For the last few years, I have tried my very best to play the part of party planner for my kids. They give me a theme about 2 months ahead of time, I find a spot to do it at since our house is too small to host anything, and somehow it all falls together at the last-minute (or at least close enough together to count as a success).
After my daughter’s Alice In Wonderland Party earlier this year, I decided that we needed to take at least a full year off from me having to plan the events because I was getting worn out! We could still have a theme, but we seriously needed to hold the party at a place where kids could run free without me having to plan activities or stress too much (as if not stressing over any event in your kids’ lives is even possible). As such, when it came time to start thinking about what to do for my oldest son’s birthday, he quickly came up with his theme (“space/planets” – that’s what he’s into these days) and it was basically up to me to find an appropriate locale and come up with a cake and favors – THAT WAS ALL.
I checked into holding it at the Challenger Learning Center which would have been so great since its whole reason for existing is outer space and all things related….if not for the fact that it was RIDICULOUSLY expensive. So, I had to break the news to our son that we were still poor as Publisher’s Clearing House has not shown up yet and we needed to find an alternative location to have the party. Luckily, he is still pretty flexible when he can sense that mommy needs him to be (or when he can sense that he’s not going to get his way regardless so it’s in his best interest to be flexible). We ended up choosing the skating rink. We figured that when they did the “cosmic” skating in the dark, it would fit right in with our theme!
We invited his friends using the postcard invitations that the skating rink provided (generic, but one less thing I had to do so it worked) and then it was time to figure out the cake and goodies. The goodies came in the form of random space-related crap that I shoved into what I tried to pass off as a NASA UFO (see previous post), a book about space and a glow-in-the-dark necklace to wear while skating. It really helped that Halloween is around the corner and glow-in-the-dark stuff is EVERYWHERE!
I was debating about trying to make a space cake myself, but I remembered that I am AWFUL at baking and decorating and that I was trying to ‘take it easy’ this year, so after searching for space cakes all over town (none were to be found), we just printed a picture of the planets and took it to the local grocery store bakery where they printed the picture on edible icing. It was a little more expensive than we originally anticipated, but all we had to do was order it and pick it up. Problem solved.
All I had to do once we got to the party was welcome everyone as they arrived, hand them a necklace and sit back and watch! I tried to take pictures but nearly every one came out blurry so we only ended up with a few keepers.
There were also some moments spent chasing little brother around until a smart skate world employee suggested toddler skates for him.
All in all, the kids had a great time wearing themselves out skating and dancing;
and my work was pretty much done once we got there, with the exception of passing out the goodies and supervising cake and presents (the EASY stuff).
I need to take note so that next year when one of my kids tries to get me to plan an entire “home-style” party again, I can whip out this blog to remind me of why I decided to take a break! Now, to figure out what to do at the last minute for little brother’s birthday!