1. Birthday Cake
"Chocolate! Chocolate!" always the same answer if you ask what kind of cake Rboy wants. My boy is crazily obsessed with chocolates (which kid isn't) and to him, all cakes have to be in chocolate flavour, otherwise it don't deserve to even be a cake. We talked about the design of the cake, and his expected answer was "choo choo train! like this one!" He dangled his newly bought Mickey Mouse train carriage toy in my face. My initial idea was to get a nice classic old-school chocolate cake and then placed his toy train on top of the cake as the decoration. Good idea right?
My first choice was Lana chocolate cake, but it seems that they have already disappeared to another dimension. It was so damn difficult to reach them. After calling them for days, they finally picked up my phone but was extremely inflexible and refused to take my order because it wasn't Tuesday (because Tuesday is their only orders-taking day. Not stated anywhere on their website either. WTH.). They wanted me to call back to try again the week after. When the following week came, I gave up after they refused to pick up my call for 5 continuous days.
In the end I checked out another bakery called NaNa Bake Jelly & Cake (good recommendation from a friend), which ended up as my choice. I sent them a photo of my son's toy train and they promised to create something similar to it...with chocolate fillings of course.
The transaction was smooth, price was reasonable, home delivery was punctual and the texture and fillings of the cake were good. The guests were impressed with the cake and my boys love it...and that's what matters the most.
NaNa Bake Jelly & Cake
Price: $160 (2kg) for the above train cake.
2. Kids play area
We were contemplating between sandplay or water play area for the kids to have fun first while waiting for all guests to arrive. So glad that Rboy chose the latter because it made cleaning up so much easier than sand. The day before the party, I visited Daiso and Toy R Us to grab some water toys and threw them into the ground pool we set up. Needless to say, it attracted all the kids to the pool immediately once they reach the venue.
Ocean Snapset Pool - Toy R Us - $34.90
Water toys - Daiso/Toy R Us - $2-$10
Reagan requested for a clown or a magician for his birthday party. I thought a clown is "scarier" for young children (I had a fear of clowns when I was a kid. All thanks to the movie Poltergeist.) Rboy associated magicians as people who do tricks and have the ability to pull rabbits out of their hat. Therefore I went in search online for magicians who can do shows catered to younger kids 3-5 years old. That's when I came across Sherman Tang from The Magic Empire.
Sherman doesn't pull out rabbits from his hat, but he has two kick-ass puppets that made Rboy and his friends laugh so hard. It was the highlights of the birthday party and probably most of the kids' first exposure to a magic show. I knew the show was a success because the day after the party, a few of the parents texted me that their kids were still talking to them excitedly about the magic show they watched at Reagan's birthday party.
Sherman Tang from TheMagicEmpire
Price: $199 nett for basic package -40minutes
I don't like the idea of splurging on a catered buffet with full set up that can range from $600 onwards. Therefore I opted for the mini buffet set instead, which means the food are delivered in aluminium trays without any tables and chairs set up, but I get to save at least half the price. I've totally forgotten to take some photos of the food and before I realised, most of them were finished. I've really hungry guests that day. Anyway I ordered from the website Foodline, spent some time reading on the reviews and made CurryPot as my choice. Everything went smoothly, the food arrived 25 minutes earlier than the stated timing and I received good feedbacks for the veg and their famous curry dish.
9 dishes for 20 pax + home delivery - $308
Overall, the biggest benefit of organising this birthday party is the opportunity for Rboy to experience and learn to be a good host for his friends. Before the party begins, I told Rboy that it is compulsory for him to greet every guests who arrive, receive the presents himself and thank each of them personally. I'm not going to do it on his behalf because he is already 4, old enough to learn how to do so himself. And after his party ends, he has to go to every friend to thank them for coming to his birthday party. If he does a good job following the instructions well, he will be allowed another birthday party next year.
And yes, he is granted another party next year :)