Growing up I do not really remember going to a lot of birthday parties. What parties I do remember were mostly family events and vague memories of childhood friends family parties that we were invited to. I am not sure if this was just the era we grew up in or if my small group of friends, like my family, did not do parties like I am experiencing with my kids.
Even before having kids of my own, I worked for a company who provided entertainment for kids birthday parties. This was more than I was used to but most of the parties I worked or observed were in home parties and the 60 min of entertainment was a nice break for the parents. Still not what I was used to growing up.
Now that my son is 5 and invited to more and more birthday parties, he is starting to ask and plan for his party in March! To date we have always done family parties and the last two years inviting some friends to meet us somewhere like Chuckie Cheese to play and have cake. I am beginning to think he feels left out after attending parties at Bounce U, Sky Zone, My little Gym, Science Seeds and one tomorrow at iPlay America that have 20+ children there.
With our life right now, this has not really been an option. The cost of these parties are easily a weeks worth of pay if not more. I was originally thinking a small gathering at our home for his next party. He will be 6 so he gets to invite 6 friends, not including family. If the weather is nice they can play outside if not its a small enough number that the basement can handle it! I know enough tricks from preforming at parties to give it some entertainment and the cost down. It worked great when he wanted a costume party. Now he is begging for a Bounce U party where he can invite his entire class.
I am not sure if that is in the cards for us, but with several more months to plan we may be able to compromise. I am hoping with some diligent planning and budgeting we can work out a deal with the location, All Heart Academy, where our son takes Ninja Warrior course training. They have a birthday package that includes a free month for the birthday child, if we can apply that to the party it should be doable. Not exactly what he wants but I think a good compromise of being able to invite his class mates and friends while keeping it simple. I hope!
Right now I am thankful our daughter has not experienced the party invite craze yet and we can still get away with cake at home . . . not to plan a Let it go/Elsa and triceratops themed day for her third birthday in December!