Idea No.


Rock Climbing Party -8yr- Rock Invitations



November 2006


Judi in Buffalo Grove, IL, USA

Honorable Mention

Rock Climbing Party

Rock-climbing.  Budget is included for those trying to follow this idea.    I am throwing a rock-climbing party for my 8-year-old son at the local climbing gym ($250 for the package which includes 2 party coordinators, tableware, decorations, paper goods, cake, unlimited drink and invitations.)   

While the gym did provide the "invitations" (primarily liability releases...and oh-by-the-way this is the date & time). I didn't use those.  Instead I went driving and found a construction site.  While trying not to look TOO suspicious, I picked through the rubble and found 20 rocks about the size of baking potatoes (various sizes, just like potatoes).  I scrubbed them clean of any loose dirt (just like potatoes), then bleached them (seemed to make little difference to the appearance, but I felt better about the cleanliness).   

I bought Sharpie markers from Jewel and wrote different details about the party on the various surfaces.  Location and address on one surface, "It's a rock climbing party in celebration of \*\*\*'s 8th birthday" on another, "You're invited" on another, "Date & Time" on another, "RSVP" info on another, and then if there was space, some of my favorites:  "LET'S ROCK!"  "YOU ROCK!"  "ROCK ON DUDE!"  I started with a 3-pack of markers ($3.29) but they wore down from writing on the rocks and I had to head out again for an 8-pack ($5.57 and much more colorful!). 

Word of advice:  Do the smaller rocks while the markers still have a good point on them and save the bigger rocks for once the tip is all fuzzy.  The downside of doing rocks for invitations is the need to hand deliver them to the recipients, but the reactions were definitely worth the price.  Most people plan to keep it... some said as a rock in their garden.  Some suggested I deliver the rocks by throwing them through the front window.  :-) 

On to goody bags.  I tried, and failed, to manage my costs.  My desire to come up with something unique obliterated any attempt to keep the price per kid down.  Any amount multiplied by 20 kids ends up being pretty steep for something that most consider "junk".  Certainly one way to manage costs is to plan ahead so you aren't paying for 2-day shipping etc.  I found mini caribiners at Target ($3.99 for 3;  $30.02 for 7 packages after tax).  I looked around for trail mix packets, but with the nut allergies that are so prevalent today I opted out and decided on packets of about 10 Hershey's kisses instead (Target at the checkout - $0.49/each;  $10.54 for 20 packets after tax).  I used a hole puncher to punch a hole in the top of each of the bags of kisses, and attached them to the caribiners.  My son is going to clip them to the kids' belt loops as they leave.   

The caribiners/kisses look a little on the "light" side in terms of traditional goody bags, so I was looking for something to throw in.  Online I found buttons that say "I climb" and have a cute cartoon stick-figure climbing a rock.  They are $13.99 for 10 buttons, but after my "2-day crisis" shipping, I paid $42.23 for 20 of them. 

Ouch! FYI, the website is:  At the party itself I'll be taking lots and lots of pictures with my digital camera, which I plan to print out ($0.18 each at Walgreens) and include in the thank you notes with rock climbing "scrapbooking" stickers which are available at  I bought 3 sheets ($3/each;  $13.55 after regular shipping) so that I could send a variety of stickers with each thank you note/picture.  The total cost of the party, including everything I've mentioned here (except the photo developing, thank you notes, and postage) is $355.20.

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