For my daughter’s 5th birthday we decided to deviate a bit from the typical birthday party. Instead of a big party with family and friends, we decided to have a small weekend away and celebrate with just our own immediate family of 4, plus my sister and her husband. My daughter loves hotels and loves swimming, so a weekend in Calgary with a stay at a family friendly hotel seemed the perfect way to celebrate her big day.
I chose Calgary because I knew we would be able to stay and spend time with my sister, plus I had also been wanting to take the kids to Calaway Park. The weather worked out perfectly for the May long weekend, and we spent an enjoyable Saturday at the amusement park.
We had a bit of a laugh that the GPS in our vehicle had it labelled as “Calgary’s Disneyland” since we knew it couldn’t really hold a candle to a day at Disney. We did end up having a lot of fun, though, and it is a really great way to spend a summer day if you are in Calgary. I had not been to Calaway Park since I was a kid, and I was impressed with the wide variety of rides and shows.
We stayed overnight at my sister’s for both Friday and Saturday night, and then I had us booked in at the Best Western Plus Port O’ Call for Sunday. I had read nothing but good things about the hotel and the pool, so I was excited to get one of the cabana rooms with a door that opened right into the swimming area. With two waterslides, several hot tubs and a great little kids splash area, it is easy to see why this is a favorite destination for families visiting Calgary.
To surprise the birthday girl, my sister and I snuck away “to go shopping” before it was time for us all to go to the hotel. I had ordered a beach themed cake from Sobeys and also called ahead to Party City to have a balloon bouquet ready for pick-up on our way to go set things up in the hotel room.
Even though it was a small celebration, I still had problems restraining myself in the party planning department. I didn’t want her to feel like she was missing out on having a birthday party, so I brought a selection of tropical decorations and snacks to carry out the Moana theme my birthday girl had requested. My sister and I got these all set-up in the hotel room before heading back to her house to pick-up everyone else up.
Snacks I set out included chips, goldfish crackers, skewered fruit, shiny chocolate sea shells and ocean blue jello cups. I knew everyone would be tired and hungry after swimming so I wanted quick and easy snacks to eat in the room.
For drinks, I grabbed a bottle of fruit punch and strawberry lemonade. These got served in the Kakamora Cups I made from plastic coconut sippers.
One other fun surprise I had prepared ahead were these DIY Leis filled with my kids favorite candies. These would make a great favour at a beach or luau themed party, and are easy to make following my DIY directions here.
The kids couldn’t wait to get into the hotel room and my daughter was thrilled to see the her Moana “party”. This was all quickly overlooked, however, as they discovered the rear door in our room leading out into the pool. After opening a few gifts, they were very eager to get into their swimsuits and head for the pool.
After a swim and enjoying some of the snacks, no one really wanted to leave the hotel. We all decided to go eat dinner at the lovely Skyharbour Grill just down the hall. The buffet offered a great variety for adults and children, alike, making it a great pick for my daughter’s Birthday meal.
And then it was time for cake, and more swimming. My husband and I were pretty tired by this point in the day so we were thrilled to be able to prop open the door to the kiddie pool and just watch the kids play in the water as we relaxed in the room. I think the kids would have stayed in the water all night if we had let them!
Although my daughter was onboard for the weekend away, one of the birthday girls biggest concerns with not having a friends birthday party was that she would not get any gifts. I tried my best to make up for this by having small surprises for her throughout the afternoon and evening – a new Moana swimsuit and coverup to wear to the pool that afternoon, the Moana playset atop the cake, a giant Beanie Boo from her brother, and, finally, new pajamas, a mermaid tail blanket and Moana storybook to snuggle up and read at bedtime.
I can’t say enough good things about the Best Western Plus Port O’ Call in Calgary. They were warm and welcoming at check-in and quickly got us into our cabana room to set things up for the birthday girl. We drew a bit of attention from the front desk with our large balloon bouquet and were delighted to find a surprise goodie bag of treats waiting for us when we got back to the room with the Birthday girl.
It took a bit of planning on my part to bring a party to the hotel room, but I was so happy with how everything turned out. It was a great weekend and my kids have asked several times when we are going to go back again to the “waterslide hotel”. Now that they are much better swimmers we definitely need to plan a trip back and see how much they enjoy the pool and waterslides now.
* This post is not sponsored. All opinions presented are my own.