We had been planning it since November (when his cousin Anthony's Chuck-E-Cheese party got canceled) and it was a big hit.
Started kind of early - at 10 am - because the kids get double tokens if you reserve it at that time. And the hidden benefit? WAY less crowded.
Even with almost exclusively family (and we only invited part of them) there were a lot of people and a lot of presents.
This birthday's theme was trains. Last year we did the theme of jungles and monkeys, the year before it was Tonka trucks. He is really into his train set so I thought that would be a good theme, although by the content of his presents you would have thought that the theme was cars and Spiderman (almost every gift he got had to do with these things). But those are two things that he likes equally well, so he was really happy with all of his gifts.
I got him the Eyewitness book, "Train", which will be a great resource. I ended up ordering it online because the bookstore didn't have any good books about trains, and I am really happy with it. Eyewitness makes some really good books on all sorts of subjects, and I really like all the pictures they have (often dozens of various pictures on each page) with information that is exciting and interesting. The train book has 63 pages of information about everything train from the first trains to how railroads are operated to diesels, subways, and future trains, facts about royal trains to mail trains to track-making to model trains. It is loaded with fun history, and I know Hunter is going to enjoy it a lot.
These are the birthday cakes he had, I made the vanilla one and Katie made the chocolate one.
Hunter loved the Chuck-E and was very eager to get his picture taken with him. He had a lot of fun playing all the games and climbing in the tunnels. We will have to go back sometime on a day that is not as busy.
All in all, Hunter handled the whole thing really well. I will have to say that he was a bit overwhelmed while we were opening presents - and who can blame him? - but he nonetheless smiled the whole way through, posed for a great many pictures and gave dozens of hugs and thank-you's (even though he really wanted to get back to those games).
It was a fun day. A little bit hectic and slightly (but not extremely) expensive, but something he will remember for a long time to come.
Pictures of the big day, with Hunter and all of his guests (only one of the group pictures is a non-family member! And we only invited a small portion of our family):
"And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation."
Hunter is 4 years, 0 months old