I've always thought people went overboard at parties.
When the kid turns one, he or she doesn't need 50 guests and a 10x10 room full of toys.
A bounce house, pony, and more gifts going out as party bags than came in is excessive.
Big, massive celebrations every year of a child's life are unnecessary.
Making sure the party is bigger and better than the Jones' makes it less about the child and his or her day.
In our house we have one big party every 3 years. We have the kids invite 6-10 guests to whatever they want. For the in between years, they can invite 1 or 2 of their closest friends to spend the day. The kiddos never get up to 10 guests and end up having a very intimate party with all the extras. No ponies, no clowns, no bounce houses. I'm not trying to be a meanie, but kids who expect big birthday parties every year are spoiled.
One small birthday was the 6 yo birthday girl and two friends for a tea party. We shopped at thrift stores for cups and saucers (that the girls got to take home filled with goodies). I made a teapot shaped cake (upright, not flat). They had fruit teas, and I taught the girls how to have a proper tea. There were scones, and the girls made decorated cookies. Easy, quick and cute! $60
One large birthday was the 10 yo birthday girl and 6 friends to the movie theater. Popcorn, sodas, and glowing jewelry. Pizza at the house after. Goody bags were popcorn shaped containers filled with popcorn, Cracker Jacks, and theater candy. $275
I've also done the movie party with 2 friends. We had pizza across the street before the theater (so no money spent on goodies there) and ice cream afterward a few shops down. $80
The money has to be well spent, and the birthday girl should have fun on her day. Those are my primary concerns.
That brings me to the reason for the post. We are heading toward a 13th birthday party. (big year) I want to do the hotel room sleep over. Use the pool and facilities, order pizza brought in, and watch movies on PPV. My biggest obstacles are how to get a room or suite that allows us to have 5 or 6 kids! This kid is not big on prissy - no manicures, sparkly fairy dos, or make up. Amusement parks scare her. Any ideas? Either help for mine or another idea?