This is Birthday-Girl Amanda getting her Donald Duck balloon sculpture.
The kids were in rapt attention throughout the 40-minute balloon/magic show session. Lucky the Clown did an amazing job, and he far exceeded my expectations!
The cupcake decorating table was a big hit with the parents AND the kids!
We tried to organize games for the kids, but they pretty much took off on the trikes and had a blast. As far as I know, no one got hurt (hooray!)
Andrew sporting his tattoo (Spiderman riding a motorcycle). And I quote "this was the best birthday ever!"
Unfortunately there's not enough Blogger space to show you all the great pictures. The book exchange was very well received, the kids all got lots of balloon animals, and we collected a full laundry basket of nonperishables for the food pantry. The party actually went longer than we expected, no one was more shocked than I to look at the clock and see we were already past 3:30! And Jeanne Gilbert, the enrichment coordinator at Riverside MR/DD, was a lifesaver, knowing most of the kids and instictively filling in where needed. So, if you're in Troy and looking for a winter venue for your birthday party, please keep Riverside (and Lucky the Clown) in mind. You don't have to go to McD's Playland...
And a personal reflection - I was always brought up to believe that birthday parties were to be certain things - bakery cakes, lots of presents, generally expensive and, in the end, unfulfilling. I want to thank Christine, Amanda's mom, for pointing me in a different direction. I have absolutely no regrets about the way this party went, from the homemade cupcakes to the newspaper-wrapped books for the book exchange. The kids don't care about these things. They're really just there to have fun. And, from the looks of things, there was plenty of that to go around.