For my son’s 9th birthday, his only request was chocolate cake and an epic Nerf battle with his friends. Since this year is his golden birthday and we will be moving a couple hours from our friends in the next few months, I wanted this birthday to be extra special. As a host of kid birthday parties I usually go ALL out on decor and games and spend a lot of time on the little details. For this party, however, most of our budget went to renting a big gym for the party and had little left for decor. I know that decorations are usually not too appreciated by kiddos this age anyways. So I kept it very simple and went with making most of the decor myself. I figured I would share the printables I made for anyone else on a tight budget that wants to throw an epic Nerf war birthday party. I also had little time to plan and organize this party as we are busy getting our home ready to list soon! But I think it all came together nicely and the kids had an absolute blast.
I first want to apologize for the truly terrible quality of the photos for this blog post. Lighting was not on my side and I just snapped a few very quick photos with my phone. The gym we rented only gave us 40 minutes to set up before the party started. That meant dragging all the tables and chairs from a back room out to the gym, setting up the food and labels, favors, target practice zone, blow up the Nerf battle barricades, and the plates, cups etc. I normally spend a solid couple of hours setting up and fine tuning the food display and decor. I just did not have that as an option this time. I didn’t even get to hang up all the steamers, banners and balloons I had brought with! But again, I don’t think the kids cared that the room was a bit bare. The only thing I do really wish we had was more large boxes. We just didn’t have time to find more but the kids used them as forts/barricades during the battles and they were just so much fun. A few more extra large boxes would have been perfect.
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I wanted to keep the food as easy as possible to travel with and clean up. We had pizzas delivered an hour after the party started, simple snacks, and cake/cupcakes. To make it a little more fun, I did make food labels. You can download all the printables I made HERE. I would print them out on thick cardstock. I intentionally picked food that would not need cutlery and then forgot about the cake! A friend came to the rescue by running home quickly to bring us some plastic forks. OOPS! And do not forget a knife to cut the cake like I did.
Nerf War Party- The Favors
Amazon has this pack of favors for 16 kids at a very reasonable price. Each child got to “gear up” for the battle and then take their gear home. We gave them each safety glasses, a bandana, and a wrist bullet holder filled with bullets.
Nerf War Party- Target Practice
We started the party off with some target practice, which quickly turned into shooting each other. I do wish I had time to set more up for this area, but it was still fun.
The Nerf War
This gym is so large that it would have been difficult to fill the space. But it was really nice to have so much room for the kids to run around for hours! We set up a few boxes and inflatable Nerf barricades that were light enough for the kids to move them around build forts.
How To Throw A Nerf War Birthday Party
The shopping list:
- orange plates- Walmart
- orange cups- Walmart
- blue cake plates- Dollar Tree
- blue (or white) tablecovers- Dollar Tree
- white napkins- Dollar Tree
- white bins for Ammo – Dollar Tree
- # candle for cake- Dollar Tree
- army guy toys for target practice- Dollar Tree
- two large orange tubs from Dollar Tree (for drinks and ice)
- weights for balloons- Dollar Tree
- black frames – Dollar Tree
- blue and white striped paper straws- Dollar Tree
- 500 count Nerf bullets– Amazon
- inflatable Nerf Bunkers- Target
- Costco tortilla chips
- Costco bean dip
- Costco bottled water
- Costco mini gatorades
- balloons filled with helium- Safeway floral department
- kettle corn
- cheese puffs
- veggie tray
- orange soda
- cake and cupcakes- Safeway bakery
- white paper bags for party favors- Target
- Favors– Amazon
- Nerf Digital Target– Amazon
- Stackable soft red target practice cans- Amazon
- Pop–up target – Amazon
- Cardstock to print labels and signs- Amazon
Towards the end of the party, I surprised the kids with turning off all the lights, blasting dance music, and handing out glow stick bracelets from the Dollar Tree while a disco ball set the mood for a glow-in-the-dark Nerf battle/dance party!
This was the first time hosting a birthday party not at our home so though it was amazing to not have to clean my entire house before and after the party, there was a LOT of stuff to pack in the car, set up, and then take down. And I forgot forks for the cake and a knife to cut the cake. oops! There are definitely pros and cons of renting out a room like this. For a Nerf war, a gym is just perfect! But I do wish I had more time to finish setting everything up before guests arrived. I am already thinking of different birthday party themes for next year. I just love throwing parties !
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