First birthday party planning 101Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Second City Baby
I can't believe it, but the date is upon me. My son's first birthday. I blinked, and now he's 11 months old.
Which means of course it's time to plan the birthday party.
For my first I put on a big show. I'm talking a huge breakfast buffet at our club, music suitable for a preschool class, pomp, circumstance and lots of lox.
For the second, I wanted it be be a little more chill. I thought pizza and beers could suffice. Of course, we couldn't just sit around and watch football all morning so I figured I'd need a little entertainment as well.
After tweeting and facebooking all my contacts for suggestions, we set out. The little man and I went to check out venues and book entertainment.
Chicago's Pizza on Lincoln was first on our list. I loved the space, clean and bright, but the stairs to get there were about as steep as those in the Tower of London. And, the catering menu was about as easy to dechiper as baby signs. No thanks.
Next, we went to Pizza Serio on Belmont. It's so close to my home it was worth a peek. Plus, my babysitter said they had terrific thin crust. Sold. But, hello, they weren't open at 3 pm on a Monday. Deal breaker. I needed a pizza joint, and fast.
I checked out D'Agostinos on Southport and Addison, but their party room had clearly been trafficked by too many Cubs fans. Not fit for babies. I will go back and sit in the upstairs where the food looked delish and the train running around the room would be a hit with my four-year old.
Our last stop was to my favorite pizza join in town. Pequod's. I love their torched-to-a-crisp thick crust and heard they had a party room. When we stopped in I was impressed that the floor smelled clean and the manager even had ideas of how I could make the upstairs party room baby friendly. (By putting a foam mat down and borrowing a plastic playpen gate thing-y to keep the little ones from crawling around a dirty bar floor. Genius!) So I booked it. No minimum requirement or deposits required either.
Harder was figuring out how to keep the kiddies entertained. Music? Balloons? Plus, there were going to be lots of older kids there too. Because a first birthday party couldn't be just about the birthday boy, right? Have to keep big bro entertained as well.
I loved having Aimee there for my first. She is subtle, funny and keeps the kids and parents entertained. But she was unavailable. Little Miss Ann is a household name around town. I've never met or heard her personally, but my friends raved about her. I was excited. The pieces of the pizza party puzzle were coming together. But she had conflicts too.
No music for a first birthday party? Ack!?
Word of mouth and several desperate emails then lead me to Mr. Singer. I mean, the name is pretty catchy, right? Bingo! He was available. Done.
I sent the invites via Paperless Post (perhaps my new favorite website). My son is insisting that we get the chocolate cake from "Jackson's" party, so I'll try to figure out where in the city I can get a cake as good as the one from Deerfields Bakery. Because Lord knows I'm not shlepping to Deerfield for a freaking cake. I'm thinking Costco. I like their chocolate mousse.
Party favors aren't a necessity, and because I'm having it at a restaurant I don't need to worry about plates, cups and utensils. So I think I'm good.
See, I can plan a low-key, no-frills first birthday like the rest of them... right? ;-)
All of these endorsements/ write-ups were all written on my own. Not compensated for anything!