My little girl, who is actually not quite so little anymore, will be five this week. Yesterday we had her birthday party. Seeing as I am just about to pop with another baby, I didn't want to do a big party where I had to make and prepare an assemblage of snacks, treats and decorations. So when my daughter begged me for a party at Monkey Joe's I gladly agreed (Really, she said " I beg you, Mommy"). Until, that is, I saw their insanely off the wall prices. $300 seemed reasonable for a party of 8-16 guests, but when you look closer you see that this does not include food,cake, treat bags or drinks (except one drink for each child), you start seeing dollar bills flying out the window. Technically, the $300 only covers playtime and a visit from Monkey Joe.
The pizza, which is added on, start at $15 a pie, and one would need approximately 8-10 for a party that size. Then there's the cake:another $30-50 and goody bags:about $30, bringing the grand total for a party of 8 children to about $550!! I would rather take a family vacation for that price.
So with suggestions from my good friend, Heather, I planned a "moving" birthday party. Right near Monkey Joe's there is a little Italian restaurant, which has "real" pizza for $12 a pie. This would go over much better for my husband's Italian family, than the cheap, tasteless cardboard they serve at the playplace. I organized with the restaurant for a party, and set up the menu ahead of time. I also brought in all our own plates and decorative things (about $30 on Littlest Pet Shop party supplies, and $30 on goody bag items at Party City). Once food and cake was eaten we moved along to Monkey Joes, where I paid admission for 8 kiddies ($10 each- and was even able to get a 2-4-1 deal thanks to an online coupon).
The children ran around, wearing off the cake and pizza until their parents had enough and decided to take them home. The only hard part was having my daughter agree to not getting to sit on the blow up monkey throne in the party room, but when I explained it was because I wanted to be able to buy he a special gift she was cooperative.
The end party total was $330, saving more than $200 and having the same activities, with better quality food! Sigh, I love bargains. So just know that you just need to look around for alternatives to save a little green.
Love and savings,
Kerry, the Momster