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A Hoppin' Good Time

by Carly The Little Man will turn six in August, but because it can be hard to get school friends together in the summer, we decided to have a small party  to celebrate the momentous occasion before classes ended.

We recently won a birthday party package from Tiny Hoppers and  while we hadn't done anything like that before now, we figured this would be a great time to take advantage of our winnings.

I was actually a little hesitant at first because after visiting their East End location it was clear they catered more to toddlers and preschoolers than school aged children.  So we talked it over at length with Jake and he decided he wanted to go for it.

Tiny Hoppers Standard Birthday Party Package Includes:

* Up to 16 children * Ages 1-10 * 1.5 hours in length * 45 minutes of structured activities with the children * 45 minutes of free play, time for cake, snacks and presents * Various themes available * Balloons for each child * Set up and clean up * FREE Class Passes * $150

We arrived  about 15 minutes before the party was due to start, to put out Jake's cake and speak with the staff on hand.  The two women who facilitated the party were lovely and accommodating.

The kids spent only about 30 minutes (instead of the 45 minutes indicated in the party package) doing "structured" activities.  They used different musical instruments, hopper balls and ribbons to sing and dance around to different songs.  The facilitators were really enthusiastic and animated, and all the kids enjoyed themselves.  They wrapped up that part with some parachute games and we followed that up with some free play, cake, and the gift opening.

Overall I was really happy with the staff and their willingness to help and support our needs.  The songs were silly and fun and the kids really enjoyed the ribbons, drums, hopper balls and the slide.

I do think the party would have been better geared toward younger children and I was happy that only six children in total could make it to our party because the space was really small for children of that age.  As it was, our guests were bumping into one another a fair bit and there were a few scraped knees and backs from climbing through the small-ish tunnels and slides.

The structured activities were great, but with a smaller and older group (less chaos, more listening to instruction) they took less time than anticipated and I do wish the staff had allowed for that by planning some additional games or songs.  In the end I stepped in and led the kids in a few rounds of musical chairs when I saw their enthusiasm for the free play lagging.

Because the space was small, the parachute couldn't be fully opened (though the kids had a blast anyway) and the floors were pretty dirty, both the surface of the foam mats that covered the floor and underneath them), as evidenced by the black feet the kids had by the end of the party.  Everything else was spotless and it was handy to have bathrooms with nice low sinks and the like for the kids to wash up in.

From a customer service perspective, it was a wonderful experience and I'd certainly go back for another party.  The East End location is primarily used to accommodate a full time daycare and the space is set up as such, so I'd definitely recommend their party package for children 3 or 4 years of age and under.

In the end, Jake had a blast, which is really all that matters.  I was really pleased that their facility was strictly peanut/tree nut free and whole egg free as the Little Man is allergic to both..

What are some of your favourite places to have birthday parties?

*****

Carly has red hair and occasionally the temper to match.  She loves potatoes, rainy nights, photography, her husband and her 4 year old son, Jacob.  Probably in reverse order.   She also blogs.