Now you all know how I love a good birthday party. And I spend weeks planning and preparing for them. Because I put so much effort into them I kind of drew the age limit for birthday parties at 12. Between 12 and 16 my kids may invite a friend over for dinner or a movie or a concert or something like that, but the partying prep for me is over until their Sweet 16.
I have fond memories of a hotel party with one of my childhood friends. Her mother got us a room (and stayed there with us). We had junk food, went swimming until late, watched a movie in bed, and slept in. It was the greatest fun ever. So I offered to do that with my daughter for her 12th birthday this year. Kind of a last hurrah to birthday parties. She didn't hesitate in screaming "YES"! And I knew it was going to be the easiest thing ever!
I made hotel reservations a couple weeks in advance. Sent out evites with the address and a map to the hotel, so the parents would know exactly where we were. Everyone dropped their girls off at my house at 8pm. We got checked in around 8:30pm (I chose a hotel far enough away that it felt like a mini vacation, but close enough should there have been any emergencies).
We turned off the lights at that point but they giggled and chattered for a while. Of course. Surely thought they would sleep in, but nope! Had to have one more dip in the pool! And we ate our breakfast (which I'd brought from home - donuts, juice and fruit), packed up, and went swimming until checkout time.
We arrived back at our house at 10:30 and the parents came and picked up their girls! We had so much fun. Definitely a splurge, but I just couldn't resist giving my daughter the same fun memory that has stayed with me all these years!!!