Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Trying something new---Raya's Birthday

With Raya's 4th birthday quickly approaching in May I've  been starting to think about what to do! Now in the world of blogging, Pinterest, etc. birthday  parties have  become quite a big thing. And for the last 3 years I've done the typical---birthday  outfit, decorations, birthday theme, food, guests, invites, etc. etc.

But let's be honest, even if you make a lot of the decorations/food yourself these parties add up people...they can get expensive when you sit down and think about all the little costs!

It's not that  I don't think these parties are fun and cute--I do. And  I enjoyed doing them for the last 3 years, we have lots of cute pictures, etc. But that said, it's starting to get repetitive for me now. Thinking about planning Raya's party and even though I'd pick  a new  theme (I  was thinking ballet party) it's still the same old party essentially. And by the time we spend $100 on a gift (some toy she doesn't  really need) and buy all the party supplies, feed all  the guests, etc. we are talking at least a couple hundred dollars for a party that lasts 4 hours.

SO ......that brings us to my plan for Raya's birthday. We are SKIPPING the birthday  party altogether! Yes, I said it :-P Instead, last night I made reservations for a birthday  trip and her  "gift" is that she gets to bring her  favorite person (cousin Sawyer :-). We have hotel  reservations for two nights in Omaha and we will be swimming at the hotel pool, visiting the Omaha zoo, the Omaha Children's Museum, and possibly  a drive through safari park depending on time. We found a hotel package that included zoo tickets, and we get 50% off the Children's Museum since  we are members at the one here in two nights on a fun filled  vacation is going to end up costing us about the same amount that we normally pay for a birthday party + gift.

And it's  something new---and MEMORABLE! We are going to have pizza and invite my parents over to sing happy birthday on Raya's actual birthday so she can blow out candles and stuff. And honestly I think she'll see that as a totally fine "party."  :-) We are  so excited!

This is the hotel pool  at the place we are going---I was excited to find one that people said was good for *little* kids, because  Raya doesn't  like typical hotel  pools where she can't touch the bottom.

I checked out the Children's Museum online and it looks like there are quite a few exhibits that are different from the museum here so the kids should love it. Here are a couple pics!

And the zoo of course! I'm thinking about making Sawyer, Raya, and Brielle zoo themed shirts to wear adorable  would that be for photos?! :-)

I"m most excited  about this  exhibit---around Iowa  here you don't get to see the big  desert animals at our zoos typically!

So do I have any blog readers who'd been to Omaha before? Do share if you know of other must  sees that we should check out while there!


  1. I love this idea! That looks like so much fun!

    I agree - we went so incredibly, insanely overboard on the 1st birthday party, that I decided to do something a little more tangible for her 2nd birthday. We didn't have a party, but instead gave her a "big girl room" that is truly over the top. I spent the same amount of money that I did on her party the year before, and she gets an amazing room for years and years (and years - seriously, we spent too much. She is taking at least the bed to college). She has no idea that we didn't have a party and she LOVES her "bigah room"!

    1. Great idea! Yes, Raya loves a party too, but I realized that what she really loves is people singing happy birthday and getting to eat cake. Pretty much everything else was just for me and because I wanted it to look cute lol. So we'll sing happy birthday with a box mix cake and call the "party" good--and then go on vacation! :-)

  2. Omgoodness. We are like the same person :)
    We are doing this EXACT SAME THING for the girls birthday this year and for the exact same reasons haha! Their birthdays are only 11 days apart so we always do a joint party but instead will do a joint thing but were going to Omaha to the zoo and museum too! CRAZY! And a few family members are coming too. I haven't booked anything yet since it's not until July so I'd love to get info on that hotel... looks fun! :) Oh and zoo shirts??? I might have to copy that idea. haha!

    1. LOL...great minds think alike! The hotel is the Best Western, Kelly Inn :-)

  3. Genius! I love this idea! I have already been thinking about birthdays, and especially since we no longer have the family here, which is who we always have over. I am beyond sick of all the toys the girls have, so I think this is a fantastic idea! I love the idea that your friend above gave too about giving them a "big girl room makeover". I have been thinking of changing the girls' room sometime in the near future anyway.

    Great ideas!

  4. That's such a cute idea! And will be such a fun memory :)

  5. I agree it can get repetitive. I think this is a great idea. I think she'll have a blast. Zoo themed shirts would be adorable!!!

  6. Sounds like a blast! Every year I say I want to take Kyla to an indoor waterpark for her birthday. Maybe next year will be the year! It's kind of nice that she is a winter baby and Kase is summer so we can do something like you're doing for his birthdays.

    Side note - Tyler and I are planning a weekend trip to St. Louis to go to a couple Brewer vs. Cardinal games. You'll have to let me know if you have any fun St. Louis tips since I know you guys have been there a few times.

  7. LOVE LOVE LOVE the Omaha Zoo! I lived about an hour away growing up, so I've spent MANY days at that place. Be sure to visit the tropical forest! The desert is cool, but I think the forest is so much better. Also, the IMAX there is awesome. It's right at the entrance of the zoo, you can't miss it. The giraffe exhibit is awesome. A baby giraffe was born this past summer, see if you can't spot her (or him).
    The zoo isn't far from the Old Market. The adults will like the Old Market, but the kiddos might get a kick out of the horse drawn carriages and the Spaghetti Factory.
    I can't wait to hear about this trip!!

    1. Thanks for the tips! Raya LOVES Giraffes :-)

  8. Sounds like a blast!!!!!!!!!!!


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