This was technically supposed to be an "off" year for a birthday party. With four children, we decided that parties with friends every other year will be sufficient. But this year was Blake's golden birthday, so we gave in to his puppy dog eyes as he reminded us of the significance of the event for over a year.
We settled on an afternoon at a nearby indoor waterpark. Our options were limited in December and we've admired the hotel with a red water slide mounted on the outside of the building for years, so it was the perfect solution to make his golden birthday extraordinary.
The closer it got to his birthday party day, the happier I was that I wasn't hosting a dozen kids at our house. Don't get me wrong, I love planning parties. But eliminating the stress of cleaning the house, shopping for party supplies, decorating, preparing food, running activities, cleaning up and going overboard on a theme (which I tend to do) was ideal during an already jam-packed holiday season with a new baby and a hundred other things going on.
All we did was show up with a cake and everything else was taken care of. The kids had the time of their lives. It was especially fun to be able to swim during the winter since no one had been in a pool in months.
After swimming their hearts out, the kids moved upstairs to the party room. The venue provided all the food and then Blake blew out his candles.
His friends gathered around him while he opened a few gifts.
He was very excited that one of his friends gave him $7.
I'm sure I'll have plenty of opportunities to host birthday parties in the upcoming years. But I have to admit, having an offsite party was a whole lot of fun and a lot less stress. We may have to incorporate more of these in the future.