Beyond excited to be featured today in our of fave online communities, LA Mom Magazine. Check out this informative article about how WonderTent Parties can be a fun Spring Break experience for your kids and the family. Click the image below to read the article in full.
With Valentine's Day here hopefully you have sorted out the card, the flowers, the dinner, and a little gift. What you may not have thought of though is music to help set the mood. Fear not, we've got you covered with a specially curated playlist to get the heart pumping.
So press play and let love rule.
With Valentine's Day fast approaching it often feels like there's a big push to dial up the romance. We buy flowers, special gifts, write heartfelt cards, maybe hit one of the city's top restaurants and for the night we are "in love" and more than happy to celebrate it. But then the 15th rolls round and we're back to our lives of being parents. The flower and cards are quickly replaced by homework and school drop offs and the reality of being Mom or Dad.
But it's important for our own wellbeing, the wellbeing of our relationship, and the example we set our kids, that declarations of love aren't just restricted to a 24 hour period.
So here to help extend the romance beyond Valentines Day are 7 little things you can do to make sure the spark that set your heart aflame keeps burning brightly.
Why save how you feel about your SO for just one or two cards a year? Surprise the one you love with the unexpected Post-It that expresses how you feel about them. It can be naughty, nice, lustful or loveful, just write it down. Let them know what they mean to you, or how you miss them. Then stick them in unexpected places like their journal, on the driver's seat, on their coffee mug, on the bathroom mirror. Just don't kill the joy by asking them if they got it. They may not mention it (for they might want to surprise you by lifting their romance game too.) Just do it to express how you feel without the need for validation or reward.
Of course, you don't need to restrict it to Post-Its. Scrawl a message on the mirror, trace a message in the steam of the shower, or send them an unexpected text.
Dial Up The PDA
Sure your kids may scream "Gross" or decry how embarrassing you are, but showing affection freely and often will help you both feel more connected. From holding hands while you walk to kissing on a crowded street to just cuddling on the couch while the family watches TV. It might sound simple but so often we back off from being a couple because we're assuming our Mom or Dad roles. But showing affection towards each other models for our kids what a healthy, loving relationship looks like, and removes any question the kids might have about the safety and stability of your relationship.
Go Off Grid
Unplug the phone, tablet, and computer, turn them off and put them away. Replace FOMO with FOMU - Fear of Missing Us - and spend an hour staring into each other's eyes rather than staring at a screen. Take the time to talk about stuff that matters to the two of you (keep convos about the kids to a minimum.) Share how your day was, ask about theirs and really listen to the answers. You'll be surprised just how intimate it can be to hear and be heard. Also feeling this close you never know where it might lead. That email or cat video that seemed so pressing an hour ago is now the last thing on your mind.
Protect Date Night
We've all heard about the importance of "Date Night" but how many of us actually adhere to a weekly or monthly night out just for us. We tried it and we weren't overly successful. Our plan was to dine at all the Top Chef restaurants in LA over the course of a year, one a month. We got as far as 3 in the year. Now 3 is better than none but it showed us how easily we let "life" get in the way of "love". We also let ourselves off the hook by letting a trip the movies or hanging with friends count as our date night. But ultimately we knew we were robbing ourselves of "us time" so we refocused and now commit to a date night a month come hell or high water.
Date Night should be treated with the same kind of commitment as our kids' soccer games or dental appointments. It shouldn't be allowed to be replaced by something else. And if, if, if we have to reschedule do it within 7 days. And take turns planning the date so all the pressure isn't on them or you to make it work. Have fun with it. Do a class together. Revisit your favorite restaurant. See that movie. Go to that exhibition. And get dressed up for the occasion, this will help you switch out of parent mode and into partner mode.
Whether you decide to carve our weekly or monthly date nights stick to it. It will be easy to swap it out with more important stuff but nothing is as important as spending time together.
Plan A Getaway
There's nothing like the thought of getting away for a few days (ok, even a few hours) to make us feel blissful. So start planning your dream getaway together. Scour some websites, gather some brochures and start thinking about what it will be like to just get away from it all. It doesn't have to be that lofty trip to the Maldives (though that does sound nice). Even planning a night at a local hotel where you can gorge on room service and each other can hit the spot. Like they say, the destination is important but even more so is the journey, and the time you spend together making plans will go a long way towards making them come true.
Bust Out The Sexy Superlatives
We all love getting a compliment. So don't be stingy when it comes to giving them either. Every day give your SO a compliment that makes them smile, blush, or want to race home. Let them know you're grateful for what they do and how good they are at it. Let them know they are the best, the be all and end all, the one. Compliment the way they look, the way they make you feel, and the things they do for you and the family.
And be willing to take a compliment too. There's nothing worse than brushing off a compliment so take it in and let your heart swell when you hear it.
Break Out Of The Routine
We all know what it feels like to be in a rut. We also know the only way out is to do something new or unexpected. Now I'm not suggesting you go skydiving - unless that's something you'd like to try - but doing something new, thrilling and exciting is just the thing to spring you both back to the loving couple you are.
A new activity brings you closer as you both have to rely on the other to navigate your way or share the experience. It can be a great way to connect like you used to when everything you did together was new and exciting.
A Bonus: Our Romantic Nights GlampOut
Becuase we can all do with a little help in the romance department, we've created this exquisite and intimate Romantic Nights GlampOut. Spend the night with your loved one under the WonderDome and dedicate time to the two of you.
These are just 7 ways you can rekindle that romance in your relationship. Of course, we hope it leads to discovering many other ways the two of you can connect and grow as a couple.
Sure, Valentine's Day may get all the glory when it comes to declarations of love, but hot on its heels - in super fierce heels of its own - is Galentine's Day, a day to celebrate the wonderful women in your life.
Originating in the very funny Parks and Recreations show back in 2010, Galentine's Day was decreed to fall every February 13th (yep, one day before Valentine's) to celebrate your girl squad. I'll let Amy Poehler's character in the show, Leslie Knope explain:
"Oh, it's only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It's like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas."
Since its inception in 2010, Galentine's Day has taken on a life of its own. It's inspired Memes, Galentine's Gifts, and we think a day when you get to hang with your best girlfriends is a day worth celebrating.
So bring the squad together and celebrate a day of sisterhood. To help you get into the mood we've curated a playlist of unstoppable Girl Anthems. Over 2 hours of tracks guaranteed to have you all screaming "This is my JAM!!!!" over and over again. So turn the volume up, sing even louder and celebrate the great friendships that only girlfriends can bring to your life.
And if you really want to celebrate Galentine's Day in style, why not book a GlampOut for the amazing ladies in your life. Enjoy an unforgettable night together under our WonderDome with a SpaJama party of mani-pedis and glass after glass of bubbly.
And don't worry, you don't have to celebrate your superstar sisters only on February 13th. The way we see it, every day is Galentine's Day.
With a new year upon us, we all tend to think about what we want to achieve for the coming year. What our career, health, lifestyle and family goals are. One of the things I always try to keep in mind when it comes to my family goals is a resolve to Buy Less and Do More.
You see, when I look back on my childhood growing up in Australia most of my memories are filled with things we did as a family rather than things we had. Sure, I loved getting a hula-hoop that smelled like bubble gum one Christmas but my most cherished memories of childhood are the games I would play with my sisters or the driving holidays we would take as a family.
I'd imagine you also have memories that center more around things you did rather than things you had. Cherished memories that are about the people who were with or the new things you experienced.
Which is why when it comes to gift giving, I tend to err on giving my friends and family experiences rather than things. Whether it's dinners out, challenging them to the latest Escape Room, a first-class movie experience, or a Cooking Class, it's about giving them memories they will talk about for years and years.
It's one of the reasons WonderTent Parties came to be. To give friends and families experiences they'll never forget.
Whether it's hosting a GlampOut Girls Night or treating your kids to a SleepOver like no other, we strive to create spaces where bonds are made and memories are created. We know that these are the experiences that last. These are the ones your child and their friends will look back on for years to come. We know these are the ones that will have your squad roaring in hysterics as you recount the stories of "that night" for the 100th time. We know these are the "Remember when..." moments. It's why we work to make each WonderTent Parties event so unforgettable.
So, whether it's a driving holiday, or a hike up to the Hollywood sign, a day at Disneyland, a special Sleep Over, or baking cupcakes together, strive to do more experiences with your kids, your family, and friends. Big or small, these will be the memories that last. The time spent together that will stay with them long after the moment passes.
New Year's always brings out the raft of resolutions in me. If you are anything like me as midnight strikes you're filled with good intentions and determination. As the final chime of midnight sounds I hear myself saying, "This is going to be the year that I X, Y, and Z!" And I mean it. I am filled with conviction, determination, and optimism. Of course, jump to a few days into the new year and my resolve has been taken over by the demands of real life and that diet I was going to begin can wait until Monday to start... or maybe next Monday.
For me, the only resolutions that have actually stuck have been ones that are true to who I am and what I value, and don't require a huge overhaul. As a girlfriend says, it's the difference between liking the idea of something and actually liking the idea of doing what it takes to achieve it. For example, I might like the idea of playing piano, but I don't like the idea of having to practice an hour a day for two months just so I can play 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' flawlessly. Or I might like the idea of losing weight, but I don't like the idea of having to get up each morning at 6 to hit the gym for an hour (especially if I'm not a morning person.)
The trick I've found is finding a resolution you like the idea of doing. One that all the hard work, practice and time needed to actually do excites you. So if you actually enjoy helping others, then resolving to do more charity work will come true. If you actually enjoy pushing and challenging yourself, then hitting that fitness goal will happen. If you actually value the time with family and friends, then resolving to spend more quality time will happen and finding that time will become a breeze.
A resolution that works also needs measurable goals. Little milestones along the way. So if you want to spend more time with family make it a tradition to spend the first Friday of each month together watching a movie and take turns picking what to watch. If you want to get fitter then hitting realistic milestones along the way will help you reach your final goal. And if you do want to learn piano then having a song in mind to master is the way to stick to it.
Whether you make lofty resolutions or little ones, just remember to resolve to be kind to yourself. If you stray from the goal that's ok. Just refocus and get back on track. And if you find that resolution really wasn't you after all, then be kind to yourself and let it go. You actually learned something in the process, even if it is that trying to conquer American Ninja Warrior isn't what gets you up in the morning (quite literally.)
And remember, you can always make a resolution to not make any resolutions at all.
Happy New Year.
Part of the joy of doing what we do is knowing we are taking the hassle out of organizing and setting up a sleepover or event. The downside is that our job is done well before the festivities begin so we don't often get to see the moment of "Wow" when the guest of honor sees their setup for the first time.
So it was a true joy to share in little Ella's reaction when she saw the set up for her SlumberUnder (our mini-sleepovers for kids not yet ready to spend the night.) Working with a genius "Polar Express" theme established by Ella's Mom with gorgeous boarding cards and golden tickets we were delighted to help provide a little extra wow. As you'll see Ella LOVED it.
Find out how you can bring the wonder of a SlumberUnder to your home here.
If you're hosting a New Year's Eve party no doubt you are already feeling the pressure to make it THE GREATEST NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY IN THE HISTORY OF PARTIES!!!!! And while your mind may be filled with fountains of endlessly flowing champagne, the world's greatest fireworks display and well, basically pure extravagance, chances are you're just like the rest of us mere mortals and have a budget to stick to and reality to adhere to. So here are a few of our favorite party tips that will make sure your New Year's party goes off with a bang.
Keep It Down
No, not the volume, but the number of invites you give. Sometimes the best parties are made with a smaller group of friends rather than every one of your Facebook friends. We've hosted parties with over 100 guests and done several with just 10 or less and no matter what, quality always wins over quantity. If you go big make sure you think of inviting friend-clusters, that way pockets of friends remain self-sufficient and you limit the number of people feeling left out.
Of course, a small and intimate group of friends can make for a more inclusive collective and it means you spend more of your night with the people you care about and less fussing about being hostess.
Pump It Up
Music will be key. Depending on what type of soiree you are hosting will depend on the kind of music you want. The more intimate the party the more recessive the music should be. Think of it as being mood music that supports conversation. Of course, if you want people up and dancing with a positive vibe going all night then having a great playlist will get everyone moving.
To help out, we've created a 2017 hit heavy playlist for you to use that builds from soft to dance-mania over the course of 5 hours. It includes the big tracks from 2017 plus some all-time party pleases. All you need to do is load it up and turn it up.
Light The Way
Lighting sets the mood for your event. The aim should be to create a warm, welcoming environment that lets your friends relax and feel at ease. Too bright and it will feel cold and sterile. Hit the dimmers or turn off those overly bright ceiling lights and try to use more ambient lighting. We're also huge fans of indoor fairy lights which are great to create that party atmosphere and give a little magic to the night.
Let Them Eat Cake And Other Yummy Morsels
What's a party without food, right? The secret is in easy to nibble on party food. The last thing you want to do is spend the whole night in the kitchen so grab some easy to cook and easy to serve nibblies from the store, pop them in the oven or straight into serving dishes. People tend to go through the following phases at a party when it comes to food & drink - drink, nibble, drink, food, drink, nibble, drink, drink. So make sure there is a steady supply of snacks to eat through the night and then a serve of a more substantial mini-meal within the first few hours.
Drink and Be Merry (But Responsible)
Make sure you have enough drinks AND enough ice. Balance the amount of alcohol you serve with non-alcoholic and soft drink options. New Year's is an excuse to let your hair down after a big year so be sure that while people are drinking up there's also food available. We also HIGHLY RECOMMEND encouraging your friends to UBER or LIFT their way to and FROM your little shin-dig. Also be prepared for that one or two guests who might need to spend the night - might we recommend a WonderTent setup! If you think someone has had a little too much, make sure they either spend the night or get home without getting behind the wheel.
Clean It Up
Good times often equals a big clean up at the end of the night. So get a head start by using paper plates and plastic glasses and cups for big groups and have designated bins around the party. Another handy hint is to do a quick clean once or twice as you go as it cuts down the workload at the end of the night but more importantly will enrol one or two guests to help out as well.
Prop It Up
The whole aim of New Year's is to have fun so spend a little on some props for the night. Hit the local discount store for supplies like party hats, streamers and poppers, and photo props. Don't spend too much, after all its just for one night, but a few little fun options will get people in the mood sooner.
Figure out in advance how you're going to countdown to midnight and be sure to have a clock in clear view so everyone won't be asking you, "What time is it?". A great option is to have the TV on and watch the Times Square ball drop. If you don't want to be the official timekeeper, designate someone in advance to lead the countdown.
And if you have little ones check out Netflix who, for the fourth year running, has just published a slew of videos that offer a "fake" countdown clock to midnight. The genius idea here is that the videos can be played at any time. So your kids can join in on the New Year's Eve festivities and still get to bed on time. This year’s videos include characters from “True and the Rainbow Kingdom,” “Larva,” “Pororo,” “Beat Bugs,” “Word Party,” “Puffin Rock,” “Skylanders Academy,” “All Hail King Julien,” and “Trollhunters.” Just search for "New Year’s Eve Countdown” or “Countdown” to locate these videos or get quick access via the "Kids" row on the Netflix menu.
Keep The Kids Entertained
Speaking of kids, if you're looking for a way to keep them entertained why not treat them to a wonderful SleepOver or GlampOut experience. We can help set up a SleepOver in your living room to get them set for the night and keep them entertained with a movie or two. Or celebrate in the ultimate of style with our GlampOut option and have the kids camp out under the WonderDome while the "boring old adults" get to party with their friends.
And yes you can book a SleepOver or GlampOut for you and your friends too for that truly memorable New Year's experience. They're also a great solution if you're expecting you might need to have space for a few friends to spend the night.
Remember To Enjoy The Night Too
As the host it's best to lead by example. Have fun and your guests will too. Don't take on too much to do during the party. Where you can pre-plan activities and make food a breeze to prep and serve. Give yourself ample time to just enjoy the night being surrounded by friends and family.
So, however you celebrate we hope you enjoy a memorable night.
From all of us here at WonderTent Parties we wish you a very Happy New Year and hope 2018 brings you everything you could wish for, and then some.
Well, here we are folks, at the end of another year. And that can only mean one thing. Time to get your New Year's Eve on! And the guarantee of a great New Year's is a great playlist. So to help you get the night off to a great start and keep it going, here's a selection of our favorite tunes from the past year plus some all-time party stompers to get everyone moving.
This specifically curated playlist starts off with some of the more chilled songs from the year and then ramps up into full-on party mode. With over 5 hours of hits, this playlist will have you seeing in the new year with tunes to keep you dancing into the early hours of 2018.
So tune in, turn it up and party like it's 2017.
Wow. It's Christmas already? It seems just yesterday it was December 1st, and now we are in the final stretch with Christmas just a few nights away. Which not only dials up the excitement but also dials up the stress; Is your shopping done? Did you remember everyone? Is the food sorted? Do we have enough wrapping paper?
So here to help put a bit more Merry in your Christmas are some of our favorite Christmas Tips.
If, like us, you got your fresh cut tree early it might be in need of some TLC right about now. To be honest, being Australian we don't have a lot of experience with fresh cut trees - ours are usually unboxed rather than cut down - so this year we are learning the hard way about how to extend the life of your tree. Fresh water we covered off, but we didn't think too much about climate. As the nights got cooler we cranked up the heat forgetting that the tree is placed right near a ducted vent. Also, having it near a window that gets a lot of afternoon sun probbly wasn't a smart move either. But since closing the heat vent next to the tree and dropping some aspirin into the water (yes even Christmas Trees can get a Holiday Headache) has seemed to help it stay lush-er for longer. We're hoping it makes it to New Year, but at this stage if it's still holding the ornaments up on Christmas morning we will call it a Christmas Miracle. Oh well, live and learn. Next year we'll be on the top of our game.
Christmas Lists aren't just for presents. Anyone who knows me knows I live on lists, so I always like to have a food prep list for Christmas Day. I like to write down how long each dish takes to make, how long it needs to be in the oven, at what time etc. Be as detailed as you can – write down how long each dish takes to make (including any marinating/refrigerating/baking time) and figure out the order to make your dishes in. Mine looks like a running order with precise times and temperatures from morning through to serving time. It might seem overkill but it helps you feel under control and able to enjoy the down time without worry. It also helps in delegating tasks for the family.
The Forgetful Present
There's always that dreaded moment when a friend pops over with a lovely gift for you and you haven't got something to give them in return. Sure, you can blame Amazon for the delay but I find having a few generic gifts on hand helps fill the unexpected void. I recommend having a box of chocolates (Sees Candies is a winner), a lovely scented candle, and maybe a fun decoration or snowglobe pre-wrapped and ready on hand. And should you not need them, well then you get to enjoy unwrapping a few extra gifts come Christmas morning. Of course, you can always save them for next year.
The Little Present That Couldn't
The last thing you want is for your kids to unwrap the present they asked Santa for only to discover those three words that strike fear into the heart of every parent... "Batteries Not Included!!!!" So always keep a stash of batteries on hand, espcially AA and D.
Ice Ice Baby
Fill your ice trays. I repeat, Fill Your Ice Trays. Sometimes the little things make the big difference and having ice on hand for drinks will make things run a little smoother and keep everyone in good "cheers." So, go check your ice trays now... I'll wait. Oh and chill your drinks early.
Rock Around The Christmas Tree
A well-crafted, non-stop Christmas Playlist is a must. Thankfully, we've got you covered with our Wonder-ful & Happy Holidays playlist on Spotify. Tune in and turn it up to fill your home with Holiday Hits for the whole family. Perfect for present wrapping, Christmas morning or just playing throughout the day.
Unwrapping and Unravelling
As perfect as we want the Holidays to be not all things will go to plan. As sure as Santa loves milk and cookies you can be guaranteed something will go wrong. The trick is to plan for it - or rather plan to roll with it. How you deal with the little upsets of the day will go a long way with keeping things festive and cheerful. The most important thing is the people you share the day with, so aim for special and memorable not perfect.
Set The Table The Night Before
Christmas Day will be hectic enough, especially if you're hosting. So why not set the table the night before when the pressure is off. You'll have ample time to arrange things just so and you won't have a gazillion-and-one other things to do. Trust me, TIME is the gift you give to yourself.
So there you have it. A few of my favorite Christmas Survival Tips. Hopefully they come in handy to make your Christmas a special and memorable one. And from me and the team at WonderTent Parties we wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
This past week I had the joy of chatting with Linda Grasso, founder and unstoppable force behind SheShez. SheShez is a fantastic podcast for women interested in making a meaningful change in their lives — a new job, mindset, passion or cause. Hosted by Linda, each 30-minute episode covers all bases — from struggles to strategies to successes — with intimate, authentic conversation. Whether experiencing self-doubt, stuck in a rut or simply seeking change, SheSez guides women to make that critical pivot by presenting practical tips, radical inspiration—and everything in between.
It was an honor to chat with Linda and talk about my journey from "successful corporate businesswoman" to "new business entrepreneur" with the focus on giving back. It's a journey that still fills me with self-doubt, but I truly believe in what we are trying to achieve with WonderTent Parties. Being able to do something that helps celebrates life's moments, helps friends and family connect, makes someone's day or helps create a memory that will last a lifetime is a wonderful thing.
I appreciate everyone who has helped me on this journey from my family and friends who have given their ongoing encouragement, to our clients who have trusted us to make their events truly magical, and to all our supporters on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook who are sharing in this journey with me.
So I'm proud to share this with you and thank you Linda for letting me share my story and be apart of the wonderful sisterhood that is SheSez.
Hosting a sleepover can be a lot of fun. But for first-time kids and parents, it can also be a daunting experience if you're not prepared. So to help bring more "yay" and less "no way" to your child's next sleepover, here's our 7 Secrets to a Successful Sleepover.
1. Are your kids ready for it? Are you?
We're often asked what age is the best age for a child to have their first sleepover. Our answer; it depends on your child. Most kids at age 7 or 8 are ready to have a sleepover with their friends, but it's not something that should be forced or rushed into. If your child is thinking of games to play, things to do and who to invite that's a pretty good sign. And if they've had a night away at a friends or cousins it probably means they are ready for the big leagues of a group sleepover.
For kids under 7, we recommend our SlumberUnder which is specifically designed for kids who aren't yet ready to stay the night but don't want to miss out on any of the fun. Think of the SlumberUnder as an "almost sleepover" where the kids arrive in their pajamas in the afternoon, had some fun, watch a movie from the comfort of the WonderTents and then leave around 8 or 9pm.
Another idea is to have an opt-out where any of the kids can call their parents to be picked up at bedtime. It doesn't happen often, but it's a nice comfort to have.
Of course, the other question to ask is, "Are YOU ready for it?" You, Mom. You, Dad. Are you ready to have a group of kids in your home for an overnight stay? If the idea is going to keep you up at night then maybe look at other group activities until you're comfortable with the thought. Of course, we can offer helpful hints and activities to make the night less of a chore and more of a roaring success.
2. Have your child lend a hand in the planning.
Remember it is their special night so make sure they lead the way in planning the event. Let them feel empowered by deciding who to invite and what activities to do. It's great to help them by offering suggestions of what might be fun but follow their lead. No matter how cool and hip you are, they know their friends best and will know what activities they will enjoy and what ones they won't. Guide them and keep suggestions in your comfort zone but always keep the focus on fun.
3. Keep the numbers comfortable.
This is especially true for hosting your first sleepover. We suggest your child and four of their friends is a good number for a first outing. This makes you feel confident you'll have things under control (after all, no-one likes herding cats) and it won't have your child feeling too overwhelmed with having to "entertain" a large group. We've also helped parents host Sleep Overs for groups as large as 20! Large groups might feel daunting but the truth is they often end up entertaining themselves which frees you up.
Another good tip is to think about the personality of the kids you're inviting. Make sure there's a good balance of outgoing and friendly kids to help keep things moving and inclusive. Also if the group is pretty tightknit already, now may not be the best time to introduce a new friend to the mix.
4. Keep the parents in the loop.
While the other parents might relish the thought of a "night off" it can quickly turn into a night of panic for them. The key here is to keep them informed. When inviting be sure to have a clear drop off time AND a clear pick up time (let me say that again, a clear PICK UP time.) This means the kids won't have a chance to feel alone or out of sorts either arriving too early or waiting for their pick up. It also means that you can focus on what you and your family need to do the next day. We strongly recommend a pick up time of 10am as the kids will be up early (regardless of how late they got to sleep.)
Also, let parents know of any planned activities you're looking to do or what movies you are looking to watch. And check for any food allergies or any other bedtime habits (the need for a nightlight, a call before bedtime etc.)
One recommendation we make is to have parents leave their details on a Contact Sheet that's kept on the fridge. That way if you, or their child, need to call them their number is super handy. Sometimes just visually seeing that Mom/Dad is just a call away can settle any nerves.
5. Feed them well but hide the sugar.
Part of the fun of a sleepover is sharing a meal or some treats together. But keep it all within reason. Have a fun food activity like making your own pizza or creating your own sundae planned for early in the night or before the movie. And give the kids a chance to burn off any excess energy. Try holding off on any sugary treats the closer you get to bedtime. And again be aware of any food allergies or foods that might cause an already nervous tummy to get even more upset. The last thing you want is a "Clean up in aisle five!"
6. Be flexible.
While it's great to have a plan of activities to keep the kids entertained, remember to keep the plan flexible. Some activities will keep their attention longer than others, and some might just not come off as planned. That's ok. Just go with the flow. The most important thing is to make sure the kids are having fun.
7. Sleep will come. Just not when you plan it.
Part of the joy of a sleepover is the bonding and chit-chat that happens at bedtime. While we recommend you have a defined "lights out" time, plan it to be for an hour before you really expect them to go to sleep. And then plan for it to go on after that. It's ok to check in on them and give them a gentle but final "Goodnight" when its time to sleep.
Other things to keep in mind is to have a "codeword" with your child so they can let you know if things are getting out of hand or someone needs help. Something simple like, "What time is it?" is great way for your child to let you know to check in on them or help out without making it a big deal.
Also, keep a hall light on or create a path to the bathroom with night lights so you don't have to worry about things that will go bump in the night. We have designed each of our SleepOver setups to include individual fairy lights and individual lanterns so if a child needs a little light to feel safe they can feel in control of it.
Following these simple steps will guarantee you a truly memorable sleepover for your child, their friends and you. And of course, if you really want to make it an unforgettable experience treat them to any one of our amazing SleepOver setups (that's our Sleepover Secret number 8.)
So it's been 6 months since we launched WonderTent Parties and I wanted to share some of our favourite events that we've helped create for families throughout LA. It's been a fun time for us as we listened to the feedback we've received, made some tweaks to make experiences even better and introduced a range of new themes and continued to spread the wonder.
In the past 6 months we've done countless events and enjoyed bringing a bit of wow to the celebrations. We've done GlampIn Day Parties for 60, SleepOvers for 20, helped brings a sense of wow to Thanksgiving, and made several birthdays extra memorable. Thank you to everyone who has trusted us to make your events truly special and everyone who has supported and followed us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
We look forward to making the next 6 months and beyond even more magical and special. So to celebrate here's a selection of 5 of our favourites that we've created..
A Graduation That Was All Class
Our very first event was a GlampIn Day Party for the end of year graduation for a Pre-School class. We had 12 WonderTents for the kids to play (and nap) in plus the WonderDome was the center of all the action with games held inside. With 20 kids and 40+ parents in attendance we kept them entertained with Karaoke singalongs - songs from Frozen and The Beatles proved very popular - classic games of Musical Chairs, Egg and Spoon Races and a Crafts Station. We also had our popcorn cart on hand as well as ice cream and hot dogs!
SleepOvers Make Every Birthday Special
There's nothing quite like having your first sleepover as part of your birthday. That's what made this one so special. With friends in tow, the girls enjoyed a fun night of games, movies and yummy food. And of course all the magic that comes along with a SleepOver in our WonderTents. The girls loved their personalised overnight packs and their dinner/breakfast trays came in handy at meal times and during the movies. Rumour has it, this will become an annual event. We can't wait.
A Double Dose of Wonder
We loved celebrating this special 10th birthday for two very special kids we nicknamed the "Wonder Twins." With his and her WonderDomes and our Outdoor Movie Experience, the birthday boy and girl enjoyed a magical night with their friends. Not a bad way to bring in being in double digits.
Can You Do A Sleep Over for 20? Yes, Yes We Can.
Our standard SleepOver experience is designed for 5. But of course, we can tailor up or down depending on needs. This was a relief to hear when we were asked to create a Sleep Over for 20 to celebrate the important milestone of a Bar Mitzvah. As we say, if you have the space we can make anything work. And we were happy to know we made this special day extra special.
Sleeping and Dining Under The Stars
We love doing things outside the box, so when we were asked if we could help celebrate a 34th Birthday with double WonderDomes AND our dining experience we jumped at the chance. 10 guests got to enjoy a wonderous night of fun and laughter and we were happy to help make this a birthday not to forget.
That's just the tip of Wonder-berg. We can't wait to spread a little (more) wonder over the coming months and years. If you'd like us to help organise a magical event for your child, your family, or you and your friends, drop us a line or make a booking. We promise a wonderful experience.
We love knowing the effort we put into making every WonderTent Parties SleepOver special pays off (for both Mom and child.) So we were super pleased to read this blog post "Turning Ten Under A WonderTent" on Mommy In Los Angeles from one of our Moms.
Helping Lyra and her friends enjoy a magical first sleepover and celebrate her 10th birthday was a joy. We are so glad she loved it. And to know Lyra was just as excited for her WonderTent Parties Sleep Over as she was going to see "Hamilton," well, to quote the musical, "That would be enough".
Read the blog post here at Mommy In Los Angeles.
Wow, It's December already! (Where has the time gone?)
So I guess that means it's time to decorate the tree, whip up some eggnog and start wrapping some presents. And of course, you need some holidays tunes.
Well we've got you covered with A Wonder-ful & Happy Holidays playlist of over 2 hours of the perfect songs for the holidays.
Looking for some classics? We've got those with "White Christmas" from Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole singing "The Christmas Song." Want to get rocking around the Christmas tree? Then crank up the hits from U2, Coldplay and Tom Petty. We've got some Christmas cheer with The Jackson 5, Destiny's Child and The Temptations. And modern takes from Sam Smith, Meghan Trainor, Fifth Harmony, Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande will have everyone in the family singing along.
We've also included some of our famiy's personal favorites too. Who can go past the classic, "Last Christmas" from Wham! - that's my pick. Our daughter loves Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You." And hearing Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" always brings a smile to my husbands face. Hopefully this collection of songs does the same for you.
And if you want to add some extra wow to your Holiday Season why not book a WonderTent Parties experience. If you need more room, our Sleep Over turns hosting family into a memory-making wonder. Our treat the family to Christmas Eve under the stars with our Glamp Out experience and spend the night together under the WonderDome. Or why not gather the family for a unique Christmas lunch in the WonderDome?
So from our family to yours, here's wishing you have a truly magical, wonder-ful Holiday Season.