We’ve had home birthday parties and parties at jumpy places, gymnastics places, swim places, a farm, and a movie theater. Some people prefer home birthday parties and some are kind of snooty about it, noting that venue places are so expensive. Venue places are easy, that is for sure: you walk in, sometimes with cupcakes, sometimes that’s covered too, and you walk out, without worrying about cleaning up dirty plates, cups, or blue frosting stains. It hurts, though, handing over the credit card or writing the check for a lump sum that feels large, even though it wouldn’t register close to the cost of any of the Real Housewives kids’ parties. Plus, there are the tips too, which don’t always feel earned. But I’d remind myself that there is the great feeling of walking out at the same time as your guests, stress-free.
This year my daughter opted for a home party. After last year’s Megamind party during the movie’s opening weekend that was also a rainy day where we had to be flexible with times, struggled to get seats at the pizza place, seats together in the theater, and concessions for all, a home party seemed relaxing. As I was loading up my cart this morning at Target, the cost of a home party felt substantial. There is a ton of food and drinks, plus the decor and favors, all of which add up to a hefty price. Time, too, is a major consideration. There will be cleaning, but also there is time spent decorating that I’ve never had to worry about for a venue party. I’ve spent money at Target, Amazon, and party places bringing this party together, not to mention all of the printer ink I’ve drained making signs. I love entertaining, even if it is for kids, which means this is fun, but it’s also exhausting. When all of this is done, I will have spent more money than I would have for a venue party.
As my daughter gets older, venue parties are harder because the themes are slightly too juvenile. I’m thrilled that she’s deemed our house “not really a slumber party house.” I don’t know why because we have a large family room, but I’m not going to question it because I don’t want to change her mind. My idea for next year – her tenth birthday – is a family trip to Disneyland instead. I’d rather drop the money on a family vacation at the Happiest Place on Earth than at Party City.