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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?

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I have 3 children and have been doing years of birthday parties...most of their first 10 year ones at home due to budgetary constraints. I have found some of the most enjoyable parties for the little girls which are quite economical...dress up tea parties...with a trunk full of mom's closet items, or thrift store goodies, a couple of feather boas and some cheap costume dollar store jewelry. This also makes for fun pictures. If you have access to a polaroid or could print out digital pics right away, you could send a picture home in a construction paper folder the girls could decorate w/ stickers as a party favor. Teddy bear parties are fun where you invite them to invite their bear and have bear punch, teddy grahams, etc...Also big girl parties where they get to use makeup & finger nail polish are fun. If you are a little creative, you can do simple face painting. Just get the .87 washable non toxic acrylic paint in the bottles @ Walmart craft dept. Dilute 50/50 ratio w/ liquid kitchen soap. Stays on well, washes off well, gentle to the skin. Pick her favorite character & go with that... some of our favorite theme parties have been my little pony, troll parties, power ranger parties, blues clues parties, toy story parties. Most of these are pretty easy to decorate for or create games w/ the existing things you already have relating the that theme, since it's your child's favorite. Outdoor park parties are always fun too, as long as you have a back up provision or rain date pre scheduled due to inclement weather. In our area, the parks & rec dept. reserves the pavillions in our park system if you call in advance. The service is free, and the kids love the great outdoors. After they play, and eat cake, you could spread out a blanket and read your child's favorite story. Kids really appreciate these simple things. It's something different than another inflatable. You can still be the coolest mom on the block even if you can't spend a lot, as long as your are creative. Good luck, have fun, and don't stress. They only turn 3 once.

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One simple not so expensive idea is Chuck E. Cheese. That way you don't have to totally entertain. If you choose this option make sure to bring your own B-Day cake, theirs is pretty gross. Also, try a Gymnastics party. When my daughter turned 3 we had a gymnastics party it was great she and her friends really enjoyed it. One last suggestion is a bowling party.

N.,
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,
Barbara
deaffmommie

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.

J.

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)

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

Hi N.,
I actually just had my 2-year old daughter's birthday at The Little Gym, as it was the cheapest place I could find in the area. We are a member there, though, so I think we got a discount. But it was so nice there! The instructors entertained the kids and ran the party for the whole 1 1/2 hours that we were there. I basically walked in with the cake and walked out at the end of the party. No cleanup!! They even supplied drinks, paper products, balloons. It was GREAT!!! Best money I ever spent on a birthday party.

Another place I looked at as well that were reasonable:
Gymnastics Academy of Atlanta (Stanley Rd. Kennesaw, Ga)
Phone: ###-###-#### www.gaacentral.com

Hope this helps!

When my son turned 3 I went to Chic-fil-a where there was a indoor playground for him and his friends (6 kids w/parents) to play. They had a great time and the people at Chic-fil-a were very helpful. My thought process was Chuckie Cheese is to busy and I can't keep my eyes on everyone and I could at Chic-fil-a.

I order a small tray of nuggets, severl large fries and some fruit cups for the kids to eat and their parents. I got a gallon of Lemonade for them to drink. I brought in my paper suplies and cupcakes instead of a cake less mess.

I just sat back and let the kids play. Everyone seem to enjoy it.

Last year we had our daughters 3 year old birthday party at East Cobb Park. There is one paviliion you and reserve - there is no charge. All others pavilion's are first come basis. Other than the fact that I had to run people out of the pavilion to set up for the party it was great and the kids loved it. We kept it simple but the kids had a great time on the playground.

Let's see...for our daughters 3 year old party we had a tie dye party. We had friends over and had everyone bring something they wanted to be tie dyed. We also had a pinata, not sure of the spelling. We had it outside, so they could make a mess. They have a product you can get to help get the dyes off their hands. We had two cakes, one ice cream and one regular. We all had a great time and she still has her tie dyes, one was a wash cloth. You could rent a jumpy thing, call around for specials. Birthday parties should really not have to cost so much. If you start now, it will only get more expensive as the years go on to "keep up with the Jones".
Use it as a learning for your child.

I wouldn't worry about giving her an expensive party at this age... you will not impress the kids only their parents... children like to play, sing, and be with their 'friends'.... a nice 'goody bag' will be the only reminder they'll have... I used to string Christmas lights, have plenty of baloons that hung and were on the floor and had children's music playing..... I made my own icecream cone cakes (each child had his own cone of cake, no plates or forks, they were always a big surprise.... have fun, enjoy... and the kids will too

Check out jumpits.com they are in marietta they are located from
Acworth Due West in a little shopping strip across from Great Harvest Bread Co. I like this place best since they have jummpy inflatable's that aren't to big and over whelming. It's clean and the staff is very friendly. They have different prices depending on the day of the week and time or if you have the place resv just for your self. I myself have never had one of these parties but have went to many my kids like this kids the best. We've even went to parties that have clowns and face painting. I know for a March birthday you never know what the weather will be like so it's hard to plan outside parties. I think whatever you do she'll be happy she's in the spot light for that day. Martha Stewart has some great party ideas for kids things to hand out, cakes etc..
best of luck on what you go forward with.

Hi N.,
I'm hoping that you'll be the one not to bow to that kind of pressure for a three year old. Going to those kinds of places and dealing with that for three year olds is not necessary. A little imagination and creativity will make them happy and you'll please the children more because it will be fun and different.

Six to eight children of that age is quite a few. Do you have help? (unless there's help, a good rule of thumb is one child for every year that they are old) If so, then I'd suggest having a party at your house. Why not a dress up party or a tea party where they each bring their favorite plushie/stuffed animal/doll and you serve them party food on miniature plates, etc along with the children? Many of the kids would love an opportunity to wear a costume, or do something that is silly. Play games, have a treasure hunt, or things like that. Have lots of activities planned and I promise, the kids will have fun.

If you can't tell, I'm really hoping that you'll find a creative way to have them at your house and save money. A three year old isn't going to remember whether or not you rented an inflatable, or took them to an expensive kids place.
There are tons of books about theme parties for kids that have age level appropriate games, food, and even invitations. Have fun with it.

And be sure to keep the length of the party pretty short. It will work better for all of you. 2 hours is probably the longest that you want for kids that age.

Good luck and I hope you have the kind of party that you want for your little girl.

M.

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