I have no shame in admitting that I really dislike throwing birthday parties for my daughters. Birthdays are very big events in my family, and I absolutely love celebrating my children’s special days. But throwing their parties has always stressed me out. I never get to participate and enjoy the time. Instead I’m scrambling around, coordinating the next activity, cutting cake, and making lists of gifts for thank you notes. I really miss out. And I stress out in the days leading up to the party.
Last year, our family skipped birthday parties for our two daughters, and took a family trip instead. We had a great time, and I could have done that every year if they’d been up for it. But this year, they both opted for parties.
Here’s what I learned after this year’s round of birthdays — I don’t dislike throwing birthday parties, I dislike hosting them. Once I found a place that literally took care of everything for me, I completely changed my opinion of parties.
If it’s in your budget, and you are a burnt-out party host like myself, check out these seven spots in Columbia that host parties and take the work off of your plate.
For the adventurous, child who has tons of energy, try these…
The Little Gym – The Little Gym has several different party options available. Invitations are filled out and mailed for you, plus set up and clean up are included. The instructor-led games and activities are customized to your child’s interests, and drinks for the kids and paper products are also part of the package. Your birthday child will even go home with t-shirt. These guys packed up our gifts for us before we left, and made a registry list for me to write thank you notes from later. We played in the gym with the kids, talked with the other parents, and took everything in rather than run around hosting and coordinating the party ourselves.
My Gym – My Gym offers several different packages, and has different themes for decorations, so that your child can choose a favorite. All packages include either invitations or evites. You’ll also be able to customize the games and activities in advance, and your child and guests get non-stop play time before breaking for present time. Gym instructors lead all activities. Some packages include pizza and juice, plus cake cutting and serving. You can sit back and relax while the kids have a blast!
HiWire Sandhills and HiWire Irmo both provide you with a host for you party. You get several great options for types of party at either location, plus set up and clean up are included at both. You’ll be provided with drinks, and your birthday boy or girl will go home with a HiWire shirt as well. HiWire is a great option for a really active (and really fun) party for just about any age, but especially for older children.
Capital Karate – Your child gets to help lead the class for his or her friends as they learn basic karate skills. The instructors and staff fully supervise all activities and lessons, and Capital Karate provides drinks, decorations and goody bags. Best of all, they take care of all set up and clean up!
Samurai Karate Studios – Your child is the star of the show, and the party includes structured activities and games. Age-appropriate karate lessons and even breaking a real wooden board are part of the fun. Your party will have time built in for opening presents and birthday cake (after it’s cut with a real Samurai sword!). Parents can join in the lesson, or take it easy and enjoy watching the action. With setup and clean up included, invitations provided, and even thank you notes sent to your guests from the the studio, this is a truly stress-free choice!
For a child that is into the arts, check out these options …
Columbia Children’s Theatre – A theatre party here is a truly unique experience, and will no-doubt be memorable for your child and guests. They offer a reserved party area, with a party host coordinating the events from start to finish (even set up and clean up). Your birthday boy or girl’s name will be mentioned during the show, and the kids will get to have a meet and greet/photo/autograph session with the cast after the show.
Michael’s – They offer a great option for a child that loves arts and crafts! There are two packages available, and both offer use of the classroom, plus a store team member who runs either hosts the party, or hosts and runs the craft instructional time.