Monday, November 09, 2009


So the bouncy party birthdays - I like them very much. The kids like them VERY much. It's pretty clear that EVERYONE likes them because in the past year, counting the 4 we have been invited to this fall, we have been invited to 8 of them. EIGHT! Whew. That's a lot of bouncing. (We haven't gone to all of them though.)

I get why people like them - they are really simple for the parents and guaranteed fun for the party goers. My kids are practically busting the door down to get inside when we arrive. I even looked into hosting one and was promptly brought back to reality at the $300+ price tag. (And disclaimer here if you didn't know, we really don't do birthday parties so most birthday party price tags would be too much.) But my kids absolutely love them and it is nice how much energy they expel at one of them. I guess we've been invited to so many, there's really no need to even think about doing our own.

However, I have one real issue with the bouncy places. While all the ones I've been to have been clean, efficient, and fun, I really hate how small the party rooms are for after the bouncing. Since my kids are still fairly little and a lot of the parties we've attended have been for kids that I don't know very well, I've always stayed. And while that's easy during the bounce portion of the party, for the "party" part of the party, there's just no room. It seems every other parent stays too and OMG there's not enough room. Not that I need to be right there with my kid, but it feels kind of weird just sitting out in the hallway peeking in occasionally to see if my kid needs anything and make sure Bryce isn't mistakenly given something with egg in it. (Plus, there are a lot of kids that are much younger and still really need a parent to be sitting right with them. Bryce even fell off of the table at one party and knocked his head pretty hard, so maybe I do need to sit closer!) With as HUGE as those bounce rooms are, they really need to make the party rooms a little bigger or at least make the walls around the party room only half walls with counter top so adults can stand around the counter and see their kids. Plus, the party is so "wham, bam, thank you m'am" because of the tight schedule, a bit of mania tends to ensue as the pizza is served, birthday song sung, cake cut, and gifts opened. I've always left there feeling a bit overstimulated.

I guess they are just the "thing to do" right now since every kid has been to one and hence wants their own. Kind of like Chuck E Cheese and McDonald parties were when we were kids. I wonder what the next big thing will be? Either way, we'll be continuing our non-birthday party birthdays for a while - at least until we're coaxed into having one and even then, it will most likely be at our house where the kids can help prepare for it.


Anonymous said...

I TOTALLY AGREE those rooms are super small! We've had 2 birthday parties at one (you know which one) and have been parties at others (prob like 15 bounce parties in the past 2 years!) We never do pizza and gifts - it's usually so crazy that we just do cake and ice cream and let the kids settle down - mainly just cause there really isn't time to do pizza and cake for the kids and room to do gifts.

(And to go with your disclaimer, I would NEVER pay that much I always find deals and pay about half that - still alot but since we are doing a party no matter what $150 for a party is good when all you have to do is get the cake and ice cream and they do the rest, and everyone has a great time!)

~ Viv

Katie said...

They are expensive, but convenient. We are on the bouncy house circuit this school year and Emily is thrilled to go every time. You are right, the party rooms are cramped and it is wham bam thank you maam. I don't like how impersonal they are, but it's one of the few places that can handle a classroom full of kids. My friend and I think that starbucks should partner up with bouncy houses and have a little coffee bar for the parents who have to sit and wait for their kids. How fun would that be?! As for us, I don't hosting a bouncy house birthday anytime soon, unless we do a joint party with our cousins and split the costs.

Erika said...

By being invited to so many, I feel as though I'm not depriving my kids of the experience, so they can't grow up and say they never got to go to any bounce parties! So I'll enjoy them for that and for the fact that they sleep well after them!!!

As for gift opening at parties, as a parent, I'm just fine with it being skipped. I think there's growing etiquette out there now that says you don't even have to gift open at showers anymore. Now that's an idea I can get behind!

Heather said...

Wait...I'm confused...are these actual places you go for the parties or just those big bounc-y blow-up things you rent for your yard? I've never seen a building that has them inside?!?

Erika said...

They're all the rage here, H. Yep, big spaces where they have oodles of big blow up "things."