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Old 05-01-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
jen0610
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Thoughts on birthday party for teens.

I asked DD what did she want to do for her birthday this year. Said she wanted to go bowling, then get pizza and back to our place for cake and a bon fire to roast marshmellows. I asked how many friends, she said with her added in, maybe 16 total.

Holy cow!!! Where she wants to go it's either going to run us, just for the bowling, $130 to $175. It's $260, if we add in 4 pizza's and 8 pitchers of pop to the one package. I have seen the pizza that comes with the packages, it'll be more of a snack for the kids then dinner.

It just seems, like not a lot of bang for the buck. The cheapest option, would be during the afternoon, which I know isn't what she wants, so it be closer to the $175.

I looked up how much it would be to do the other idea she had mentioned awhile ago which was swimming, then the pizza and our place. I like those prices much better. For the 16 kids, it would only run us $56.00 for 5 hours of swimming. That is bang for the buck. Even paying for me, DH, DS, and my brother to get in to the pool wouldn't be much more. It would take 3 of us driving to get all the kids back and forth.

So, which do you think 16 14 to 16 year old kids would like better. 2 hours of bowling or 5 hours of swimming. It would be a mix of boys and girls. She has many close male friends as she does female friends.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jen0610 View Post
I asked DD what did she want to do for her birthday this year. Said she wanted to go bowling, then get pizza and back to our place for cake and a bon fire to roast marshmellows. I asked how many friends, she said with her added in, maybe 16 total.

Holy cow!!! Where she wants to go it's either going to run us, just for the bowling, $130 to $175. It's $260, if we add in 4 pizza's and 8 pitchers of pop to the one package. I have seen the pizza that comes with the packages, it'll be more of a snack for the kids then dinner.

It just seems, like not a lot of bang for the buck. The cheapest option, would be during the afternoon, which I know isn't what she wants, so it be closer to the $175.

I looked up how much it would be to do the other idea she had mentioned awhile ago which was swimming, then the pizza and our place. I like those prices much better. For the 16 kids, it would only run us $56.00 for 5 hours of swimming. That is bang for the buck. Even paying for me, DH, DS, and my brother to get in to the pool wouldn't be much more. It would take 3 of us driving to get all the kids back and forth.

So, which do you think 16 14 to 16 year old kids would like better. 2 hours of bowling or 5 hours of swimming. It would be a mix of boys and girls. She has many close male friends as she does female friends.
Swimming is a tough one for girls- I know my daughter and her friends stopped with the pool and swimming last year at around 13- none of them have any interest in swimming. I know my daughter would prefer the bowling party. Plus at 14-16 bowling is easy, you drop them off and come back and pay when the party is over, I know my daughter wouldn't want mom, dad and uncle hanging out at her party at that age! For my daughters 13th birthday I dropped her and her 5 friends off at laser tag then came back when they were done and dropped them off at applebees for dinner and picked up when they were finished! I had no desire to sit there with 6 13 year old girls anymore than they wanted mom hanging about.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:50 PM   #3
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I think it totally depends on your DD and her group of friends and I think she will be able to answer the question the best. If money is really an issue then I would set a budget and then sit down with your DD and let her know there is X to spend on the party, what do you want to do.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:52 PM   #4
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Ask your daughter.

She's at an age where girls (guys too) are sometimes self conscious about how they look in a bathing suit in front of their peers -- particularly the opposite gender.

"Bang for your buck" is in the eye of the beholder. A five hour party she hates isn't nearly as much fun as a 2 hour party she loves. But you could mention the idea of trimmng back that guest list if she chooses the more expensive option. Or of bowling for 2 hours, then coming back to the house for real pizza.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:49 PM   #5
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She's at an age where girls (guys too) are sometimes self conscious about how they look in a bathing suit in front of their peers -- particularly the opposite gender.
I agree.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:50 PM   #6
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I know that my sister, who is 13, would prefer the swimming. We will probably do a pool party for her birthday in fact

While a bowling party is lots of fun that is a lot, eek!
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:52 PM   #7
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I know a lot of girls that age are not yet comfortable swimming at certain times of the month. We ran into that a lot with scouts.

Can you do the bowling and have the pizza back at the house?
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:28 PM   #8
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I know a lot of girls that age are not yet comfortable swimming at certain times of the month. We ran into that a lot with scouts.

Can you do the bowling and have the pizza back at the house?
Exactly my thought. I remember having to skip a bar mitzvah party that I really wanted to go to, but it was a swimming party and well the timing wasn't right so I had to cancel at the last minute.

I would do bowling, but not have a birthday party at the bowling alley. Drop the kids off, or take them, go bowling with your husband, son and brother on your own, collect the kids and do pizza when you get back to your house where they can hang out.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:47 PM   #9
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Just take the kids bowling; don't book a "party". Then find a local Cicis or other place with a cheap pizza buffet and go there, then home for the marshmallow roast or do the pizza at your house as well. I would limit to 10 or less---16 is a bit much.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:52 PM   #10
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Just take the kids bowling; don't book a "party". Then find a local Cicis or other place with a cheap pizza buffet and go there, then home for the marshmallow roast or do the pizza at your house as well. I would limit to 10 or less---16 is a bit much.


I was thinking the same thing.
When my ds was 7 we had a bowling party. It was around 18.00 per kid, but that only included an hour of bowling. After 60 minutes, the lanes were shut off....fine for little kids, but I think teens would like to finish their game! Then it off to the decorated party room for pizza.

I would just pay for the kids to bowl a game or 2.

Then have them back at the house for pizza and stuff.

For DS13's b-day he invited 16 boys are girls over. It was a Fri in October and they had pizza, hotdogs and marshmallows over the fire pit. They played ping pong...which turned into soda pong (what a sticky mess!) and everyone had a great time.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:46 PM   #11
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Just take the kids bowling; don't book a "party". Then find a local Cicis or other place with a cheap pizza buffet and go there, then home for the marshmallow roast or do the pizza at your house as well. I would limit to 10 or less---16 is a bit much.
Exactly, 16 kids equals 4 lanes. The kids can play quite a few games for a reasonable amount and then have food at your place.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:50 AM   #12
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How about borrowing a couple Wii consoles and getting the Sports games that come with Bowling on them? Set up a couple TVs in your living room and let the kids play there. Order in pizza and then do the marshmallow roast.

We used to go bowling on New Years Day each year with my extended family, now we just stay at our house and bowl there. Plus we can then play other sports games too!
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:24 AM   #13
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When I was that age we didn't do big parties anymore.

Usually you MAYBE had five friends and went to a movie or out for pizza etc.

Having anything more then that seems indulgent. If it was a sweet 16 then ok, maybe something a bit bigger but still, back in the 80's we just wanted to hang out with our friends, the idea of a big party seemed weird.


I honestly think movies at home, ordering pizzas and letting the kids have fun seems better then spending a lot of money to take them out somewhere.
It's for her 16th. She's never had a big party. Last year she had 4 firends over. They did a huge water balloon fight, with her brother. We did hamburgers and the bon fire. She would just like to do something bigger for her 16th, which I understand. She's actually thinking a lot smaller than most of her firends, knowing that the budget is tighter for us than most all of her close friends.

She said while going to the really cool bowling alley would be nice, she knows that it's to expensive. With that, I looked at the other bowling alley close to us. They could go bowling for 2 games, with 6 on each lane and it would only run me $81.00. That includes the cost of shoes. That seems a lot better cost. Same distance to both from our place.

So, I think that is what we are going to do. She also said something about water balloons again, but we will see about that later. All of the kids she has said she was asking would love the water balloons. Over half of them are going to another party the week prior that is going to have water gun tag being played. These kids don't have an issue with getting wet, then hanging out.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:03 PM   #14
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What part of the country are you in? Here in the Midwest, kids have such a limited amount of time to swim each year that in the summer pool parties are more popular than bowling parties. Summer birthdays are coveted because kids have so many more options for outdoor parties. In the winter most birthday parties are at bowling alleys or fun centers and kids get sick of them.

If you live in an area where you can swim almost year-round, bowling might be more of a treat. I agree with the poster who said to set a budget and then tell you daughter what her options are within that budget.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:08 PM   #15
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For me, there is no way I would spend that much money on a party. Now if she insisted on bowling and the other stuff, which does sound like fun, I would make her cut way down on her list.

Around here, pool parties are always done. I can't remember the last time a teen girl or boy for that matter had a bowling party. I can't imagine
girls being "done" with pool parties at age 13. Different strokes I guess, and different areas of the country.
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