Miss Paige will turn 7 near the end of August. It is always a hectic time as that is when Ed and I are back teaching (she was born on the first day of school 7 years ago!), and she has accumulated many friends and cousins since then. Two of those good friends and cousins have birthdays within days of her. So in between scheduling challenges there are also time, space, and money dilemmas. We have gone the 'throw money at the problem' route and had her party at cool play places, like a cooking gig at Cucina Bambini, and we've had creative home parties, like her Olivia-themed party last year. I am finding it is harder to manage a party that doesn't leave any crucial person out, keeps kids engaged, and isn't super expensive.
This year we were thinking of a pool party at our beloved cabana club, but there is an issue of the guest list getting crazy with possibly lots of parents needing/wanting to stay for safety (which might be a good idea anyway), and the weather being questionable even in August (this week the high has been like 75 degrees! and it has been quite overcast). We also considered a detective party, which would be fun and doable (now that we have finally trimmed the guest list in half - got it down to 10 children including P, which coincidentally is the same number we got it down to last year), however it would require a lot of work from yours truly. I love this kind of creativity, however my house and classroom are also calling for a lot of my attention. I am such a perfectionist with stuff like this, I would spend tons of time on it.
This brings us to option 3: A build a bear party. This was Paige's first choice actually. I kind of nixed it, as I considered this more of a 'shopping' experience, rather than a play with friends 'bonding' experience. However, it is starting to look better. It means no work for us; parents could easily drop off and pick up their kiddos at the mall location. I'm sure the kids would love it, and stuffed animals are her favorite thing. P and I have been watching build-a-bear parties on youtube, etc. for research, and they do look kind of fun, and the site has gotten some good reviews. I'm thinking we could do build-a-bear, then either CPK afterward and/or Coldstone, both of which are next door. It gets pricey, but then again, no money is spent on decorations, no time is spent on cleaning (before and after) or set-up, etc.,etc. I've been looking like crazy for coupons for Build a Bear parties and am coming up short. Anyone been to one of these parties and have any feedback??