This is me, brainstorming out loud....
- They're all in the same class. I suspect that because they all run in their own social circles, we'll be inviting the entire second grade class. To limit the number of kids when these students have all been together since kindergarten doesn't feel right.
- They've made wonderful friends through their Girl Scout and Cub Scout troops who aren't part of their class (and whose birthday parties they've attended), so we'll be inviting those kids, too.
- We want to have one co-ed party, not two.
Option 1: Host it at an offsite location. Gender-neutral venues that come to mind include Miniature Golf. Bowling alley. Gymnastics center. Ice skating rink. Laser Tag. Indoor swimming pool. Pumpkin patch. My preference is the pumpkin patch because we've had such great success at pumpkin patches in the past. The place that we have in mind has hayrides and corn mazes and a petting zoo and nonstop fun. The advantage is that it's at an offsite location so preparation and cleanup is essentially a non-issue. The drawback is that every person that enters the patch will require a ticket. If we invite the class + the scout troops, we'll have close to 35 kids. With that many kids, we'll need chaperones whose tickets we'll also need to purchase. Then there's food and a cake. Or two. Also, there are time limits on the party. We couldn't extend it beyond 2.5-hours because you've got a "time slot."
Option 2: Host it at our house. The advantage of having it here is that we could fix up the yard real pretty and have our very own Fall festival. Also, other kids from the neighborhood (with whom are kids are also close), could drop in. Parents and siblings could come over and stay awhile. We'd decorate with hay bales and lots of pumpkins around the front yard. There would be bobbing for apples, a piñata and capture the flag in the backyard. We've also looked in to renting ponies and/or a moon-bounce and/or a rock climbing wall. The drawback of having it here is that one of our bathrooms is defunct and one is being remodeled. So we might have one operational bathroom and up to 70 people. On the upside: there are lots of trees in the backyard! And this, just in! Charlie found a place that rents out mechanical bulls.
I'm sure the children would love that!
What do you think would yield more fun for our (soon to be) newly turned eight-year-olds?