No matter where I’ve worked, I’ve always had teens that were engrossed in Pride and Prejudice. Usually it started with the movie versions and then they devoured the rest of Austin’s works. However, with the movie version of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies coming out in two weeks, it has gotten a whole new group of teens vastly interested in Victorian times and culture. I’ve done steampunk style for previous events, but with the amped up interest, it got me thinking. Why not put together a twist on a traditional Victorian tea by making it a zombie tea party to celebrate the launch of the new movie? Invite attendees to dress in their favorite period gear if they desire, pull not not only the two base books but those related to tweak interest, and have an afternoon zombie tea party.
There are a ton of sources, in print and on the internet, to give you inspiration. A quick Google search alone pulls a ton of researches, and that doesn’t touch Pinterest. Then there are those that are described in fictional books set in the time period (cough) and informational books that look to accurately recreate the time period. After looking through a bunch, I found consistency within these:
- lemonade, tea, or a mix of the two
- delicate small sandwiches
- small, bite-sized cookies
- elegant little sweets
- decorations for the middle of the tables
Now, you could certainly throw a traditional Victorian tea party reception, but where would the fun be in that? We’re talking about zombie slaying young ladies, after all. So take things and throw a little twist into it.
- Take the lemonade and turn it into limeade- some of the ones you find can come in a nice, bright green shade
- Make up a batch of electric green Kool-aid or other green sugary sweet punch available in your local store
- Serve green tea
- Make up batches of eyeball ice cubes to put in your punch bowl or plain blueberries frozen in round ice cubes
- Take this recipe for orange marmalade sandwiches and flip it to lemon with a bit of food coloring, or add in green sprinkles
- Serve up checkerboard sandwiches but replace the tomatoes and olive garnishes with little zombie figurines
- Create these artichoke and cheese spread rollups and cut them to look like severed arms
- Take mozzarella cheese sticks, cut green peppers, and a tiny bit of cream cheese to make zombie fingers
- I have lost count of how many times I’ve used my brain jello mold. Zombie parties, fear factor challenges, Minute to Win It contests, lock-ins… This thing has been worth it over and over. I got mine at a Halloween supply store one year (spent my own money so I could keep it) but you can find them anywhere online. Use this for rainbow jello, green jello, or anything else that will set. It’s especially good for creepy looking ambrosia.
- Take the traditional fruit pizza and dye the color of the sugar cookie dough or the cream cheese to a wonderfully gross color: green, lurid yellow, or purple seem to be the most popular with my teens
- Oreo truffle balls are easy to make, and you can take white chocolate disks or red candies to turn them into eyeballs extremely easily
- You can make flavored butters extremely easily (you’d be surprised), and with a little creative labeling they can turn into nice zombie spreads. Chocolate Hazelnut or creamy brown sugar butter turns into zombie goo, olive or rum raisin butter turns into gibblet jam, etc.
DECORATIONS and ACTIVITIES
- You can find paper doilies at any party supply store, or if you want to put the time and effort into it you can take some scissors to paper and make your own. For added ambiance, take a dark red marker and “splash” some blood and cut slashes to make it seem that they’ve been through a battle or two
- Since it’s wintertime, keep to the winter theme and take what flowers and plants are seasonal in your area to set in the middle of the table. Alternatively, get bare branches for the dead theme.
- If you want to have more than just food, think about having a craft or two to go with it. You can get blank ceramic tea cups online or at your local craft store, and Forever Young Adult has a wonderful article on what they did at a ceramic store. If you want to be more modern, you can get design your own coffee travel tumblers and washi tape.
- My teens can’t seem to get enough of duct tape. Get some in patterns that seem to go with the Victorian Style and have them make roses for corsages.
- Let them loose with your good craft paper, decorative paper, and odds & ends and have them make top hats and mini top hats. This tutorial from Tally’s Treasury is for a really long lasting hat (hence the layers of lacquers) but you can get the idea.
What do you think? What awesome things would you for a Zombie Tea Party?