This year, we embarked upon the kids first 'friend' birthday party.
There was talk of Chuckie Cheese (since they see the ad on PBS before Aurthur), bowling (since Dean attended a bowling party), and Pump it Up (yup..Marly was invited here).
I wanted to find something unique, entertaining and affordable. I decided to check out the Bunker Park Stables and inquire about a sleigh ride.
I came home and attempted to convince Mark, Marly and Dean how cool a horse drawn trail ride would be. You see, I wanted to have FUN too. Two weeks later a Living Social Deal for the trail ride popped up, thus sealing the fate of the party.
I steered Marly & Dean away from any particular party 'theme', and encouraged 'color' choices. I purchased pennant clip art from Etsy, and the kids were happy with the simple Publisher invites I created, printed and cut.
- I included LOTS of details on the invites, including info about coffee and a place for parents to stay on site if they wanted/needed to while their kids enjoyed the party.
I picked up envelopes and Washi tape from Achievers, and the Twinners trotted to school to deliver their invitations to friends.
- The RSVP's had been counted (17 kids)
- Treat bags (with tags created to match the invites) were assembled with a rock candy sucker from Party Place. Green for boys/Pink for girls.
- The cupcakes were ordered (green frosting for Dean,/purple for Marly). I gathered little palstic dino's for Dean's toppers, and used Hello Kitty stickers to make Marly's toppers.
- On our way to the stables, we picked up a coffee 'jo to go' from Caribou for any parents who wanted to hang out in the party room.
The kids showed up at 1:30, permission slips were signed, and the kids hit the trail. Mark and Dan chaperoned the hour long ride, while Gretchen and I set up the party room.
According to Mark, the boys were rather WILD...(thus causing him to wish he had a flask along)!
- Go simple and easy with the food.
- Go with what kids like.
- Go with individual packages, so you don't need to 'serve' & minimual clean up is required.
- Costco has great choices, which can look cute with a little creativity in display.
And then it was time to open gifts. Chaos ensued.
- Have a helper mom/dad for the party.
- Dan acted as Mark's Wing Man.
- Gretchen was my helper extraordinaire doing ALL things necessary to keep a party of 17 six year olds on track. Meanwhile, I could be a fun, smiling, good, pleasant hostess to the kids and mom's and dad's alike.
We wrapped up with Marly and Dean standing on the table and politely thanked all their guests. At this point, all planned activities were complete, and then I realized it was 3:10 pm.
YIKES - I had been monitoring the time carefully (or so I thought).
There was still 20 minutes before parent pick up was scheduled. We were saved by a day of BEAUTIFUL mild, sunny Minnesota weather. The kids headed back outside and played on the snow mounds. It might have been a favorite part of the day.
Parent's arrived, were greeted, thank you's expressed, treats distributed. Meanwhile, Dan and Gretchen cleaned up the party room and loaded our car...
(and Mark and I wished for a nap, or a drink... or both).