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Old 02-28-2011, 08:55 AM   #1
Tink
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Default Small party issue...wwyd?

We have decided to have Owen's 3rd bday party a local park that has Owen's favorite playground. We have rented a large pavilion and figure if it rains, we will just ask his friends to bring their bikes and they can all ride under the pavilion and we'll do games.

Anyway, it costs $5 per car to get into the park. We had the option of pre-paying for our guests, but it's a set fee of $160 and we do not believe we will have anywhere near that number of cars coming. We have asked about setting up a "tab", but they don't allow it.

Would it be rude to word the invitation something like:

"Please note that there is a $5 entry fee per car to the park. We will reimburse you once you arrive at the pavilion"

How do I do this? I don't want guests to pay to come to O's party!
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:48 AM   #2
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Tink -- I would either send out $5 cash with the invites and explain why. or have someone stand at the gate, and pay for all your guests to come in. or say like you have "there is a $5 fee to get in the park, but we will reimburse you, as the park won't let us pre-pay."
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:18 AM   #3
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I like Queen's idea of having someone stand near the gate and pay for the cars as them come in. But, if your family is anything like mine, you always have a few late bloomers and how long would you want that person to wait for those late family members.

I would just reimburse them as they come, they know you well enough that I'm sure they won't mind footing the $5 bill and I know my family would probably not even accept the $5 reimbursement even if I tried.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:51 AM   #4
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I don't know if I would send $5 in the invitation simply because some people you invite might not come.

I agree with the others, and I think I would probably include wording in the invite like: "We apologize for the inconvenience, but there is a $5 entry fee for the park. As the park does not allow us to prepay, we will reimburse you when you arrive at the pavilion."
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:24 AM   #5
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That's so crazy that they won't let you set up a tab. Is there any way to tell them you're inviting x amount of people and that's the amount you'll pay for?

I think the reimbursement idea is a good one, but it might be kind of awkward.

I think I would either have someone stand at the gate and pay (reimburse the late comers) or I would pay the $160 to avoid any issues.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:07 PM   #6
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I can't believe they won't let you set up a tab! I'm sitting here racking my brain trying to think of an easy way to do it lol.

You could include the $5 in the invites of people you know for sure are coming to the party and for the others write inside that there is a $5 parking fee that will be reimbursed once they get to the pavilion. I wish the park would let you do some sort of ticket system where they turn in the tickets and you just pay for those. So annoying!
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:04 PM   #7
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Hey Tink,

I second teh suggestion of having someone stand at the entrance and pay for your guests. It doesn't have to be you/DH. You can ask a friend or relative, or even pay the neighbor's kid like you would for babysitting or walking the dog, so you won't miss any part of the party.

I'm not sure if "starting a tab" means paying in advance and deducting the amount as you go, or if it means counting the number of cars and then paying at the end , so another option would be to ask the park to refund any money above the amount you actually needed. What I mean is, pay the $160 up front like they want, and if only 10 cars show up, have them refund $110. Sorry if I just said something redundant.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:37 PM   #8
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I personally wouldn't be offended at all. It's obvious the situation is beyond your control and I think people will understand. I think you should just put something on the invite about the reimbursement. Does the $5 entry fee to the park give you a year long pass. Here in Cincinnati the parks charge $3 per day to get in or you can pay $5 for the whole year. If this is the case people may be excited to get reimbursed the money and then still get to keep the year long pass for entry. Also since 2011 has already begun some people may have already bought the year long pass and won't need to be reimbursed.

I think the akward part will be reimbursing the people. I can see it now (handing out money to a bunch of people at b-day party). I would suggest putting the money in a favor of sorts. It could be something very simple just a bag with some candy or goodies and the money. Or you could put it in the kids goody bags in an envelope that tells them its for the parents. I can't think of anything else, but I think it would feel very akward to hand it out.

If your park is like mine and only takes cash you may want to include that on the invite, you don't want people showing up without cash (I never carry cash, I'm lucky if I have a buck or two usually).

I'm a little psycho when it comes to making sure people know all the details of a party when we have one so I usually send the invite with a map and a little information sheet inside it as well. I put things on there like pizza and ice cream will be served (I hate going to a party and not knowing if I should feed my son or not first), parents are welcome to stay, but it isn't necessary (this was more at the 7-8 age range, I hated not knowing if I had to stay, had to go or whatever). One time I went to a party and had planned on leaving, but all the other parents stayed so I felt obligated to stay, I hadn't brought a single thing with me like a book or magazine. At this point my son was like 9 or 10 so it wasn't like I could follow him around he would've been mortified, so I sat at the table the whole time bored to death. If you did an info sheet you could include the details about bringing their bikes if it rains too.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:49 PM   #9
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dh, sis, and i voted and we think that having someone at the entrance would work best! then i thought this am-- maybe put in the invite "please arrive by (15mins after party starts) to avoid the park's $5 admission fee" and then have whoever's at the entrance wait til 20ish mins after party starts. You can even do-- "If you are not able to make it by (15mins after party starts) we'd still love for you to join us and will be happy to reimburse you when you arrive!" that would cut out on a lot of awkwardness....
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:02 PM   #10
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I agree with Pam! I was thinking about it last night and was thinking you could do something like that or having everyone meet at your house and do a caravan over to the park. That way you can just pay as everyone comes in.
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