Hockey puck invitations– that I got for a penny!
I told you all last week about the success I had hosting my daughter’s Manicure & Pizza Party at the end of December. Just as soon as I got through that one, Operation Outsource Parties continued– our son turned eight at the end of January!
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with him. Clearly, a salon date wasn’t going to cut it. I thought about what he loves to do. Our kiddo, though not really blessed with a ton of natural athletic ability, really enjoys sports. He does karate and baseball and, at recess, you’ll find him with the “jock” crowd, playing football or basketball.
I knew we have a local sports facility, so I researched parties there. I was told we could have fifteen kids for an hour for $300. Yikes! That’s too many kids, too short a time, and too much money for what I had in mind. The search continued.
I sat down one evening and googled “minor league sports teams northwest connecticut.” I perused the list and was happily surprised to discover we have a minor league hockey team about a half hour away. Though our son was certainly no hockey expert, I thought he’d enjoy going to a live game.
I started wondering how I was going to make this work as a party…
As I clicked around the site, wouldn’t you know, I found a “birthday party” link. Bingo! For $13 a child, they offered:
- Cupcakes – Everyone receives a voucher for a cupcake
· Ice Cream Guy – Ice Cream cup for everyone from the Ice Cream Guy
· Locker room tour – Get a behind the scenes tour
· Meet the team – Say hello to your favorite players
· Take pictures with the players
· Slap hands with the team as they hit the ice
· Signed game used team item
· Drop a ceremonial first puck
· Name announced during the game
· Free Chuck a Puck for the birthday child
· Discounted merchandise card for the birthday child
Most of the games don’t start until 7pm and that could get pretty late for some second graders (like ours!), but I was able to find one that began at 5:05pm. And, wouldn’t you know it, that one fell right ON our son’s birthday! This idea was really growing on me…
I talked it over with my husband and we determined that we could easily fit two adults and five eight-year-old boys in our minivan. I emailed the parents of A’s best friend and asked the dad if he’d be willing to help chaperone so it could be a “guy thing” (and there’d be a couple options for bathroom trips and what-not.) Once we had him onboard, we had A. choose four good friends to invite.
There were two things that every mom told me when she RSVP’ed:
1. “You’re a genius.” (why, thankyouverymuch!)
2. “What a nice group of boys!” (and they were– A. chose wisely)
I decided I’d pack a picnic-style meal for “on-the-road” to cut costs and (hopefully) offer at least some healthier fare. I tossed together a cooler full of two kinds of sandwiches, snack bags full of pretzels, apple slices, and those “little hug” beverages that are total junk, but fun– hey, it was a birthday party!
I had all the boys meet at our home. In the invitations, I made sure to ask the parents to bring any booster seats needed to ensure their children could ride safely and legally. This was a small group– and families we knew– so everyone was comfortable with my husband driving the little guys.
At 3:30pm, I waved goodbye to five boys and two men and settled in to relax with my girls.
The guys all had a great time. Look how small my super-tall second grader looks next to those hockey players! (I know it’s a video and videos can be annoying– but, um, indulge me? It’s all I’ve got. ;) )
A. loved meeting the hockey players and his friends all thought it was awesome. I had absolutely zero mess to deal with– I didn’t even have to bake the cake for that one.
My husband drove the boys home after the hockey game since sports events can be unpredictable in length. The other parents all really appreciated this!
By 8:30pm, they were all home, safe and snug in their beds, while visions of hockey pucks danced in their heads.
This party came in at $97 and was a super “winter party” for a grade school boy! I woud definitely do it again.
Any questions about hosting a hockey party?