Friday, July 07, 2006

Kai Kai 6 Years Birthday Party at Vancouver Aquarium

I love my son very much and I really really wants to give him the most memorable birthday party as I can and living in Vancouver is really making this dream come true much easier!

Last year we celebrate his 5th birthday at Science World. We had a complete success there too. Here is the lesson that I learn about throwing a birthday party for a child. Make a reservation at least 3 months in advance. Find places that are popular for children like Science World, Zoo, Vancouver Aquarium, Petting Zoo. Usually these kind of places always offer you their membership discount if you want to use their place for a party. If you think you will bring your kid to that place more than 4 times in a year, it's worth it to buy their membership. That way you will get their discount. Then either you prepare the loot bags yourselves or you can just order them from the birthday coordinator at least a week in advance. Less thing to worry about. Some places like this Aquarium even offer you the birthday cake. Take it! Because it always cost more if you buy outside, unless you want to make it on your own. I found that your children doesn't really care about how good looking their birthday cake is as long as they have their good friends to play with in their party. If you choose places like Science World, Aquarium and Zoo, they always give you more than just entertainment. They are very educational too, I found that even parents learns new things at these places so you are not just entertaining the children but their parents too! Make sure everybody happy, isn't that what a good host suppose to do? When everybody happy, you will happy too and by having someone else do the entertaining , you can relax and enjoy the party as well and not busy running around making sure everybody eat and entertained. When throwing party for small children, always think that their parents ( both parents ) will accompany them, count their siblings too, heck... Even grandparents sometimes can show up too! Always prepare to know that these places has safety standard. Usually there is only 20 people allowed in the same room, so think of how many extra people will be there in the party. More than that sometimes they can't enter the room, they have to stay outside and some times they charge more for these extra people. So try to limit the number of children that you invite into around 10-15 only.

On last year birthday party at Science World, it cost me around CAN $ 360 to invite 20 children ( siblings included ), I got lucky that they don't charge me extra for parents because they all come! For that amount of money, the children get either hotdogs or hamburger with fries and drinks. I brought my own birthday cake and the loot bags too.

This time, I only invited 11 children ( siblings included ) and it cost me only CAN $ 260. With this price I get a birthday cake but no food, drinks for children and coffee and tea for parents. Then each kid get a discount coupon for eating at a nearby restaurant ( White Spot ) and stickers/tattoo. For loot bags they offer several choices $ 5, $ 8, and $ 10. I order the $ 5 loot bags.

Another tips for having a great children birthday party. The most important is you have to like the parents. Children like Kai Kai's age usually can get along with almost everybody. Off course it is important to invite kids that he likes and you have to like the kids too. But I think most important is you have to like the parents. Those parents that I invited are really great people as a result, their children are all nice, polite, can obey the aquarium rules. Because their parents are our friends, they will make an extra effort to come to your party. They bring nicer gifts for Kai Kai. They also offer to help us with managing the party. They help me carry the picnic food that I prepare for them. So it's no wonder that we all had a great time today. Both children and adults.

Because today's weather is super duper nice I brought food for picnic at the last second. In the morning I went to a supermarket and I found out that all of the picnic food are on sale because today is Canada Day, the independent day of Canada. So a lot of people goes to picnic today. Nothing fancy, just sandwiches, pasta salad, potato salad, fresh fruits, chips, jello pudding, juice boxes. Then I brought my own homemade marshmallows and homemade sweet and spicy mixed nuts for nibbling.

Today God answered all of my prayers. Here is the list of my prayers:

1. I want to give a party for KK at Vancouver Aquarium
2. I want the right date for the party - He gave me Canada's day
3. I want a good weather - He gave me a perfect weather without a single cloud on the sky
4. I want only people that I like to come to the party
5. I want only nice kids to come
6. Since the party is on Canada's day, the day when people will go to Stanley Park to have a picnic, it will be very difficult to get a parking spot let alone 2 parking spot for both our cars ( I brought 2 cars because there are 2 extra people that need a lift ). God gave us 2 spot on the best spots, right in front of the entrance both! This alone is already a miracle!
7. I want all the parents to be able to get parking spots - they got them.
8. I don't want to spent more than $ 300.
9. I want to get a great spot for the picnic.
10. I want the food to be just enough. Usually I always go overboard, buying for an army then ended up with too much leftovers.
11. I want everybody able to enjoy the party.
12. I want professional and kind party coordinators - Mike and Asia are both great!
13. I don't want any accidents
14. I want to buy food for picnic that is on sale and yes,all of them are on sale that day!

So those 14 request that I made are all answered by God , every single one of them.

Pic: The children has to line up with the birthday boy in the lead to get their hands stamped by Mike and Asia before they entered.

Pic: We were brought into this private birthday room at the lowest level of the aquarium.

Pic: Mike gave us explanation about dolphin.

Pic: The dolphins like to peep at us!

Pic: While one birthday coordinator entertain the other children, at least one of them will stay close to Kai Kai to answer any questions that he asked. Like a private teacher.

Pic: Mike gave all of use an ID necklace so that we can enter a room that normally are not for public use.

PIc: Mike told the kids to run around the room like a shark. Smart! This way, they spent their energy first and that will tame their over excitement considerably.

Pic: Look at La La's clothes including her shoes, socks and her hat. All of them are especially chosen by Kai Kai for her to wear on his birthday bash. Isn't that sweet?

Pic: La La didn't fuss at all the whole time we had a party. She enjoyed it as much as us. Plus, all of the parents are giving her enough attention.

Pic: Getting a private tour inside the Aquarium.

Pic: We were brought into this lab where everybody can touch anemones, starfish, snails, sea cucumber etc. We stayed in this room long enough to satisfy everybody's curiosity.

Pic: Even parents like Vince there had a blast. I saw that almost everybody come to this party ready with their camera to take their children's pictures.

Pic: Mike, the birthday coordinator made us said our solemn promise to only touch the animals using only our itty bitty pinky fingers.

Pic: Daddy's little girl

Pic: Asia patiently answers all of the children's questions.

Pic: From that lab, we went to the butterflies garden where we can see not only butterflies but also sloth, turtles, exotic birds, cocoa plants, snakes, etc.

Pic: More private tour ...

Pic: The coolest thing about being the birthday boy is this, Kai Kai are allowed to feed the fishes in the biggest fish tank!

Pic: While Kai Kai was above feeding the fishes, his friends are downstairs where they can see the fishes swim upward so fast to catch the food.

Pic: The fishes jump up from the water to catch the food. It's pretty cool to feed the big sturgeon!

Pic: To fill the time while the party coordinators prepare the cake, they served us our drinks.

Pic: Kai Kai were offered to choose what kind of sea creature picture he wanted on his birthday cake. He pick a shark.

Pic: The cake is enough to feed all of us, parents included.

Pic: Everybody wants to play with La La and that's just fine with her!

Pic: While we got a great spot right next to a big playground, the children had their own picnic on the grass while their parents sit at the picnic table.

I couldn't stop saying thank you to God for His blessings for Kai Kai's birthday party.

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