Friday, July 2, 2010

More Party Time

There are a lot of things crossed off of my list, but one major thing that I haven't checked off is deciding what to do about Will's 2nd birthday. Yes, I realize it is two months away, but in the next two months, I will not have a lot of time for party planning.

Last year's party was a labor of love and turned out perfectly. We had almost 40 people show up to celebrate Will's 1st birthday. The amount of preparation that I put into it was ridiculous (though worth it, the party couldn't have been better, in my not-so-humble-opinion). We also spent more money than I would have liked. I feel like parties are always that way, no matter what intentions I have going into it, at the last minute, I always justify spending more than I planned.

I promised myself last year that we wouldn't have a big to do this year. And I still want to stick to that, but I also don't want his birthday to get lost in the newborn craze. I know he is only two and won't know the difference, but I still want to make sure we celebrate his second birthday, if only for posterity. Here are my thoughts so far:

1) Have a small and simple playdate here.

We would invite just a few of his friends and their parents for a brunch on the Saturday following his birthday. I would decorate with balloons and construction vehicles (we have so many) and the cake could be a "digger." I would serve some make ahead casseroles, fruit, and some purchased pastries, just to make things as easy as possible. Pros? Breakfast food is cheap, we can keep it small, and we can decorate with things that he already has. Cons? I will have a one month old. Any sort of efforts on my part to pull together this party scare the bejeesus out of me. Yes, I will have my housecleaners still, but I will still to touch up clean and make food.

2) Have it someplace else.

We have looked at all sorts of venues, from our local kids' museum to parks. They are booking up fast, but there are still openings for the indoor locations. Pros? Well, I wouldn't have to do a thing except bring the cake and the birthday boy. This is very appealing to me. Cons? Expense. The cheapest place I've found will set us back $150 just for the basic party. If I do a cake and any other sort of snack, it only goes up from there.

So, I am still in thinking mode about this. I have found one venue that I think would be a lot of fun. And unlike most places, they charge per child. In most cases, that wouldn't be cost effective, but since we only have 8 kids coming, it would cost less to pay individually. Most places allow 15 - 20 kids for one flat rate, which is kind of a waste on a smaller group. The place is a bakery and the owner will make a cake in whatever theme you want, decorate the room with balloons, and the kids get to decorate cookies and then take a train ride. I think Will would enjoy it and it would be something different. It's still a little pricier than I would have wanted, but it does take all of the planning, cleanup, and food preparation off of my hands, which might be worth it.

But then I think, gah, I should just save the money and have it at our house. What great ideas do you have for me?


Allison said...

I was pregnant for my son's 2nd birthday and I hemmed and hawed about what to do. We ended up having a family only party with about 7 people, pirate themed, we all wore pirate patches and hats. It was PERFECT! Through the week before and after we had various peeps stop by or meet up with for gift exchanges but his actual celebration was small and perfect.

My reasoning ended up being this: he will have lots of birthdays and before long want to have a say in how they go. So, why not, when I can keep it very very simple. So I did and totally completely loved it.

My controlling self had a hard time with it even up to the day but looking back at pictures and memories it really was great and not too much for the small boy he was at the time.

Hope you find what works for your family.

HereWeGoAJen said...

Um, I vote for having it somewhere else. I mean, newborn and all. Pay to have someone else do all the work and you just show up. Go with the bakery, it sounds nice. I know it sounds like the fancier option, but my vote is that it is actually the simpler option at this point in time. Next year you'll have it at home. ;)

Nicky said...

Go to the bakery. I've been in the position of needing to plan a party while caring for a newborn (LL's bris) and trust me, I was *so* glad to not have to get the house in order! I was a little worried about the hassle of going elsewhere, but when the day came, I was sooo happy to be able to just throw stuff in the car and go.

Becky said...

I would go to the bakery as well. It sounds great! Then you can just kick back and relax a little (which is a bonus with a young baby and a toddler, lol)

S and J plus 2 said...

For my son's 3rd birthday, right before Steven left for Iraq, I had the party at the local put-pput corse. It was under $100 for all the kids to golf plus a cake and ice cream. Everyone had a blast. Is there anything up there like that? Even our 1 yr old daughter had fun carrying around a club. Best for me was that everything was provided and they had to clean up the mess, not me. :) Good luck! My vote is definately to have it away from home.

Anonymous said...

To heck with the money. Your time and convenience are worth a lot more than whatever they decide to charge! And that bakery party sounds awesome.

sophie said...

A train ride AND no mess?? Bakery.

Or, have it at your house but spring on simple prepared foods and cake from a wh*le foods type of store. That at least eliminates prep time. That way Emma can nap where and when she needs to, and Will can still have fun playing/partying with friends.

But, a train ride AND no mess...