I had this wonderful - at least I thought so at the time - idea to have Evan's party at a local arcade/entertainment center - think Chucky Cheese but without the scary robotic singing animals! We take Evan there about once a month - we have become VIPs since we have been there enough over the past year - and he and Carter LOVE it there. They play in the large play place - think McDonald's times 10 - and play on some of the preschool friendly arcade games.
We were there last month, on a Friday night and the place of pretty calm. We even made fun of some of the parties going on there - BECAUSE I WOULD NEVER HAVE A PARTY AT A PLACE LIKE THAT. But wait, hold on. After we finished laughing about ever having a party at a place like this, it dawned on me! Evan loves this place, we don't have room for 15 toddler/preschoolers to be running around in our house, I don't have to clean the house before hand, I don't have to clean up afterwards AND I don't have to cook any food!
What a beautiful thing! I WAS SOLD! So after checking out the prices, we figured out that it wouldn't cost anymore to have it there than to host it at our house. So we booked it for Evan's birthday. Evan was SUPER excited!! He couldn't wait.
I couldn't wait to hang out with all of our friends and family and let the kids run loose!
One small, teeny, tiny detail. At least 10 other parents had that same idea, booked parties, and the place WAS MOBBED, besides the Saturday night teenagers who have nothing better to do than run around an arcade! We couldn't even walk without bumping into people. There were KIDS EVERYWHERE!! It was mass chaos!
You live and learn, right? Right! Note to self, DO NOT EVER book a party on a Saturday night, in the winter time, in an arcade! For some reason, it never occurred to me that the place would get that chaotic. We have NEVER seen it that busy, EVER!
The kids had a great time! I guess that is all that matters but for me, I am extremely disappointed!
Reason #1 - we paid extra for a private room. I called several days ahead and told them we would have 15 kids. The room was just big enough for the kids. There was not enough room for the 30 plus adults that accompanied those kids. So unfortunately most of the parents and family were stuck outside of the room with only a window to see what was going on. MAJOR BUMMER and really has STRESSED me ever since the party. The majority of people didn't get to see Evan sing the birthday song to himself or when he blew out the candles The whole point of having everyone come is that they can hang with the birthday boy!
Reason #2 - Because of the mass chaos of the evening and the crowded arrangements, I was so stressed that I took no pictures!! I did hand Jeremy the camera when we did the cake but that's about it. I did take a few pics of the croweded room. But if you know me, you know that I like to have pictures with the boys with everyone that is there - you know for posterity sake. I even made it a point to tell Jeremy that we needed to get a family photo while we were there, a photo with each set of grandparents and the random shots with all of his friends. Well, we got a family shot right before we left and that was it! Again, it really hurts my heart to know that I didn't get any good shots!
Reason #3 - I didn't get to socialize with all the adults there. I was running here and there and everywhere, as were all the parents there. Those kids were CRAZY! Which I knew they would be but since the place was so jammed packed with other people, us parents were stressed about keeping our eyes on our kids. So needless to say, I apologized to everyone there for my poor judgment in party times!
But on the bright side:
Evan and most of the kids enjoyed themselves! I guess that should trump all of my negative guilty emotions I am having!
After asking Evan what he favorite part of the evening was, he replied, "Mommy thanks for making me my yummy drum cake and cupcakes!" Okay fine, so maybe next year, I will just make him a cake and just invite his friends over to the house and let them run a muck in our basement.