Party with the Animal Rescue League
We have done all sorts of birthday parties for our kids from hosting at our home to bouncy house playgrounds to trampoline parks. This was going to be Miles’ first friend’s birthday party so I wanted to do something special that involved something he is interested in. He loves puppies (or very badly wants to) so when searching for ideas on puppy paw-ties I saw the Animal Rescue League hosts birthday parties for kids ages 6-10. I ran it by Miles and he was on board and excited.
The ARL party coordinator emailed me the week before the party and made sure I knew all the details – they plan the activities down to the minute and I am someone that likes to know this kind of schedule ahead of time so it was very much appreciated. I did bring my own cake, cupcakes, treats and some décor but really they had a ton of décor – more than I have ever seen at a party place so I could have gotten away with just cupcakes, juice and paper goods. My husband would love to see the day I just show up with cupcakes but we’ll see … we’ll see.
I loved that they got their faces painted, got an educational tour of the facility to meet the animals, adopted plush friends and got to meet and hold “Lego” the 11-week old kitten.
Our party coordinator, Angela, clearly works with kids a lot – she had a ton of patience and made the entire thing fun for the kids. My husband and I were exhausted afterward but that is the tradition of kid birthday parties right – the kids get all the fun/sugar and the parents need a nap afterwards?! A bonus is half of the party cost is a donation to the ARL and you can also opt to have the party guests bring donations like food and toys for the animals – they have a wish list on their site. We brought our own donations and had the guests bring gifts for Miles since this was his first party but for the future, I totally love this idea.
Miles loved every minute of his party and felt super special the entire time which is always my main goal. He even got a plush puppy that all of his guests signed to remember his special day.
Overall, I felt like the experience was a great one. If you have an animal lover, kiddo who likes a sweeter more low-key party (crowded game rooms and a man dressed up as a giant mouse is NOT their jam) – but loves crafting and school-like activities then this is for them.
About the Author
Emily Butterworth is the owner of Hello Charlie, a lifestyle blog that has a focus on kid’s fashion and home trends. She has been working in kid fashion for the past several years styling and photographing kid’s clothing lines and personal styling for her mini clients. By day she is an art director at Better Homes & Gardens home design group and most recently named the lead designer of Do It Yourself Magazine. She lives in Altoona with her husband and three kiddos. Learn more about Emily from our Des Moines Parent Spotlight.