I took my son and six 8-year-olds to Medieval Times over the weekend for his birthday ... and I have lived to tell the tale!
Momlogic's Julie: When my son's birthday rolled around this year, I just couldn't begin to deal with planning a big party. So he invited six friends to Medieval Times. (I made sure none of the boys he invited were in his class ... we have a "whole class or none of the class" rule at my house, so no one feels excluded.) I was a bit nervous about taking so many boys to such a rowdy activity, but it turned out way better than I expected.
But I did learn some things along the way that can hopefully help other moms plan a Medieval Times party.
- Rather than book the birthday package on the Medieval Times site, which required a minimum of 10 kids and would have set me back about $400, I booked on Goldstar.com for half of the price.
- The night before you go, rent "The Cable Guy" so you and your hubby can get in the mood. It has the best Medieval Times scene ever!
- They tell you to get there 90 minutes early. That is WAY TOO early, especially when you have this many kids with you. One perk of getting there so early was that we got awesome seats -- front row. But the downside is that we had to chase seven children around Medieval Times for 90 minutes. At one point, the security guard even said I needed to make sure the kids didn't "run around." Couldn't he see I was trying?!
- When the boys wanted to go see the horses, I saw no harm in that ... until we noticed one of the horses was, um, hugely aroused. "It looks like an elephant's nose!" the boys chanted. They talked about the horse the whole way home. Uncomfortable!
- Hit the "Museum of Torture" before the show. It costs $2 per kid but they were fascinated by the medieval torture devices. (Resist the urge to threaten to use such items on them if they do not listen!)
- Sign up for the "knighting" ceremony. It costs 20 bucks but they "knight" your kid in front of everyone (putting him in this cute cape), and then they make a birthday announcement during the show. That was well worth it.
- The only drinks they offer are Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, iced tea, beer, and water. Frightened by the thought of seven boys wired on sugar and caffeine, I ordered water for the table. I suggest you do the same!
- If you don't want to eat with your hands, order the vegetarian platter. It comes with silverware and was quite tasty. Hummus, anyone?
- If you have picky eaters like I do, smuggle in ketchup packets for the chicken. I felt a little stupid doing so but it was the only way I could get my kids to eat.
- They sell little flags in the arena for one dollar each, so you can wave a flag for your knight. Basically it's a piece of satin affixed to a long, clear straw. Encourage your children not to use the base of the flags for straws for the tomato bisque soup, like mine did! (And discourage them from using the straws as swords for jousting after the show -- one of our party guests got gouged in the eye.)
- If you are chasing and corralling seven kids, try to avoid looking at the bar longingly (like I did) and eyeing other patrons' jumbo margaritas greedily. I knew I needed to stay sober ... no matter how badly I needed a drink.
- Avoid the high-priced souvenirs. $22 for a Medieval Times goblet, or $99 for a jeweled sword? No matter how much the kids begged, I had to pass. We're in a recession!
- I heard rumors you could bring in a birthday cake, but instead we just brought a candle to stick in our son's apple streudel. Did the job just fine.
- Enjoy the moment as your kids cheer for their knight loudly and enthusiastically. They were so into it ... and this made it all worth it.
Have you ever been to Medieval Times? Share your survival strategies below.