Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Butterfly Birthday Party: The Venue

Dear Em,
I gave you the choice of where you wanted to have your birthday party this year, & you chose to have it at Roger Williams Zoo. We love Roger Williams Zoo. We love visiting all the animals. The Big Backyard is one of our favorite spots in all of Rhode Island. The zoo has come a long way over the years with all of the fantastic updates that have been made.

Unfortunately, having your birthday party at the zoo was a little bit of a disappointment. It was by far the most expensive venue we've used so far. First, the birthday package doesn't just include the kids. Adults are part of the headcount too. Second, the package is expensive because it covers the cost of the party itself as well as everyone's entrance fees into the zoo. I couldn't believe how quickly it all added up (& that was with our membership discount).

Still, I was looking forward to having party coordinators take over the entertainment. The birthday party descriptors talked about the coordinators playing fun games & leading creative crafts with all you kids so that I could enjoy the party. I was sure you would have a blast.

In reality, the activities involved sitting at tables...the whole time...with four & five year olds. There was one game. It was a guessing game. 90% of the crafting you did was coloring (we could have colored at home). By the end, all you kids were bouncing off the walls, & the party coordinators were not holding your attention at all. It was total chaos. Rather than sitting back & enjoying the moment, I became the person to ask your little friends to stop climbing up shelves or standing on benches. Music? Do you guys want to listen to some music? By the end, I was totally overwhelmed & completely exhausted (it was at that moment one of the coordinators expressed that they don't typically have parties with such young kids without all the parents being present...sigh, that might have been good to know when I was booking the party).

For me, there was one true bright spot during your two hour party: the Butterfly exhibit. It was there you & your little friends were able to finally move around & explore & have fun. Butterflies landed on some of your little friends, & you were all just happy to look at them all & walk around the butterfly garden.

Afterwards, some of your friends stayed for a little while. We let you guys run around the Big Backyard & burn off some energy. You were beaming. You loved every moment of your birthday party & the time you got to spend with your precious friends. To you, everything was perfect. Total chaos aside, I guess that's what really matters. You were thrilled with your 5.5 birthday party.

Still, we will never be having another birthday party at the Roger Williams Zoo.

I love you so,

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