BKLK_101_featured image_Back To The Future 2 II theme birthday party_delorean cake_marty mcfly & doc emmet brown funko pop figures

Back To The Future Theme Birthday Party for a 3 Year Old!

There are those who have accused us of hijacking Little E’s 3rd birthday party by choosing a Back To The Future theme. Do you know what I say to those people? I say, “HOW DARE Y… Oh, wait. Yep, totally.”

Back To The Future part 2 II

Phenom-A-Mum was BEYOND excited that 2015 was the year of the future in Back To The Future Part II and that the official date, 21st of October, fell within Little E’s birth month. So there was never any discussion of dinosaurs, aeroplanes, Tinkerbell, Hulk or anything else that Little E actually likes; it was BTTF from the get-go. (We haven’t even shown him the movies!)

Now, there are times in a marriage when things can become a little strained and this party was ours. Phenom-A-Mum just wanted an excuse to dress up whereas I’m an anal retentive stickler. If we’re going to pick a theme then we’re damn well going to do it properly! So I made the pair of us watch the future section of Back To The Future 2 numerous times, poring over any minuscule details we could find to turn into a party idea.

And here is what we came up with:

Party Decorations

Okay. We had the greatest Back To The Future decoration in  mind that would have melted our guests brains: a real DeLorean! It was as easy as calling a good friend, to ask his dad, who owns one of the few scattered across the country. Except that they were out of the country. So no photo opps for anyone.

In an effort to turn Phenom-A-Mum’s frown into an upside-down frown we put on our nerd hats and came up with these, almost-as-cool consolation decorations:

Balloon flame trails


Orange and yellow balloons tied in a line to imitate those trademark flame trails the Delorean leaves as it scorches through time. These were a great idea, or so it seemed. Phenom-A-Mum disappeared outside to set them up and a moment later I could hear a flurry of POPS!

BKLK_101_double_balloon delorean flame trail_orange & yellow_3rd birthday party_back to the future part 2 II theme_time machine delorean cake_marty mcfly fancy dress

Perhaps I shouldn’t have bought the balloons from a $2 shop. But the concept was there.

Cafe 80’s sign

cafe 8os movie imageAs most of the food that can be found in the future segment of BTTF2 appears in the awesomely farcical Cafe 80’s retro diner, we decided to adorn our food table with that very same sign. My creatively talented wife freehand upscaled it onto the side of a HUGE cardboard box.

BKLK_101_Cafe 80s sign being painted_3rd birthday party_back to the future part 2 II theme

I would show you a picture of the finished product but it got recycled before I remembered my camera. It was amazing, you can take my dad-word for it.


Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 3.55.16 pm

What better decoration than good ol’ bunting? Especially when it was hanging from the DeLorean right before it got lightning zapped back to 1885!

BKLK_101_DeLorean coloured bunting_flags on string_CleverPatch cardboard pack_Back To The Future Part 2 II theme birthday party

A bundle of coloured cardboard triangles, some string and a stapler. BOOM! Instant wall distracter.

Paper props

youre fired print out back to the future part 2

The other decorations are cool but we weren’t covering much physical space so it was time for a quick, cheap and effective approach. I downloaded this “You’re Fired” printout from the interweb:

youre-fired_back to the future paper prop print out image.jpg
Click the image to find a full size png downloadable.

Our plan was to have these hanging out of small boxes on the fence (pretending to be futuristic printers) but, when the rain poured down to ruin our exterior plans, the copies ended up in the bottom of a to-do box never to bedazzle our visitors minds.

The very cool Jaws 19 poster from the background in the BTTF2 film made a super snazzy pin up all on its own (in fact, it’s so cool that I’m going to frame this baby and hang it in the one-day-to-happen man cave)!

Jaws 19 poster_back to the future 2

Click here to download the large-size Jaws 19 movie poster image.


We fine-combed through the movie and discovered only a limited amount of food that appears within the 2015 future scenes, so we improvised a bit:

La Bamba Fajita Tortilla Pita

BKLK_101_double_La Bamba Fajita Tortilla Pita_Cafe 80's food_3rd birthday party_back to the future part 2 II theme_time machine delorean cake_marty mcfly fancy dressThis may be the hardest food to decipher from any film, ever! We listened over this scene of the Cafe 80s on-screen Michael Jackson impersonator about 20 times:

We eventually worked out that he says, “…Try our La Bamba fajita tortilla pita. It’s got a hot salsa, avocados, cilantro mix, with your choice of beans, chicken, be-be-beef, or pork.
And so that’s what we made! 2kg of beef strips, 2 kg of pulled pork, 2 shredded roast chickens and the beans… well, I forgot to put them out. I had cans of black beans and refried beans ready to crack open though, in hindsmell, my nose is glad that I forgot.

BKLK_101_double_LaBamba Fajita Tortilla Pita being eaten and enjoyed_YUM_3rd birthday party_back to the future part 2 II theme_time machine delorean cake_marty mcfly fancy dress

The fajitas were a fa-hit-a!

Rehydrated Pizza Hut pizzas


The movie essentially planned this for a kids party! Tiny dehydrated pizzas for the kids and rehydrated big ones for the adults. Themed gold!

I had grand plans to relive last year’s dad-epic and cook up a feast, but I wasn’t working back then, nor co-parenting two smidgets. Phenom-A-Mum is smarter than I am and foresaw my intention to hand-knead and bake my own as a fool’s errand (nicer than she put it). So she hopped onto the phone and ordered a veritable mountain of Pizza Hut pizzas (keeping in line with the movie) with just cheese on them.

BKLK_101_double_futuristic pizza hut dehydrated pizza_homemade version_green pepper capsicum and pepperoni_3rd birthday party_back to the future part 2 II themeOn the day of the party, after the rather surly delivery dude dropped the box-column off, my dedicated sister-in-law hand cut massive slices of pepperoni into mini ones (I went cheapo again and bought bargain processed meat that turned out to be big, Big, BIG chunks) and decorated the cheese-only circles with those and green capsicum, just like in the movie! Dedication to the theme, that’s what it’s all about.

Jaws 19 jellies

Jaws19-back to the future part 2Beyond bananas, there’s not much else food-wise in the future and we were going to be faced with a typhoon of teeth-gnashing toddlers on the hunt for sugar bender, so we needed to come up with something to keep them happy AND fit the strict theme regime.

Last year, the munchkins loved the traditional frog in a pond (Freddo in blue jelly). With a minor twist this was transformed into Jaws 19 jelly!

BKLK_101_double_Jaws 19 jelly cups_blue aeroplane jelly and orange slice fins_3rd birthday party_back to the future part 2 II theme_time machine delorean cake_marty mcfly fancy dress

Blue jelly in a cup with a half slice of orange hammered in mid-way through the setting process. Just like little orange-finned man-killing fish!

Clock face cupcakes


The cake was a whole lot of… actually, I’m going to leave the cake to another post. Because it is that flippin’ AWESOME! But it wasn’t a very big cake; definitely not enough to feed the 40+ attendees of Little E’s birthday party. A substitute cake was needed and Phenom-A-Mum suggested making cupcakes as they would be easier to deal with than icing an entire second cake.

As mentioned before, there was no way I was going to let people eat regular un-themed cakes. That’s sacrilege! So we grabbed a pack of Tic Toc biscuits and, without too much extra work, turned them all into BTTF Clock Face Cupcakes. Very themed and very delicious (I hear. No one saved me one. Sad face emoji)

BKLK_101_double_eggless chocolate clock face cup cakes_tick tock biscuits arnotts_3rd birthday party_back to the future part 2 II theme_time machine delorean cake_marty mcfly fancy dress

We had concepted a few other sweet BTTF treats but ran completely out of time by the day, so canned them and just put out bowls of cheezels and lollies. Ah, those grand plans.


Not wanting to freak out those parents who don’t share our passion for public humilation, we decided to make BTTF themed fancy dress optional. Also, we had a feeling that we’d just end up with a hundred puffy-vested Marty McFlys!

Phenom-A-Mum cobbled together a 1985 Marty costume for Little E. There’s no photo to show because by the time I’d grabbed the camera he had lost patience and turfed the clothing.

Her own costume was a cool, op-shop sourced interpretation of grey-haired future Jennifer but, again, there’s no photo because not a single person managed to snap one throughout the day. This is the closest we got:

Future Jennifer costume_hidden_back to the future part 2

Her costume is hidden behind the trampoline. But check out her awesomely talcum-powdered faux-grey hair!

Amidst costuming herself and Little E, Phenom-A-Mum lived up to her moniker by sorting out my costume as well and it was a lot more work! She cast me as older, future Marty (to match her silvered Jennifer) and spent two nights painting two ties so that I could look like this:

BKLK_101_Dad wearing old Marty McFly double sun tie costume_3rd birthday party_back to the future part 2 II theme_time machine delorean cake_marty mcfly fancy dressHow awesome is that costume?! A double sun tie that meets perfectly to form one picture. My wife is a very talented and overworked woman! Her efforts were so good that everyone worked out who I was within seconds.

Back To The Birthday Part III

It was a success! I haven’t included any photos of the overall par-tay because our last minute relocation to the living room, as the clouds emptied their fluffy bladders on us, threw out our plans for decorating properly. The balloon flame trail popped, the bunting is still hanging on a hook in the laundry and the “You’re Fired” print outs were neglected.

But the food, oh the food! It was tummy yummy. And I discovered that talcum powder not only turns your hair grey but also acts as a dry shampoo. Random.

If you want to also completely ignore your child’s interests and put on your own Back To The Future theme birthday party for your three year-old then feel free to download this cool BTTF font title I mocked up. Great for the themed invite:

Back to the future theme party birthday invite title

Time to start preparing for Little L’s first birthday party next year! But what theme to choose? 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of Labyrinth, Short Circuit & Big Trouble In Little China. I already know which one Phenom-A-Mum will be voting for, but I reckon I could knock up a mean Lo Pan outfit!

If you hijacked your child’s birthday party, what theme would you choose?

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David Hawkins

Half nerd, all Dad & Founder of Big Kid Little Kid, the go-to blog for Awesome Dads. David is on a personal mission to become a more awesome dad to his two sons and teach them all the facets of being a major nerd. NES-off anybody?
  • Karen Wasson

    Great Scott, It looked awesome!! I would hijack with a Labyrinth themed party, that’s the dream, I bet Phenom-A-Mum would be with me 😉

    • David Hawkins

      I think Labyrinth is likely to appear at our place at Phenom-A-Mum’s earliest opportunity! I better go buy myself a red and white striped onesie.

  • Hahaha your attention to detail is amazing!!! No hover boards, though? 😉

    • David Hawkins

      The hoverboard was in the works but we ran out of time! We were going to run a Hoverboard Limbo game, where the kids limbo under a pink skateboard that has hd the wheels removed and been painted. We bought the board, and that’s as far as we got.

  • Debs

    haha, nice work! Looks like a lot of fun to prepare and well enjoyed on the day! Some very clever ideas there!
    I find with my party posts, the hardest and most stressful part is getting the photos on the actual day. I think I’ve almost figured it out now. I make sure that I have the party in the afternoon so that I have the morning to set up and then quickly snap a photo of EVERYTHING (that I can remember… I always miss something) before the guests get there. My kids now have a routine of staying the night at Nana’s place the night before a party so that we can set-up without them around, which a) makes it much easier and b) makes for an awesome surprise for them when they arrive home just before the guests come. Can’t wait to see the upcoming 1st birthday party. You’ve still got a while to plan that one out! haha. Great job overall!

    • David Hawkins

      Thanks Debs! I think it was fun but was so busy that I don’t remember anything except the pile of washing up that was left. LOVE your brilliant idea to shift the kids the night before! We could have gotten so much more done if not for the lengthy bedtime routine for the munchkins. And photos were on my to-do list but underneath other things I didn’t get around to. Luckily our niece is a budding photographer and she did a bang-up job with my camera – without her it would have been a very wordy post!

  • Tash from Gift Grapevine

    Wowsers – you’ve just upped the ante when it comes to cool themed birthday parties. I love how you and Phenom-A-Mum really got into the whole theme, complete with great costumes and true to the film ideas. I’d love to see what you two could do with Labyrinth just for the costumes alone. I say save Short Circuit for Little E’s 5th birthday. “Number 5 is alive” is rather fitting :)

    • David Hawkins

      It’s good fun, if not exhausting work, to be as anal retentive as I am. Only about silly geek-themed parties though, nothing else in life. Weird. I’m hoping Phenom-A-Mum decides to go all Labyrinth for Little L’s first party next year; I’ve got some pairs of socks that are itching to jump into the crotch of a purple leotard so that I can do my best Bowie impersonation!
      Short Circuit for a 5th birthday is a BRILLIANT idea Tash! Just gotta convince Little E.

  • So many freaking awesome ideas in this one post. Damn you are a hard act to follow dude. Deadset, I wish I could go back to being a kid and have you adopt me! 😉

    • David Hawkins

      Thanks Sonia! I felt really bad as this party got left to the last minute so thrilled that it gets your big thumbs up. If you wanna travel interstate you’re welcome to any of our parties!

  • Oh this is one ideas post. I love all the 80’s references and going ah ha to all of them. I should show this to Mr A and get him to be in charge of the next party. Hmmm I have a feeling it would be something to do with mountain bikes.