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Over-the-Top Birthday Parties

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Momlogic's Julie: I finally got invited to one of those extravagant birthday bashes I keep reading about.


Suri Cruise was thrown a $100,000 birthday bash to celebrate her 2nd birthday. The same day, CNN ran a piece about the high-dollar birthday parties that even everyday parents are throwing for their kids.

Although I love reading about these lavish affairs, and I'm wildly addicted to MTV's My Super Sweet Sixteen, I'd never actually been to a party like this myself. Damn! All my friends just throw typical McDonalds or Build-a-Bear parties. I was secretly jealous of the people who get to attend such gala events.

My dream came true this weekend when a friend invited me to his daughters' circus-themed party in Los Angeles. The girls were turning 5 and 3, and their parents pulled out all the stops. The father was decked out as ringmaster and the mother was dressed as a circus showgirl, complete with fishnets and black feather headdress. (Work it, Mama!)

There were five different food vendors (serving chicken nuggets, french fries, grilled cheese, popcorn and corn dogs, respectively), a salad and fruit bar, cotton candy station, a bartender, two jumpies, a face painter, clowns, and a balloon-animal artist.

But the highlight of the event was definitely the elephant rides. Yes, you read that right--elephant rides on a real live elephant. There was even a circus show, where the elephant bowed, curtsied, and played harmonica.

To top off the event, the lucky guests were served a 4-tier birthday cake decorated like a big top--more lavish than most wedding cakes (and tastier, too). Kids were served milk in "big top" sippy cups. And, of course, everyone received an awesome goody bag.

When asked what motivated her to throw such an extravagant birthday bash, the birthday girls' Mom (a successful lawyer) said, "I have no hobbies. I live for my kids and my entire life revolves around family and work, leaving no time for extracurriculars: I don't go to the gym, I don't belong to any clubs or groups, I almost never get to travel, and I never read for pleasure. So throwing parties is my only hobby, and I tend to go overboard because I throw myself into it. What motivates me is the looks on my kids' faces and the joy it brings them--it's a rush!"

It was a rush just being invited, too. I just hope my own children didn't get any ideas. (There won't be an elephant at your next party, kids, but there will be a giant rat--named Chuck E. Cheese.)

What's your idea of the perfect kids' birthday party? 

Click on an image to view the Over the Big Top Birthday Party Gallery!

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28 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jeanne April 30, 2008, 9:15 PM

My daughter has had the giant waterslide for about 7years - everybody expects it every year and everybody has a good time. However this year she will be eleven in July and wants to have a formal dance with a disc jockey at one of the places on the beach in Florida where we live. What does everyone think about that at her age?
She’s growing up - but I’m bewildered

Gail  May 1, 2008, 11:15 AM

Mom and Dad should be applauded for giving their daughters a party, that everyone attending will remember forever with fun and heart warming memories.

How many parents take an over-the-top vacation leaving their kids at home with the Nanny?

I take my hat off to parents whose priority is family and their desire to celebrate the gifts of life with those they choose to share their love and light.

Gail  May 1, 2008, 11:21 AM

I applaud the parents who thought of the family first and celebrated their gifts of life with friends and family with love.

How many successful parents take off on an over-the-top vacation leaving their kids at home with the nanny?

Happy Birthday. :-)

Ori Azar May 29, 2008, 2:09 PM

we had a wonderfull time!!!

Jackie July 7, 2008, 9:17 PM

I don’t know this family so certainly I may not have all the facts and my judgements may be off, but based solely on what I’m reading here, I really feel sorry for these girls. To be taught at such a young age that money = love is really sad.

Just a few observations:

1) Someone here posted that the mother would have liked $5 donations to her kids college fund in lieu of gifts (and thankfully was too polite to put such on the invitations). I don’t know if that is true or not, but if you really feel the need to even think about donations for your kids college, maybe you ought not to be wasting money on such elaborate parties.

2) Someone here claiming to be the woman’s cousin writes “She works everyday (and most Saturdays) so it’s no one’s place to judge what she spends her time or money on. Especially when she’s spending it on HER kids.” If this is true, perhaps working a little less would benefit the kids more than an elaborate party. You might have LESS to spend on circus acts and riding elephants, but certainly would have MORE time to actually spend with these two kids who are still quite young.

Mayer35Lynn June 23, 2010, 10:15 AM

Houses are not very cheap and not every person can buy it. However, mortgage loans was created to aid different people in such kind of situations.

thomas sabo charms December 20, 2010, 5:05 PM

Great points altogether, you just gained a brand new reader. Do you have any feedback on your most recent post though?

Ten Tees January 8, 2011, 5:00 PM

Interesting post. Nice reading. I’ve just got a small opinion to offer about shirts.

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