Thursday, January 5, 2012

Birthday party balancing act

Over the past year, we’ve been invited to several birthday parties that were held at places designed for kids, like Going Bonkers and Chuck E. Cheese.

With the quickly approaching fourth birthday of my first-born sweetie pie, Dylan, I battled with the decision of whether or not to have his birthday party at a similar type of venue.

Typically, we just invite family to our house for grilled cheese sandwiches and car-shaped cupcakes. However, with the knowledge that these places now exist, I was concerned Dylan would expect to have a like party. Plus I thought 4 years old was a good age to start inviting family friends – and I didn’t want those kids to be bored.

After talking with several more seasoned moms, I was provided with some great recommendations. After I searched the Web, did a couple of site visits and spoke to a few salespeople, I realized that the cost for those parties can quickly add up. You mean I have to rent the place for X number of kids (so RSVPs are crucial) for Y hours, and then we cannot bring in outside food (so we have to pay $$$ for their vendor-approved menu)? Yikes!

Now, I totally see the value in those party packages, but nothing seemed like a good fit for this birthday. I mean, he’s 4 years old – if we set that precedent now, where would we go when he turns five, let alone 10?!

With Dylan’s input, we landed on a superhero-themed party at the Super Secret Superhero Headquarters (a.k.a., the Forbus residence).  We’ll dress up in fun costumes, play age-appropriate superhero games, and eat cupcakes and ice cream.

Maybe we’ll look into an external venue for future birthdays, but for now, we’re keeping the celebration close to home. Plus, Dylan got a super-cool aquarium for his birthday – how in the world could we have successfully taken that to an off-site location?!

For your kiddo’s birthday parties, what’s your preference and why – D.I.Y. at home or a party package at an alternate venue?

Mandy Forbus is a Sr. Marketing Specialist at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth,  and mother of two that is ready for a superhero party.


  1. We have chosen party packages in past years, but I do find home parties to be of more centimental value as well. It is also really good to know that not every mom is going for the gusto on these parties. Really sets the expectation level PRETTY high. Thanks for a great post!

  2. it is also good to make the celebration at homes. it would be the remarkable one for you, your kid, and your all guests.
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