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Creative party ideas that will ‘wow’ your guests

We built this bar mitzvah on rock ’n’ roll!

for The Brooklyn Paper

Does that sweet child of yours smell like teen spirit? He is about to finally turn 13 and wants his first teenage dream to come true — having the perfect bar mitzvah. We have a theme that will make your little Offspring happy: rock ’n’ roll!

Follow these steps and there will be no Panic at this Disco.


For your menu, have some fun with rock puns. Start the dinner with Killer soup. If you choose to have a salad bar, call it Greenday’s Greens. Next, for the kids, serve Eleven chicken Fingers. The adults can have a choice of Diana Ross and the Supreme Beef (a beef dish of your choosing) or White Phish. For desert, how about some Fiona Apple Pie with Vanilla’s Ice cream, Chuck berries and Cranberries cake, or Blondie’s blondies? The adults can have their drink of choice at your bar — Amy’s Winehouse. If this is an early party with a brunch, offer your guests Bangle’s bagels and Cream’s cheese.


A bar mitzvah cake is an important part of the party, because it usually comes out as the bar or bat mitzvah performs the candle lighting ceremony. A guitar or drum set would make a perfect cake design for this theme. You might also choose a “Soundtracks of the Ages” cake, with records, A-tracks, tape cassettes, CDs, and an iPod on it to represent each generation of music playing. If you have a little extra in the budget, get some cupcakes made with different record labels on each. Even the candle lighting ceremony itself can use a rock twist. Use more rock ’n’ roll puns like, “My dad’s about to B52, but he still rocks!”


To decorate your party, start with a name for each table and tie them into the place cards. You can use all of the bar mitzvah’s favorite musician’s names as table names, for instance. Imagine place cards that read: “You will be sitting at Sting’s table!”

The centerpieces for each table can be different album covers with the bar mitzvah’s face Photoshopped on the artist’s dace. Keep the theme going through the halls leading to the party with signs like, “One Direction — This one!” or, “F.U.N. this way!” You can also light the entrance like the arch around a jukebox. Is there a stairway leading to the dance hall? It can be your “Stairway to Heaven.” Add flair to even your bathrooms by calling them the “Backstreet Boys Room” and the “Spice Girls Room.” Just throw some Sergeants Salt and Pepper on your tables and your party is ready to rock!


What is rock ’n’ roll without the King himself? Have your MC dress up as Elvis or, better yet, hire an impersonator to host your party. Your entertainment can hand out big, glitzy Elton John glasses, and blow-up instruments so that kids can jam out like rock stars themselves — just make sure they don’t smash the instruments in true rock fashion.

Your friends and family will love to play rock party games. Get some hips swinging with a Chubby Checker Twist contest. After that, have a Michael Jackson moonwalk contest and see if your work friends can mimic the King of Pop’s signature move better than your kid’s camp friends.

You can also have a N’Sync lip-sync contest.


Give your guests a mix CD of all your favorite songs. Make the cover scream “My child’s special day” with a picture of his face on the cover of his favorite album — reminiscent of your centerpieces. For a gift guests will keep forever (or for at least two weeks) create a Rolling Stones “Tattoo You” henna tattoo station named after its famous album.

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