Today we went to a pirate party. As I have said before, it always amazes me how a 4-5 year old birthday party has not changed one bit since I started going to them 10 years ago with C1.
The party was actually a lot of fun. It was at a local park. They had a lady come in who was the entertainer. She dressed like a pirate and the party began with face painting. Then we had a series of games. They included a treasure hunt, races, dancing, etc. The kids had a blast! At the end A told the birthday boy "this was the best party ever".
It is sort of funny since we have been to far more expensive birthday parties where A did not enjoy himself half as much. This was sort of a party distilled to what was really important...playing with your friends. I have going to have to think about that when A's birthday comes up this summer. Maybe having fun is more important that some elaborate setup!
Another note is the playground itself. If you look in the background of the first picture you can see the playscape. All the playscapes here in my part of South Florida look like this. We have a merciless searing sun during the summer. But always a cool breeze off the ocean. That means that under shade even in the height of the summer it is at least bearable. So all the playscapes have huge tents over them to provide shade. I have been to a couple of playscapes without a shade and they are essentially unusable after April and before October-November. With the shade you can play all year.