As the mom of two daughters, I’ve tried it all – when it comes to birthday parties, that is. As they get older, though (my older daughter turns 12 this month), it’s hard to come up with new ideas.
Thank goodness for me, this year, the Homewood Suites in Newark, Delaware, entered the birthday party picture. Yes, I decided to give a try to throwing the party of all parties: a slumber party in a hotel.
My tween was on board, her friends thought it was cool, and my husband was a fan of my spending the night with several kids outside of our house while he watched the game in a quiet living room. So, we gave it a try. The benefits? You won’t believe how many.
The price was reasonable! For $249, we got a two-bedroom, two-bathroom suite with a full kitchen, a living room, and three TVs. Also included? Popcorn, pizza, soda, a movie, a full breakfast, and all the cannonballs they could do in the indoor pool. Renting a party space at the bowling alley or ice rink would have cost just as much, and we couldn’t have stayed overnight.
We could bake the cake right there! Before leaving home, my daughter and I hit the market for chips, dip, and cake mix. Using disposable foil pans, we baked her birthday cake right in our suite (and the girls ate it straight from the pan).
The girls had built-in entertainment! Because they were middle-schoolers, I was comfortable letting them wander down the hall to the pool whenever they wanted. Because they had their own TV in the two-queen bedroom, they could watch as many PG movies as they wanted (within reason, of course). And I’m certainly not saying that they jumped on the beds, but . . . let’s just say that the sheets and bedspreads were pretty messy in the morning.
I had my own space! Sure, I kept an eye on things, but my daughter’s at that age where she doesn’t want Mom hanging out during the party. Our solution? I claimed the king bedroom, kicked back with a Diet Coke and my own movie, and listened for the over-the-top squealing that never came.
I didn’t have to clean up! It’s a hotel – clean up is part of the deal. Sure, I didn’t let the kids trash the place, but I didn’t wash the dishes or make the beds, either.
My daughter was the hero of the sixth grade. After we got home, Zoe was grinning ear to ear – and not just because she’d had a great birthday party. No, it was the texts from her friends saying, “Best party ever!” that made her birthday extra special.
Want to see photos of Zoe’s party at Homewood Suites? Check out the full story.