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Party on Ice:

How to Throw a COOL Indoor Party

This time of year as Kern County’s skies turn dark and foggy, put some sunshine in your next celebration by planning an indoor party.  KCFM planned the perfect bash at an indoor party venue by teaming up with SJCH Ice Center and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County for a night of fun, skating, and celebrating.  

The party, “Celebration of Success,” rewarded 20 boys and girls from the Armstrong Youth Center for being helpful and considerate of others.  These kids were chosen through a drawing after receiving “Caught Being Good” tickets.

“As a program, we noticed that we have some members who are very helpful in many ways and do what they are supposed to without having to be asked,” says Ana Martinez, Program Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County.  “Many of the members received ‘Caught Being Good’ slips from our program for things like cleaning up after snack without being asked to, picking up supplies used during homework time, helping others with different activities, and just being respectful and following all Club rules.”

“Our Club members were extremely excited about the opportunity to go ice skating, many for the first time,” says Barry Hill, Associate Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County.  “This opportunity is one that many of our members will remember for a lifetime.  This is just another great example of two local organizations, KCFM and SJCH Ice Center, making a difference for the youth in our community.”

Scott Hay, Director of SJCH Ice Center, was thrilled to give these kids a chance to celebrate their success. “The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County provides a safe place to learn and grow while having fun,” he says.  “We wanted to help by providing some of the fun and teach some skating skills at the same time.”  

As one of the coolest places in town to have a good time, SJCH Ice Center hosts hundreds of parties each year.  Hay says with every celebration, the staff’s motto is “We freeze to please.”  The parties include use of a private party room, skate rentals, instruction, food, and much more!  To find out more about the ice center’s party packages and skate rentals, you can visit www.sjchicesport.com.

With the New Year come many reasons to celebrate.  So, find an excuse, whether it be a good report card, birthday, anniversary, or reaching a milestone, and plan a party at one of Kern County’s indoor party venues that feature activities like ice or roller skating, rock climbing, go-kart racing, bowling, or ceramic painting.

Indoor parties can really help take the pressure off of the host or hostess by letting the professionals handle most of the details.  Wendy Smith, mother of four, says when her son Jarrett turned six, she chose to have his birthday party at a local indoor inflatable place.  “I chose to have an indoor party for Jarrett, because I love the convenience of showing up and having someone else run the party and do the clean up afterward,” she says.  “Having an indoor party takes out a lot of the work and allows you to just enjoy and have fun with your child on their special day.”

To host the “Celebration of Success” ice skating party, KCFM came up with a checklist on how to create a memorable experience for all of your guests at your next indoor party.  These nine steps include the following:

Stretch your budget.  Find out which venues charge a flat versus a per child rate.  Depending on how many children you are planning on inviting, this might be a determining factor.  Also, ask the venue what will be provided with the fee:  party room, food, paper goods, cake, and/or party favors.  If these items are not included, you will have to have the money for add-ons to make your party all you envisioned.

Create your guest list.  Some venues limit the number of guests allowed or charge more for extra party-goers.  Make sure you know how many friends you will be inviting and if the location can accommodate all of them.  Also, be considerate of your guests’ special needs or food allergies to make sure the party will be fun for everyone included.

Select your location.  Once you’ve accounted for your budget and your guest list, now take the time to find the right party place for your celebration.  The best way to find success is to ask for recommendations from previous hosts of parties at certain venues.  Reserve the date, pay any necessary upfront costs, and then begin planning the party.

Decide on a theme.  Just because you are having your celebration at an indoor venue, doesn’t mean that you are stuck with the featured activity as the party’s theme.  You can have a Ninja theme at an inflatable party location or a Princess theme at a pizza parlor.  But, deciding on your theme is an important first step in order to coordinate all the other pieces of the party planning process.

Deliver your invitations. You can send these theme-inspired invitations by mail or by internet, but make sure you give your would-be guests enough time to schedule and R.S.V.P.  Most etiquette experts agree that party invitations should be received two weeks in advance.

Plan your menu. Some venues have set menus from in-house vendors or use only certain restaurants for their food.  Make sure you know exactly what the party package includes by way of food, drinks, and paper goods; so, if you have to bring in extra items, you will be prepared.

Decide on cake and ice cream.  Some venues include a small cake as part of their party packages, while others have the host bring it separately.  Depending on the activity and location, sometimes cupcakes with no ice cream will satisfy the sweet tooth of party-goers.  Or, for convenience, you can serve individual ice cream cups with your cake or cupcakes.  

Pick your party favors.  Having your guests take a goody bag home is customary for most parties.  Some venues include party favors as part of the services they provide, while others do not.  Other places include a small favor, and you may want to enhance it with goodies of your own to match your theme.

Always remember to say thank you.  No party is ever complete until the last thank-you note is delivered.  Some companies provide thank-you notes with their party packages.  You can also develop a photo thank-you card or customized photo book using pictures from the party.   Or, you can buy theme-inspired thank-you notes.  No matter how you say it, a thank you is always appreciated!  

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Tags: Featured Story, Food & Home, Party and Entertainment

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