When did Birthday Parties Become such a Big Deal?

“Did I just see the juicebox bat signal”

I remember all my childhood birthdays and my friend’s birthdays being held at the park or MAYBE at a McDonald’s.

Now, it seems every time my 3-year-old son gets an invitation to a birthday party it’s being held at some crazy over-the-top inflatable warehouse - with trampoline rooms and gluten free organic pizza.

I can’t be the only one wondering what the hell is going on here?

I’m not one to tell other people how they should spend their money or how they should live their life but I can’t grasp needing to throw a $500 - $1000 birthday party for a kid who won’t even remember it by the time Game of Thrones returns. While I just said I won’t tell people how to spend their money, I will quietly drop the fact that currently less than 50% of American parents are saving ANYTHING for their children’s college.

Now that I’ve gotten off the “it costs too much” sandbox, I’ll hop right over to the “nothing can beat a park” one.

Seriously for a group of  kids aged 2-10 the park and it’s play structure provides the perfect ingredients for a good time.

Lets see some of the other things a park has over a rented venue:

  • Plenty of parking
  • It’s free
  • Provides a place to ride the new bike (remember when kids got those instead of cell phones for their birthday?)
  • Kids will actually play WITH each other
  • It’s free
  • Less broken ankles than a trampoline place (seriously, it’s crazy the number of broken bones those places have)
  • Chance to actually talk to the other parents
  • Did I mention they don’t charge you a fee to use it.

Okay, I’ll now get quietly off the birthday soapbox and go back to keeping my mouth shut. Now I just need to start working on building those “not enough kids have bikes” and “what happen to the homemade birthday cake” soapboxes for next time.

What do you think? How much are you willing to drop for a birthday party?

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