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Birthday Party Places

This Almost 40 Mom Repelled Off a Wall

Orange County Indoor Rock Climbing for Kids

One of new year’s goals was to do more things alone with my oldest daughter on the weekends.  She loves being active and is up for anything so when I  saw the Groupon come in for a one hour session of indoor rock climbing at Sender One Climbing in their Funtopia climbing space I snatched it up.

Now after our experience at Sender One, I had to do a post on the new Orange County indoor rock climbing for kids space because it was so flipping fun I was on an adrenaline high for the entire afternoon.

Funtopia is not just for kids, it’s for adults and kids weighing more than 40+ lbs, so not only was Emma going to go rock climbing, mama was too.

Then I remembered I am sort of a scaredy cat, and adrenaline rushes are really not my thing. I had visions of me strapped into my harness crying to the staff member about my fear of heights a la The Bachelor.

But I am a changed woman lately, so I was going to go for it.

Here’s what’s happening this year – I am turning 40. 

Yes, the big 4-0 is immenient, but instead of being all depressed about getting old, something crazy has switched on inside of me and I am obsessed with trying new things this year.

Thus, the two hour trapeze lesson I bought on Living Social. Oh, and the ballroom dancing lessons. A special thank you to the daily deal sites for feeding my midlife psychosis. This can’t be normal.

So Emma and I went to Sender One on Saturday ready for an adventure. They offer climbing for all levels, including this beautiful (and insane) area with 18-foot high walls for serious climbers.

Orange County indoor rock climbing for kids

Funtopia is a separate area perfect for kids. And almost 40-year-old moms.

Once we were checked in, they got us into our harnesses and sent us in to climb and play. The employees helped us learn how to clip ourselves in and then we were told to just go for it. Up we went on the first wall.

My heart started beating faster and faster the higher I went. Don’t look down, don’t look down, don’t look down.

When I got the top I was full of adrenaline, because once at the top, you are supposed to push yourself off and repel down the wall. My daughter flew off without a second thought. The girl has no fear, she lives for this kind of stuff.

I yelled down to the employee below, “I’m scared!” I honestly didn’t know if I could do it, but that seemed like the most fun part.

She yells up, “Just commit to it, the first moment is the scariest, and then it’s fine.

So I committed and took the plunge.

Just like an episode of The Bachelor, but no hunky guy waiting at the end to tell me how proud he was of me. But even minus the hunky guy, IT WAS AWESOME!!!

Total rush.

I just wanted to go again and again.  We explored the entire area which included cool pillars to climb, various climbing walls, even a structure with a high platform on top in which you can jump off to a trapeze swing or a swinging punching bag thing.

Yes, I did the trapeze. Just a taste of what’s to come.

OC indoor rock climbing for kids

It was one of those experiences I will always remember and Emma loved every minute. It was really cool to get to do something like this with her. Except on the way home she told me she now wants to go zip lining. Lord help me if another deal for zip lining comes into my inbox.

Tips on Visiting Sender One with Kids 

Funtopia is for adults and kids weighing 40+ pounds
~ Funtopia is open Monday – Friday from 2-8p, Sat/Sun 10 -6p
~ All kids under 11 must be accompanied by an adult
~ Sessions start on the hour; walk-ins OK if there is space, but online reservations recommended
~ Wear workout clothes or clothes that are able to be moved in. Definitely yoga or workout pants for moms.
~ It’s a workout, you will sweat, dress cool.
~ Wear closed toe shoes (no black soles)
~ Base price $17/hour pp; +$5 for drop slide and jump and catch
~ Fill out waiver online before going
~ Arrive 15 – 20 minutes early to get instructions
~ Bring your camera!!!

SenderOneClimbing.com 

Lots of Fun for Your Lil’ Kickers

soccer classes for kids in Orange County CA

Today’s post is about a great program from a juicy new Tiny Oranges sponsor called Lil’ Kickers, which offers soccer classes for kids in Orange County and many other fun programs I am excited to share with you today.

My kids love everything about soccer – and this mama loves that they are active, running and happy.  Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Tim from Lil’ Kickers, who told me all about their fabulous soccer classes for kids and child development program.

And the best part?  He wants your kids to try the program for FREE! Simply mention this Tiny Oranges blog…and receive THREE FREE trial classes (valid for one child only).

Next Level Sports Complex

You’ll find Lil’ Kickers at the Next Level Sports Complex in Garden Grove – a premier multi-sport complex that offers a broad range of athletic programs for all ages.

Tim told me all about the Lil’ Kickers program and their philosophy about working with young kids.  Read below and see for yourself!

What makes Lil’ Kickers soccer classes for kids in Orange County unique?

One of the most unique aspects of the Lil’ Kickers soccer program is that we were created by child development professionals and soccer professionals.

It is firmly rooted in child development theories, and every class is designed specifically for where a child is developmentally, cognitively, socially, physically, and mentally.

What do moms love about your program?

We use imagination and creativity to engage with the kids. Soccer fields are transformed to become the bottom of the ocean or the galaxy above.  Kids are super active, super engaged, and have a great time.

What kind of “age appropriate activities” could we expect in a class?

In our  “Hoppers” class (beginning for three and four-year-olds), kids will learn soccer skills without knowing they are actually developing soccer skills.

We use story and imagination to engage the kids. This helps the children interact and stay engaged.

Our blue soccer balls become laser balls, or battleship cannon balls, or blue pearls that are at the bottom of the ocean…and the kids are in imaginary “scuba gear,” retrieving the blue pearls and bringing them back to the submarine before the octopus (the coach) stops them.

What ages do you teach?

There are classes for kids as young as 18-24 months which are Parent & Me soccer classes all the way up to age 9.. You can visit the website to see the class breakdown by age and along with class descriptions.

Tell us more about what you offer…

Lil’ Kickers is more than just soccer.  We have our weekly classes for kids ages 18 months to nine-years-old like I mentioned, but we also have soccer birthday parties that incorporate soccer and a whole lot more (bounce houses, dodge ball, basketball, kickball, flag football, and volleyball to name a few!).

We also offer a “Parents Night Out” on a regular basis where parents drop their kids off for “date night,” leaving their kiddos in the hands of the best babysitters, our Lil’ Kickers coaches.  We also have great OC summer soccer camps and winter soccer camps, too!

Want your Lil’ Kicker to try it out? 

All you have to do is call us at 714-230-0706 x107 - mention this Tiny Oranges blog – and receive three Lil’ Kickers classes for FREE (valid for one child only).  SO excited to try them!

Thank you Tim for sharing more about your fabulous program!

[Disclosure: Lil' Kickers is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor.]

A Beach Theme Birthday Party

This guest post today comes from Kristal, my friend over at the fabulous LA mom blog PierToPeer.net, about the darling beach theme birthday party she threw for her daughter’s 4th birthday last summer. I thought she had the cutest ideas on how to throw a super cute beach birthday party. Here is what she wrote…

Last year for my daughter Ella’s 4th birthday we decided to celebrate on the beach. Living in Manhattan Beach and having a summer birthday, it was the perfect setting for her big day.

We set the tone for the shindig by starting with the invitations. They were custom designed by Sahar Robertson of DesignsBySaidi on Etsy. She created a cartoon image of Ella from a photo I took of her. It was so cute and different, a hit with the invitees!

She also created the sandwich toppers and the gift bag tags.  

For a party favor, we put together a special CD for the kids to take home.

Sahar helped design a CD cover for “Ella’s Summer Mix” to match.

We played the CD throughout the party to give it an extra fun vibe – nothing like some fun beach tunes to add to the party atmosphere!

Now onto the decorating ~ there are so many cute things you can do with a beach theme!

We went for a lunch menu of tuna, chicken salad and turkey sandwiches for the adults and mini sea shaped tuna and PB&J tea sandwiches for the kiddies provided by Lisa’s Bon Appétit in Torrance.

I also had pasta and fruit salads (made by yours truly) which were displayed in sand buckets and served with a shovel.

For yummy treats we had chips and salsa, goldfish, saltwater taffy and an assortment of other candies.

I named the food items with a fun sea theme of course on stationery from Michaels. Some examples are “Crunchy Coral” for the veggie platter, “Deep Sea Kelp” for the pesto pasta salad and “Fish & Chips” for the chips and goldfish. And my favorite, the “SAND-wiches!

And in lieu of a traditional birthday cake we went for sea decorated sugar cookies also provided by Lisa’s Bon Appétit. The cookies were a lot more manageable than cutting a cake on the beach.

I had canopies with colorful paper lanterns from Cost Plus World Market up for shade and lots of bubbles, beach balls and they even had a water balloon bonanza!

Planning a birthday party is one of my favorite things I look forward to doing every year. Having a theme in mind definitely makes the project that much easier and also a lot of fun.

I am currently working on her upcoming 5th birthday. A backyard campout, “Camp 5 Rocks!” Stay tuned on Pier to Peer for the upcoming feature.

Frogg’s Bounce House Birthday Parties

Last month I did a Fancy Nancy party for my oldest daughter’s 6th birthday at our house and I am still recovering. So. Much. Work. Therefore, when planning little sister’s birthday party a mere 3 weeks after, the only thing I knew I wanted was a party NOT at home!

One of Morgan’s favorite places to go in OC is Frogg’s Bounce House in Fountain Valley, so I thought it would be the perfect place to celebrate my soon-to-be 3 year old.  If you are looking for a great OC birthday party venue for kids, Frogg’s Bounce House was a HOPPIN’ good time!

Her party was so easy I almost felt like I was forgetting something.

Frogg’s Bounce House parties include:

* Between 2.5 – 3 hours of Open Play (depending on day of the week)
* Use of The Party Pond party room
* Invitations
* A special appearance by special guest, Frogalina

Although their birthday party packages include invitations, I opted to send a Paperless Post one, as I like the ease of tracking the RSVP’s as well as the reminders. As luck would have it, Paperless Post had three cute frog themed invites to choose from. I had a lot of fun with the frog theme – cute for boys or girls!

If you have not been to Frogg’s before, it is AWESOME!  I take my kids there all of the time.

It is a 9,000 square foot inflatable play zone with a gazillion different bouncers, a special toddler bounce house, kids’ playhouses, riding toys, train table, blocks, disco karaoke hut (hilarious to watch the kiddos in this!), couches for moms to kick back and FREE wi-fi.

But what I love most about Frogg’s is the place is as CLEAN as a whistle. Many of the moms who hadn’t been there before commented to me about the cleanliness factor. At Frogg’s Bounce House:

* No one is allowed in with shoes on, socks are required for everyone! Kids + adults!
* They hand sanitize everyone upon entry.
* Hand sanitizers are on all the tables.
* Crocs are provided outside the restrooms in a basket so you can borrow Crocs to use the restroom.
* Bouncers are completely sanitized each morning upon inflation.  I have seen the staff members cleaning them on multiple occasions.

The Party Pond is a huge area in the back of the facility, where you can set up your party.  There was a door conveniently located next to the party area so you can pull your car up right outside and easily load and unload all your items. When I got there, the staff was SO nice and friendly, offering me party bins for our beverages and they did a cute little sign on the white board announcing Morgan’s birthday. Because it is so colorful and they always have balloons at the facility, you really do not need to provide one thing decoration-wise.

Although 3 hours of play time would have been included since we had our party on a Monday,  I opted to make the party 2 hours long, which for little kids is the amount of time I find to be just about right.  All I had to do for the party was provide the food, drinks, paper goods and favors. It was a mom’s dream!

About an hour into the party, we served lunch. I had pizzas delivered and did an easy fruit salad and a couple Costco salads for the moms. Like I said, it was so easy it was ridiculous. After lunch the kids bounced for awhile longer, then we did cake and “Happy Birthday” followed by Frogalina’s appearance about 20 minutes prior to the party end time.

A very special thanks to Melanie from Sensitive Sweets who did that darling dairy-free frog cake for Morgan who is allergic to milk and eggs. We are so lucky there is a bakery in Orange County that specializes in baked goods for people with food allergies!

Upon leaving, we gave out these cute inexpensive favors from the .99¢ Only Store. I put a $1 jump rope in a green cellophane party favor bag and printed a circle sticker on the computer which said ”Thanks for jumping with me! xo Morgan” that I stuck on frog die cuts I found at the Dollar Tree.

I can’t more highly recommend a party at Frogg’s Bounce House. And for the price, I don’t even think these days you can do a party at home for much cheaper by the time you get all the decorations and entertainment.

I also like that this venue caters to all ages, so you can also include the little ones as well as older siblings, and everyone will have a fabulous time.

For more information on hosting a party at Frogg’s Bounce House, click here for their party information page.  You can also call 714.418.0442 to reserve your special day!

[Disclosure: I was provided the Frogg's party package complimentary in exchange for my time in sharing our experience with you. Love these kinds of win-win situations!]

 

 

Sensitive Sweets Decorating Parties

Sensitive Sweets, a dedicated gluten-free, nut-free bakery in Fountain Valley is now offering special decorating parties!

As a mom of a daughter with a milk and egg allergy, Sensitive Sweets is a God-send to moms like me who have kids with food allergies. Her goodies are made with NO gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts or tree nuts. And they are amazingly good! 

I keep a stash of Sensitive Sweets cupcakes in my freezer, so anytime we go to a party, I have a special cupcake for Morgan on hand so she doesn’t have to feel left out at cake time.

Sensitive Sweets is now offering extraordinary decorating parties at her darling bakery, perfect for a birthday party or even a Girls Night Out! She even has special take-home kits (if you call 24 hours ahead), so you can do your own decorating party at your home.

Here are her in-bakery party offerings:

Sensitive Sweets Cupcake Party (ages 4 +)

Each guest gets 2 cupcakes, one to eat and one to take home, sprinkles, toppings, and a cupcake box. 60-minute session, max 12 guests. $12/guest.

Ultimate Sensitive Sweets Cake Party (ages 6 +)

Each guest gets a 2 layer 4″ round cake, frosting, sprinkles, cake decorations, and a cake box. 90-minute session, max 12 guests. $24/guest.

Sensitive Sweets Cake Challenge Party (ages 12 +)

Teams will compete with one another on a themed cake challenge. Participants will start with 30 minutes of demonstration and then break into teams with 1 hour to assemble ready-to-use items. Items include ready-to- ice cakes, cupcakes, frosting, fondant, rice crispy treats and a multitude of other decorating supplies. The winner will receive a Sensitive Sweets gift set. 90-minute session, max 12 guests. $29/guest.

[Details: Ask about additional items of your party including drinks, aprons, chef's hats, invitations and goody bags. Minimum of 6 guests per party, max 12. Deposit is required at booking (non-refundable.) Activities are for paid guests only. No outside food allowed. Prices subject to change.]

Visit www.SensitiveSweets.com for more info or call 714.968.9169.

Sensitive Sweets is open Tuesdays-Fridays 10am – 6pm, Saturdays 10am – 5pm. After hours parties may be available. Bakery is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Photo credit: Sensitive Sweets.