When you are raising a gamer, you just never know what kind of theme they are going to want for their birthday party. Wonder Boy has chosen easy things like Pokemon, and he’s also chosen more difficult things like Naruto. So this year when he said he wanted a Portal 2 party, I wasn’t surprised, but I also wasn’t thrilled.
I am all about buying licensed stuff when it comes to birthday parties. It’s a lot of work to put together a kiddo birthday party, so if I can buy it, I can. Let’s face it, it’s 2017, there aren’t many licensed plates and cups for a video game that was released in 2011, like Portal 2
Plus, in all honesty, I was hoping for a Star Wars party. Every darn thing on his wish list was Star Wars related….EVERY darn thing. That didn’t matter though, he wanted to have a Portal 2 party. So that’s what we did.
If you aren’t familiar with the Portal series games. There are 2 of them, and they are amazing. The game is a platforming puzzle game. Each game centers around a woman named Chell who is forced by an evil AI computer, GLaDOS, to perform a series of tests using a portal gun that creates human size wormholes that she can jump through to reach her objectives. Chell’s goal is to complete each test to reach the exit. It’s pure brain teasing fun! I could see why he wanted to have Portal for his birthday theme.
Although it’s a great game, it was not going to be easy to plan a Portal party. I couldn’t just go out and buy some plates that said Aperture Laboratories on them. So instead, I got creative.
Thankfully, for this year’s party, I didn’t have to worry about how they would spend their time since it was a gymnastics party. I just had to provide snacks, drinks and cake. So, we made them Portal themed. There were lots of steps in what we created and both the kids helped out at different stages in the planning. Wonder Boy even got some help from his bestie, Google. We took a lot of inspiration from Chad and Mary Beth over at Nothing But Country. All three of us did a lot of work, but it was fun work.
Supplies needed for Portal Party
You can read all the details below, but here’s a quick list of the things you’ll need to create the perfect Portal party:
- Blue and Orange cups, plates, cutlery, and table cloth
- Blue and Orange gift bags
- Orange and Blue Hawaiian Punch
- Cheesy chips, cheese balls, or other orange snacks
- Individual vanilla ice cream cups
- Cupcakes frosted with chocolate icing
- Canned orange and blue frosting
- Small tubes of orange and blue gel frosting
First off we bought all orange and blue tableware. The portals created by the gun in the game create a blue wormhole and an orange wormhole for Chell to jump through. So blue and orange seemed perfect. We also made a trip to Dollar Tree to buy some large blue bowls and a blue serving tray for the snacks.
Gift Bags for Portal 2 Party
To keep with the blue and orange them, I bought blue and orange gift bags. Since Chell is one of many test subjects at Aperture Laboratories, it would be fitting that each of Wonder Boy’s guests were also considered test subjects. So I heisted an Aperture Laboratories logo from almighty Google. I then took a business card template in Word and put the logo and a different test subject number on each. I had Wonder Boy and Paige glue each card onto the bags as seen in the photo below. We just stuffed them with candy because I HATE all the junky toys people put in gift bags.
Portal Themed Snacks
With gift bags out of the way, I focused on snacks. Wonder Boy wanted cheese balls and cheese potato chips because they were orange. To keep with the Portal theme, I labeled the chips “cheesy portals” since they totally look like a portal. I labeled the cheese balls “cheesy singularities.” I’m not even going to pretend I know what the singularity means, he told me that what what they should be called, so that’s what they became.
He loves Skittles candy, so those were a must for our snack list. We separated them into different colors. Each color of Skittle was given a different name as a sphere. In the game, the spheres are the construct that contains the artificial intelligence personality of the computers.. The spheres each have a different color. For example, the anger sphere is red and the curiosity sphere is yellow. So for our party the red Skittles were labeled Anger Spheres, and they yellow Skittles were labeled Curiosity Spheres. You get the idea. If you ever find yourself planning a Portal party, I’m sure your little gamer will be able to help you with the details.
A Portal 2 party snack list would not be complete without the different types of gels that help you get around in the game. The three main gels in the game are
- Propulsion Gel
- Repulsion Gel
- Conversion Gel
We made our drinks into the Propulsion and Repulsion Gel. We labeled orange and blue bottle of Hawaiian Punch with the correct gel color. Removing the labels from the bottle was a bit tricky, and you can see that we never got all of the old label off. Wonder Boy didn’t mind though, he thought they turned out awesome with the Aperture Laboratories labels on them.
Little cups of vanilla ice cream got address labels that said conversion gel. I used Word to make the labels, and I had the kids stick them on. Address labels were the perfect size for the individual cups. I was worried the labels might come off when they were frozen and then semi thawed from the trip to the gym, but they didn’t. So, It worked great.
The Cake is a lie, we had cupcakes
I struggled with what to do for cake. I am so not a cake decorator, so much so, I sometimes struggle just to get the icing on. To keep is simple. we decided on cupcakes with portals on them. The kids wanted to decorate them. So they did. We used chocolate icing and they decorated each cupcake with cans of cupcake frosting and gel frosting. They did an amazing job, better than I would have done for sure.
Decorations for Portal 2 Party
Since we were going to a gym for the party, we really didn’t need decorations, but Wonder Boy wanted SOMETHING that said “The cake is a lie.” I kid you not, that boy ran around for weeks before we starting planning the party saying “the cake is a lie.”
To make him happy, I printed a sign on card stock with “the cake is a lie” on it. I added my own, “the cupcakes are real” to the bottom of it. I also made one with GLaDOS’ famous “make life take the lemons back” phrase on it. Both of them got a spot on the snack table.
The party was a success!! Wonder Boy had so much fun. Of course, most 9 year old boys are clueless about Portal. So he got to explain to each of them all about the game.
I know for most birthdays, I just buy the licensed stuff you can find at any party store. I’m glad I couldn’t for this one. It gave all of us a chance to work together. I think that’s why I like creating geeky things with the kids so much. When it’s something they love, they really get into it.