Jayce’s Birthday Party

I feel like I’ve been talking about Jayce’ birthday for a month now, because I have.  But this is the last of it, I promise.
 As I mentioned in my last post, we headed to Snakes and Ladders for Jayce’s birthday party this year and it was a blast.
Sankesnladders 42Sankesnladders 5While we were still living in the US and waiting for our visas to clear, we found our current flat online.  While Chris was negotiating with our landlord, and while he was learning about the area and schools around the flat, he discovered Snakes and Ladders.  I remember him showing me and Jayce the website, and Jayce was so excited about it.  He knew the name of this place before he had even set foot in London.  So it seemed a fun an appropriate place for his party. 
Sankesnladders 43Sankesnladders 8I somehow neglected to get a picture of the whole thing (something about having 2 kids running in 2 directions, greeting parents, setting up, etc.), but it’s one of those massive indoor play areas with multiple levels, multiple activities (slides, funny mirrors, balls, tunnels, bridges, etc.), and thankfully, not enclosed in walls of smelly plastic.  Although it is just as easy to lose your kids in it.Sankesnladders 13Sankesnladders 6Jayce and his friends took off running as soon as they were in the door.  There was no “Where are the other kids?  Help me find Jayce/my friends.” or any other such nervousness for the most part, they just kind of ran into the jungle of it all.Sankesnladders 10Sankesnladders 12There were also 2 other sections much smaller than the main area for younger kids and Hannah and her little friends fit right into both of them.  There was an “age 2 and under” part with toys to ride, small slides, ladders, trampolines, etc, and an “ages 2-5” area with everything that I previously mentioned but slightly bigger, in addition to some small role play areas, like a kitchen, an area to build towers and legos…Sankesnladders 9and a truck/tractor area where Jayce and a few of his friends played for a good 90 seconds before running back into the main area.  I managed to get them to stop briefly to give me their best “superhero muscles pose” and then they were gone.Sankesnladders 11The set up was great: the kids played for 90 minutes, then they went off to the party room for their food for the last 30 minutes of the party.Sankesnladders 17Sankesnladders 16Sankesnladders 18The birthday boy had a special throne-ish seat at the head of the table. When we sat the kids down the room went quiet as they all just sat and ate.  I guess wearing them out running around is a good way to make tired and hungry kiddos.Sankesnladders 19Sankesnladders 20Sankesnladders 22Sankesnladders 24Sankesnladders 30Then the masks came out,Sankesnladders 29Sankesnladders 31as did the birthday cake.  
Jayce had this cool batman cake and he LOVED it.Sankesnladders 32Sankesnladders 33Sankesnladders 38  Honestly, it didn’t taste amazingly, (not that I made it) but really no one cared.  The kids had already had their ice cream, and once they sang and the birthday boy blew out his candles, they all grabbed a sucker and went back out to play for a few more minutes before their parents came to pick them up.Sankesnladders 42Sankesnladders 44One birthday party tradition that is completely different here is that the birthday boy/girl don’t open their gifts at the party.  It’s considered kind of rude and awkward, (understandably) so the gifts are bagged up and brought home to open.  Honestly, I liked this a lot.  Aside from the obvious benefits, it extended the momentum and excitement from the party back home. Sankesnladders 45Sankesnladders 46There is a pretty nice playground behind Snakes and Ladders and we headed out there after the party as the parents came to collect their kids.  It was a welcome change to be in a more calm setting and get some fresh air.Sankesnladders 48It was a great party for our little buddy, who despite originally not wanting to have a party there, had an absolute blast.