Tuesday Jul 12 2016
Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? They allowed you a way to customize your reading experience. Well, planning a birthday party at Gardner Village can be the celebratory version of this concept. You can either choose from one of the many pre-planned party options available at several of their shops (The Bead Farm, Classical Ballet Conservatory, Cottage Retreat Spa & Salon, The Farm, and Georgell Doll Shop), or you can customize your own event. Either way, you and your birthday babe are sure to adore the outcome.
I recently hosted my daughter's birthday party at The Village, opting for a customized combination party involving Cottage Retreat, The Bead Farm, Georgell, and Naborhood Bakery. I didn't do so for the purpose of blogging or promoting. I simply did it to give my sweetheart a unique experience she and our friends would enjoy. However, we had such fun that we decided to adjust our blogging plans so we could share the outcome after all. We thought you might get a kick out of seeing how you can pick and choose adventures to create a unique event. So, here it is--a look inside my Maggie's birthday happiness at Gardner Village.
Party Stop #1: Cottage Retreat Day Spa
Did you know you can do mani/pedi parties for wee ones (all ages, actually) at Cottage Retreat? The prices can't be beat, and the attention to detail is second to none. When I arrived to set up, they had a table and table cloth all set up and ready for me, so all I had to do was dress it up with a few things I brought from home. You certainly don't have to decorate to enjoy a spa party, but I love that I had the option. And the space!
There was also room for me to set up a guest book signing station and a party activity. Having so much space to work with was FANTASTIC!
I love me a good photo opp, and the lighting in the lobby of the spa was perfect for snapping pics of each of our guests with our birthday girl! (I brought the big 4 balloon with me for this purpose.)
While the cute bench out front was just right for a group pic!
We felt right at home, which was so nice. It is a spa, however, so we did our best to keep quiet. We didn't want to disturb other guests enjoying their pampering sessions. Fortunately for us, the building is set up in such a way that we were kind of set apart from the other spa areas. This meant guests outside our group could enjoy their experiences while our young party goers had their own good time.
With most of our sweet friends being just 3 and 4 years old, we opted for a mini pedi party. The pedicures were just 20 minutes, which was just right for their young attention spans.
Cottage Retreat has five foot baths in their pedicure room, and we had 8 (and a half) party guests, so we broke things up into two sessions. While four of the girls were getting their toes treated, the other four were in the table area, where I brought flip flops they could decorate with bits of ribbon. *Note: Cottage Retreat also sells flip flops on site, so that could be one less thing you'd have to buy and bring in.
As one group of girls picked ribbon to decorate their flip flops the other group had a ball picking polish colors.
And the pampering wasn't bad either. From the looks of things, it was quite relaxing. lol
Party Stop #2/3: Georgell Doll Shop & The Bead Farm
We could have opened gifts and served cake at The Spa. It's another option they kindly offer. But I wanted to incorporate some jewelry making into our itinerary, so I added a second location onto our party--Georgell Doll Shop.
Making our way from location 1 to 2 was almost as fun as the stops themselves. The kiddos loved parading through The Village and enjoying the scenery. We actually saw a real turtle in The Village river! Isn't that something?
Once we arrived at The Doll Shop, the warm, friendly Bead Farm staff was already set up with our bracelet making activity. We had a rainbow themed party, so we arranged to have rainbow beads available to choose from. If you want to arrange a party with both of these shops where beads are brought to Georgell's patio stpace, The Bead Farm will pre-kit your beads and bring them over, based on direction you provide. Talk about accomodations!
And the knowledgable staff walks the guests through making the jewelry, so it's super easy for even the younget kiddos to make their own fashion accessory. The Bead Farm staff is SO good with children. That was very important to me. I knew our guests would be completely at ease under their direction and coaching, and they were.
The girls LOVED their unique creations!
Stop #4: Naborhood Bakery
Well, not exactly. We actually sat back on the beautiful Georgell patio and let Naborhood Bakery come to us. Isn't that terrific? I placed a lunch order of several pizzas (so good!) a few days ahead of time and told them what time I'd need them. I thought I'd have to pick the pizzas up once lunch time arrived, but they actually delivered them to us at Georgell. Wow! All I had to do was bring in some paper plates and set the tables. Doesn't get easier than that! Oh, and I added an apple sauce side and some lemonade to complete our feast.
Naborhood Bakery will make birthday cakes to order, but I decided to go with cupcakes. I ordered them about a week ahead of time, selecting the rainbow sprinkles to go with the rainbow theme of our party. I then created the nailpolish cupcake toppers at home using marshmallows, colored sugar and tootsie rolls. I brought them with me from home and added them to the cupakes before the party started. It was fun adding to the theme of the party in this way. (For more on my handmade party touches, I invite you to check out my personal blog here.)
Having the event on Georgell's private patio was perfect! It gave the kids plenty of room to play and explore without feeling like we were in the way. Also, I booked the patio with their wonderful handmade fairy houses on display. The girls loved taking in the details of each display as they waited for lunch to arrive.
And the parents were able to enjoy some rest, laughs, and conversation. (Georgell offers various patio options and pricing. Call the store to find the option that best meets your needs. 801.561.1485)
If you want to bring in your own decor, you sure can. There's plenty of space to decorate. Though, with an atmosphere as pretty as this, you wouldn't have to lift a finger and your backdrop would still look gorgeous.
Dolly & Me Fairy Garden Tea
You don't need a large group to enjoy a reservation on the Georgell Doll Shop patio. Following our party, these three cuties arrived for their own Dolly & Me Fairy Garden Tea. Don't they look sweet in their tea party attire? (Hats and aprons provided by Georgell.) Even if you aren't celebrating a birthday, this is such a memorable way to spend time together!
More Village Party Options
Many of The Village shops have pre-planned party options, which take so much of the work out of hosting an outstanding party. Here's a list of your choices:
* The Art Cottage: Get creative at Gardner Village's newest shop, scheduled to open in August, 2016. They will have painting party options available. Visit them in August, 2016, to learn more.
* The Bead Farm: Whether you stay in their store (they'll even decorate for you) or take the party to Georgell, as I did, this is bright and happy way to enjoy some birthday play! Call the shop (801.938.1995) or check out their website for more info on planning your event.
* Georgell Doll Shop: Enjoy a spot of tea (water or juice) and a treat at this serene setting. Booked parties include hats and aprons your guests can wear, sweet fairy doll party favors, and hand served treats. Take a look at a party in action here.
* Cottage Retreat Spa & Salon: Book one of their Princess Parties and feel like royalty. You can do manicures, pedicures, or a combination of both. No matter what you choose to do, your guests will walk away feeling beautiful and relaxed.
* Classic Ballet Conservatory: Want a party to remember? How about a ballerina birthday party where your tiny dancers can share the dance floor with a real ballerina? There are many party packages to choose from, and each is all-inclusive, so you simply have to show up and enjoy. Call the studio for more info and to schedule your twinkle-toes time! 801.441.0436
* The Farm Pony Rides & Petting Zoo: Party with the ponies at The Farm. Guests can enjoy uncommon experiences, such as bottle feeding baby animals and gathering eggs. And there's no better way to tour The Village than atop a pony. The best part--your money goes to support this nonprofit organization. Learn more here.
* Archibald's Restaurant: There's something for all ages at Gardner Village. If your guests are the sit-back-and-relax/chat type, call Archibald's and reserve one of their events spaces for lunch or dinner. This is perfect for large groups and the food can't be beat!
Now that you know your options, it's time to choose your own adventure. Whether you go with a pre-planned party option or create a more customized event as I did, you're going to love how easy Gardner Village makes it to make memories. My little girl has had two birthday parties here already, and I'm sure that's only the beginning. The prices are right. The staff is friendly. And the atmosphere is magical. Parties here are an easy and amazing way to go.
P.S. I had questions about where I got Maggie's sweet birthday outfit. It's from Spoiled Rotten Children's Boutqiue at Gardner Village. They have an awesome assortment of pretty party clothes.