An Unusual Twist on the Sleepover
Do your kids LOVE having a sleepover? Do you find yourself stressed and anxious at the thought? Are you worried that the kids will destroy your home, or that you don’t have enough activity to entertain five children at home?
This weekend I thought outside the box and invited four boys over for a new twist on the sleepover. I booked a room at the *Embassy Suites in Huntsville on a Friday night. I chose this particular hotel because it offered an indoor pool and I knew the made to order breakfast would be a big hit with the boys! Another deciding factor is that the Embassy offers a two bedroom suite, which provided us with two double beds and a sleeper sofa. If you are able to use a AAA or Military Rate ($87-$111) it significantly helps with the room rate. However, the regular rate for this weekend was offered at $129.
Crunching the Number$
Considering that an evening movie ticket is over $7 per person and popcorn and drinks at least $7 per person, an evening at the movies for four kids and one adult is over $75! Taking the kids to a hockey game with snacks would be even more than that considering that general admission tickets are $10 each and that doesn’t include snacks or dinner. I was able to get a discount room rate and even with ordering two pizzas (picked up on the way for a $10 per pizza cost) I was able to keep my total cost for the adventure under $135. The Embassy offers a manager’s reception from 5:30 – 7:30 in the evening, and this offered us sodas and chips and pretzels to snack on (plus complimentary glass of wine for the grownups!)
There are a few points advice I would give after this experience:
- I didn’t tell the boys where we were going or what we were doing because I wanted them to be surprised.
- I made a point to have a frank discussion with them about behavior and respect. A surprise hotel stay is SO much fun, but we needed to be respectful of other guests in the hotel.
- I would set a certain lights-out time, if you plan on enjoying the pool in the morning you want well rested children. The kids swam all evening and then had about thirty minutes in the room to wind down before I turned out the lights at 10pm.
- Next time I will pack goggles for the kids, the chlorine in hotel pools is often at a higher concentration. I did pack a few diving toys and balls for them to play with at the pool.
- The following morning after our swim I had all of the boys shower, during that time the ones waiting to shower were entertained with UNO and Rack-O.
The sleepover was a huge success, and a great idea for a birthday party if you can keep your guest list to five. Out of respect for the hotel and other guests, discuss manners and behavior with your crew prior to the event. Take advantage of the manager’s reception for sodas and snacks. Have a reasonable bedtime so that the kids can enjoy the next day and you are able to return them to their parents in human form. Respect the hotel and make sure you and the kids clean up… don’t leave wet towels all over the pool area and make sure the room is in a reasonable condition upon your departure.
Most importantly relax and enjoy the kids! You will be parent of the year after a night like this!
* RCM was not compensated by Embassy Suites for this review.
Born in Germany, but raised in Huntsville, Melika Nixon brings a unique perspective to travel and culture. As a nurse practitioner and single mother to seven-year-old twin boys, including one with serious medical issues, she brings an even more keen perspective to traveling with children. She frequently writes about creative, cost-effective ways to introduce children to the world through the gift of travel.
What a great idea! Wish I had thought of that when my girls were younger! They both loved hotel indoor pools! Embassy suites has a great hot tub for the parents to enjoy too!
When we were in our 20s and childless, my sister adn I took our much younger cousin on a similar “trip” for her 13th birthday. We also brought activities like a stack of magazines and a few poster boards and the girls made collages, which killed a lot of time after they tired of the pool. My only “word to the wise” is to really keep an eye on the kids. I was shocked at how many kids were allowed to run free in the hotel at all hours. Not only does this disturb other guests, which was pointed out in the article, but it puts the kids at risk. It would be VERY easy for someone to open a hotel room door and either entice or grab a child. If you escort the kids everywhere (which it sounds like this writer did), this is a great idea. If you hang out in the room while they wander, not so much.
What an AWESOME idea!!! This will make for a great surprise come next payday. Thanks 🙂
Amanda, I would love to hear about your experience after you surprise your kiddos! Another tip, make sure you sign up for a hilton honors account. It will allow you to earn points toward free stays in the future! https://hhonors3.hilton.com/en/index.html
Having a sleepover at a hotel is a great idea! I remember as a kid going to a birthday party at a hotel (it might have been a sleepover, that I don’t remember) and it was The Best Thing Ever! 🙂
Teresa, it was a huge success….so great in fact that it has been requested as the birthday party for this Friday night…my boys could not narrow down the guest list so I have two rooms this time (adjoining). Out of respect for the hotel, I recommend you do not put more than the capacity (in this case 6) in each room!
I live in Huntsville and plan to have a sleepover at the Embassy and this is exactly what I was looking for…. Thank you