Once a year the level of anxiety rises as you approach the day to celebrate your offsprings Birthday. Depending on their age you wonder if a house gathering or an outside venue will be the choice. In an instant you can be thrown into a frenzy of preparation, invitation, and exasperation. So you might ask, where to begin?
It's easy when your prodgeny is born you already celebrated them with the baby shower. The 1-5 yr old ages get spent at parks, gyms, rented rooms in apartment buildings or at a restaurant that caters to the grownups as well as the kids. When the child goes to Elementary school from the ages of 5-10 yrs old it becomes trickier-do you opt out of in school birthday parties and have them at home, or do you have themed parties at places like 92Y (www.92y.org), Jodis Gym (www.jodisgym.com), The Art Farm in the City (www.theartfarms.org) Karate, Chucky Cheese (www.chuckecheese.com), NYSC (www.mysportsclubs.com) or restaurants with private spaces for just the kiddos.
No matter the choice the theme is always the same, give the children a fun time they can remember until the next year, and lest we not forget, their guests will remember too. The key to having a successful party is to have guests who refuse to leave after the requisite number of hours is exhausted insisting on, just one more!
Being a parent to school aged children the annual ritual has been a tradition in my family as well. This last year was tricky-having done all the requisite venue, themed parties with super heroes, and the latest kids movie characters, it was time to make a change. When your now 11 year old boys come to you and say, "forget about a party and just get me a tablet, your response could be, "and miss all the fun-no way".
Well this Mom certainly wasn't going to dissappoint the kiddos-off to the designing of a party that was unique and fun. Beginning in the A.M. the 7 boys met at the E 54th street City Parks Dept recreational facility (www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/recreationcenters/M130) to shoot a few hoops and receive top notch instruction. If that weren't enough to make the kiddos happy, the next stop was at Mickey D's for chicken nuggets, french fries, and hamburgers.Each child walked away with the latest movie souvenior as a momento of the birthday meal.
If that wasn't enough the day continued on to the Sony Wonder Technology Center (www.sonywondertechlab.com) to spend close to 3 hours at hands on electronic enjoyment. By the way did I mention that the only event money was needed for was the lunch meal. One more requsite item was the chocolate on chocolate sheet cake from Costco had back at the home of the birthday boys.
When the party came to a close not one child wanted to leave. Living in New York City doesn't have to mean that you mortgage your home to give your offspring a birthday party to remember. There are many wonderful places for little to no money that can satisfy even the toughest tyke.