just a rattling away, even as he was being beheaded.


The “boys” had fun poking at the beheaded body just to watch it writhe and twist.  And then they hurled it up over the street sign as a warning for any future trespassers.  Boys will be boys, I guess.



  1. Sounds like a great party! Annabelle would love that his best friend is a girl, on behalf of tomboys everywhere.

  2. Great job with the party! I was hoping you would post about it. Jayce’s gift is in the mail; hopefully he will get it tomorrow.
    That cake is awesome! If we ever move back I will definitely try her out. But after seeing the snake photos it probably won’t be anytime soon.

  3. The party was fabulous, but that snake? Yikes! I can’t, I just can’t. Looking at the photos of the kids in the backyard, all I thought about was “snakes” – and then sure, enough, you show a photo of a snake! In the front of the house, but STILL! How do you live there? I would never go outside! *Of course, here in Georgia, we have copperheads, right in the city where I live and I know people who have gotten bitten, so yeah, what am I talking about? I do go outside here. But I haven’t seen one yet – and I hope that I never will.

    1. When we first moved here, I couldn’t think of anything but snakes. Nine years later, I’m less concerned. My kids have been properly warned about reaching hands into bushes, etc. With these precautions in mind, they go about the business of playing in the backyard all the time. I won’t go so far as to say that our yard is a snake-free zone, but we have done what we can to make it a safe place to play. Don’t get me wrong; I hate that we share our space with snakes and if {when} we move I will be much more at ease. All that said, though, I count snakes as a trade-off for the lack of natural disasters, warm and sunny weather, and wide open spaces.

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