A few months ago, I bought a LivingSocial Deal for a bouncy house rental. When I tried to use it for my daughter's backyard birthday party, I learned that the offer wasn't valid on Saturdays. Blargh.
I filed the coupon away, finding a bright side in the fact that we had now paid for a bouncy house rental that could be used any time. When a school closure day began to creep up on the calendar, I called and reserved a bouncer for that day.
My thought was that I'd invite a large handful of my kids friends over, inviting them to stop by for whatever part of the day was convenient for them. Since it wasn't a birthday party, and I had paid for the bouncer, I decided that I would not be hosting lunch. I suggested parents bring a snack to share.
Here's what I learned:
- Plan further ahead. When I called a week or so in advance to reserve my bouncer, they couldn't deliver it until 11 am. My kids were ready and waiting at 7 am. This was a very long four hours for us. Next time, I'll plan earlier in hopes of getting to the top of the delivery list.
- Renting inflatables is really easy. The delivery person sets it up and takes it down and you have to do nothing. I used Comic Jumps, and the full price is about $110 for the whole day. They have jumpy houses in every flavor from Hello Kitty to Finding Nemo. I opted for plain.
- An open house-style playdate is great for maximizing the number of friends who come over to entertain your children, but keeps you housebound. I should have contained the hours better. Entertaining a revolving door of guests from 11 to 4 is too long for me. At the end of the day I was as exhausted as if I had taught a full day of Kindergarten to a herd of mountain goats. (I'd like to take this moment to thank all teachers.)
- Assign supervision to the rest of the house. I wasn't intimidated by the prospect of having eleven children over while my husband was at work because all the parents were there and I wasn't serving a meal, however, the ones who escaped into the house probably needed an adult with them. As my own kids are 5 and 8, I wasn't worried about them, but a few kids were younger and my house is no longer toddler-proofed. Our bunk beds broke, which was both dangerous and had a large impact on the ROI for the day. Thankfully no one was hurt.
Would I do it again? Yes! My kids love to jump and pairing up with another parent or two to pay for one bouncer plus lunch for four of five kids is a super fun way to spend a school holiday.
Comic Jumps also has inflatable mini-water slides, not to mention margarita machines and other party rentals. I'm thinking a Day Before School Starts Un-Birthday Party.