Party at a park - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 05-05-2010, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD is turning 6 in a few weeks and REALLY wants her party at a park and have a picnic. Only problem is every park in town that takes reservations for their pavilions either cost WAAAAY out of our price range OR it is already booked. There are a few parks we could go to, but we couldn't reserve the space and we'd have to get there super early to set up and make sure no one else gets it. Would you go ahead and do this? We need to send out invitations to family and school friends this week, and I don't know if I want to send out invites not having a space reserved. Ugh.... this shouldn't be so hard, but I have pregnant brain and any decision that requires a lot of work is hard for me right now.

Oh, and would you skip the games and just let the kids play at the park? I'm not up to that much work. My goodness, I must sound lazy!
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#2 of 14 Old 05-05-2010, 07:40 PM
 
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Get there early and skip the games. Can grandma, grandpa or some aunts and uncles hang out there for awhile so you can go home and get some other stuff ready? I personally don't think kids need games if they're already at a park.

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#3 of 14 Old 05-05-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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Asking friends/family to help make your child's party a reality should be easy. I know I'd happily sit in a space and play cards/board games for a few hours in order to see those faces afterwards.

Lots of simple games game be played with no props. Hell, make yourself a large bubble-blowing wand and small cheapies for the kids and a big tub of soap, and you've got a party right there!

Dad to toddler, dad-to-be to another.

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#4 of 14 Old 05-05-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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You could do a teddy bear picnic in the backyard or even indoors if not at a park. Invite kids to bring their favorite stuffed animal to the picnic and have a couple of blankets set out and a few extra teddy bears handy for those kids who don't bring their own. I think they will be pretty occupied with their teddy bears and not need a lot of games. And she might like the whole picnic theme even if you can't figure out how to procure a space at a park.
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#5 of 14 Old 05-05-2010, 08:02 PM
 
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but we couldn't reserve the space and we'd have to get there super early to set up and make sure no one else gets it. Would you go ahead and do this?
Is that normally done? I wouldn't feel really comfortable coming in and calling "dibs" on a spot, then sitting on it for hours till my daughter's party started and finished. But if that's how people normally do it, go for it.

I don't think you need games. Other than scavenger hunts (which tend to make up the bulk of a party) or pinatas, it doesn't seem like the kids enjoy them nearly as much as just being able to PLAY.
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#6 of 14 Old 05-05-2010, 08:44 PM
 
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Do it at the park - especially being pregnant! You probably don't have to show up THAT early to get a spot. Maybe an hour or so, and it'll take you that long to set up anyway. Let the kids play, eat cake and juice, and have fun. A pinata is a great idea too. I wouldn't worry at all about games. Make sure everything you bring is disposable and cleanup consists of throwing everything in the trash.

Kat, wife to and mommy to (Dec 07).
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#7 of 14 Old 05-05-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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every bday of dd has been at the park. we do it at usually unreserved spots because its close to the play area. i always usually do it at 10 am or 4 pm and we usually always find at least one table. we take our own tables and chairs adn blankets. we did a pot luck called it a picnic party and everybody also brought chairs and blankets.

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#8 of 14 Old 05-05-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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I wouldn't do it with out reservations, but my reasons may not apply to your family and situation. Here are my reasons:
  1. We are cronically late people. There is no way I could count on being at a place by X time and not getting hung up at home.
  2. We just aren't all that organized and there will be multiple trips back to the house during which we could lose our spot.
  3. Extended family is all high maintenance one way or another and aren't really as much help with these things as on might hope. I really don't think I could leave one of them in charge of guarding the space while I ran home to get the cake or somethin and not come back to issues.
  4. Parks in our area are heavily used and the chances of getting a good spot without a reservtion are slim.
  5. All the really great spots that are in an hours drive have reservations anyway, so there aren't a lot of really good just show up spots anyway.

Obviously most of these issues are pretty very specific to my family and location. For example, the area where you live might not tend to be as crowded as my area. The worry about it being crowded also depends on things like what day of the week you plan the party for and so forth.

I know that outside my immediate area there are nice spots that are set up as first come gets it. In fact there is a really nice one an hour and a half from where I live we considered for a family reunion but we decided it was just too long a drive for us to manage things.

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#9 of 14 Old 05-06-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by meemee View Post
every bday of dd has been at the park. we do it at usually unreserved spots because its close to the play area. i always usually do it at 10 am or 4 pm and we usually always find at least one table. we take our own tables and chairs adn blankets. we did a pot luck called it a picnic party and everybody also brought chairs and blankets.
That's a good idea. Just bring a few blankets so it doesn't matter if you get a table. And if you have a folding table to bring, you can put the food on it. Or put it on a cooler.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#10 of 14 Old 05-06-2010, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I like the idea of bringing blankets and folding tables and chairs. I'm going to talk to my DH about this.

Thanks for helpful insights!
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#11 of 14 Old 05-06-2010, 01:20 PM
 
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I did this last year for my 5 yo. I rented a pavillion at a Forest Preserve. I did a brunch at 10 am - bagels, gogurts, juice boxes, fruit and then we had blueberry muffins instead of a birthday cake.

There wasn't even any play equipment and I didn't have any games planned. The kids had a BLAST! They just ran around the field and played the whole time while the parents sat around the picnic tables and talked. Several parents reported to me that their kids said it was the best birthday party ever! I was really worried before hand that I didn't really have anything planned, but kids know how to make their own fun, literally in this case out of nothing.

I think you could totally do it without the pavillion and just set up on a grassy field with blankets for the kids and if parents are staying ask them to bring their lawn chairs. You could always bring some bubbles, frisbies, jump ropes, etc.

Hope you have a great time!
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#12 of 14 Old 05-06-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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I have never been to a park where you reserve a spot so my experience has been different. Pretty much folks just set up tables in the grass if they have their own folding tables, or just do blankets and picnic on the ground. Kids run around and play. The most organized thing I've seen at a park party are bubbles and some balls.
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#13 of 14 Old 05-08-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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Definitely skip the games. Playing at the park is plenty of fun for them. You might want to do a pinata as kidlets seem to love them, but definitely not necessary.

I guess it would depend on exactly how early I would have to get to the park in order to get a table as to what I would do. I might plan the party for 10, so getting there at 8 wouldn't be too bad. Or I might just take a chance, get there when I get there, but bring a folding table for the food and lots of blankets/towels for everyone to sit on in the event that the tables are gone. Picnics are fun for them too.

~*Heather*~
Wife to J 9/00 Mama to K 12/05
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#14 of 14 Old 05-11-2010, 12:18 AM
 
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is a beach an option? minus the swimming part? what about a church playground or even a school playground, who says you cnat have a picnic at a school?

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