It’s been a month and life has been so hectic that I am just now posting pictures of Kembe and India’s birthday party.  (Let’s not even talk about those thank you cards!)
I went back and forth about where to have the kids’ party and how many children to include. They are at a new kindergarten and they are in separate classes so I knew that inviting all of the kids in each class could end up being a very large group. Still, they were only a month into school and hadn’t really solidified friendships to the point where we could pick and choose a few key friends. I was also a bit interested in meeting all of the other parents, so I decided to go for it, knowing that we had the potential to have 50+ kids coming. My next hurdle was to figure out a place that could accommodate that many kids that would be a) gender neutral, b) age-appropriate, and c) not a lot of work for me.

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Enter Pretend City, a children’s museum in Orange County that caters to pretend fun for kids in this age group. We’ve been to Pretend City and my kids LOVE IT.
I really have to say, Pretend City saved the day for me in a major way. Their birthday celebration was sandwiched between two international trips for me, and I was stressing with a number of assignments and life in general. Pretend City took care of everything. They provided crafts for the party and didn’t bat an eye with the RSVP list of 35 kids I provided somehow morphed into a party of 60 kids.
That is correct. Between some obvious RSVP slip-ups and some siblings who tagged along, we had 60 children (and about as many adults) in that party room. I was a teensy bit stressed. Pretend City was not.   IMG_5506 - Copy
Their staff led the kids in a craft, led the singing, and cut the cake while I lay in a fetal position in the corner tried to socialize with the other parents.    IMG_5505 - Copy
Pretend City partnered with a local bakery on the cake, and I have to say, it went above and beyond my expectations. The kids loved the way it looked, and it was so big that it fed all of the kids and then our family for another 5 day.   IMG_5500 - CopyI’m not gonna lie: Pretend City sent over the cake flavor possibilities and asked what the kids would like, and I did not even consult with them. All I saw was “red velvet” and “cream cheese frosting” and the deal was done. I chose wisely. It was a hit.

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After our celebration in the private room, all of the kids got to play in the museum. This was great since we had such a large party, and it gave us room to spread out. I cannot imagine what would have happened if that many kids descended on a rented bouncehouse in the park.

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The kids had a blast, pretending to plant a garden or work or listening to stories or man an emergency response center dressed as a lizard.

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Pretend City has one room devote to rough-and-tumble play, and not surprisingly my boys spent mot of their time in this room.
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It’s also no surprise that India spent most of the time in the art room. I loved that my twins both got to engage in their own version of fun at the same venue.
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There is also a stage with dress-up clothes, and the kids put on many a show for the parents.   IMG_5691

IMG_5504 - Copy A huge thanks to Pretend City for making their birthday celebration so special!