celebration · fitness

Advance birthday activity party planning: throwing and hitting things

Last night I went to dinner with five friends, all of whom I’ve cycled with or skied with or kayaked with. In addition to catching up on each other’s families, jobs, pets and travel, talk naturally turned to the following subjects:

  • gear– who has bought or upgraded lately, and what do we all think about it (some new ski boots were discussed)
  • activity trips– either sandwiched in during work trips (yes, one of us is conferencing/skiing in Aspen soon) or planned as actual bona fide vacay (two are headed to Costa Rica for whitewater kayaking in February)
  • whose kids and dogs are doing what, activity-wise, e.g. little kids using chairlifts with some help, and dogs doing mountain biking and hiking in the same day (with different human groups)
  • who is taking on new activities/sports– one snowboarder wants to try downhill skiing, and another person is thinking about taking up women’s chilled-out hockey team (yes, there is such a thing)

For the most part, I’m minding the shop at home for at least the next month or so. I’m back on the job after sabbatical, and feeling like returning to the yoga studio and trying out a new gym. I’ll cross country ski locally if and when there’s snow.

But, in the course of conversation, I had an idea: my friend Steph and I have birthdays in adjacent months (March and April). We both like having group parties on our birthdays. I thought: why don’t we organize some active and maybe cheesy fun in honor of our birthdays? We both like hitting and throwing things, Also, trying something new appealed to all of us. I’ve deputized myself to research the options.

Axe throwing first came to mind. As it does. I’ve yet to try it, but our dedicated FIFI staff have blogged about it here and here. I wonder if we could get a cake like this one?

Cake with a red-and-white target on top and possibly a real axe beside it. Will they allow us to use the axes to slice the cake?
Cake with a red-and-white target on top and possibly a real axe beside it. Will they allow us to use the axes to slice the cake?

I’ve never been to a batting cage, but I was a pretty good softball player when I was aged 11–13. Maybe it’s time to check out the old swing again. In my head, I picture myself doing at least as well as Susan Sarandon did in the romantic baseball movie Bull Durham.

Susan Sarandon at the batting cage back in the late 80s. I hear she later switched to ping pong and is in that business now.

Once we got started talking, more ideas cropped up. For golf, there’s the driving range, golf simulators (I don’t know what this is, but a bunch of them popped up in my google search), and of course mini golf. As for bowling, in New England facilities include both candlepin bowling and uh, the regular kind.

One game, three options: candlepin, duckpin, tenpin. How to choose?
One game, three options: candlepin, duckpin, tenpin bowling. How to choose?

For now, that’s all I’ve come up with. On the other hand, these activities will suffice to guarantee much enjoyment and hilarity for all of us. There’s nothing like taking on some physical activity in a low-stakes, high-amusement-level environment with people you enjoy being with and laughing with. This is what we are shooting for.

So, readers, any other ideas? What am I missing? Let me know if you have thoughts or if you’ve done any group outings like this. How did it go? I’d like to hear all the details.

3 thoughts on “Advance birthday activity party planning: throwing and hitting things

  1. I love ping pong and axe throwing is also fun. Great outings that allow time to chat with friends and generally lead to laughter (if you don’t take it too seriously)

    1. HI MIna– ping pong is a good idea, too. And yes, not taking any of this seriously is the order of the day for both of us. Will post what we all end up doing!

  2. Forgot the new fad – pickleball! Beginners have as much fun as more experienced folks. Though you might be challenged to find a court in New England in the spring. I also think a retro schoolyard games day could be fun complete with 4 square, hopscotch, jump ropes, kickball, etc.

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