My daughter recently celebrated her fifth birthday at My Gym, a local gym designed for little kids. My daughter attended classes there when she was an infant and toddler, and my son attends classes there now.
The theme was a pajama party. I had nothing to do with the planning or execution of the party. My wife and the staff at My Gym collaborated on what I think was THE BEST CHILDREN’S PARTY EVER.
For reasons that I still can’t fathom, the staff of My Gym created a seemingly dangerous, death-defying party that brought back memories of the times before seat belt laws, bicycle helmets and air bags.
- Jousting with padded mallets while opponents stood atop a large, inflated cylinder, struggling to maintain their balance
- Snow ball fights, in which children were encouraged to throw foam and rubber balls at one another
- A zip line stretching across the length of the gym
- An obstacle course that included large, swinging, foam bricks that knocked kids right off their feet when their timing was poor or their speed lacking
- Unsupervised ladder climbs from floor to ceiling
Though no child was in danger of serious injury, there was a level of competition and physicality that you simply don’t see often enough in today’s world. Kids were throwing balls at one another. Hitting each other with mallets. Flying through the air on zip lines. Climbing ladders to the ceiling. Attempting to knock one another to the ground.
It was awesome.
I wanted to joust. I wanted to throw balls. I wanted to ride that zip line. I wanted to knock somebody on their ass.
Clara and her friends had a great time. Everyone escaped unscathed. A great time was had by all.
Maybe next year Clara will ask for a paintball themed party. Or dodge ball.