Idea No.


Surprise Snow Trip -7yr- Snowball Cakes



Jan. 2004


Donna in Salinas, CA  USA

Honorable Mention

Snow Day Sleding Party


We live in central coast California, where we do not get snow.  My daughter Akiye (7) and two friends Uche and Uzo (6 year old twin boy and girl) have birthdays two days apart.  I have taken my daughter to the snow once a year, but the other 2 kids have never seen snow.  So their mother (Sheila) and I decided to have a surprise trip to the snow for their birthdays.  We have a timeshare in Bass Lake, which is near Yosemite, so we stayed there.  We did not tell the kids anything about this. 

We planned and packed everything in secret.  We knew what themes each child likes:  Akiye loves horses, Uzo likes Bratz, and Uche likes Dragon Ball Z.   We bought paper plates and gift boxes for each theme (purchased from Birthday Express, Birthday in a Box, and the Dragon Ball Z websites).  Plus other little gifts.   

We left on Friday, which is pizza and movie night at each home.  Each child had already picked out videos they wanted to watch (though they didn't have pizza that night).  We have a Video In a Bag for the car.  So the kids were able to watch two of the videos while we were driving (had tickets with each child's name to determine who's movie would be 1st, 2nd, 3rd).  We had also given each child a pad of colored paper, crayons, a commuter mug, and a new blanket for the trip.   

When we arrived at the condo it was very late, and everyone went to bed. 

At 6:00am we moms got up, blew up balloons, including 2 special Mylar's for each child (bought a small helium tank at Walmart).  Then we decorated with snowflakes, a snowman, and various birthday banners and decorations.  Then we went back to bed (but not for long).     

When the kids woke up, Sheila had them sing as they came down the stairs (my signal to get the cameras ready).  They were very excited to see ALL those balloons!   

Then we ate breakfast (on the themed paper plates of course) and headed to Yosemite.  The first time Uche and Uzo saw snow on the side of the road they shouted SNOW!!  Then kept asking, when can we play in the snow?" 

When we got to a snowy play area in Yosemite (Wawona) they got their new birthday snow pants and boots on and had a blast playing in the snow.  We had snowball fights of course, and enjoyed throwing snow into the stream. 

When they were ready for a break we went back to the car for hot chocolate and lunch. 

Then we headed to the ski area (Badger Pass).  There we were able to go tubing.  That was a blast! I even had a lot of fun tubing!  It was there that Akiye said, this is the best birthday I've ever had.    Then we headed back to the condo for pizza and movie. 

While they were watching, we got everything set up for individual surprise parties.  I had made snowball cakes (from a ball cake pan) for each child and frosted with white frosting.  We drew names to see which child would celebrate a birthday first (again they did not know we were going to do this). 

For each child we sang happy birthday, had them blow out the candles, and open their gift bags.  Each child had his/her own separate time.  We also included small gift/thank-you bags for each guest who came to their party.  They each enjoyed having their own special time.   

The next day we served them breakfast in bed.  Then we drove down to Yosemite Valley to see the waterfalls and other sites.  It was rather slippery hiking up to Bridaveil Fall, but the kids enjoyed sliding on the ice. They also had a little more snow time.  The highlight that day was a coyote that came very close to our SUV, when we were standing outside fixing lunch.  Everyone was excited about that.  The coyote stayed around for quite a while.  Later we saw another one when we were driving.  When we went to the Village store each child was able to pick out a birthday souvenir each child picked a coyote toy. 

Then it was time to head home, and watch one more video in the car.

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