When I was planning David’s birthday this year, I wasn’t really sure what to do. We had a family dinner for him, but we also wanted to have a party with his friends.
When we throw parties, we like to invite a lot of people, make a ton of food, and bake a giant homemade cake. I wanted to do all those things for David’s birthday, but I also have an infant, and every bit of hosting a party felt overwhelming. The invitations, the cleaning before the party, the cleaning after the party, the hours and hours and hours of crafting to create a Pinterest-worthy celebration my kid deserves. I don’t have it in me.
We considered skipping a party, but I knew David would be disappointed. He’s been looking forward to turning four since the day he turned three, and he wanted to celebrate with his friends.
Then I remembered the jumping place. “The jumping place” is what my kids call SkyZone, an indoor trampoline park that has stuff like open jumping, dodgeball, a giant foam pit, aerobics, and birthday parties.
We could invite tons of friends, have a great celebration, and if, by party time, I still hadn’t cleaned up breakfast, no one would know.
(Psst, and if you’re in Richmond, this is the Week of Wow — every jump pass is discounted through August 30! Click here for more info.)
From the moment we arrived, the great people at SkyZone made David feel special. They gave him a red balloon and he got to be line leader. We probably could have just gone home at that point because LINE LEADER!!!! RED BALLOON!!!! IT CANNOT GET ANY BETTER THAN LEADING THE LINE WHILE ALSO HOLDING A RED BALLOON!
Oh, but it can get better, David.
SkyZone takes care of every aspect of a great party.
They even provide invitations — you can choose electronic or paper. I thought about asking if they’d also address them with gold foil calligraphy, but I figured that’d be pushing it.
David’s guest list included lots of families with multiple children, which meant there was a huge age range in attendance. Like, really huge. From 12 years to 12 weeks.
SkyZone was the perfect venue because there was something for every single party-goer.
Flips for the big kids…
…bouncing for the little kids…
…and cuddles for the babies.
And then there was Mary Virginia, who sat on the trampoline and shouted over and over, “Mama! I want to sit in your lap! Mama!”
I have to tell you about our party hosts.
A SkyZone representative hung out with us the whole time to lend a hand if we needed it, and to make sure we were having as much fun as possible. It’s sort of like when you’re going out to your car and you have seven huge bags and you think, “Wow, it sure would be nice if there was someone here to help me with these bags.
While we were at SkyZone, our host was that person.
While we were jumping, the guy in the photo below kept an eye on our party to make sure everyone was happy and jumping safe. But he didn’t just stand back and watch, he played with the kids. He helped the littlest jumpers navigate the trampolines, and he was wild and crazy with the bigger kids.
The moms and dads especially appreciated the the help. Because while he was entertaining our kids, we could jump in the foam pit.
After an hour of jumping, we all went to a party room for pizza and cupcakes.
When I was setting up the party with SkyZone, they asked me what David’s favorite colors were for the decorations. I answered, definitively, “Red.” They asked me if he liked any other colors and I said, no. Absolutely not.
SkyZone: So all red decorations?
SkyZone: Red on red?
Me: …On red on red on red on red.
SkyZone provided pizza, and I brought a bunch of cupcakes. I put them in our party room when we arrived, adn while we were jumping, the party hosts arranged them on a platter with candles for me.
And I hadn’t even asked them to.
Is it possible to emphasize how helpful that was? Now that I have three kids, I spend most of my day 1) picking up throw pillows from the living room floor 2) trying to figure out how I’m going to get things done.
My life is like a giant chess game where the pieces are moving and crying and unpacking that bag you packed and set by the door ahead of time so it would be ready. Everything requires a strategy. I have to have a tactical plan just to adjust my ponytail. I can’t just do anything.
So I’d been planning the moment I would excuse myself from the group and arrange the candles. I needed someone to hold Thomas, and someone else to distract Mary Virginia. I already knew Caleb would hold David, so he’d be fine.
Then I walked into the party room and it was all done for me.
Party hosts, you guys. Incredible.
When the lights dimmed and everyone sang happy birthday, our big party in this giant venue suddenly seemed personal, close.
Watching my four-year old, surrounded by so many of his favorite people, all I could think about was how happy he was, and how I’m so glad I didn’t skip a party just because I didn’t know if we’d be able to get the grass mowed and bathrooms in time.
Thanks to SkyZone, David and his friends had an amazing time. And thanks to SkyZone, we got to celebrate our incredible four-year old boy with a unique party that was full of energy, fun, and excitement — just like him.
(Also thanks to SkyZone, everyone slept great that night.)
Richmonders! If you’ve never been to SkyZone, NOW is a great time to try it out! During the Week of Wow every jump pass is discounted through August 30. (Visit SkyZone.com for more info.)
Disclaimer: this post is part of a collaboration with SkyZone