Birthday Party Reviews

Ok, I’m going to try to turn this blog into something usable for other people, so let’s start with my reviews of the two locations we used for Peanut’s fourth birthday party. If you were there, please feel free to add your two cents, as more than one voice always makes for more informed decisions.

First off, let’s start with Chik-fil-A in the Food Court at Oglethorpe Mall. We started our party here last Saturday, since we had such a late appointment at Build-A-Bear (scroll down for that review). This was one of the two partners that Build-A-Bear suggested and I have to admit, overall, I’m pretty impressed. When I called to arrange everything, they were very cordial and even made suggestions for things I hadn’t considered asking them for. Since most of the party consisted of adults and it was scheduled for 2 PM, I decided to do something different than their traditional party. I was sure this would cause a problem, but I was very pleasantly surprised!

For those of  you looking to schedule a party there (and yes, you can do cake and ice cream in the food court. You can even open presents, as long as you clean up your mess!) here’s what’s in the offing that Chik-fil-A will do for you:

*Food-

you pay for: the traditional birthday party (meaning they’re expecting you to set this up for children and not really adults) is a kids’ meal for each child present.

you get: FREE ICE CREAM for each of those meals! You will also get free cups of ice for drinks. I’m not sure if that’s because I bought a couple of gallons of their tea (YUM!) or if it’s just a gimme, but it worked, either way!

Notes: They do not handle the cake, though they have no problem putting it in their fridge/freezer for you if you do this AFTER your trip elsewhere.

*Decorations-

you pay for: NOTHING

you get: plates, napkins, forks, knives, spoons (this is the basic black stuff they serve their food on, but if you’re not picky… it’s FREE!)

*Logistics-

you pay for: NOTHING

you get: The folks at Chik-Fil-A setting everything up FOR YOU! They will hunt down the tables, they will set out the plates, cups, napkins, etc. without you having to do more than smile and tell them you’re there! They will even blow up some brightly colored Chik-Fil-A balloons and tie them on chairs for you!

Oh yeah, and you can even request a visit from THE COW!!! <— yeah, you know you wanna…

Now, what’s missing?

1- Cake- you provide this yourself.

2- table cloths (if you want to do a little extra decorating)

3- drinks (which you can order there, if you want to)

THAT’S IT, PEOPLE! That’s all I had to add to this party!  To be honest, I spent the money that I would’ve used on tablecloths and stuff on her presents and the 2nd part of her party, instead!

Here’s what I did, since I didn’t have a lot of children at Peanut’s party:

I ordered a large nugget tray and a large fruit tray (seriously, they’re HUGE! They say it feeds 20-25 people, but with my crew, it would’ve fed 30-40 of them with large appetites!) instead of kids’ meals and a gallon of tea. I decided that if anyone wanted something that wasn’t tea, they could handle acquiring it themselves. Oddly enough, everyone was ok with tea except one person! And we had PLENTY of leftovers that we brought home and munched on later!

We were in the Food Court for a little over an hour with this party and had a really great time. If anyone was looking at us funny, I didn’t notice. In fact, it felt like the party was bigger because of all the people around smiling at my four year old opening presents. It was as if I’d adopted the whole Food Court for the twenty minutes she was opening gifts!

So, if you’re in for a no-frills way to get a lot of people together, relatively cheaply with little clean up or hassle, I highly recommend this option! Just give them a call and see how awesome they were to work with! And say hi to Mikala while you’re there. She’s a really wonderful lady who had no problem getting us whatever we needed, helped us set up (even with the stuff that wasn’t Chik-Fil-A’s!), double checked to make sure we hadn’t changed our mind about the things we wanted and was just generally very helpful and available! I never once felt like I was bothering her when I asked for something! Kudos!

 

As for Part II of Peanut’s party, I arranged a party with the Build-A-Bear Workshop in Oglethorpe Mall. Now, let me tell you straight up that you don’t pay extra for ANYTHING at a Build-A-Bear Party! You give each guest a limit for their bears (I spent $20, since I didn’t have to pay for anything else!) and the rest is in your party person’s hands! We were there for almost an hour, picked out and stuffed 7 bears and everyone was still smiling at the end (even the adults!).

So, it goes like this:

You call and set up a party with their national headquarters. You put down a $50 deposit when you schedule the party, the balance will be due when you actually have your party. You must have a minimum of 6 bears being made. So, just keep that in mind when you’re planning this.

You arrive there on your party day and you’re greeted at the door by your Party person (ours was Tiffany, btw) and you can pretty much sit back and watch ’em go! The bears are lined up from cheapest (by the door) to most expensive (at the end of the row), so Tiffany stood at the end of the bears you could get for $20 and told everyone making bears to pick one, then gathered them all around the stuffing machine. I won’t tell you what they did there, but I will tell you it was fun! The bears were stuffed and then the kids were set loose to fluff and clean their bears while the others were being made (and to pick out clothes, if they wanted to buy their own). Then everyone gathered at the front of the store again and posed for a picture, got ribbons or bows for their bears and autographed the birthday girl’s autograph bear.

So, the break down:

Bears (the ultimate in party favors, in my opinion!):

– Each person had a $20 limit they could spend however they wanted. If they wanted a $10 bear and a $10 outfit, they could’ve gone that way. I will tell you that everyone in our group picked bears at $15 and up, so we didn’t buy their clothes.

The Loot:

-The Birthday Girl came home with: the bear she made, the autograph bear, a keepsake photo in a paper frame, a coloring book (with a $5 coupon inside, no less), stickers, ribbons/bows for their bear’s ears/neck

-Each Guest went home with: the bear they made, a coloring book (with a $5 coupon inside, no less), stickers, ribbons/bows for their bear’s ears/neck

 

So, go on and give it a shot, if you’re interested. You don’t have anything to loose, since you don’t pay for anything on top of the bears you purchase! And when you go, give Tiffany a shout out, because she has the patience of a saint and never once cracked with my four year old who hadn’t had a nap running all over the place! 😀

 

Overall, it was an awesome day for Peanut, who thoroughly enjoyed every minute! If you have any questions, please drop me a note and I’ll be happy to answer what I can! Otherwise, I’ve put links for each place above so you can contact them directly! 😀

Hope this helped you plan your party!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Oma and Papa
    Oct 02, 2011 @ 19:41:44

    Everything and everyone was AWESOME!!! Mikala was just great…..Chik-Fil-la you have a wonderful person!!! As well as Build-A-Bear and Tiffany ( I just love that name 🙂 )was great as well. We had a blast at both. These people are angels!! I hope others give this a try, you will NOT be disappointed!!

    Reply

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