Oct 9, 2009

A most successful party

I realize that I have waited so long to recap Nicholas' birthday party last Sunday that it may no longer be of any interest to anyone, but I was busy preparing for The Great Giveaway the first part of the week and never got around to this. But if you'd still like to know how it went, read on!

Back in April Nicholas decided he wanted to have his party at a gymnastics gym, so I set about researching our options. As it turns out, you can have one pretty reasonably for a small group of kids, even if your child doesn't take gymnastics.

We gathered on Sunday with family and close friends at a gym close to our house. These people -- the teenagers who "coached" at our party -- have some mad skillz when it comes to herding cats. Um, I mean children.

They started out on the large floor mat, getting instruction and rules from the coaches. So far, so good.

Next, they were allowed to run around the obstacle course that the coaches had set up on the floor mat, including jumping off of stacked mats, running through hoops and basic tumbling. I was worried that our friend Josh, who has a freshly broken arm, wouldn't be able to fully participate.

But, SILLY ME. Why should a broken arm prohibit him from hurling himself off of platforms to the ground five feet or more below? I can think of absolutely no reason that this would be a problem. Carry on, Josh.

Next, the kids approached a giant fissure in the floor that stretched down a good 10 feet. It was a slide! They had so much fun sliding down into the foam and climbing up the other side.

And even though Jake is only 17 months old, he HAD to participate in the party. While I photographed, Grayson monitored him, and then later our babysitter Anna came and she played with him for us. HE WAS VERY ENGAGED.

The next stop on the circuit was running down a 30-foot mat and jumping off of a vault onto some padding, then into a huge foam pit. Here's Nathaniel doin' his thang:

Next up, our cousin George Emory:

Not to be left out, Jake sat on the side of the pit, getting up the nerve to go in.

It took approximately .5 seconds for him to take the plunge.

After which much grinning was displayed.

There must have been eight feet of foam in that pit. We're lucky he didn't sink to the bottom.

The whole time, Nick was just having the time of his life! He was so happy, and I think this was the first time any of our guests had been to a gymnastics party, so they were all equally thrilled.

For their next activity, the kids jumped down a 30-foot trampoline, ending with "tricks" as they jumped into the foam pit. Here is our friend DJ doing a front flip into the pit.

Next came Nick, and he flipped in, too.

Grayson, like Jake, didn't want to be left out, so he took a turn. That foam is CUMBERSOME. It took some serious muscle to get out of the pit. Grayson only did it once.

And of course Jakey had to take a turn. He walked rather nonchalantly down the trampoline ...

... but was once again thrilled to take his turn in the pit.

The last group activity was jumping on parallel trampolines, which the kids did in pairs. Here they are getting their instructions on the do's and don'ts:

And two of our cousins, George Emory and Anna, taking their turns.

Lastly, the coaches lined the kids up on the edge of the pit ...

... counted to three, and told them to JUMP!

At that point, we headed upstairs for cake and ice cream. A woman who bakes custom cakes created this Lego cake for me, complete with Lego man! She designed it herself, having never done a Lego cake before, and I think it turned out wonderfully.

Finally, it was time to open gifts, and Nicholas was excited about every single one he opened.


Such a wonderful way to spend a rainy afternoon ... inside, safe, surrounded by friends and family. Yea for birthdays!


Kim said...

The party sounds like so much fun! My son also decided on a gymnastics party for his 5th, and it amazed me at what a good time they all had! The Lego cake is to die for! Almost worth traveling from MI to get one for Cole's 6th birtday (well, that and your very cool new Target)! Glad you were feeling well enough to enjoy his big day!

RLR said...

The cake looked great!

Rachel said...

That looks like a lot of fun. And such a creative idea too! I'll have to remember that.

Amy said...

Great party! I have jumped in the foam pit before...Fuh un!!
Love the cake! I must have her name!!

HandyFamily said...

Sounds like everyone had a great time...love the lego cake!

Unknown said...

that is one amazing cake. We have a woman that makes Brayden cakes too.

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