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If you frequent my blog, you probably read that Mr. Dude had a birthday earlier this month. Now. we’re not the type of family that throws each kids a huge, extravagant birthday party each year. We celebrate with a family party, cake and ice cream, and a meal out or at home chosen by the birthday kid (or adult). We often do another fun family activity, such as a movie, trip to the zoo, etc. However, this year, Mr. Dude had his first “friend” birthday party. Earlier this year, at a silent auction, I bid on and won a party package for a local indoor playground, the Village Play Center. This particular package included the cake, plates, napkins, utensils, piñata, decorations, and clean-up. AND CLEAN-UP!!! The perfect place for a birthday party!

My kids LOVE this place! (Think fast food play area without fear of your child running into half-eaten chicken nuggets while playing.) It’s not too fussy, but busy enough, and challenging enough that they don’t get bored. They can dive into the ball pit, push past the hanging punching bags, roll around with the big balls, slide down the curved slide, climb, jump, laugh, play and do the things kids are supposed to do. The owner, Char Lyn (the mom of one of Mr. Dude’s best buds) runs a tight ship to ensure that everyone has a good time. The number of kids allowed at the Village Play Center is limited, as well as the ages (2-8) so things don’t get out of control. I think we all know (and fear) that these types of play areas can be a hotbed for germs and viruses and other nasty stuff. Char Lyn does her best to combat that by scanning each child’s forehead with a (touch-free) thermometer to check for fevers (I LOVE this!), as well as posting notices that children who are or have been recently ill should probably come back to play another day. This play center is managed for the safety and well-being of the kids, and as a parent, that puts my mind at ease.

So you can see why I was excited to win this party package. It’s hard work to be a cool mom and pull off an awesome party.  I just had some help this time.  True to character, Char Lyn did a great job and I got to avoid a lot of the hassle and party-planning headaches.  Kids don’t always understand all that goes through a parent’s mind, but they do appreciate the outcome.


Birthday Kid: Oh, boy! PRESENTS!!!
Birthday Parent: Wait…slow down…who is that from…keep the card with the gift…WE NEED TO WRITE THANK YOU NOTES!!!!
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Birthday Kid: Oh, boy! Pinata!!!
Birthday Parent: Who ever came up with the idea of giving kids a stick tell them to whack something??? (I hope I get a turn.)

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Birthday Kid: Oh, boy! CAKE!!!
Birthday Parent: Oh, boy! CAKE!!!

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Birthday Kid: Oh, boy! PLAY TIME!!!
Birthday Parent: That’s right…you kids go on and play and burn off all of that sugar energy while I sit down and chat with the other parents.

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Thank you Char Lyn and the Village Play Center for everything.  According to Mr. Dude, it was an “awesome” party.  And I hardly had to do a thing. Except birth a baby seven years prior, but that’s a different story.

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