Knights and Swords and Little Boys’ Birthdays

Medieval Times birthday party
Remember when our parents would feel generous enough to let us have birthday parties when we were kids? In the early years, it was putting on a party dress, eating cake and ice cream, and playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey. We might have even worn party hats and had streamers.

It was fun, short, and cheap. No wonder our parents agreed to it.

My brother, who is 10 years younger than me, grew up in a time when destination birthdays were just taking off. He’d host all of his friends at McDonald’s and eat cheeseburgers and cake and call it a day.

Now, kids’ birthdays seem to be an EVENT. You host an afternoon at the bouncehouse or arcade or laser tag and you end up paying $400 for an afternoon that will most likely fade into oblivion.

$400 for a kids’ birthday? I just can’t. I mean, I could. But I just can’t.

For Evan’s 2nd birthday we rented a room at the bouncehouse and had a blast. He doesn’t remember it but I was making up for the year before and I needed to do it. And the parents were invited to bounce as well so everyone had a good time.

For Evan’s 5th birthday, we invited his friends to the bowling alley for bowling, pizza, and cake. I thought 5 was an important age and he had a great time.

For Evan’s 7th birthday, I thought it might be time to venture into birthday party territory again. I gave him the options: big and cheap or small and creative. I’m not a believer in inviting every single person he knows to a party. I wouldn’t want to exclude just one little boy but at his age, I don’t see the need to invite the whole class. And frankly, he just wanted to have a few friends from the neighborhood over.

But what to do?

Call on the knights and swords at Medieval Times! I also had a connection in PR so I reached out to see if they would be interested in me reviewing the show for a boys birthday party. They generously provided me 5 complimentary admissions and off I went.

Medieval Times Birthday Invitation

I created a little snazzy invite on Evite and made plans for the day, including options for the parents as well.

Your boys are invited to dinner and a show to help celebrate Evan’s 7th birthday!

We’re keeping the party small so we can celebrate at Medieval Times this year. Lots of details below:

The show starts at 4pm so we’ll plan to leave no later than 3pm. Sean and I will drive all of the boys but please bring a portable car seat if you have one!

All costs are covered for the boys but if any adults (and your other kids) are interested in attending, you are more than welcome to join the party at the following discounted rates.

Adult discount price: $38.95 per person
Child discount price: $26.95 per person

We went last year as a family and had a blast! If you are interested in attending with your son, leave me a note when you RSVP so I can give you all of the details to be included with your reservation.

Hope you can make it!

While it sounds pricey, the tickets includes a full dinner and show. Assuming you’ve never been there, I’ll walk you through how this all works.

My husband and I played chaperone and each shuttled two boys in our cars (I gave him the noisier boys!). We drove about 40 minutes to get to the show and snagged our tickets from Will Call with the greatest of ease.

We were corraled in through the entrance and our party was assigned to a team.

Medieval Times entrance

In our case, we were part of the blue team (Evan’s favorite color) which meant we would be cheering the Blue Knight. Yes, we all wore blue paper crowns but that’s part of the fun!

Blue Knight fans

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As we’re watching the show, we were given our dinner. Honestly, the boys thought this was one of the coolest parts. NO SILVERWARE! In keeping with the medieval theme, everything served with the meal is finger food. From drinking tomato soup out of a crock to swigging soda out of a mug to eating half a chicken with our hands, the boys were more than happy to chow down.

They also allowed me to bring in my own cupcakes which the server took and served with our dessert. (Honestly, their apple turnover was way better than the cupcakes but we had to have cupcakes!)

But the real star of the party was the show itself.

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There was jousting and sword fighting and fake deaths. All the things little boys love. And they weren’t disappointed. In fact, they were enthralled.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking. Or at least what I think you’re thinking. You have three questions and I’m going to go ahead and answer them.

1. Can little boys really sit still for that long?

The answer is surprisingly YES. What I didn’t plan for is time after the party where they can run around and pretend to swordfight like the show they’ve just watched. I told parents we’d have their kids home to them around 7pm but when we arrived back at my house at 6:45pm, they begged for time to play. They ended up all going home around 8pm and I don’t think any of the parents had complaints about the extra time!

2. I have daughters. Would they like the show?

Of course they would! I’m not going to assume that girls would like the jousting and fighting (I know I like it) but if you happen to have more of a girly girl, she’ll still love it.

There was a princess,

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a master falconer,

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and dancing horses.

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And I might have even spied a little birthday girl all decked out in her favorite princess dress.

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3. What about goody bags?

Oh, this is the best part. I don’t do goody bags. I’ve tried to get creative and it’s just not my thing. So instead, I bought all of the boys a $6 blue flag to wave throughout the show as they cheered on the Blue Knight.

4. How can I really afford this? I’m not a blogger and don’t get free tickets for things.

Trust me, I thought about this. I didn’t want to complain about the cost of birthday parties and then recommend something that didn’t cost me much at all. Had I paid out of pocket for my husband and myself as well as the four boys, I would have spent $184, plus the cost of cupcakes, plus the flags, plus tip. All under $200. And that includes a full meal! Honestly, they always have some sort of deal, whether it’s for groups or on Groupon.

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And with that, I had a nice, neat, easy birthday party under my belt that made my son and all his friends very happy. In fact, the best part for me was taking two of the little boys that had never been before!

Going forward, I’m going to have to get a little more creative. I’d love to hear your suggestions for boys’ birthday parties. Or if you have an experience at Medieval Times, please share!

(And if you’ve never been and want a quick glimpse, here are highlights from the show in 2 minutes. Listen for the boys’ excitement during the jousting!)

  • http://www.thingsicantsay.com/ shellthings

    That is an awesome birthday party idea! Wish we had one nearby. We’ve taken our boys, but it’s an hour and a half away, so too far to take other people’s kids.
    Btw, I love that you spelled out how if/how parents could be included. There are some parties where I haven’t been sure if it was just for the kids, if they expected the parents to come along, if they had a group rate that got everyone in or if we had to pay.

    • FadraN

      I was a little disappointed that none of the other parents came but it really was like free babysitting on a Saturday afternoon for them! I’m glad they are at the age now where the parents feel comfortable with me driving. I actually like small birthday parties!

      And as for other parties? I always stay unless they tell me to go. And I always hope they have enough pizza and cake for me :)

      • http://www.thingsicantsay.com/ shellthings

        I always make sure I have enough food for the adults. Even though it seems like most don’t eat. I still like to be able to offer.
        It depends on where the party is and how well I know the family on whether I’ll stay or not. If I don’t know them at all, I’ll stay. If I sort of know them and their house is nearby, I’ll leave. If I’m good friends with them, I’ll stay. If it’s somewhere public that isn’t just for party-goers(meaning that it would be possible for my kids to leave and the parents throwing the party might not be aware), I stay.

  • http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/ Tammy Soong

    We did that in our 20′s in Vegas. But we were all drunk, so it had a slightly different feel…

    Okay, you asked. I’m sort of a birthday party psycho. This one is Harry Potter: http://worldsworstmoms.com/how-to-throw-a-kick-butt-harry-potter-birthday-party-part-one/

    And this one takes them on a neighborhood treasure hunt: http://worldsworstmoms.com/the-quest-a-neighborhood-treasure-hunt-amazing-race-thingy/

  • http://www.clevercompass.com/ Alissa Enders

    Glad you all had such a great time!

  • http://www.about100percent.com/ Andrea

    I love Medieval Times as a birthday party idea! We don’t have one near, but I’d love to take my kids there. I went as a senior in high school and loved it!

  • ajableu

    Hello!
    Thanks for sharing this information! We’re in the midst of planning our son’s 6 birthday party to Medieval Times in July, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to make an appropriate evite. Can you share the step-by-step details of how you made yours? Would be incredibly helpful – thanks!
    Camille

    • FadraN

      Hi Camille – it wasn’t easy! The Baltimore location doesn’t actual offer themed birthday parties – you just create your own celebration. So I found an image online at the Dallas location (http://www.medievaltimes.com/dallas/groups/birthdayparties.aspx). I downloaded it and then did a screenshot of the picture I wanted (using Snip It on PC or Shirt-Apple-4 on Mac). Once I had the image saved, I just picked a “create your own design” evite where I uploaded the picture I wanted to use and filled out the text as normal. Hope that helps!

      • ajableu

        Super helpful, thanks!

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