By Amy Takacs

My oldest daughter, Natalie, turned 10 this year. A decade of throwing kid birthday parties already under my belt, my goal was to come up with a celebration fit for a gaggle of tweens. We’ve done the park, bouncy tent in the backyard (twice), Children’s museums, Bounce U, slumber party… you name it! Plus, the thought of hosting a bunch of kids coupled with the messy aftermath, I yearned for something with a lot less hassle.

My daughters’ birthdays are two days apart, so spring is the most stressful time for me trying to plan both of their celebrations. Sometimes I think I’d just love to take a vacation from it all. A vacation… in a hotel… where I don’t have to make beds, cook, clean…YES! That’s it! A hotel birthday party!!!

There it was. My ideal celebration for my 10-year-old daughter. She was especially excited as it meant having a special party at her favorite hotel without her younger sister tagging along. So, I made the reservation a few months in advance. A two-bedroom suite at the Embassy Suites was the perfect venue.

The party started with parents dropping off the girls at our house. Since I drive a minivan, transporting the girls to the hotel was a breeze. I had checked in a few hours prior and dropped off some supplies in advance.

We took advantage of valet parking, as the girls happily trudged through the lobby with their bags. The girls got settled into their suite, negotiated sleeping arrangements, then put on their bathing suits for a dip in the indoor pool. But first, a round of Shirley Temples in the lobby to start the party off! After a good swim, it was time for dinner. Pizza, of course! Instead of pizza delivery, I opted for Natalie’s favorite pizza joint – Mellow Mushroom. Luckily, I had a mom friend to help chaperone, as I snuck out to grab the pizza pies.

The girls devoured the pizza in the suite, then it was time to sing “Happy Birthday,” eat cookie cake and open presents. THEN time for more swimming! By 10p.m. the girls were tired and ready to settle down in the suite. Donning their cute PJs, they separated into their bedrooms to gossip, do nails, watch a movie, or doze off to sleep. Having a two bedroom suite, Natalie was able to invite 7 friends, for a total of 8 girls. Four girls to a room, my chaperone friend and I slept on the pull-out couch.

The next morning we all woke up hungry, ready for the yummy breakfast buffet downstairs. Afterwards, the girls had one more quick swim in the indoor pool, then back up to the room to check out and head home.

Natalie’s hotel party was a hit, and sure to be remembered by her and her friends for many years to come.

• Limit the group to a manageable amount. 4 kids per room is plenty.

• Suites are a must, as the adult(s) need a place to stay! If a two bedroom suite is not available at your hotel of choice, you can request a suite with an adjoining room.

• Assure the parents that the children will have adequate supervision, and not be allowed to roam the hotel corridors and play on the elevators.

• Pack plenty of snacks and drinks!

Amy is a work-at-home-Mom to two daughters, Natalie (10) and Claire (7). When not caring for her daughters, you can find her at her Macintosh designing brochures, magazines, ads and whatnot for her clients.