N.K. asks from Marietta, GA on February 18, 2008
Birthday Party Ideas - Marietta,GA
My daughter's 3 year old birthday is coming up, and I am looking for party suggestions. We live in the city of Marietta and will have about 6 to 8 other children (boys and girls) attend. For the past two years, we have simply had our friends and family over to the house. However, all of our other friends seem to have more elaborate parties where they either go somewhere or rent inflateable jumpers. I guess I now feel the pressure to do something more. I was wondering if anyone has had good experiences somewhere that was not too expensive. I called "The Little Gym" but that just seemed quite pricey for a three year old's birthday party. Any suggestions?
1 mom found this helpful
C.E. answers from Atlanta on February 19, 2008
Elaborate doesn't mean better. The real plus that I see to having a party off-site is that they have to deal with the mess left behind. It's a turnkey operation. That also means you have pay for that. If you feel you can accommodate a party at home without too much issue, then do so. Three year olds are easily entertained with simple things. For some reason, the adults add layers of complexity that add stress. For my son's three year old party (my younger son was a month old at the time), we had a Play Ball person come to the house and play games with the children. Then we had pizza and cake and called it a day. For his fifth, we're going to do what we did for the fourth; borrow a friend's jumpy house, fill a pinata and have a scavenger hunt.
C.S. answers from Atlanta on February 19, 2008
I have to agree with the two ladies on the list that suggest keeping it simple. I think the two best birthday parties my kids have been to have been (1) a party for a year old baby girl that was held in a park, and (2) a party for a seven year old boy that was held in his back yard (this one was a costume party, for which my kids raided their dress-up baskets and then they played on his playset). The only issue I can think of for an at home party that you might need to deal with is parking, but if you have some sort of central pavilion in your housing complex that might be a good spot in which to hold it. and if you have a large piece of property or live in the country then of course this is not an issue. Now I will admit that to date my kids really haven't had friends over, they have a lot of cousins etc. that attend their parties and also since they are all born in June (so will my little one be this year!) they are involved in each others' parties. However, I think from my own observation that one-upping each other on the birthday party thing just doesn't work, it's mostly a competition between the parents and quite frankly it doesn't make a bit of difference to the kids. Plus as a soon-to-be mom of four, it is needlessly expensive for me. But this is coming from someone who is pretty old-fashioned about this stuff, I bake my kids' cakes and all of that, so if you're not inclined that way and want to save yourself a lot of work then maybe the prepaid party places are worth it to you. But it doesn't make a difference to the kids.
Suggestions if you want to hold something off-site: I know here in Kennesaw the City Parks and Recreations office has several party ideas in their on line brochure (like gymnastics parties, etc.). I'm not sure if there is an age limit to them but you could check it out, just Google it and there should be an online PDF. I don't know if Marietta has something similar.
Also I know there are several animal farm type places that do birthday parties for all ages, kind of like petting zoos. I think one is called Petticreek(?)Farms. I used to have the brochure for this one but don't know where I put it.
B.I. answers from Atlanta on February 19, 2008
It's been a LONG time since I had a three year old. but the Pickle Patch book store does a nice party for around 100-150.00 and they were in Marietta just off the Square. I had 20 kids come and it averaged out to about $5 a child. Treats and goodies were included or you could do your own goodie bags. I gave out Beanie Babies which were popular at the time.
I have had a McDonald's party around the same pricing and a skating party (too young for your group) and home parties. The best one my daughter still talks about is her birthday where the girls made knot blankets and they were donated to Chinese orphans.
Hope this helps,
J.M. answers from Atlanta on February 19, 2008
If you want to have the party some where outside of the house, have you tried Gymboree? That is where we held my son's 1st party. This year we had his party at home. We had a total of 14 kids (from 2 - 11 yrs. old) and 14 adults but what made it fun was that it was organized. Not just friends and family sitting around and letting the kids get wild. The party was from 4:00 - 6:30. The kids decorated their own goodie bag and then went to play with a couple of toys I left out (train table, puzzle table, leggo & block table and then various cars & trucks). When everyone arrived we eat then had organized games. I did a Elmo theme and had games, music & prizes related to the sesame street characters and increased the difficulty of the game based on the age of the child. That way all the kids could participate. Everyone won a prize regardless of how they did. The prize for each game then went into their goodie bag. We started the games with an Elmo freeze dance to some Elmo music. We then played Rubber Duckie toss - rubber ducks thrown into a baby bath tub to "Rubber Duckie You're the One" music, Feed Cookie Monster - similar to pin the tail on the donkey, older kids with blindfold try to put the cookie on Cookie Monster's mouth to "C is for Cookie", Oscar's trash throw - garbage can with picture of Oscar the Grouch on it and the kids throw in crumbled up newspaper to "I Love Trash". After the games then it was about 5 mins of free play then time for cake. After everyone finished the cake we went into the living room and my husband read an Elmo book then it was time to leave. I handed out the kids' goodie bags (I also included a homemade Elmo coloring book made from free coloring pages from the internet and a small package of crayons as a surprise gift. For food we ordered pizza, birthday cake from Publix and also had cut up fruit and chips. It was simple, organized, fun for everyone and not too expensive. Most of the ideas came from the other moms on the internet. Hope this helps.
S.L. answers from Atlanta on February 19, 2008
I would say keep it at home... if that is what you are comfortable with don't fall into the pressure of overdoing because that is what your friends feel the need to do... I was continuously pressured and made to feel guilty about NOT throwing an elaborate party for my one year old daughter when she turned one... I was glad I stuck to my guns and had just close family... most of the time those parties are for the adults... not the children... focus on your child's special day and not what others feel you should have... just my two cents... :o)
B.S. answers from Atlanta on February 19, 2008
Our god-daughters 3rd birthday was based on the book Fancy Nancy and everyone came dressed up and they did a book exchange. It is not an eloborate or expensive location, but it is a twist on an at home party. Good luck - and don't feel that you have to do what everyone else is doing. The ultimate goal is for your daughter to have a good time with her friends...and for you to be stressed (or broke) in the process!
B.W. answers from Atlanta on February 19, 2008
What do you want out of this N.? This is something I ask myself every time there I have a conflict when if comes to my daughter. If this day is about your daughter- look at what she likes and do something for her. Is her favorite thing to jump in a moon walk? Then by all means, rent one or take her and her friends to Monkey Joes. If it isn't then do something based on her interests. If you want this party to be about her friends (or yours) then and only then do you need to even feel the slighted bit of pressure to do something "more". I fully believe that every experience is a learning one. This is the time to teach her to celebrate life- not by being like everyone else, but by living and being happy in her own way. Get creative. Plan a color party- pick her favorite color and plan for everything at the party to be that color- treasure hunts for items that color, eat foods hat color, every guest wear that color. plan a party around her favorite cartoon character, story, or toy. Everything has to go with that theme. Or a cooking party- make a big mess in a kitchen when everyone learns to mix up new dips and sauces for their favorite fruits. these are fun things that little ones get a kick out of without spending alot of money- and a plus- your friends will be jealous that they didn't take the time to get creative too. good luck.
K.G. answers from Atlanta on February 19, 2008
my 7 year old went to a party at Build-A-Bear workshop and my 3 year old was there and he had almost as much fun as the older kids. If I remember right it was about $10-15 a bear. Also, Stevie B's and CiCis pizza you have an option of paying for party favors and a cake and everything or just show up and bring all your own supplies. We brought everything and all we had to pay for was the pizza and drinks