01 Apr

Vintage Airplane Inspired Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Chrystal Guyette did such an AMAZING job bringing this VINTAGE AIRPLANE theme to life for her son Gavin’s birthday – from the “boarding pass” invitations mailed out envelopes fashioned from old atlases, to clever “in-flight meal style” lunches and bags of blue cotton candy adorned with cloud shaped marshmallows!

The party was actually held inside a historic KC-97 airplane that sits at their local airport (what a fun venue for the kids!), and guests participated in creative activities that were outlined in their “Junior Pilot Training Manuals“. Dad even dressed up as “The Captain” and stamped their manuals every time they completed a task!

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Read on for lots more fun, inspiring imagesincluding adorable “Jumping Geronimo” toy parachuting frogs! – plus all the creative party details from Chrystal

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party

Vintage Airplane Boys Birthday Party


, as told by Chrystal

“For my son Gavin’s 4th Birthday Party, we rented out a historic KC-97 airplane that sits at our local airport. It served as a unique venue and the kids had a blast playing with all of the controls in the cockpit.

To set the theme for the party, I created invitations to look like real boarding passes. Each of them were sealed in envelopes made from old atlases. I referred to similar invitations that others have made in blogs to help come up with the wording for them.

The amazing interior of the plane created a great backdrop for the party! I decorated the tables with light blue paper table cloths. We ran dark blue tape down each cloth to look like runways.  I cut large white clouds out of heavy glossy cardstock to serve as placemats for each place setting.  The center of each “runway” was lined with small wooden airplanes with banners attached to them using baker’s twine.  Bright blue balloons with white clouds on them were placed at the center of each table.

The cake topper was skillfully created to replicate the KC-97 airplane where we held the party.  Molded clouds were then added to the cake below the plane. Alongside the cake I placed cookies, old-fashioned candy buttons, caramels, and butterscotch. I created Fluffy cloud bags out of blue cotton candy with white could marshmallows placed into each bag.

For drinks we used plastic airline cups and lids, and served classic Coke, lemonade, and Izze Sparkling fruit drink. We used red, striped straws for the kids and adults to drink with.

The children were greeted by my husband, who pretended to be ‘The Captain‘. He handed out Junior Pilot Training Books. Throughout the party the children were to follow the book and pass each task in order to complete their mission to become a Junior Pilot. After each task they earned a special prize to help with their future flights!

The first task was to learn how to ‘Build an Airplane‘. The children were each given paper to make paper airplanes.  The paper had the history of the KC-97 airplane and folding instructions with dotted lines to fold their plane.  After this first accomplishment ‘The Captain’ stamped each of their books and handed out their very own aviator sunglasses.

The second task was to learn how to ‘Paint an Airplane‘. The children each took one of the wooden airplanes form the table. They wrote their names on the banners and were given smocks to keep them clean.  Paint was handed out and some beautiful planes were created. After this task, their books were once again stamped and they earned their very own aviator hats made of felt.

After that, the future Junior Pilots all took a lunch break. Each lunch was made to look like an airline lunch, and contained a variety of sandwiches, chips, and snacks.

Their next task was to earn a compass. We strung compasses onto leather lace, so the kids could wear them around their necks. To earn the compass, the children had to take a lesson in navigation, so outside we went to play a game of ‘Red Light, Green Light’. I created red and green flags to look like classic airplane navigator flags.

The final task was to take a test flight with their paper airplane, and all of the kids practiced getting their planes to fly as far as possible.  After that the Pilot signed certificates in the back of their books.  They were given little paper suitcases to pack up all kinds of additional goodies including ‘Jumping Geronimo’ parachuting frogs, “In Flight Entertainment” cards of various kids card games, and also ‘Fly over a rainbow Crayons‘.”



– Photography: Bryan Mikota
– Cake: Shirley Taluka’s Sweet Shoppe
– Aviator Sunglasses: Childrens Place
– Suitcase Favor Boxes: Favor Makers
– Playing cards, Wooden Airplanes, Aviator Hats, & Rainbow Crayons: Oriental Trading Company

Leave a Comment


Diane SAYS:

My hubby is turning 40 in september and this is the theme…
And the dress up will be in 70’s wear… his favourite past time – flying, and the year he was born – 73…
a perfect combo

June 4, 2013 at 4:35 am

Julie C. SAYS:

This is a great theme, and I would like to know where you found the templates for the Junior Pilot Flight Handbook. Thanks

June 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Erin SAYS:

This party was absolutely amazing!! When my daughter said she wanted an airplane birthday party, I kind of panicked..I wasn’t sure what I would do for it. Your party has provided me with a ton of ideas so thank you for sharing. I would love to know how you did the junior pilot training manual. That was my most favorite idea of yours. I was also wondering where you purchased the compasses from? Thank you so much :)

August 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Stefanie SAYS:

Hi, I am preparing a birthday party for my daughter with an airplane theme. I was wondering where you got the paper airplane folding directions with dotted lines? Thanks for your help!

October 17, 2013 at 9:42 pm


Can you tell me where you got the invitations?

December 9, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Antoinette SAYS:

Omg!!!! i love this idea i will be doing this for my sons 5th birthday, questions where did you get the manual or who created it? and the paper airplane?

January 1, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Mary SAYS:

Hi there,

I’m just loving the attention to detail in this party and would love
to recreate some of it for my son’s birthday. Can you please tell me
where you got the ‘suitcase’ goodie bags from? Also, did you design
the boarding tickets invitation cards or can you purchase them from
some place? And what about the plane making instruction sheets,
are they downloadable from somewhere? Also, the little wooden planes,
for painting…they are adorable. Where did you find them?
Many thanks!

April 3, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Patti McGinnis Schuler SAYS:

Do you happen to have the template for those great ticket invitations? This would be PERFECT for my son's birthday!

May 5, 2014 at 9:19 pm

Karolina Lobo SAYS:

Me encanta…!!!

September 19, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Leah SAYS:

How do you make the suit cases?

January 3, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Jaclyn SAYS:

Where did you get the little paper suitcases from? I am doing an Around the World Camp and would love for them to be able to have some type of suitcase.

May 20, 2015 at 12:41 pm

Marie Osborne SAYS:

Such a creative party! Do you have the boarding pass invitation template to share? I am willing to pay for the download! Thank you!

June 17, 2015 at 6:21 am

Emily SAYS:

Love the suitcase bags!! how did you make them??

September 27, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Karen SAYS:

The details are amazing! Where did you find the suitcase bags and stamps?

March 7, 2016 at 7:09 pm
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