Power Rangers, Piñatas, and Birthday Parties

_power rangers pinata birthday party

Birthday parties have come a long way since I was a kid. Today, they are elaborate productions complete with themes and catered meals. And when the kids reach their 16th birthday, they expect the soiree of a lifetime. My blood boils each time I watch the spoiled brats on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16″ con their parents into throwing opulent, six figure parties.

When I was a kid, I was lucky to have a birthday party. They consisted of a few kids packed into our living room singing “Happy Birthday” while my mother served homemade birthday cake, a carton of Neopolitan ice cream, and Hawaiian Punch. Once, mom splurged and let me have a party at McDonald’s. The McDonald’s birthday party was really big deal – my rank among my peers rose quickly as they jockeyed for an invitation. At the party, we got some goofy birthday hats, a Happy Meal, a cake, and a flimsy plastic Ronald McDonald hand puppet, but we thought we were living the high life. If I suggested this type of party to my children, they would scoff.

My son, N, had his birthday party over the weekend. His actual birthday was in September, but Hurricane Ike forced us to reschedule the party. N, suggested several venues and themes before settling on a gymnastics party with a Power Rangers theme. N, is “Mr. Popularity” so he wanted to invite everyone that he has ever known. The guest list grew so long that we had to reserve the biggest room in the place. Instead of cake and ice cream, he requested brownies and pudding (if this combination becomes a birthday trend remember where you read it first). And Papa John’s thanked us for keeping their company afloat with our pizza order.

N and his friends enjoyed running, jumping and tumbling, and the coaches we hired stoked the kids’ excitement with a few high-flying stunts. I even had fun attempting to master the gymnastics apparatus. Let me say that doing an iron cross on the still rings is not as easy as the pros make it look, especially if you’re 38 and have never had any gymnastics training. Thank God for ibuprofen.

After the party, we had an after-party at our house, where N opened his gifts and hit the piñata. The piñata requires a separate post because of all of the drama associated with it. I’ll just mention that his sister said, “If you get him a piñata that means you don’t love me.”

All in all, N had a great time and I didn’t have to declare bankruptcy. He is already planning his next party. I’m taking donations now.

Stay Strong,

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Join the conversation: What types of birthday parties do your kids like?

About the author
Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at fjgoodall@mochadad.com or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mochadad
  1. My son’s birthday is three days before Christmas, and for his first 3 I haven’t really thrown a big ‘do’. But this year after being invited to a shed load of his friends, I can’t really get away with not. With a bit of luck everyone will be busy!

  2. My son’s birthday is three days before Christmas, and for his first 3 I haven’t really thrown a big ‘do’. But this year after being invited to a shed load of his friends, I can’t really get away with not. With a bit of luck everyone will be busy!

  3. Your parites growing up sound like mine were, except we just has family there. I am sure it will be a hard thing to try to reign the kido in when he gets a bit older. I hope to avoid being too elaborate.

  4. Your parites growing up sound like mine were, except we just has family there. I am sure it will be a hard thing to try to reign the kido in when he gets a bit older. I hope to avoid being too elaborate.

  5. I thought it was just me. I never had a birthday party. My parents just bought a generic cake. Now, it seems like everyone throws big birthday parties for their kids.

  6. I thought it was just me. I never had a birthday party. My parents just bought a generic cake. Now, it seems like everyone throws big birthday parties for their kids.

  7. McDonald’s parties were the best. That’s back when the restaurants always had a themed area. Do they do that anymore?

  8. You have the same reaction that I do when I happen to stumble across “My Super Sweet 16″. It’s really unfortunate, and probably warrants a post of its own.

    My birthdays were never elaborate productions, either. My favorite birthday memories were the ones where extended family was around to celebrate. There was homemade cake, cookouts, and lots of good people having a good time. It was all about family. I think my sixteenth birthday passed by without much excitement at all.

    I hope we can give my son some of those memories, and steer him away from the wild, retirement-draining parties. It sounds like you and your son found a way to have a great celebration that he’ll remember for years to come. Like you said, the price seemed right, too.

  9. You have the same reaction that I do when I happen to stumble across “My Super Sweet 16″. It’s really unfortunate, and probably warrants a post of its own.

    My birthdays were never elaborate productions, either. My favorite birthday memories were the ones where extended family was around to celebrate. There was homemade cake, cookouts, and lots of good people having a good time. It was all about family. I think my sixteenth birthday passed by without much excitement at all.

    I hope we can give my son some of those memories, and steer him away from the wild, retirement-draining parties. It sounds like you and your son found a way to have a great celebration that he’ll remember for years to come. Like you said, the price seemed right, too.

  10. Fran Oriordan -

    I still remember the one party I had where friends were allowed to come, but I have fallen into the same trap- my daughter has had a bash every year!

  11. Fran Oriordan -

    I still remember the one party I had where friends were allowed to come, but I have fallen into the same trap- my daughter has had a bash every year!

  12. Christina Doss -

    You sir Are Made of Win.
    I would have loved a pinata and a Power Rangers themed party.
    I wouldn mind one now actually xD
    And kudos- I was part of the generation where parties at McD’s were the best most happening thing ever.
    Sweet 16 is the worst show I have ever seen. I don’t get how these brats con their parents into lavish stuff for a coming of age. Most of the parents are terrible .
    But on one episode where the girl booked a dress in advanced and decided a day before her party she didnt like it,her mom calmly said she would wear it or go starkers.
    Congrats on a party well done :D

  13. Christina Doss -

    You sir Are Made of Win.
    I would have loved a pinata and a Power Rangers themed party.
    I wouldn mind one now actually xD
    And kudos- I was part of the generation where parties at McD’s were the best most happening thing ever.
    Sweet 16 is the worst show I have ever seen. I don’t get how these brats con their parents into lavish stuff for a coming of age. Most of the parents are terrible .
    But on one episode where the girl booked a dress in advanced and decided a day before her party she didnt like it,her mom calmly said she would wear it or go starkers.
    Congrats on a party well done :D

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  15. My son is 3 now, we have had 2 Mc D Parties, I’ll keep doing them for as long as I can get away with it. It really takes the weight off of me and is pretty affordable.

  16. My son is 3 now, we have had 2 Mc D Parties, I’ll keep doing them for as long as I can get away with it. It really takes the weight off of me and is pretty affordable.

  17. My son will be 5 soon and that's a milestone so that means party. I'm glad I read this first – lol