“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” birthday party

Theresa and I each have two daughters and one son. Our older girls were born four days apart, and so each year we throw a joint birthday party for them. The first few years were easy to plan, as the girls didn’t have strong opinions on the theme. Now that they are a bit older, though, it can be a real challenge.

Our two girls are often total opposites: one is a bit of a tomboy, while the other is very girly. One does dance, and the other takes taekwondo. Though their interests are fairly dissimilar, they are close “cousin-friends,” so when it comes time to decide on a theme for their party, Theresa and I spend quite a bit of time beforehand prepping ideas that we think both of our girls would enjoy.

We sold this party idea to the girls based on the rainbow cakes alone. Who doesn’t love a rainbow cake? We also chose to incorporate some elements from The Wizard of Oz.


Cake & dessert ideas:

  • Rainbow layer cakes: Using a set of small (about 6″) round cake pans, dye white cake batter red, orange, yellow, green, and blue or purple. Make a double batch of buttercream icing, and frost the top of each layer and then stack them in a rainbow pattern. Frost the sides and top of the cake and decorate with Skittles, if desired.
  • Rainbow-layered jello parfaits: layer red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple jell-o with whipped cream.
  • Make Emerald City Cupcakes: Dye white cake batter green and bake as cupcakes. Frost with green buttercream frosting, or use white frosting and sprinkle with green sanding sugar.
  • Rainbow sherbet.

Food ideas:

  • Rainbow vegetable tray (with bowls of Ranch dip for clouds): grape tomatoes, carrots, yellow peppers, cucumbers, and purple carrots.
  • Rainbow fruit kabob tray (with bowls of fruit dip for clouds): watermelon or strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, green grapes or kiwi, blueberries, purple grapes.
  • Make a Yellow Brick Road out of cheese and crackers (yellow cheeses and rectangular crackers work best).
  • Make a field of poppies by cutting sliced summer sausage with a small flower-shaped cookie cutter.
  • Serve a favorite appetizer wrap recipe as “Kansas Twisters.”
  • Make Glinda’s Star Wands: Make cream cheese-jelly sandwiches and cut out stars with cookie cutters. Insert a pretzel stick in one end.
  • Make Emerald City Punch: Combine in a punch bowl lime sherbet, lemon-lime soda, and pineapple juice.

Decor ideas:

  • Play The Wizard of Oz movie soundtrack for background music.
  • Have The Wizard of Oz movie playing on a tv.
  • Make a rainbow balloon arch.
  • Cut “Happy birthday!” and the birthday child’s name out of different colors of cardstock and arrange in rainbow order. Hang in a prominent location.
  • Have your child color pictures of rainbows (or pages from coloring books with rainbows on them).


  • Have your children dress up as a favorite character from The Wizard of Oz. Take a picture of them to use on the invitation.
  • Have the background of your card be strips of colors in rainbow order, top to bottom or left to right.
  • Use clipart to include a rainbow in the background, or a favorite character from the movie.
  • Print your child’s name in rainbow colors.

Activity ideas:

  • Play “pin the cloud on the rainbow.”
  • Play musical chairs using one of the songs from the movie.

Favor ideas:

  • Anything with rainbows!
  • Make up color-themed goody bags, and set them out as decorations (i.e., the red bag would have red toys, etc.).
  • Small fun-size bags of Skittles.
  • Toy wands.
  • A stuffed toy dog, like Toto.

About Cooking for the Fam

Katie and Theresa are sisters-in-law who are passionate about food, passionate about family, and passionate about making and sharing food with their families. The Fam needs to eat. Make it good!
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