Friday, October 10, 2008
Last Thursday was DD11's birthday, and she became DD12. But she was got sick the night before her birthday, poor thing. A fever of 101.5, so no school or soccer or birthday festivities on her actual birthday. We did give her some gifts, primarily a pay-as-you-go cell phone (now that she walks to school alone), and an MP3 player from DD15.
She felt much better by Saturday, so we went ahead with her little party at the local rock-climbing gym on Saturday. I have so much trouble feeling OK about wasting money on over-priced kids' birthday party plans, which seem to run $10-15 a head. I look at $100 and see food I could buy. But our house is too small, and she really wanted to go to Reading Rocks.
This one turned out pretty well. We took our 2 girls and 3 others, along with another pair of parents to help the climbers. Each kid was expertly harnessed and we all got safety training. Each climber has an adult belayer at the other end of their ropes for safety. DH, the other dad, and DD15 did most of the belaying. All the girls did great, all of them first-time climbers, going up to 30' off the floor.
Both my girls seem to have amazing calf muscles, which is pretty much all you can see when you are looking up at them from the floor. I forgot to the put the storage chip in the darned camera, so I got photos from the other mom. The attendants are actual climbers, not bored teen-aged employees, so the girls had good climbing coaches available. The party itself was basically three hours of athletic climbing fun, with no cartoon mascots or plastic party favors. They don't sell any kind of food, so we were free to bring our own food, drinks, and DD12's favorite cheesecake. I can't help but wonder how long this sort of birthday partying will still be available for most families, but I would take a group of kids to this gym again.
I suspect DD15 will want her March birthday there. They also have a rappelling tower and a ropes course that is a good youth team-building activity. All-in-all, a better party experience than I expected.