Making birthday party planning less stressful. Yup that’s always the goal. I have all these ideas but then I’m not sure I really want to go there. Because once I go there, I really go there. And get all into it. And at this stage in our life, this year…I just didn’t have the extra bandwidth to go there. With that said, where we ended up celebrating my newly 3 year old’s birthday, well that still surprises me a bit. No offense Chuck E. Cheese but this momma just has never been a fan. We’d been to a few (totally fun) birthday parties here and there but my kids never really asked to go back. For me, the overwhelming lights and sounds of the games, thought of all the germs, plus the just okay pizza (have to admit, recently when we went it tasted better than I remembered)…and well, Chuck E. himself. Yeh, sorry that just never seemed too appealing. And again, my kids never insisted to go.
I probably sound like a party snob – and I have to set that straight right now. I most definitely am not. I think parties, wherever they are…it’s really, truly about the celebration. And birthdays should be celebrated however big or small. But I’ve always gravitated toward the idea of parties at home, or ones that are slightly more personal (two of the boys’ last parties have been Eric Carle/ Polar bear, Polar Bear themed with fun décor, thematic meals and special guests in our neighborhood clubhouse and another at a beautiful, local farm filled with wagon rides, a petting zoo, the opportunity to pick fresh veggies and pumpkins to take home). I’ve always loved the experience of doing something just a little different than the standard kid gym or fun entertainment center. But not this year.
Just earlier this month, my youngest turned three. And up until two or so weeks before his birthday, he was adamant that he didn’t want a party and instead, that he wanted to go to San Diego. San Diego is where his grandparents and cousins live. San Diego has his heart. And if that was all he wanted, I was more than good with it. But then we went to back to back parties and he started asking for his own. And he specifically asked for his party to have games and pizza. Uh oh. I knew what that meant.
I hadn’t really planned for a full scale party and I certainly didn’t plan for this type of party. I kept hoping he’d change his mind and we’d just order pizzas and have cake at my in laws…get some balloons, a piñata and maybe even rent a bouncy house that he and his brother and cousins could jump around in. But he kept asking for his birthday pizza party with games. Jeez. I’m not even going to lie, maybe I was a little excited about looking for the most bizarre bouncy house such as these you can find at rentals such as this Tarpon Springs Bounce House company and others, but it wasn’t going to be this year.
So what’s a momma to do? A standard pizza place didn’t have the games. Other places were booked with such short notice. Chuck E Cheese it was! In all honesty, the party went great. We just had family and a few friends. Was it an amazing venue? No. Was the food finger licking good? No. Did all the games and rides work? No. Did the birthday boy complain? Sure. Did Chuck E Cheese scare the crap out of my boys? Yes. Still not a fan!! But did the birthday boy and his family and friends have fun? YES!!
And guess what else was so great about this package party? It’s effortless. Easy for moms and dads who don’t have as much time these days to pull together a detailed, home grown birthday party. There are so many reasons that you may want to go this route…space, budget, time, or you just don’t want to do it!! And that is OK!
It was so easy because it’s ALL practically done for you. I just showed up with the cake and goody bags. Everyone got a prepaid card that let them play games. First we ate, then we played. Then it was time to sing happy birthday. We played some more. Kids got to redeem their tickets for a few crappy toys…sorry, but they are! Everyone was happy and we left. Done and done.
No clean up. No nothing. Did I mention it was easy.
So for you moms on the fence or pressured to have a party like I was, consider it. For you moms hat have guilt over not doing enough or having enough time, consider it.
I like this concept so much that even my older one’s party is at an indoor big kid play gym where it’s all basically handled for you. For you moms that think I am a Chuck E. Cheese hater…hate is such a strong word LOL but I know I am not alone in many moms fearing or not really liking the whole idea of it. LOL. But on a serious note, I DO NOT hate it. I just don’t LOVE It. And mainly because my boys aren’t the biggest fans of seeing that seriously scary rat but what I will say is that I am now a newly converted fan of the all-inclusive party package deal kind of place where the majority of the work, details and planning is done for you. So you, momma, can actually relax, enjoy the party and YOUR birthday kid!