Since Ellie has never had a b-day party, and since Gabby has been asking to invite all her friends from school over (literally for years now), we decided to have one combo b-day party for the girls, and to let Gabby invite school friends, too.
Of course, those of you who know us well know that Joe and I already have a few Austin social circles of our own, and that almost every friend we have in Austin has at least 2 kids ages 5-and-under. And...the rule at daycare is that if you give out invites in class, you need to invite the entire class! So...we knew we had the potential for a large gathering on our hands. We've hosted large parties in the past, but that was in the pre-baby-twins era. We decided to outsource this time around.
We seriously considered the "bounce-house party" route. We've had a great time at those parties and Gabby loves them. The problem was that Ellie's not yet really into the bounce-house scene, and it didn't seem fair to her that her first real party would revolve around something she's still a bit too young for. We looked into lots of other options, but in the end, we ended up going with the fantastic playground in our neighborhood. February in Austin is generally pretty mild, but we weren't crazy, so we rented out the new community center function hall adjacent to our community playground.
Also...Gabby mentioned that she wanted a "Finding Nemo" theme. Not sure where she got the idea, but aqua and orange balloons and paper goods, along with some Nemo character stuff and "deep sea" themed party favors was all easy enough. Ellie didn't seem to care at all about a theme, and honestly, Joe and I were just so excited that they didn't request Disney Princesses, that we just went with it.
Starting 10 days before the party, I repeatedly checked the weather, and the the forecast for party day was fantastic. High 50's in the AM and sunny. A couple days before, the forecast changed to high 50's and partly cloudy, but we were still excited that the kids would get to use the playground.
Unfortunately, we woke on Saturday to rain. Lots of it. So...thank goodness for the hall. We ended up with close to 70 guests (about 35 of them in the baby to preschooler set). We moved all the tables and chairs over to one side of the room and the kids spent a good amount of time just running around. Then they invented a game where they ran across the room and crashed onto the floor, repeatedly. Didn't look like much fun to me, but they thought it was hilarious. See the video for proof!
|2010 Birthday Party - VIDEO|
There was coloring, but that got old quick. So...we improvised with a few kid party games. "Duck, duck, goose" was a hit. (Ellie was later heard recounting to her Bobie on the phone, "I went in a circle, and said 'Duck.' And I only touched the kids gently. Then I said 'goose' and someone chased me around until I got back to my spot." I guess she got it)! Then "Hokey Pokey", "Chicken Dance" and a not completely successful round of "Hot Potato." (Ellie and I picked out these cool "potatoes." They were squishy, light up, hairy monster thingies, and none of the kids wanted to pass them)!
Joe then got out a broomstick and our wonderful friend Jen helped lead a rousing round of limbo. I was amazed at how long the kids' attention lasted for this one. The attention span of the average 3-5 year old is not very long!
We also had a pinata...but nowhere to hang it inside. Instead, we put put it on a quilt on the floor and let the kids smack it around down there. Not extremely successful, but Joe helped Gabby smash it once everyone had had a turn, and nobody cared how we did it once I ripped it open and sprinkled the kiddos with candy!
We sang Happy B-day while waiting for the delinquent pizza delivery, then had pizza and cakes, and I think overall it was a great success.
I can't believe our baby Gabby is already FIVE! And sweet little Ellie will be THREE next Monday. Wow, they grow up fast.
Click below for more pictures:
|2010 Birthday Party|