My five year old recently went to a nightmare birthday party. And when I say nightmare, I mean it. I can’t say it was all bad because it did lead me to find the best of the best kids party venues in Bentleigh East, but when it comes to parties, you just pray that the parents of the birthday boy or girl have learned enough to know that simplicity is key. Not every parent has yet learned the magic of a certain indoor play centre. Bentleigh East has secrets worth sharing, you guys.

So, back to the nightmare party. The theme was Frozen, which is cool. But maybe not for all kids. It wasn’t that that mattered so much, but the rules were that everyone had to wear Frozen themed clothes, and my daughter absolutely hates Frozen.

‘Let me go as the donkey’ she said stiffly.

‘Is there even a donkey in Frozen?’ I asked, surprised.


Sensing some serious disconnection to the theme, I had to find a way to make my daughter a donkey (turned out to be a moose), while finding a quote from the show she had to say when she was cued. All this was outlined on the invitation.

The big day rolled round, and my daughter looking ten shades of non-festive in a brown tracksuit with a head-dress fashioned from two coat-hangers and a collar with a brass bell. She marched towards the house, which was identifiable by the snowflake shaped balloon arch over the front gate.

Instantly, it became evident that this was no regular party. But in spite of all the incredibly particular nuances and detail, the kids were still kids. After gobbling handful after handful of tiny little snowflake shaped sugar cookies, didn’t even want to play pin the plaits on Elsa, they didn’t want to be herded into a Frozen themed lounge to quote their lines from the movie, they didn’t want to be photographed as a group in a themed shoot. Guess what? They wanted to do the very opposite of be told what to do. Wilderness beckoned.