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willaful
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31 Aug 2010, 2:22 pm

My son's birthday is coming up. This is historically a time of intense stress for me, partially because I had such a horrendous pregnancy/labor/birth experience. Anyway, arranging his party is always a nightmare for me and I honestly don't think my son even enjoys them much, other than the sweets.

So this year I decided to think outside the pinata. :lol: He wanted to go to his favorite trampoline jumping place and I suggested a pizza party afterwards. He loved the idea. We just need to find a decent pizza place nearby. (Not, God forbid, Chuck E. Cheese. :!: )

Anyway, does anyone have any tips on ways I could make it fun and festive while keeping it simple and inexpensive? I would like to have some form of party favor, for example. My son's favorite things are "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" "Calvin and Hobbes", Pacman, SuperMario and the Nintendo DSi, if that helps.


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bjtao
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31 Aug 2010, 2:56 pm

I did a Super Mario 10th bday for my son in July. I baked my own large sheet cake ($3) using cake mix and frosting. I ordered a Super Mario frosting sheet w/ all the characters on it from Ebay ($8). I also bought the icing in the can to do the red and blue icing trim ($8). I ordered baby venus fly traps on Ebay ($13) and picked up used mini pots at the flower shop ($4). I planted the fly traps in peat moss ($2) and sand from our sand box. I got a bunch of little white transformer boxes from work and drew Mario characters on them and filled them with candy ($8). For pizza, I ordered the $5 large peperoni pizzas ($25 total) from Little Caesars. We had the party at our house and had about 20 people between the kids and adults. I bought punching bag balloons, table cloths and plates/utensils from the dollar store ($10). Total cost for about 10 kids/10 adults = $81 and I way over-estimated the amount of candy, fly traps, and pizza I would need.



willaful
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02 Sep 2010, 4:41 pm

Wow, are you Martha Stewart incognito? :lol:

My son wasn't into the theme idea at all, so I may not bother -- though the other kids would probably like it. I'm thinking now of finding something as a party favor that would serve as a non-messy actitivity, since this will be in a restaurant. Not sure what. Someone recommended wikki sticks, but I'm not sure, my son gets flummoxed by crafts.


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bjtao
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02 Sep 2010, 7:23 pm

Actually I am Betty Crocker...lol. j/k

That's a hard one. Non-messy crafts for boys that you can do in a restaurant...hmmm...maybe just a little bag of cool stuff like Pez dispensers. IDK!



momsparky
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02 Sep 2010, 9:56 pm

Almost every town has a little store that sells carnival/school supplies - I've always relied on browsing the aisles at those places and finding the little toys you can get by the gross; they often have really cool ones especially if you keep your theme more general e.g. robots, army, smiley, etc. Oriental Trading is of course the big mail-order version - we're lucky to have a US Toys locally in the area. BTW - I don't know if your son is into this, but NASA has a whole birthday-party site, complete with craft projects (we did the CD hovercrafts one year, big hit, but IDK if they would work in your situation)



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02 Sep 2010, 11:03 pm

Wow, I never knew NASA had that section! I will have to check that out! Good luck w/ the party!



PunkyKat
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03 Sep 2010, 8:24 am

What about getting plan pizza crusts and letting the party guests make their own pizzas at your house? On my birthday I ususaly just had one child (I was lucky if I had just one friend) over for a sleepover (which was hard on me) and we decorated cupcakes and stayed up late watching movies and gossiping but sleepovers seem to be a girly thing.


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Last edited by PunkyKat on 03 Sep 2010, 8:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

momsparky
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03 Sep 2010, 8:28 am

A friend of mine did a pizza-making at Whole Foods (you can do it easily at home, too - they have all the stuff in separate packages;) I don't know what the cost was...but often, pizzarias will offer kids a pizza-building birthday party if you ask.



willaful
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03 Sep 2010, 10:07 am

That's an awesome idea! It needs to be at a restaurant, because the trampoline place is a far distance from us. Also, I think I will find it much less crazy making. I'll see if I can find a place that does that, and is not too loud/overstimulating.

(We're also trying to find a place that does gluten-free pizza, because we will likely have some celiac and special diet guests, that also makes it more complicated.)


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DW_a_mom
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03 Sep 2010, 12:03 pm

A bit off topic, but neither of my kids ever really enjoyed their own parties, and I threw some pretty amazing parties that all the OTHER kids loved, and talked about for months. I think it's too much chaos, too much excitement, and too much expectation. Both my kids would freak out the second something happened that wasn't within their dreamed up vision, and of course stuff liked that happened, no matter how perfectly I had planned the party.

My AS son started having hiking parties and that worked out really well. 3 or 4 friends. Take out in a park at the end of the hike.

My daughter is going with a weekend "event" this year, where she gets a mani-pedi with her best friend and maybe a sleepover, and then they meet up with a couple of more kids for a movie and dinner. 3 friends, total.

So .... I would say that my best party idea is to SHRINK the party, and reduce the chaos.


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willaful
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03 Sep 2010, 12:22 pm

Yes, keeping it small and simple is definitely my plan. I'm having some problems because my husband doesn't have the same feeling and keeps making things bigger. (This happens every year, come to think of it.) Like I asked my son which friends he wanted to trampoline with, he gave me two names, brothers, what could be easier? Next thing I know, my husband is asking other people if their kids want to go too. :roll:


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willaful
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03 Sep 2010, 12:42 pm

I just googled and found a place with gluten-free pizza and a build-your-own option, practically next door to the trampoline place. I am so happy. :D


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DW_a_mom
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03 Sep 2010, 1:34 pm

willaful wrote:
Yes, keeping it small and simple is definitely my plan. I'm having some problems because my husband doesn't have the same feeling and keeps making things bigger. (This happens every year, come to think of it.) Like I asked my son which friends he wanted to trampoline with, he gave me two names, brothers, what could be easier? Next thing I know, my husband is asking other people if their kids want to go too. :roll:


Sometimes spouses and family need a reminder on just WHOSE party it is ;) It gets really hard to remember that maybe, just maybe, a birthday party is NOT the best time to try to cement all your child's auxillary friendships (and buid bonds with all the other parents).

And, cool, on finding the gluten free / build your own place!


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angelbear
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03 Sep 2010, 2:46 pm

Hope your party turns out to be fun! Yeah, I like the keep it simple idea!! !



bjtao
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03 Sep 2010, 8:05 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
A bit off topic, but neither of my kids ever really enjoyed their own parties, and I threw some pretty amazing parties that all the OTHER kids loved, and talked about for months. I think it's too much chaos, too much excitement, and too much expectation. Both my kids would freak out the second something happened that wasn't within their dreamed up vision, and of course stuff liked that happened, no matter how perfectly I had planned the party.



At my son's AWESOME Super Mario party this past July, when he turned 10, when it was time for cake and presents he felt 'crowded'. He tried going to another room - all the kids picked up all his gifts and followed him. He walked to another room - they trailed behind him and followed him, and so on....he ended up crouched in a corner yelling at people who didn't understand what his problem was. Luckily he saw the irony of the situation and calmed down (the kids were trying to be nice by carrying the presents and he was trying to get away from them...lol). But yeah, same thing. He wants a party but when we have one, he freaks.

Last weekend we had a large party here at our house - over 50 people. I let him go to another kid's house during our party because I knew he wouldn't be able to handle it. Of course, everyone thought I was 'wrong' for letting him go somewhere else during a party at OUR house...whatever.