Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Best Place to Have Your Kids Party!

I am not sure what your take is on birthday parties but mine is big. The bigger the party, the better the party! I don’t mean big in regards to expensive and fancy. I think parties should be big in regards to people. I grew up as one of eleven children and even “just family” parties were big. ALL of my family lives out of state which means no big family parties for us. So, my family parties now include our other “family”, all our friends, the entire class, the neighbors, that great kid they played t-ball with 2 years ago, etc. People matter to me. So, I am not happy when I am restricted by how many people I can invite to a party. If you have been to one of my parties or one of my boys’ parties, you know what I am talking about. We want everyone to feel loved, so we invite everyone. My kind of party place is one that can hold as many people as I like.

The other side of the party coin is having the opportunity to be outside and enjoying nature. When my boys were about two years old, I used to say that they were happiest just running in a field as opposed to playing at their favorite indoor bounce/gym/slider/jumper place. It’s still true. Ask either of my sons where their favorite place is and they will tell you it’s the creek near their Grandma’s house. Not Universal, not Disney, not the movies…

What is the name of this magical, fabulous, birthday place where you can invite everyone you know and your kids can hang out with nature and run free without hearing, “slow down” and “don’t touch” and only cost you $75? The best birthday place ever is Oakhaven Farms in Sorrento, FL. What? Am I talking about the strawberry picking place that is out in the middle of nowhere? Maybe you have never been there. Maybe you have. Seriously, it is the perfect birthday place.

First, where is Oakhaven Farms? It’s in Sorrento, Fl, about 15 minutes from the Weikiva Reserve area (Route 46 in Sanford). They have directions on their website so don’t worry. It's really not that far. Second, if you want to have your party there it will cost you $75 for the rental. The rental cost gets you a reserved shady spot with lots of picnic tables and a fire pit off to the side (far enough away so you don’t have to worry about kids running and falling in!) for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Your party spot is right smack in the middle of the strawberry fields and under some old Oak trees. The best part about this spot is you can fit as many people there as you want. There are 5 picnic tables there and if you are worried that there isn't enough seating, don't! Most people won't sit still when they come to Oakhaven Farms. My kids didn’t sit the entire time...well maybe just for cake.

Now, when you are ready to reserve Oakhaven Farms for your party, call Harry, the owner, at (352) 735-1996. He handles the rental and is as friendly and laid back as one can get. He will coordinate your rental. Your $50 gets your reserved spot for the day and he doesn’t care what time you get there and when you leave as long as it’s before they close for the day. Make sure you don’t have time constraints when you come here so you have plenty of time to relax and enjoy all that is there. You will want to bring your own food and drinks as the offerings at Oakhaven Farms is limited to hot dogs and milkshakes. A few of us roasted some hot dogs and marshmallows. Oakhaven Farms does not have marshmallows so bring your own and sticks, too! Harry will politely ask you to buy his hot dogs if decide to roast some. Sounds reasonable to me. In addition to the best party spot ever, you also get a tractor hayride, or two, for your entire group, through their Christmas tree farm. There is also a super fun zip line for the kids. If you have little ones and are worried about the zipline, there are two sizes of zipline for big and small kids. There is a playground and a good old fashioned tire swing. There is a great little store where you can buy jams and jellies and homemade strawberry milkshakes.

I don’t do goody bags anymore for my kids. No Mom wants all that “stuff” in their house and I don’t want to buy all that “stuff” either. Plus, have you tried making 30 goody bags? Ugh. So, our goody bags were empty quart containers. For $2.50 each, the kids went out with their containers and picked their own strawberries and took them home with them. Now, that is a “goody” that I can get behind. If you want to go all out, there is plenty of room to add a bounce house or two or a petting zoo but it’s not necessary. Oakhaven Farms has their own little zoo with their funny lab and Border Collie. Really, having a party here is all about being outside and having space to explore and have fun. So glad that I didn't go overboard with extras.

There is just one drawback about having your party at Oackhaven Farms, you can only have a party here during strawberry season. Strawberry season is from January through May. We got lucky the year of my son’s 5th birthday because even though his birthday is in December, the season started early that year so there was just enough strawberries to have a party in late December.

Their website is It’s not real elaborate but has just enough posted so you know what they offer plus their basic contact information. I recommend heading out to Oakhaven Farms for a day of strawberry picking before booking your party. It’s a great place to visit even if you aren’t having a party. We have spent many days, during strawberry season, picking strawberries and then just hanging out enjoying the space.

I still think about my son’s 5th birthday party. He mentions it every once in a while, too. I asked him yesterday which place was the best for his past birthday parties and he didn't hesitate....the strawberry place!!!! It is truly the best place to have a birthday party for your little kid and even your big kid, too!

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