Monday, 9 February 2015

Creepy Crawlies, Gymnastics, Billiards and Seals

It's been non stop birthday celebrations around here with 6 birthdays in 4 weeks.  To celebrate, the birthday girls and boys, have been wanting to try something different than what they would normally do.  With so many birthdays so close together I have been trying to be creative coming up with ideas and to stay within budget as that is always an issue especially with a large family.

I was pleasantly surprised when researching a few ideas.  I found out that as a "birthday party" the admission was cheaper than the regular admission at some locations.  For example the "Bug Zoo" would have cost us $144 (regular admission) for the 18 of us, a birthday party with an extra hour in the party room for cake (that we provide) would have been $130 and we got in for $68.  Our cost covered the entrance fee and a guide for our visit.   The guide described each insect and let us hold a variety of them.  We did not require the party room as this party was our family and we planned on going for dinner later so they did not charge us for this.  After the Bug Zoo we took a walk down to Fisherman's Wharf and watched the seals being fed at the request of an adult son.  He missed out the last time we went and after seeing pictures he really wanted to go. As it was so much fun last time everyone wanted to go.

For another party we rented the local gymnastics club, gym.  For 10 people that would be on the equipment and as many support people as required (Grandparents, parents, adult friends) our admission cost was $65.  This was $65 cheaper than the full birthday party cost ($130) because we opted out of the 45 minute party room for cake.  We had free rein of the gym to play on all the equipment.  1 hour was plenty of time to exhaust everyone and was so much fun.  We have decided that we will definitely be renting the gym more often as it was something that we could do to burn off excess energy on those raining days.  Many typical family activities like swimming are a challenge for us with our children's special needs but the gym was so accessible for us.

For our teenagers party we decided a more mature outing was in line so we hired a babysitter for the youngest 7 and the rest of us hit the billiard hall.  Adult siblings, Grandparents, and friends were invited and we rented the party room at the billiards hall.  This room included 2 pool tables, ping pong, foosball, air hockey and darts for $40/hr.  This part was such a hit that Dad and a couple siblings have requested their birthday parties be held at this location.

After having these successful parties I asked if these prices were only for birthday's or if any group could book an event at these prices. I was pleasantly surprised to find that these were the prices for pre-booking and it didn't matter the reason.  This has now made me think as a large family we need to plan our outings differently in order to save money.

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