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Skip the Party, Have a Yes Day! (What it is, why you should do it & YES day activities!)

For as long as I can remember the normal birthday situation was to...have a party. These parties are (more often than not) pretty standard. The venue may vary, but for the most part, you invite everyone you know, the kids run around playing like mad men, indulge in a slice or two of pizza paired with some Hi-C fruit punch followed by a giant sing-along, and then devour the cake. While of course, this is a great way to celebrate your little's day with their friends, there was an option that I attempted this year that - in my opinion - is better than any party...YES DAY!

What is a "YES" day?

Yes day pin

A "YES" day is literally that, the person of honor gets a full day of hearing "YES." Whatever they want to do (within doable limits) we do!

How YES day came to be...

It started with my husband, it cannot just be me where you think you nail the PERFECT gift then bam, they head straight back to return it. I was actually stressing out over the thought of buying him yet another failed gift UNTIL Noah ran over to me and asked for us to try YES Day. He saw this family on youtube showcasing there's ( I wish I remember the video to link here, I'm sure if you put in YES day many will come up). It was at that moment that a lightbulb went off. This brilliant little 5-year-old saved me. I told my hubs, made a huge deal about it with the kids, and sure enough EVERYONE had a great time. He picked his favorite restaurant for breakfast, we shopped at the outlets, we went to Hibachi for lunch (cheaper than dinner!), he browsed Dick's sporting goods and topped the day with a homemade ice cream place by us. It was one heck of a day and we all were together.

The choice, YES day or a party?!

Now, my son Noah is a bit harder to please, as many 5-year-olds are, but I took my shot and asked him. "Noah your birthday is coming up, you have 2 options. Do you want a party at a place like last year with your friends, OR do you want your own YES day? But here are the rules. It can only be with Mommy, Daddy, Ella, and Luke and it had to be within an hour's drive time. He didn't even hesitate. "YES DAY!"

We had the BEST time at Noah's yes day this past weekend. We started at Ihop, his favorite. Then we went to Target to get a new Nintendo Switch game for that night when the littles went to bed. Next, we hit the boardwalk arcade and I was surprised to see how long we lasted with just $50 dollars.

It was over 2 hours. The kids had an absolute blast!

Noah is obsessed with the pizza from Chilis, go figure. So we headed there for lunch. The littles were knocked out in the car which worked out for us to go Pokemon Go raiding around town. Finally, we went home set up the game, brought in Mcdonald's happy meals as his dinner request, and played together.

We started our day at 8 am and finished at 8.30 pm and not only did we spend a 1/3 of what a venue for a party around here costs. We spent an ENTIRE day together just us having a truly incredible time.

10 Free YES Day Activities:

Yes Day is the ultimate way to let your little ones have their moment in the parental spotlight. It's a day when you have to say "yes" to whatever they want to do (within reason, of course). Trust me, it's equal parts terrifying and exhilarating, but it's all about creating lasting memories and showing them that their opinions matter (sometimes). 😉

Now, you might be wondering, "What in the world can we do on Yes Day that won't leave me regretting this decision for weeks?" Don't worry, friend, I've got you covered. Here are some Yes Day activities that'll keep the fun flowing and the sanity (somewhat) intact:

1. Breakfast Bonanza 🍳🥞

Prepare for a culinary adventure in the kitchen! Let your kids take charge of making breakfast (with a little supervision, of course). You might end up with a stack of pancakes shaped like dinosaurs or a fruit salad that's more like a fruit explosion, but hey, it's Yes Day! Embrace the mess and enjoy those ahem interesting culinary creations together. Who knows, you might discover a hidden chef in the making!

2. Wild Wardrobe Wonder 🎩👚

Give your mini fashionistas the freedom to dress you up in whatever outfits their hearts desire. Want to pair stripes with polka dots? Go for it! Not sure how you ended up wearing cowboy boots with a tiara and a superhero cape? It's Yes Day, darlings! Strut your stuff and let the fashion choices become a conversation starter (or a source of sheer embarrassment—your choice).

3. Adventure Extravaganza 🌍⛺️

Grab your adventurer hats because it's time for an epic Yes Day quest! Let your kiddo plan an outdoor adventure—whether it's a hike, a picnic in the park, or even a mini backyard camping trip. Just make sure to double-check their itinerary so you don't end up trekking up Mount Everest with no snacks or camping gear. Trust me, the Great Outdoors can be even greater when someone else is in charge of the planning (and you don't have to worry about getting lost).

4. Movie Marathon Mayhem 🍿🎥

Turn your living room into a private theater and let your little film buff be the director for the day. Set up a cozy blanket fort and indulge in an all-day movie extravaganza featuring their favorite films (and endless snacks, of course). Don't be surprised if you find yourself watching the same animated flick for the 100th time or singing along to songs that get stuck in your head for days. It's Yes Day, remember? You signed up for this!

5. Creative Carnival 🎨🎉

Unleash your inner artist and let your mini Picassos go wild with a day filled with arts and crafts. From finger painting masterpieces to creating homemade slime that might just take over your house, this is the time to let their imaginations run free. Embrace the glitter explosions and the rebellious use of every crayon in the box. It's their Yes Day, and creativity knows no bounds!

6. Family game tournament 🎮🏆

Turn your living room into a battleground and unleash the competitive spirit in your family. Dust off those board games, and decks of cards, or make use of those video games that have been taking up valuable real estate in your entertainment center. Set up a tournament with prizes for the winners (Hello, ultimate bragging rights!), and let the games begin. Just remember, it's all fun and games until someone loses at Monopoly and starts a family feud. 😜

7. DIY arts and crafts extravaganza 🎨✂️

Break out the construction paper, glitter glue, googly eyes, and anything else that could possibly stick to a surface. Let your little artists' imaginations run wild and create masterpieces together. Whether it's finger painting, jewelry making, or upcycling household items, there's no limit to the creativity that can be unleashed. And hey, even if their "abstract" work ends up on the fridge for only a day, it'll be worth it. 🎉

8. Dance party in the kitchen 💃🎵

Turn up the volume on your favorite tunes and transform your kitchen into a dance floor. Bust out your best moves, silly dance-offs, and let loose with your mini rockstars. Not only does it get those endorphins flowing, but it's also a great way to bond and embarrass your children at the same time. And hey, if you accidentally smash a glass while attempting the worm, just tell them it's part of your award-winning routine. 🤷‍♀️

9. Science experiments at home 🧪🔬

Who says learning can't be fun? Dive into the fascinating world of science with some simple experiments you can do right in your kitchen. From volcano eruptions with baking soda and vinegar to making slime out of cornstarch and water, the possibilities are endless. Just be prepared for the mess (and maybe have a mop nearby). And remember, if you accidentally create a black hole in your living room, at least your kids will have an exciting story to tell at school. 🌪️🌌

10. Backyard stargazing extravaganza 🌟🔭

Grab a blanket, some snacks, and your sense of wonder, and head outside for a beautiful night under the stars. Make a cozy little fort in your backyard, lay back, and stare up at the twinkling sky. Help your kids locate constellations, planets, and even the occasional meteor shower. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you could even invest in a telescope (or just use a pair of binoculars) to get a closer look. And if you're lucky, you might even spot a shooting star and make a wish together. It's a peaceful, magical experience that will create lasting memories in your kiddos' hearts. And who knows, maybe it could even inspire them to become astronauts one day (or at least to try really hard on their science exams). 🌟🌠

10 PAID (But Affordable) YES Day Activities:

If you're ready to splurge a little on your YES day (because, hey, we deserve it), I've got some fantastic paid activity ideas that'll have your kids beaming with excitement! 💰💃 So break open that piggy bank and let's dive into some unforgettable YES day experiences:

1. Amusement Park Adventure 🎢

Brace yourselves for a day filled with roller coasters, cotton candy, and maybe a bit of queasiness. Take the fam to your nearest amusement park and let the adrenaline-fueled fun begin! Just be prepared for the little ones to become daredevil enthusiasts while you're holding onto your stomach for dear life. 😂

2. Indoor Trampoline Park 🤸‍♀️

Bounce, bounce, baby! Take your kids to an indoor trampoline park for a day of high-flying fun. Let them soar through the air (and secretly wish you could join them without causing major injury). Pro tip: Make sure to stretch beforehand to avoid any embarrassing "I can't get up" moments. It happens to the best of us.

3. Aquarium Adventure 🐠

Dive into the deep blue sea (well, not literally, because that would be messy) and explore the wonders of marine life at your local aquarium. Get up close and personal with colorful fish, majestic sea turtles, and maybe even come face-to-face with a shark (behind very thick glass, of course). It's a splish-splashin' good time for the whole family!

4. Outdoor Adventure Park 🌳

Unleash your inner Tarzan (or Jane) at an outdoor adventure park. Climb, swing, and zip-line your way through an obstacle course set high up in the trees. It's like being in an episode of American Ninja Warrior, but with fewer abs and more laughs. Just prepare to have thighs that feel like you've done a hundred squats the next day. 🌳🦵

5. Water Park Wildness 💦

Dive into a day of wet and wild fun at a water park! From thrilling slides to lazy rivers, there's something for everyone in the family. And don't forget the sunscreen, because nobody wants to end the day looking like a lobster. 😎

6. Paintball Palooza 🎨🔫

Gear up in your worn-out clothes and get ready for a colorful battle at a paintball field! Strategically plan your moves, duck behind obstacles, and embrace the childlike joy of shooting paint at each other. Bonus points if you can convince your kids that you're actually a stealthy paintball ninja. 🎯

7. Animal Sanctuary Safari 🦁

Take a walk on the wild side and visit an animal sanctuary! Get up close with exotic animals, learn about conservation efforts, and maybe even go on a guided tour. Just be prepared for the inevitable request from your kids to bring home a baby lion as a pet. Gotta love their big dreams. 🦁❤️

8. Go-Kart Racing 🏎️

Channel your inner speed demon and hit the go-kart track! Strap on your helmet and challenge your kids to a high-speed race around the track. Just remember, it's all fun and games until someone spins out and gets stuck in the tire barrier. But hey, it makes for a great story later! 🏁

9. Escape Room Experience 🔐

Put your puzzle-solving skills to the test with an escape room adventure! Work together as a family to solve clues, unlock doors, and (hopefully) make it out before time runs out. It's a thrilling and brain-teasing activity that'll have everyone on the edge of their seats. Just be prepared for a few "we're never gonna make it" moments that turn into triumphant "YES, WE DID IT!" screams.

10. Cooking Class Bonanza 🍳

Put on your chef hats, aprons, and prepare for a culinary adventure! Sign up for a cooking class where you and your kids can learn to create delicious dishes together. From mastering pizza-making to whipping up gourmet desserts, it's a tasty way to bond as a family and ignite your inner foodie. Just be ready to deal with a messy kitchen and maybe even a few failed attempts. Cooking is all about trial and error, right?

As always I LOVE hearing from you, make sure to let me know if you attempted YES day this year and what you guys did! My email is always open :)

Go make memories,

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