Rollercoaster, sushi bar and glow-in-the-dark bowling: Meet the parents spending $40,000 on their children’s FIRST birthday parties
The DJ is in full swing and the sushi chefs are busy serving from the ornate buffet. A queue is building for the rollercoaster and an aerialist spins above the packed dance floor. In rolls the specially designed $3,500 cake.
This is clearly no ordinary birthday party – but it is made all the more extraordinary by its birthday boy, JoJo, who is just one year old.
More and more parents are opting to shell out many tens of thousands of dollars on their toddler”s birthdays, creating spectacular events that many tots will not even remember.
Proud parents: Lisa and Jo spent $40,000 on their little boy JoJo”s first birthday party. They explained to ABC that he is worth every penny, despite the fact that he will not remember a moment of the event
An ABC Nightline special has revealed the extremes some parents are willing to go to create a memorable day for their children – or at the very least for their parents and older friends.
JoJo is a special baby. Born happy and healthy to a mother who has suffered miscarriages in the past and a father who was born with no right arm and severe scoliosis, he was always going to be a little miracle.
There”s nothing diminutive about the celebration of his first 12 months, however.
The bill for the Englewood, New Jersey party is an astonishing $40,000 and every detail has been taken care of. At one point in the programme, mother and baby are seen at a cake tasting, while another scene shows the two being shown around a lavish venue by a party planner.
Little prince: The one-year-old seems to enjoy the attention while his parents certainly love the celebration
Big budget: The party is more lavish than many an adult will ever dream of affording. An aerialist spins above the dance floor performing acrobatics for the guests
No expense spared: Guests can use the glow-in-the-dark bowling alley, or help themselves from a full sushi bar
Half-brother Alex admits to ABC that he is also “spoilt to a certain extent” but that his new baby brother is “mega spoilt – he gets whatever he wants.”
Jo and Lisa, who own a successful construction company, tell Nightline they are only too happy to part with the money – almost equal to the average annual U.S. household income – for JoJo”s landmark first birthday.
Conceding that the extravaganza was “probably not necessary,” proud mom Lisa says “I think he”ll benefit from this – the love, just the whole ambience and feeling that he”s going to get from it.”
Jo couldn”t agree more: “He”s my boy, my little one – it may be over the top but you know what He”s worth it.”
The couple had been through a “devastating” miscarriage of twins and, along with doctors, were nervous that a child may inherit Jo”s scoliosis which has led to a life of major operations.
To infinity and beyond: JoJo seemed to particularly love the specially-designed $3,500 Buzz Lightyear cake
Bowling or roller coaster Children at the party had no chance for boredom, indulging in a spot of bowling, left, or taking a ride on the worm rollercoaster, right, as parents sip drinks and nibble sushi
Let”s hope he has it in him for a repeat bash – an ecstatic Lisa declares, surrounded by family and friends at the party: “I think I”m going to have another baby!”
A unusual as the celebration may sound, they”re not alone – the growing trend of over-the-top children”s parties has even warranted a TLC show, Extreme Kids Parties.
Looking at a selection of “huge, eye popping, jaw dropping ftes,” according to the network, the show documents a range of lavish parties costing around $30,000 each.
He sleeps: For his part, the excitement eventually got to birthday boy JoJo, who seemed to spend much of the extravaganza asleep – but still being admired – in his mother”s arms
From the flamboyant pirates party of seven-year-old Alex, costing a cool $31,525, to the fairytale Princess opulence of Gracie”s $32,304 sixth birthday bash, parents far and wide are willing to go the extra miles – and bank loans – for their little ones.
As a happy guest put it at JoJo”s mega do: “You live life once.”
The baby of honour, in the meantime, appeared to spend much of the time asleep in his mother”s arms.
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