After having some stressful parties in the past, I have vowed to never again have birthday parties at home. I end up having to do too much, spend too much money, stress too much and I don’t get to enjoy the party with my child.
To be honest though, some of the parties I’ve taken my children to at local ‘party’ places were so bad I knew I’d never want to have a party there. The local pottery/pizza-making/chef party places are all way too expensive (over $500 for only 6 children!) since my daughter wanted to invite her entire class and a few other friends. And the jump house place I’ve been to before is horrible. It has 2 rooms side by side with one big dirty, patched up jump/slide and a few metal picnic tables in each room. If you book a party, you only get one side and the other side is still open to the public. That means people are walking through your party, the kids are jumping in your room and helping themselves to drinks and snacks because they don’t know or care it’s booked for a party, etc. I decided long ago that I would never have a child’s party at one of those places, where everything is dirty, overcrowded or broken.
So when my daughter asked for a birthday party at Monkey Joe’s, I wasn’t thrilled. I had never been there before, but I assumed it was just like the other little bounce house chains. My daughter had been to a couple of parties at Monkey Joe’s though, and had her heart set on it. I went in to take a look and saw that it was completely different than the other, smaller jump places I dislike so much.
So we headed over to check out the Monkey Joe’s in Raleigh. As it turns out, Monkey Joe’s is not just a bounce house. It’s a huge indoor play area with bounce houses, bouncy slides, play areas, a toddler area, a technology area, massage chairs, a sports area, separate private party rooms, a snack bar and eating area, etc. When I say huge I mean it is HUGE. Check out the size of this place:
A view across part of the front of Monkey Joe’s in Raleigh. This isn’t even half of the play area.
Slide down under Monkey Joe’s skateboard.
The slides are much bigger than any I’ve seen at other bounce houses. There were so many different slides spread throughout the playspace that there weren’t lines for them.
A boy doing handsprings in front of Monkey Joe.
There were so many of these huge structures! I had several other parents (strangers) commenting to me about how cool it must be to be a kid here and how they wish there were places like this when we were kids. I agree!
The Multisport Arena has lots of fun activities, including ball sports and even a ball pit to jump in.
Several of the huge bounce houses had cool tunnels, bridges and different “rooms” the kids could find. My girls had one that they called their secret playhouse. It was apparently a little spot at the top of some steps where no one else ever went because everyone else turned to go back down the slide instead of exploring the top level.
There is even a toddler area with small versions of slides, climbing areas and tunnels.
Monkey Joe’s isn’t anything like the other bounce house places I’ve been to in the past. It’s absolutely massive and there is so much for the children to do. I understood why my daughter would want to have her party there and we decided to go ahead and plan a Monkey Joe’s party.
I planned everything by phone with the manager and she had everything covered. The invitations, the food, the ice cream, the balloons, plates and utensils, candles if needed, lighter if needed, etc. They had thought of everything and told me all I needed to to do was show up with the birthday girl and her cake.
So that’s what I did. Instead of worrying about which invitations to use, what activities to plan, how much food to make, which favors to buy and put in bags, etc., etc., etc., I just let them do everything. I made easy cupcakes and we showed up at party time. I have never been so relaxed before and during a party for my child before.
And I have to say I was extremely impressed! They really did think of everything. We had our own party coordinator, Courtney, who handled everything. I would offer to help with something and she would tell me not to worry and to just enjoy myself. And she was SO good with the kids. (There was one girl I did not know very well whose mom dropped her off at party time. The little girl complained about everything. Every. Single. Thing. She actually sent her lemonade ‘back’ twice because it had too much ice. I could write an entire post about this girl…and I very well might do it. But Courtney was so awesome with all of the kids and was even so patient and sweet with this girl, I was really impressed.)
Courtney took care of everything. Helped the kids get their shoes off and show them where to go to play. She got our private party room all set up with plates, utensils, cups and drinks for the kids and the adults. We had decided to have the pizza about halfway through the party, so after an hour of playtime she called the children on the intercom to come into the party room. She had the pizzas out and ready to serve, drinks ready for the children and ice cream cups ready to go at dessert time. She served everyone food, refilled drinks, made sure all of the kids were happy. Courtney did all of those things I am normally running around worrying about. 🙂 So I got to talk with my kids and take pictures of them enjoying themselves. It was such a nice time for all of us.
My daughter got to sit in the throne while she ate, which was a fun treat. It’s a huge blow-up chair that looks like a throne and is at the head of the table for the birthday child. My kids loved it! When it was time for cupcakes, Courtney made sure I remembered the candles (she had extra just in case) and helped light the candle and bring the cupcakes over so I could take pictures. She passed out ice cream to the kids that wanted some and then called Monkey Joe in to visit the kids. The children were all so excited, it was hilarious. Monkey Joe took some time to high-five the kids and them hugged and posed for lots of pictures with my daughter and then with all three of our kids. My daughter had the biggest smile on her face and later told me that was one of her favorite parts of the day. (And then she listed the other 849 favorite parts of the day.)
After eating, the kids were able to go back out and play some more. They can actually stay after the party until Monkey Joe’s closes for the day, which several of the children did. While we went back out to have fun, Courtney cleaned the entire room and put out a tray of cups and pitchers of drinks for thirsty kids who might pop back in. She also put all of the presents on a rolling cart so we could just wheel them out to the car. Brilliant!
There isn’t a single thing I can think of that Courtney and Monkey Joe’s didn’t already think of and do for us during my daughter’s party. It was by far the most fun that any of us have had at a party in many years. I would recommend a party at Monkey Joe’s in Raleigh to everyone!
Thank you, Monkey Joe’s and Courtney! You made my daughter’s birthday a wonderful day that she’ll never forget and I’m so thankful I was able to enjoy it and celebrate with her. If you’re interested in learning more or having your own party at Monkey Joe’s in Raleigh, call (919) 510-6979 or visit Monkey Joe’s online.