I am notoriously over the top and OCD about my kids birthday parties. They are usually elaborately decorated and thoughtfully executed. I often stay up until the wee hours of the morning for several nights before planning, Amazon priming, and then setting up. From the very first birthday party of my oldest kiddo (when we were too broke to go ALL out) I DIY'd our old formula canisters into center pieces for an "UNO" card first birthday party before that was a "thing" with any pre-made decorations you could just pick up from Party City.
I was hooked on making the day as special as can be. To me, that comes out through parties, cookies, special guests, decorations, ice cream trucks, giant hamster wheel Sno-cone makers, stilt walkers, etc. It is actually more stressful for me to have a party outside of my home because I then don't have control to go as "big" as I would like to. Not to mention, they never want things hanging from the walls or ceilings which really puts a damper on things from a party decorations angle. Nonetheless, as the kids get older they start having an opinion and have more say for my (ahem) THEIR parties. Their wants are starting to involve having parties at different places with activities for them and their friends. This was the case with my little boy's most recent 7th birthday party.
Titus just turned 7 in March and is most recently into Mario. He loves go karting and playing Mario Kart on his switch. A quick Google search led me to a few options that would fit the bill. Other places were eliminated due to lack of space for us to party and also height requirements that I was afraid all his classmates wouldn't meet. Andretti Indoor Karting in Orlando seemed like the best of both worlds to include a little home decorating and a super cool activity for the kids to enjoy. This is the first time I've done a completely pre-decorated cake from Publix, and the DIYer in my cringed a little.The funny thing though? My little guy absolutely loved it and thought the figurines were like an "extra present" so ya win some ya lose some I suppose. I ordered his shirt off of Amazon and he already had his hat from being Mario for Halloween. (Also a battle I lost since we now no longer like coordinating costumes.) The mustache took just a bit to grow out. ;)
There were lots of choices for birthday party package activities with options from bowling, go karting, 3D experience, laser tag (MY PERSONAL FAV), arcade play, and more. Overall, everything was a success and kids (and parents) said they had a blast. I did only have about 20 minutes to set up the entire room before the kids came in to eat because there was a party being cleaned up from before ours. That gave me a mini heart attack but this was the best I could do in that time frame.
A little tip I have for party decor is to look around your house and in your kid's things to see any items you already have that go along with the theme. Most likely if your child is into a character or theme or something enough to request a party in it, than you already have a few toys that reflect the same idea. I packed Lego Mario sets, race tracks (which I didn't get time to set up), and masks to work into the party decor.
Again, one of my biggest frustrations with parties outside my home is that I am limited. Their rule was no holes in the walls and only hanging things on the partition wall. I looked outside of the regular party decor and found this vinyl room decor so I could decorate a little more on the walls and still abide by the rules. The banner (much to my demise) was held up by tape.
So we kept it simple on decor but packed the punches in 3+ hours of non stop fun for everyone. My son and his friends gave rave reviews on Andretti Indoor Karting which is what it's really all about. Titus Antonio, we love you so much our big 7 year old. We hope you had the best time on your special day. Here's to lucky #7 Boobah. Mama's Boy.