We had Elliott's birthday party on Saturday. As I've mentioned several times, we were in no way ready to have it at home, so we had it a local pizza place. We invited 23 kids, and thought probably 50-75% would show up. We had it right after a basketball game, or we would have estimated lower, but we thought since the kids were already in town, the parents would be more likely to take them. We ended up with 10 kids (11 counting Elliott, and 12 counting one of the boys' preschool sister who decided to participate in some of the party activities with us).
We would have had more, but the weather was awful! We were even under a blizzard warning, with no travel advised part of the time. So the kids who weren't already in Minot weren't able to come for the most part. Elliott's best friend's mom called me during the basketball game to tell me that she and the kids (he has a 5 year old and a 4 year old sister who were also invited to the party) wouldn't be able to attend because of the weather. And another mom told me at the party that her niece wouldn't be able to make it either, because of the weather.
The kids that were able to come had a great time, though. They colored masks while we were waiting for everyone to arrive, and then we ordered the pizza and turned them loose in the arcade while we waited for the pizza. After we ate pizza, we opened presents and then played for a few more minutes before coming back to the party room for cake and ice cream. After that it was time to hand out goody bags and parents were starting to arrive. So I think we timed it pretty well. We put on the invitation that the party started at 130, but since the game got out at about 1245, most of the kids were there by 1 or a few minutes after. I told parents we would be done around 3 or 315. So parents started showing up at about 5 til 3, and all the kids were picked up by 320.
My husband complained a little bit about the cost of the party, but after we discussed it more, he decided the price wasn't too bad. It was pretty much all inclusive. The party package included pizza, a drink, ice cream, and 10 tokens per child. It also included clean up (when my husband asked about a trash can, they told him to just pile the trash together and they would take care of it when Elliott was done unwrapping), and we didn't have to do much of anything for the set up either.
I have a feeling we will have more parties there in the future.