Sharing Birthday Party?

Lounge By jen1977 Updated 29 May 2008 , 3:08pm by jen1977

jen1977 Posted 27 May 2008 , 12:26pm
post #1 of 20

I need some opinions on a party for my two boys. They will be 8 (late Sept), and 6 (early August), and both boys want parties at Pump It Up. The weekend party is for 25 kids and is $259 for a 2 hour party. We simply cannot afford to do this twice, and I don't think we would have near the 25 max for each party. I think we should do 1 combined party for both boys around 1st-2nd saturday in September. DH thinks it's too far away from the youngest's birthday and unfair for him to wait this long. If we do it earlier, it will be before school starts, and not as many kids will be there. I think if we wait, there will be more kids who come. My youngest will sart kindergarten, and preschool kids don't normally come after they'ce left the preschool. Should we do one combined party, and have the youngest wait 5-6 weeks after his birthday for his froends party, or do two different parties at a different location since we simply cannot afford two parties at $300 a piece after goody bags and such? We would still do big family parties for both boys on their birthday weekend, own cake, cookout, etc and I'd make some type of Pump it Up type cake for their combined party. Honest opinions please! Thanks!

19 replies
manahigh Posted 27 May 2008 , 12:32pm
post #2 of 20

I say ask the boys if they want to share the party or have the younger one wait until next year for his special party. They are old enough to understand and I think they will make the right decision.

Texas_Rose Posted 27 May 2008 , 12:36pm
post #3 of 20

I think it would be fine to have a combined party. You shouldn't feel like you have to spend $600 on birthday parties on top of having to buy stuff for back-to-school. It will be easier to find your son's friends to invite if school has already started, too.

I never do anything really big for my kids' birthdays. We have cake, ice cream, some games and a pinata, and that's it. Sometimes if it's just family I will make a meal too. We go to other people's birthday parties and I feel bad when I see how fancy they are...we went to one last weekend where they had rented tables and chairs, and made centerpieces for the tables, plus bought a $400 waterslide for the backyard and served enough food to feed an army...all for a little girl turning 3.

I think I'm mostly worried that someday my kids will ask why they don't have big fancy parties like everyone else.

mbelgard Posted 27 May 2008 , 1:11pm
post #4 of 20

I wouldn't do it, the dates are too far apart.
I'd also be reluctant to make them share the party even if the birthdays were very close, I think kids should have their own parties.

I don't know what this place is that they want the party at but can you take them there on their birthdays just as a family for dinner or games or whatever they have? I would think that the family party would be on the weekend closest to the birthday instead of the actual day and your kids would still get to go where they wanted without breaking the bank.

jen1977 Posted 27 May 2008 , 2:33pm
post #5 of 20

We usually have their parties on the weekend closest to their actual birthday and take them wherever they want for dinner on their actual birthday. This will be the first time they have big friend parties that aren't at home. We usually have them here in the backyard, but it's gotten to be too much. We have 9 people from out of town who all stay here with us because they can't afford to get a room. Pump it Up has two huge rooms of blow up slides and jumpy things, and a party room. The problem is they both want to have their parties there, and we simply can't afford to do it twice. DH thinks it's too far from Connors actual birthday. If we do it midway between both birthdays, they won't have as many friends there fom school since it will still be summer vacation time. We'd still have a family cookout here the weekend closest to their birthday. I guess I'm just trying my best to work out a way for both of them to have a party at a cool place without breaking the family finances. Average cost here per child for any birthday place is $12-15. With rising grocery prices and gas as much as it is, finances are much tighter than they were last year around birthday time when we promised them a party somewhere else. I guess we have a little time t othink about it, but this place books quickly. Plus, wit hcousins and my two boys, we already have 7 kids for any party, and at !3.50 each, that's already pushing $100 before any friends are invited. Thanks!

moreCakePlz Posted 27 May 2008 , 5:25pm
post #6 of 20

I think having a joint Pump It Up party in September is fine. Each boy is getting his own ârealâ birthday celebration, so the Pump It Up party is just a get-together for the kids.

My birthday is Dec 27 and when I was about to turn eight I cried and cried because I wanted to have a swimming party with all my friends from school. My mom (bless her soft heart) âpostponedâ my birthday until May so I could have the party of my dreams. I had a fabulous time and didnât mind in the least that it was five months late.

SaraO Posted 27 May 2008 , 6:16pm
post #7 of 20

I think it sounds like a fine idea to have one big party. The boys might even enjoy that and I agree that more kids will probably be around in September anyway. It sounds like your husband doesn't agree though. What does he want? Does he want both kids to have separate parties at Pump It Up? Did you explain your concern about the cost? You guys should probably try to come up with something that you both agree with so that neither of you ends up disappointed at your kids' birthdays. Hopefully you can talk to your husband a little more about it and he will see your point. I do! I also agree that you should talk to your boys about it, after convincing your husband icon_smile.gif, and explain that they can both have their parties at Pump It Up, but they have to be at the same time. I think they'll be fine with it. It sounds like a fun place!

chutzpah Posted 27 May 2008 , 6:33pm
post #8 of 20

No way.

My sister and I had shared parties all through childhood (we're a year and a day apart) and both of us absolutely hated it. HATED IT. So much, in fact, that we sometimes still talk about it!

Scarred for life!


I'm child-free and intend to stay that way, but if I ever did reproduce (biologically, of course, not by the stork icon_wink.gif ), I would NEVER give them a shared party, even if they were twins.

Generic 'you' here: Honestly, just how special woould YOU feel on your birthday if you had to share your party with a SIBLING?

AJsGirl Posted 27 May 2008 , 6:42pm
post #9 of 20

Mine are 8 & 9, and I agree with the person that said the boys are old enough to decide. Choice 1: separate parties at home, or Choice 2: combined party at Pump It Up.

Hope you can work it out. Kids' birthday parties are CRAZY expensive. We've always done the party-at-home thing with pizza, games, pinata, and goody bags, and I still can't do it for less than $200, and that's with ME making the cake!

Laura102777 Posted 27 May 2008 , 6:50pm
post #10 of 20

Well I think I would give them the choice. I would tell them that the birthday party they want is expensive, and that if they want to have the party there, then they will have to share a party that's not on either of their birthdays. If they really want their party there, then they can share. If they really want separate parties, then they can have them somewhere else. It's really not a bad idea to let kids learn at a young age about compromise, and this way they both have some control in the situation. I definitely think that if they do the combined party with their friends, then (like you said) a special family party for each of them on their real birthday would be great.

Laura102777 Posted 27 May 2008 , 6:52pm
post #11 of 20

Well I think I would give them the choice. I would tell them that the birthday party they want is expensive, and that if they want to have the party there, then they will have to share a party that's not on either of their birthdays. If they really want their party there, then they can share. If they really want separate parties, then they can have them somewhere else. It's really not a bad idea to let kids learn at a young age about compromise, and this way they both have some control in the situation. I definitely think that if they do the combined party with their friends, then (like you said) a special family party for each of them on their real birthday would be great.

mbelgard Posted 27 May 2008 , 7:25pm
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by chutzpah

No way.

My sister and I had shared parties all through childhood (we're a year and a day apart) and both of us absolutely hated it. HATED IT. So much, in fact, that we sometimes still talk about it!


Generic 'you' here: Honestly, just how special woould YOU feel on your birthday if you had to share your party with a SIBLING?




That's part of my thinking too, kids can end up hating things like that even if you don't know about it right now.

Maybe my reaction is based on having parents who made like rabbits and had seven of us so anything just for one was special.

maggiev777 Posted 27 May 2008 , 8:16pm
post #13 of 20

Personally I think a combined bday party is fine. And letting them decide would be fine (like PP said - either you both get small parties at home, or you get a combined party at Pump It Up). Quite honestly I think children need to learn to appreciate what their parents do for them, no matter how big or small, and being told that they can share a really cool bday party is not a bad thing! It is awesome that you are trying to work out how to do it for them. If they can't see it that way, they don't deserve to have it anyway, kwim?

Another idea - Birthday parties can be expensive these days and one solution a family we know has is that each child gets a "special" birthday party on certain years (I think it is 5, 8, 12, and 16). They have four kiddos so it usually works out that they only have to foot the bill for one expensive birthday party a year, and the other kids get smaller parties at home.

Sooooo... though it might be a little hard to explain to your 6 yr old at first - you might let the 8 yr old have his party there this year, and tell your 6 yr old that when he turns 8 he can have his special party. And that year your older DS will be turning 10 so he will just have a small party at home.

OTOH, if you don't think your older DS will fill up the 25 slots it really might be more economical to combine the party. I think what you want to be careful of, though, is the trap of your children expecting that each year that party will be bigger and better than it was last year. Otherwise you will go through this every year! They need to see this party as something very special that their parents are giving them - not something they are entitled to just for being alive. icon_biggrin.gif

jen1977 Posted 27 May 2008 , 9:02pm
post #14 of 20

Wow...seemslike those who think it's a good idea think it's a really good idea, and those who don't think it's a really bad idea! The boys seem ok wit hsharing a birthday party this year, so we'll see. They'll still both have their "special day", so basically they will each get two parties this year, one being shared. Average cost for ANY party place here is pushing $15, and we have 7 kids just with my two and cousins. Guess there isn't going to be an aconomical way to do it. There were 4 kids in my family, and we always did huge family parties like we do now. Just seems like such a waste to do two parties when we'll only have about half of the 25 filled for each. We just can't spend almost $600 on parties, and honestly, even if we could, we wouldn't. Thanks for all the opinions. It really helps make the decision, even though I still have no idea what to do! The boys are invited to a party this Saturday at the place, so we'll see how they feel about sharing it there after going.

tchrmom Posted 28 May 2008 , 12:06am
post #15 of 20

I agree with a number of the posts.

1) Combined is fine as long as they have the choice.
2) If I had to share a birthday all the time as a child, I'd probably hate it. However, once to get a big party I really wanted would have been fine. Now, I'd enjoy it-- the more the merrier.
3) One poster said that she feels bad that her child's birthday parties aren't as spectacular as some she attends: don't worry about it. Huge elaborate parties for toddlers are for the PARENTS not the child. The toddler would be just as happy with cake, empty boxes, and a trip to the park or somewhere. Your children will appreciate things much more and not expect so much. That's a good thing, in my opinion. We have done mostly family/neighborhood at home parties. This year (age 5) he wants Kangazoom (another version of Pump it Up). He is getting it this time, but it won't happen every year. It is expensive, although a party for the same number at home is not that much cheaper AND you have the trouble of cleanup and setup. We may look at scaling back a little, but it's hard when 5 of my husband's family members come because my son is the only grandchild on that side of the family-- and the only great grandchild. He has had up to 25 adults sitting around watching him open presents at Christmas-- talk about feeling like the center of the known universe. We are working on keeping him here in the real world.

MichelleM77 Posted 28 May 2008 , 1:37am
post #16 of 20

We always have had a family party and kids party for our son. We have tried to have the family party as close to, if not on, his actual birthday, but sometimes the kids party is on another day just due to scheduling. This year was just the opposite due to the fact that he went to boy scout camp the weekend of his party, so his birthday was actually spread out over almost two weeks and he loved the fact that the cards and gifts just kept coming.

Anyway, my point is that if you have a family party for them on their actual birthdays, then I think it is a fine idea to have them share their kids party. They will have their special day all to themselves, but mom and dad won't go broke for the kids party.

Believe me, I know. Until this year we would always have the kids party at another location other than home just for the fact that we didn't have to clean up or supply the entertainment (Mad Science came to a pizza shop party room, took a dozen kids to a lazer tag arena, etc.) and those are not cheap. Whatever you decide will be the right thing for your family. icon_smile.gif

ziggytarheel Posted 28 May 2008 , 12:34pm
post #17 of 20

My sister and I have birthdays within 5 days of each other, so when we were elementary school age, if my mom decided we could have a party, it was joint. I didn't really mind, because it was really just having some friends over to play with cake and ice cream at the end. We both got our own cake on our "day" as well as our favorite meal.

I have a boy and a girl. I COMPLETELY understand wanting to have a little boy's party at a place other than your own home. I've done it both ways and I really appreciated when I could let the boys be boys in a place that catered to their energy and creativity!

I think if the boys like the idea of a combined party, you should do it. I'm not familiar with this place, but is it the sort of place that you won't be the only ones there? That would make it especially not a big deal if both boys celebrated at the same time. The boys will be off doing their own thing in their own little groups, more than likely. As long as they are still special on their day, I think it sounds great.

I have to admit, I'm big on birthdays. I think everyone should get to be extra special one day of the year.

lisad1 Posted 29 May 2008 , 9:31am
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by chutzpah

No way.

My sister and I had shared parties all through childhood (we're a year and a day apart) and both of us absolutely hated it. HATED IT. So much, in fact, that we sometimes still talk about it!

Scarred for life!


I'm child-free and intend to stay that way, but if I ever did reproduce (biologically, of course, not by the stork icon_wink.gif ), I would NEVER give them a shared party, even if they were twins.

Generic 'you' here: Honestly, just how special woould YOU feel on your birthday if you had to share your party with a SIBLING?







I never felt generic!! I guess it all depends on the person. I am a twin, AND I have an older sister born a year and a day before me (actually make that 1 year, 1 day and 1 minute before me. icon_wink.gif .) When we were kids my mother did do a party for my older sister's the day before, she had different friends...but as we got older we just combined them... and it's never bothered me, guess I always felt special!!

I agree with most of the posts, that if you still honor their birthdays close to the time, a joint party would be fine.

veejaytx Posted 29 May 2008 , 2:21pm
post #19 of 20

Sharing is part of being a child, whether it is with a sibling or playmates. If a child doesn't learn to share, he/she will probably never have many friends.

These days it seems like parents are forced to compete when it comes to ever bigger, better, more expensive parties. If you start at such a young age of 5 or 6 doing these parties, what do you do in a couple of years, it is just too much! IMHO, of course!

jen1977 Posted 29 May 2008 , 3:08pm
post #20 of 20

I think we're doing the combined party for them. It's either that, or do them at home. I totally agree about the parties getting bigger and better, but this will be the first year either of the boys will have aparty that isn't in our backyard. It won't be an every year thing for usre. They can either share the party at Pump It Up, or just invite a few friends to something special. We aren't the type of parents to compete with other parents, but did promise them a cool party this year. Thanks for all the input everyone. They always feel special on their birthday and will still have their own family party, but we're going to share the big party. We can't and won't pay almost $300 a piece for them to have their own. They seem ok with it, and are already starting to talk about it.

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