Parents always want their kids to have amazing birthdays. Birthday memories are ones that last forever. I still remember the parties my parents would throw for my sister and I. We always had joint birthday parties in March, because my sister’s big day was at the end of February and mine was at the beginning of April. March was the best time for a combo birthday party. The difference between parties back then, and parties these days? Our parties always had family, and family friends. I don’t recall ever having a school friend at one of my birthday parties. I just remember really great birthday cakes, and lots of fun. I don’t think my mother ever would have had a “school friends” birthday blast! Especially not a Sky Zone birthday party! It just wasn’t “the norm” back then. (No, you don’t get to know when “back then” was, so don’t ask.)
Mother Nature throws a curve ball
When we had Little Miss, I made the decision that she, and other future children we brought into this world, would have a big 1st birthday party celebration with family. Once we had two kids, I made the decision I would also have a big party for them with their school friends, when each of them turned the big FIVE. Each kid could invite their entire class, and a few other friends, and it would be a one time deal. After that, back to family parties with just two friends each. We kept to that for Little Miss, and two years later when The Boy turned 5, he got his party with all of his friends from his Kindergarten class. PHEW. It was over, no more kid parties necessary. I did my thing.
Ever hear the saying “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry?” You got it. Life threw us a curve ball. A.K.A. THE FLOOD of 2014. Half of our home was destroyed. When it happened, the last thing on my mind was our kids’ birthdays in November. Well, it took all of August to not just clear the damage out, but have the house professionally cleaned, so we wouldn’t get black mold. After August was over, we had to save some funds in order to even be able to put the place back together. Well, September went by, then October arrived and the shock of it all hit me. HALF OF OUR HOME WAS DESTROYED.
Our home isn’t a large house. When we have parties, we really are a tight fit. We have to use our ENTIRE home. After the flood, half our home was no longer inhabitable, and the other half of it was filled with the crap from the uninhabitable part of our home. I wasn’t about to have any kind of birthday celebration in our house. Mr. Sunflower and I went back and forth for a long time, trying to figure out what we should do, because we took a huge financial hit with the flood. We couldn’t skip their birthdays, that’s absurd……right?
Luckily, our little sunflowers knew exactly what kind of party they wanted. Surprise, surprise. Their love for Sky Zone knows no limits, including financial limits! Both kids had been bugging me since their first visit to Sky Zone in January of 2014, to have a birthday party at the trampoline park. My answer prior to August of 2014 and the flood was: NO WAY. You had your class friends parties, that’s it. My answer in October of 2014 AFTER the flood was: Yes, but you can only invite 10 friends each.
Sky Zone Birthday Party
Mr. Sunflower agreed to the celebration happening at Sky Zone. Did we have the money? Hell no. We had to do some very fast shuffling to figure out where we could find the cash to do this, but after what the kids had been through since the flood, I felt it was important to give them a great set of birthday memories for 2014. Both kids had helped a lot to clear out the carpet; vacuum up the water; carry things out of the no longer finished basement; and saw tons of their treasured special mementos thrown out. Neither of them complained, EVER. If you knew my son, you’d know what a huge deal that is!
When I was ready to book the party, I brought them with me, so they would know it was really going to happen. I booked the *Super Jump Package at Sky Zone Deer Park. At the time, it included twenty jumpers, luckily the “birthday child” isn’t included in the 20 jumpers, so we ended up with 22 jumpers total for the party. Trust me when I tell you: I was NOT excited about the $625.00 price tag. However, since Saturday was the only day we could book the party, thanks to crazy schedules, we wanted to make sure the kids had a private court to jump on. Saturdays are crazy busy at Sky Zone. I waited too long, and couldn’t get an early slot, so we were stuck with a time that meant a busy trampoline park! A private court was necessary.
Life’s too short to worry about money, right? Yeah, so not what I was thinking. At.All. I had to breathe into a bag a few times when I looked at the cost of everything, and then, POOF, it was the day of the party.
Worth every last penny
Our kids couldn’t have been happier to have all their friends, plus their cousins, and a few other family members, at Sky Zone. I don’t know what it is about this place that makes them so happy. Perhaps it’s because the official colors of Sky Zone are orange and blue, our family’s personal favorite colors, thanks to Little Miss and The Boy? It could be the high they get from jumping on the trampolines. Who knows? Little Miss used to bring up the Sky Zone website during computer time when she had indoor recess, because she loved it so much. Personally, I think much of her school knows about the place because of her….I should ask for a little something for her Public Relations/Marketing skills!
Little Miss and The Boy were welcomed by their party hostesses. A basket was there for all the sneakers, jackets and socks. Another basket for the gifts. All their friends were checked in, if they needed to sign a waiver, that was done quickly, and then each was given sky socks, the rules speech, and they were off. Plenty of the kids loved having the private court, but it didn’t stop any of them from exploring the entire park. Sky Slam was a huge hit, and the Foam Zone, too. Sweaty messes, every last one of them. The staff took care of the kids, and made sure they had fun. Moms were able to sit in the food court area, or run around after their kids, and some even got to go to the Tanger Outlets for some holiday shopping!
After the hour of jumping, the little balls of sweat were brought to the party room. All of their sneakers were lined up against the wall, which was great. The hostesses had also put the party favors out around the room, had the food set up, had the table set, and the hero for the parents was out and ready for the parents to enjoy. Pizza for the kids was handed out, along with drinks. We had one issue with one of the beverage machines, so we didn’t get all of the drinks the kids wanted, but it didn’t seem to bother them at all.
I had to do absolutely NOTHING. My only chore on the big day was to enjoy the day. No serving anyone. No cleaning up after anyone. I didn’t even have to light the candles on their cakes, or cut the cakes. Hell, I didn’t even have to worry about bringing the gifts to the car. Nick walked the hostesses to the car, and they took care of everything. All I had to do was watch my kids have a ton of fun with their friends. It was the first day I hadn’t yelled, or been totally stressed out, in about 3 months.
It was worth every penny. However, the hostesses brought me the bill before the kids even entered the birthday party room. It was the only thing that I wasn’t overjoyed with. When I asked about this process, the General Manager explained that a lot of people leave without paying when the bill is given at the end of the party. Basically, they leave before the bill is given to them. How that would happen is beyond me, since the hostesses walk out with your child’s gifts, and are in constant contact with you throughout the party.
What do I know? I’m an honest person, and wouldn’t even think of not paying the bill! Hey, it probably is true, but honestly, it’s a little off-putting to have the bill given to me before the party is even over. When you really think about it, I didn’t have to pay it when it was handed to me. I probably could have walked out just as easily without paying no matter when the bill was handed to me. Would I ever do such a thing? Of course not.
Out of the entire experience, I do believe the only things I would change about the Sky Zone Birthday Party would be:
- Bill given to me at the END of the party.
- Have a party during a less busy time (but this one was my fault, because we waited so long to book the party.)
If you’re thinking about having a Sky Zone Birthday Party, do it. If you can have your party during the week, it’s less expensive. If you book it far enough in advance, you can book a party earlier in the day on a Saturday, or Sunday, and not have to reserve a private court. It’ll save you a ton of money! Figure out a way to make a Sky Zone Birthday Party happen for your kids. You will not regret it!
My little sunflowers still talk about what a great party it was, and that they want to have their party their next year. I’ll break the news to them when the time comes: 2014 was a special circumstance, so parties are back at home with family and just two friends each from now on. Perhaps they’ll get lucky, and one of their friends will take the plunge and book a party at Sky Zone Deer Park, or even Sky Zone Mt. Sinai! Either way, I know both of them would LOVE to attend!
*Special Note: March 2015 brought new packages to Sky Zone in Deer Park. The Super Jump Package I booked back in November of 2014, is now going to be different. It’s been adjusted to include 17 jumpers, and if you reserve a private Dodgeball Court, it’ll only be private for half-an-hour. After the first half-an-hour, the court will be opened to the public. Is it a huge deal? Probably not. It has dropped the cost for the party down to $575.00 during a weekend. I believe the attempt was to try and make the party more affordable. In my honest opinion, and we all know I give my honest opinion ALL THE TIME, I think it would have been a better idea to keep the package at 20 kids, plus the birthday child. I do believe cutting the number of jumpers in combination with cutting the private court time by half-an-hour, while only lowering the price tag $50, is less of a great deal than what I got for my kids in 2014. I still love the parties, and feel they are totally worth the price I paid back in November. I would imagine, if you can get a party booked before noon, on a Saturday or Sunday, the private court isn’t even necessary.