Easter Party Ideas

Nothing brings out the child in an adult more than a good party.

And when spring rolls around with its tantalizingly warm air and sunny days, people think of two things: spring cleaning and Easter parties! Here are some general ideas for a fun Easter party for all ages. Before you go looking at bunnies and buying Easter eggs, here's some quick background info on the holiday.

From a purely religious perspective, Easter is, of course, the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is without a doubt the the oldest and most important of Christian holidays. Like most holidays, the name was adapted from a pagan festival. In this case, the name "Easter" comes from the word Ostern or Eastre, which were Teutonic goddesses of spring, fertility, and dawn. The ideas of spring and fertility were later incorporated in the non-religious symbols of Easter, including the rabbit, egg, and grass fillers in Easter baskets.

Now to plan your party! The time and weather will determine whether you can hold it indoors or outdoors. On a sunny but chilly spring day, you might consider having the majority of the party indoors with a few Easter games planned in the backyard, such as the egg hunt.

Decorating

Easter parties celebrate spring, rebirth, flowers blooming, and warmer weather. Stick with pastels and colors that can be easily displayed everywhere. Use crepe paper streamers, Faberge eggs (replicas, of course!), Easter baskets, colorful soap and towels in the bathroom, an Easter wreath on the door, and plentiful, colorful balloons (if the participants are older than four).

For your themed party decorations, think of the colors and symbols of spring to unify your decor. Blues, greens, yellows and pinks are great choices. Go with a central decoration and move out from there. For instance, if you are having guests over for brunch, a bowl of painted eggs is a great centerpiece. Then, add pictures or figures of yellow chicks, rabbits and flowers around the house to match the centerpiece.

Easter-themed Food

The most obvious starter choice for an Easter party is deviled eggs. Nuts, chips, carrots and broccoli, small bowls of foil-wrapped chocolate eggs, jelly beans, and (of course) Peeps candy complete your spread of appetizers and treats.

Deviled Easter Eggs

Note: Eggs peel more easily when they are about a week old. Buy your eggs in advance!

Ingredients

  • 18-24 raw eggs
  • Easter egg dye
  • 2 t paprika
  • 1/2 C mayonnaise
  • 2 t mustard powder

Directions

  1. Put eggs in a pot, cover with water and cover the pot.
  2. Bring to rolling boil in about five minutes. Take off heat and let sit for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Drain water. Rinse eggs with ice-cold water.
  4. Peel shells off eggs and rinse.
  5. Dye the shelled eggs in pastel colors. Set them to dry.
  6. After eggs are dry, cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out yolks and mash in a small bowl.
  7. Add paprika, mayonnaise, and mustard powder. Mix until smooth.
  8. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture. Put eggs on a decorative a plate. Chill before serving.

If you're planning on an Easter dinner, a leg of lamb or a nice baked ham should be near the top of your list. For non-carnivores, salmon is a great choice. Here's a great ham recipe:

Baked Ham

Ingredients

  • 4 lb pre-cooked smoked ham
  • 1 20 oz can pineapple, drained, with juice reserved
  • 1 C sugar (white)
  • 2 T molasses
  • 1 qt ginger ale

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Put the sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Make an indentation in the middle of the sugar. Pour molasses in the indentation to make a little lake. Mix molasses and sugar together thoroughly.
  3. If you do not have a boneless ham, remove the ham from the bone. Put a third of ham in bottom of a 6 qt casserole dish. Top with a third of the can of pineapple and 1/4 C of the sugar mixture. Repeat this twice so that you end with pineapple on the top. You have now used 3/4 C sugar mixture. Keep the rest handy.
  4. Pour the reserved pineapple juice on top of the layers. Pour ginger ale on top of that, enough to come halfway up the dish. Sprinkle remaining sugar mixture on top.
  5. Cover with tin foil. Bake 20 minutes at 350º.
  6. Remove tin foil. Cook for 20 minutes longer.

For dessert, try a lemon or lime meringue pie or key lime and lemony squares. Cookies or cakes shaped to look like chicks or bunnies are always fun. If you have children, why not ask them to help you bake the cookies and decorate them with pastel icing?

Easter Baskets

No Easter party is complete without Easter baskets. These baskets were originally used by people to bring items to the local church for blessing by the priest, and Orthodox Christians still do this. Nowadays, they're primarily used to collect all the delicious goodies brought by the Easter Bunny!

These baskets can contain tempting food items like chocolate bunnies, cream-filled eggs, actual Easter eggs, jelly beans, marshmallow chicks â?? all nestled, of course, in a layer of fake Easter grass. The budget-conscious can make their own Easter grass by using a paper shredder on colorful paper such as advertising circulars or leftover wrapping paper.

Other non-food items in the Easter baskets - depending upon the age of the recipients - can be coins, crosses, jewelry, plastic eggs, small toys, stuffed bunnies or chicks, and the like. For fun, hide the smaller items inside of plastic eggs.

Egg Hunt and Other Games

Easter games are often a spin-off of other party games, but with an Easter slant. Pin the tail on the bunny, egg races, egg rolling, and - of course - the Easter Egg hunt are enjoyable for all ages. Especially with children, the games are filler activities that keep kids occupied while other guests arrive or the food is gathered.

One idea for an egg hunt is to have your neighborhood join in. So everybody joins in the fun, determine how many kids will participate, and their names. Then, package up three sets of goodies for each child (two if there are a lot of participants.) Label the goodies, then hide them in the front yards of the neighborhood homes. While the kids are hunting, the adults can gather at a table with their own goodies, such as iced tea (or hot chocolate if it's chilly out), along with donuts, cookies and finger sandwiches.

Happy Easter - and happy Easter parties!



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