When I turned 10 years old, I got to have a slumber party with a group of my friends. We put a tent up in the backyard and slept outside. When I turned 10, about 100 years ago, they didn’t have places like Rinky Dink Family Fun Center. But now they do, and so, thanks to a terrific offer on Groupon, we (my husband Bobby and I) went there to celebrate our great nephew, DeAveon’s birthday.
The birthday party consisted of DeAveon, his brother, Noah, his mother (our niece), Ashley, Great Grandparents, Bud and Dolores and Great Aunt, Randi. The deal from Groupon allowed us all day access to many of the Rinky Dink offerings. Only Noah was able to use the climbing playground, because he was young enough. However, there was so much to do, that he didn’t even get a chance to try it out. The Groupons we bought included bumper boats, go carts, batting cages, mini golf and Aliens vs. Pirates glow in the dark target contest.
We started our day with a ride on the bumper boats. Well, actually that turned out to just be Ashley, Randi, DeAveon, Noah and me. Grandpa and Grandma sat under a tree in the shade near the pool and Uncle Bobby shot video. We had planned to use the squirt gun feature in the boat to get Grandma and Grandpa wet, but by the time I figured out how to drive the boat, the rest of the group had moved on to getting each other wet. Fortunately I (and Randi and Ashley) escaped mostly unscathed (i.e. pretty dry) from our round. The boys, however, did not fair so well. I’m not sure if that was their intention or not, but they — especially Noah — was soaked. (Which seems to happen all the time with these two, so I’m not so sure how “accidental” it was.)
DeAveon’s next decision (as we had decided he could direct our day) was to go to the go-carts. That is, after a quick stop in the arcade. He tried Dance, Dance Revolution a couple of times with some success, but then Randi got up. She really rocked “DDR” as she called it. I guess it was all that cheerleading she did when she was in school. (The arcade takes regular currency and is not included with the all day pass.)
Then it was off to the go-carts. DeAveon was so excited to be able to drive a car by himself this year. At first it was just going to be Ashley, DeAveon, Noah, Randi and me, but then we talked Grandpa (a.k.a. Dad) and Grandma (a.k.a Mom) into joining the race with us. Dad loves go carts, but they are difficult for him to get in and out of. We’re glad he decided to come–or maybe we aren’t. Try as we might we couldn’t beat him. He even ended up lapping my car (which I couldn’t figure out because I had my foot all the way down on the gas the whole time). DeAveon did a good job, too, but he is not match for his grandfather. Noah rode with Ashley (he isn’t tall enough to drive on his own yet) and they passed me, too. Well actually, I think I got passed by everyone except Mom and that might be because she was intentionally going slow and keeping to the right. I guess racing just isn’t my thing–but I still had a great time.
Next were the batting cages (you get one batting cage token with the all day pass we bought). Ashley bought some extra tokens so she, DeAveon and Noah could try a couple of times. I give Ashley credit for trying fastpitch softball and AAA pitch. Bobby gave pointers to both Noah and DeAveon on how to hold the bat and proper stance at the plate. Then we took on the Aliens vs. Pirates contest. This is where you shoot foam balls at targets (or each other) in a room lit with a black light. At the end of a 5 minute game, the aliens beat the pirates (I wasn’t on the winning team). It turns out that Mom, who was on my team, was shooting at the aliens manning the cannons (i.e. Dad, DeAveon, Ashley and Randi) and not the targets.
Then came 9 holes of miniature golf. Rinky Dink has two different mini-golf courses with 18 holes each. We decided to quit at 9 because we were getting hot and thirsty. It was at that time that Randi had to leave the party and head to other adventures. The rest of us decided to take a break and go to Buffalo Wild Wings for an early dinner. After we ate, we sent Grandma and Grandpa home and then Ashley, DeAveon, Noah, Bobby and I headed back to Rinky Dink. As long as we had our all day pass bracelet on, we could enjoy everything they had to offer until we got tuckered out or they closed.
We played another round of golf, only this time the entire 18 holes. We chose the other golf course for this round. We stopped for a refreshment break (i.e. we split a large slushie 5 ways) and then headed to the go carts. Because the line was so long and we were getting really tired, we decided to do the bumper boats again. Although a break in the weather made the evening cool, so just the boys did the boats. And yes, they got soaked again!
That’s how we ended our day. The boys soaked and all of us tired. There was so much to do at Rinky Dink that we plum wore ourselves out. It was a great day and although I hate to admit it, it beats out 10th birthday slumber party. Sorry, Mom and Dad!