Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pool Party!

You try wrangling 10 boys in a pool for a picture!
One of the challenges of parenthood is making decisions on the behalf of another living, breathing human being.  I mean, seriously, there’s quite a bit of pressure from the very beginning.  Consider the naming process or the choice of a pediatrician – there’s lots of room for error, trust me. 

While I had considered many of the potential parenting decisions in advance of pregnancy, I had not considered the task of party planning prior to bringing home the first of my three boys.  Suddenly, I now had to come up with a theme and a venue and food and goodie bag items – yikes!  Although I was a bit overwhelmed and, ok, maybe a little overly concerned with making things perfect (until this moment I hadn’t thought for years about how I discarded one of the layers of carrot cake for my oldest son’s first birthday cake and re-baked a replacement layer at the crack of dawn, because I thought it was a tad over baked), as I’ve added additional boys to the mix, I’ve brought my expectations down to a more realistic level. I’ve come to recognize that a successful child's birthday party is one that includes an opportunity for kids to exert themselves either physically or creatively and concludes with some form of cake.  It really can be just that simple.

We have two February birthdays at our house and coming up with a winter party that contains a physical component for a dozen+ children can be a challenge, particularly when the kids are too young to spend an extended time outdoors.  We’re not fans of chain party places (or packaged Halloween costumes, but that’s another story) but fortunately the Center for the Disabled on South Manning Blvd in Albany, has the perfect pool/party room for a group of kids to blow off some steam.  Allow me to share the details…

well equipped party room
Pool parties are generally scheduled for Saturday afternoons between 12:45-2:30 and can include up to 15 children.  The pool is a balmy 94 degrees and is well divided (by a wheelchair ramp) into shallow and deep ends, making it perfect for the non-swimmer.  The shallow end is really shallow – like  24” deep  and there is a bench built in for moms and dads who feel like joining in the fun albeit in a lazy fashion. There are also some jets to add to the overall hot tub experience.   Noodles and other toys are available for game playing and well equipped locker rooms are just a door away from the pool deck.  The pool party includes 45 minutes in the pool followed by an hour of access to the party room down the hall.  We usually pre-order a few pizzas and arrange to have them delivered at about 1:30.  An hour for pizza and cake may seem tight, but, believe me you’ll be ready to see the little cherubs packed up and on their way.  The price for this much fun?  $75 plus your food, beverage and goodie bag loot. 

For more information about birthday parties and/or swim lesson availability contact Rich at  518.437.5714. 

Other swim party options:  The Albany JCCC
                                            Capital District YMCA (various locations)

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