At first I was going to do the home party thing. Oldest daughter about to turn 6 with around 15 girls in her class plus other friends, say invite 20 to the house, and I had visions in my head of:
- Pastel-coloured princess invitations asking the invitees to turn up in their princess or fairy costumes
- Pink balloons and streamers festooning the rooms
- Beautifully decorated fairy cakes and delicate nibbles
- Delightful games for little princesses to play
- The perfect birthday cake with all their tuneful little voices singing Happy Birthday
- Gracefully waving them all goodbye as they clutched their pink party bags filled to the brim with perfect little goodies
Then three other parents said to me “are ye mad?”. And the rose-tinted spectacles fell off and I thought about:
• The mess
• Having to think up entertainment for 2 hours for 20 children (ok a DVD will pass some of the time but the rest of the time…)
• The mess
• How much work it would be to make all the food
• The mess
So, I thought I would try some party entertainers, but none were available for the weekend I wanted, as of course, I had left it all to the last minute.
This is what happened. We arranged for 10 girls (plus our 2 daughters) to turn up at the Eye Cinema at noon to see “Ratatouille” at 12.35. I co-opted another mum (what a star) to help for the afternoon as well as Husband to take youngest out of the cinema if required. Husband organises popcorn and drinks and sweets for everyone. Film starts. 10 visits to toilets and 2 hours later, we pile into Eddie Rocket’s, we place our orders, they amuse themselves with colouring until food arrives. Food served with the usual I don’t like sausage after all, I want chicken nuggets instead type issues. Cake brought in and Happy Birthday sung. Girls given party bags and are collected by parents.
It was great. The girls loved it. They loved the fact that they were getting to go to the Cinema and out to eat at the same visit. I am not sure boys would have sat so patiently colouring until food arrived though!
So, if you are prepared to miss half the film with toilet trips, and don’t mind counting out a few popcorns or placing a mega order for meals and milkshakes, I would recommend this. Best thing about it was: no mess.