Jun 16, 2013
London's 3rd Birthday Party - Thank you Fairytale Town!
Any one who knows me knows that I love to entertain at home. London's 1st & 2nd birthday parties were no exception. But something about this year had me hesitating. I'm not sure what it was about this year. Maybe it was because we had gone big the first two years, or the fact that I have to plan Sydney's 1st in a few months, but the thought of having London's 3rd Birthday party at home wasn't appealing to me.
Early on I started to brainstorm some offsite locations and look into what was involved in hosting a party at each locale. I think it was when I was with some girlfriends getting a pedicure that the idea of Fairytale Town popped into my head. I haven't taken London back since her first visit, but I could envision it being a great place for her and her friends to run around and have fun at. After looking into it some more, I was sold!
Fairytale Town offered us four locations to host a party at within the park. Two options required us to bring our own food, drinks and cake. Two options didn't. Of course, the two options that provided food, drinks and cake for us, also were pricier. But when Cameron and I really looked at it, the price was well worth the stress-free day we could enjoy with our daughter. Plus, the booking could be done online and was super easy. I just selected the day were were interested, and the time for the location we wanted - King Arthur's Castle.
I then asked my girlfriend Emily, a graphic designer by trade, if she would design a birthday invite for the party. She was more than willing. Don't you think what she came up with is adorable?
All I had to do then was print these out on cardstock, cut them down to size and mail them and wait for the RSVPs to come in. That is literally all I had to do.
On Sunday, June 9th all we had to do was show up. No house to clean, food to make and prep, goody bags to prepare, cake to order and pick up. Fairytale Town handled it all.
When we arrived we simply found a table in the shade to be a main meeting point for every one and a place to drop off excess belongings people didn't want to lug around the park. Between my parents, Cameron and myself, we always had someone standing watch. That morning was so easy to prepare for that I even remembered to bring along a thermos of cold water for London! Which was needed. She had so much fun running around with her friends and going down all the slides that she actually asked for her water several times.
London wore herself out so much that she was willing to sit down to get her face painted just before it was time to go into King Arthur's Castle for the main part of the day. London selected a dragonfly and my mom said she knew the difference from the butterfly when she was making the selection. I love dragonflies so I was quite pleased to see one on her cheek.
The only hiccup of the day came when they called London's name over the loudspeaker announcing she was having a birthday at King Arthur's Castle. They kind of announced her has him and Prince :). That was quickly adjusted when we arrived at the castle and I explained that London was getting HER face painted and would be there shortly. They didn't let any of us in until London was there and in front.
The two guys working the party quickly led London in to King Arthur's thrown, where they crowned her Princess London and presented her with a key to Fairytale Town - it unlocks red boxes throughout the park that tells the nursery rhyme for that area. London also received a shirt saying she celebrated at Fairytale Town , as well as pin saying the same. The crown was a substantial crown too with padding inside to protect her head.
I know we were lucky to get the actual lunch-time celebration within the castle as all the kids were quite ready for food and drinks. On the board outside where all the birthdays were listed, there had to be 16 celebrations going on within the park that day - 11 of which were for 3 year olds!
After lunch was served and consumed, a few games were played followed by cake and ice cream. Then it was time for presents. Just before presents I realized I hadn't thought to bring paper and a pen to write down who gave London what so we can send a thank you card. Fiona's mom Joanna was able to find a pen in her purse for me and just as I was headed to steal a paper plate, I noticed a clip board with some paper on it, as well as a pen. Turns out, Fairytale Town also provides you with a gift list and pen - and one of their workers takes down the notes of the gifts! I was able to really focus on the joy of London opening her gifts and seeing what was inside. And I was able to take some great pictures of the moment.
At the end, the goody bags, provided by Fairytale Town, were handed out to the kids, even London.
The best part about the whole day and having Fairytale Town handle everything is that I got to enjoy the day with my daughter and see her enjoy it. This was her first birthday that she truly grasped the concept that it was a special day for her, that the attention was on her for a reason and that she was no longer 2 but 3. And I could see how much fun she was having with all her friends gathered around her. I may consider a repeat for next year and will definitely be investigating other similar options as well.
And we were so fortunate on the day. Saturday brought record-breaking heat to our area but a cooler system moved through just in time. Instead of 110 degrees, it was more like 90 degrees at the hottest point in the day, with a nice breeze. And Fairytale Town has many tall, old trees throughout that provide a lot of shade. I would recommend this experience to any one. We could have opted to bring our own food, goody bags and cake and had the party elsewhere inside Fairytale Town, or even just outside, but both Cameron and I agree it was worth the cost and lack of stress. When we look at it, we would have probably spent the same or even more had we hosted at home between decorations, food and cake alone.