With both a seven and four year old we’ve been exposed to a variety of different types of kids birthday parties. In fact we’ve been to so many parties at soft play centres, and living where we do, there are only a few – so they get repetitive – that earlier this year, we vowed that when it came to organising our son’s birthday party we wouldn’t go for the same type of kids party as all the others that we’d been to, and organised.
He loves swimming, and Grand Central swimming pool in Stockport organises some fantastic parties – our daughter has recently been to one and loved it, however we knew it would be a bit much, for a kids party for four and five year olds. We considered hiring a hall and organising a local entertainer – Spikey Mike is a legend in Stockport amongst the under 10s (and over 30s) but you have to book him up months (years?) in advance and we weren’t that organised.
And then whilst booking up his next series of football classes with 8BY8 football, Marnie spotted they did birthday parties! Voila! Problem solved! Something different and unique! And, as it turned out, a completely hassle free party with the guys from 8BY8 organising everything for us – apart from food.
So read on to discover what made this 8BY8 kids party such a hit with our son, us and the other parents!
The Booking Process
The booking process for an 8BY8 kids party is extremely straightforward. They have a simple online form to use which gets picked up by Paula in the office. We received a really helpful reply from Paula within 24hrs of our enquiry.
We contacted the team in May for his summer party and were given a range of dates. However, if you are after an 8BY8 kids party, then you are limited to Sundays at 12pm – because they have such a packed out schedule Monday to Saturday.
What’s the Cost of the Kids Party?
Organising your party with 8BY8 is extremely reasonable and very competitive against local alternatives! For a party up to 15 children, expect to pay £245 and for 16 – 29 kids, you’ll be paying £290. This includes not only 1 coach, an 8BY8 hoody and trophy for the party kid and digital invites, but also the hire of Hazel Grove Sports Centre.
In comparison, for the most basic options available, expect to pay £329 for 15 guests at Oxygen Wilmslow and £352 at Head over Heels!
The party is held indoors, regardless of weather – or time of the year – and when you confirm your date with Paula, you automatically get the sports hall booked out for you! Included in the price you get 1 hour of football coaching and then 30 minutes for food and birthday presentation.
This takes a huge burden off your shoulders! From experience, we’ve struggled to get responses from local halls and indoor venues – and it means that if the hall is available, so too are the coaches. You aren’t however obligated to use their venue! If you would rather host your party elsewhere, you are free to do so, and the 8BY8 team will knock £50 off the cost, but you will need to organise the venue yourself!
What Isn’t Included in the Cost of the Kids Party?
The 8By8 guys don’t provide food, birthday cake, party bags, refreshments or party decorations. We were considering different options for food including catering and ordering in pizzas, but in the end, decided we’d go ‘old school’ and make our own sandwiches (we had a range of cheese, jam and ham), we went with fruit and Pomme Bear as a snack with squash for drinks.
This also kept the cost reasonable but did mean we needed to make a lot of sandwiches, peel a lot of oranges and go armed with lots of crisps and popcorn!
On To the Day of the Birthday Party
You get access to the sports centre 30 minutes beforehand which provides you with just enough time to set up. The room you use for the food is a studio upstairs overlooking the sports hall.
When we first walked into the centre, it felt deserted but eventually found some of the staff from the sports centre, and we found Sam (the coach from 8BY8 – he also happens to be our son’s favourite) in the sports hall, setting up!
There was a barrier at the car park, so the guys from the sports hall opened it for us so that we could drive up close to the entrance to bring in all the food, decorations etc.
The Football Party Starts
The football started promptly in the sports hall with some fun warm ups. They progressed to some skills training session, some team relays and then football matches. It was organised bedlam! But our son, his friends and the parents loved it with everyone laughing their heads off!
Our son, has known Sam – the coach – for a long time through his toddler football sessions on a Monday and Sam was excellent!
Once the football finished, we all headed back upstairs for the food, birthday cake and Man of the Match presentation (hint: there’s a good chance it will be the birthday child).
And Before we Knew it, The Party Was Over!
Our son’s birthday party with 8BY8 football was nothing short of a kids party extravaganza. From the energetic football matches to the laughter-filled skills training, every moment was a delightful blend of fun and excitement.
Our son, along with his friends, was completely immersed in the joy of the game, showcasing skills and sharing high-fives, their faces lit up with pure happiness. The parents, too, were swept up in the merriment, revelling in the joyful chaos and the seamless organization by the 8BY8 team.
The warmth and friendliness of his favourite coach added a personal touch, making the day not just a celebration, but a memorable chapter in the lives of all who attended. As the kids indulged in homemade sandwiches and birthday cake, the air buzzed with stories of their favourite moments.
This wasn’t just a kids party; it was a testament to the magic that happens when children’s laughter, friendship, and sport come together.
Insiders Top Tips for an 8BY8 Kids Party
- If your child has attended any football with the 8BY8 team, do ask Paula at the office if their favourite coach is available, if working they’ll do their best to accommodate the request!
- Make sure you take more than enough cups, we took just enough for the numbers of kids attending the birthday party! You’ll need plenty in the sports hall (the kids get thirsty) and neither you, nor the kids or parents will remember whose cup is whose to take back for lunch!
- Make sure you ask the guys in the sports centre to open up the barrier so you can park up outside the entrance reducing the distance to carry things into and out of the sports hall!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Is the 8by8 Kids Party Held?
If you want to go with the 8BY8 guys’ venue, it is at Hazel Grove Sports Centre, Hazel Grove High School, Jackson’s Lane, Hazel Grove, SK7 5JX.
Who Are 8BY8?
8BY8 Football, situated in the heart of Stockport, is a vibrant centre dedicated to kids’ football coaching. Founded in 2016 by Alex Brown, a former non-league footballer with a deep-rooted passion for the sport, 8BY8 has rapidly grown into a highly regarded institution in East Cheshire and Stockport.
It’s renowned for its professional and enjoyable approach to training young football enthusiasts. With a team that includes local legends like Ryan Brooke, 8BY8 focuses on nurturing talent and fostering a love for the game. Their philosophy emphasises fun, development, and progression, making them a top choice for aspiring young footballers in the region.
What to Put in a Kids Party Bag?
For a football-themed kids party bag, consider including small, themed items like mini footballs, stickers or temporary tattoos with football designs, a whistle, football-shaped keychains, and trading cards of popular players or teams.
Add in healthy snacks like fruit bars or nuts, and a personalised thank you note with a football motif. These items celebrate the theme and cutting down on plastic, while offering variety and excitement for young guests, making the party memorable.
We really like the kits that My Mini Maker have designed with the intention of moving away from ‘plastic junk’, towards a more environmentally friendly and creative party bag gift set.
What to Wear to a Kids Birthday Party?
When attending a football-themed kids birthday party, the attire can be casual and sporty, keeping in mind comfort and the possibility of participating in light physical activities. For children, options include t-shirts, preferably in vibrant colours or with football prints, paired with shorts or trainers for ease of movement.
If they don’t have a football kit, any comfortable athletic wear works fine. Trainers are a must for safe and easy running around. For parents, a similar approach works well: casual t-shirts, comfortable trousers or jeans, and trainers. It’s not necessary to wear football-specific attire; the key is comfort and mobility.
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