My older son recently turned 13 and because it’s a milestone birthday something extra special was in order! Of course now he’s a teenager and planning something he and his friends would consider “cool” did present something of a challenge. I was up for the task!
When considering what direction this party would take there was only one clear choice: Video Games! Simon has never met a video game he didn’t like! I know I’m not the only parent with a video game fanatic on her hands and I’m sure some of you can probably relate.
Gone are the days of cute little kids running around our house and yard, these teenagers are big, loud and not just a little smelly, this party had to be anywhere else! We considered hiring a video game truck, but our street doesn’t really lend itself to that and I’m sure they’d find their way back inside the house in no time. Another option was hitting up the arcade at a nearby mini golf place, but I’m not a big fan of games that spit out tickets and something a little more private seemed in order…
Enter the High Scores Interactive Arcade Museum located in Alameda, California. High Scores focuses mainly on the classic games of the 1980s and is available to rent for private parties or events. The decor is classic video game arcade with a jukebox and laser lights thrown in for effect. All the old favorites are present, Mario Bros, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Paper Boy, Frogger, even my personal favorite Crystal Castles! You name it they’ve got it!
We weren’t in the arcade 5 seconds before the kids, and most of the adults, made a direct beeline for the games! We took a break for cake toward the end of the party, but otherwise the “kids” had two blissful hours of nonstop play!
High Scores was a huge success! The time flew by and no one wanted to go home at the end. I might be going out on a limb here, but I have a feeling the goal of throwing Simon a “cool” party was achieved! If you’re in the Bay Area or are planning a visit this place is definitely worth checking out. Its open to the public Wednesday thru Sunday and payment is per player/per hour so you won’t need coins or tokens.
Twice a year I make an elaborate cake, one for each boy’s birthday. They get to pick the design. In keeping with our retro video game theme Simon asked that I make replicas of the controller from the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). I enjoy baking, but what I love more is the challenge of decorating the cake! Game on!
How To Make NES Controller Cakes – Player 1 & Player 2
NES Controllers are long and thin, so I decided to make two one layer cakes for a more realistic effect. Two 9 x 13 cakes were baked and trimmed to the desired size. The printed template measured two times the size of the original controllers.
The cakes should be completely cooled before you trim them to size and then covered in a thin layer of buttercream.
Next you’ll want to prepare the fondant. I wanted light grey, so decided to make it myself using black food paste and white fondant. Using a toothpick add small amounts of the black food dye to the fondant and then knead until you achieve the desired color.
After rolling the fondant out transfer it to a piece of parchment paper and roll it up. When you are ready you can unroll the fondant right onto your frosted cakes.
Once the cakes have been covered with the base layer of fondant its time to start cutting out the small detail pieces. Use the template as a guide and remember to cut two sets of each shape if you’re making two controllers. A dab of water is all you need to “glue” the individual pieces together. The “cord” was made of black licorice.