When you are a kid, winter birthdays can be a drag.  Options are extremely limited.

Those able to accommodate indoor parties (think Chuck E. Cheese or around these parts Adventure Park) are very (VERY) expensive and have limited “birthday party room” time. I mean, give me a break! You spend hundreds of dollars and an establishment and get 45 minutes to an hour in a room where your kids need to quickly stuff their faces with pizza and cake before being wisked out by staff. Not to mention the fact that the children quickly run out of money or tokens and you end up shelling out another hundred dollars for more game time just so they can cash in their tickets for an ERASER or a PENCIL or SILLY BANDZ.

Hate that.

Really, really hate that.

We came up with a better alternative for my son this past weekend. And yes, I’m putting it out there so all can steal it. It is genius.

We threw Young Jedi a pool party at a local hotel. Wait, don’t judge on the price. Hear me out: for a fraction of the cost of the traditional birthday party we rented a two-room suite and held a pool party sleep-over.

The beauty of the that specific hotel was that it had a complete kitchen and living room. We were able to bring in our own  pizzas, juice boxes, sodas, snacks, a cake, etc which allowed us to save money because we controlled the cost. As for decorations – a ton of balloons on the floor and streamers throughout the rooms were uber-festive and again not very costly.

The best part of the arrangement was the fact that we were able to have a really long party and not worry about being wisked out of there. Our boys got a good three hours of indoor pool time before the “official” party ended. (It could have been all day by the way. We set the time frame ourselves.) We played games with them and held races. They even got the chance to try out a hot tub. (Which resulted in hilarious comedy.)

Mid-party we went back to the room for cake and presents. Once they were all sugared up we took them back to the pool and tired them out.  Now, the pool didn’t close until 11:00 p.m. that evening so we could have stayed all night long but our boys chose to go play pool in a game room by the uber-swanky lobby. This mom went and filled up her coffee cup (anticipating a long night ahead) and mucked around on Twitter by the fireplace for awhile. Go ahead. Hate me. I realize birthday parties are not supposed to be stress free so I am gloating a bit here.

The children were exhausted and conked out pretty quickly. Come morning we were able to all have breakfast at the complimentary buffet provided by the hotel.

We never wanted to leave. And I think THAT is the takeaway here. We got a two room suite, all the pool time we wanted, an overnight stay and breakfast the next morning. My ten year old never felt so special.

Do you see why this concept works? Truly it is a joyful experience. Your kids will love it, even if you don’t invite any guests along.