Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Gaga For Gaga

Gaga is where the split between the camp kids and the non-camp kids comes in. All camp kids are gaga for Gaga. They know what it is and they LOVE it. It's one of E's favorite activities at his camp. I can tell you it seems to have come about in the 70's in Israel, and now it's here. I've never seen or heard of it played any other place but at camp. Now, here, in Waldwick in Bergen County, there is The Gagasphere. It just opened at the end of this summer by two of my friends, moms from Glen Rock- Leslie Schraer and Pam Diamond.

I don't know about anywhere else, but the birthday party scene in north Jersey is BIG. No one wants kids in their house. I don't. I don't have that kind of house. I have nowhere to put a bunch of boys and I don't want to entertain them. I'm saying it. And not qualifying it by saying "I love my kid but...". No. I don't want to be Julie the cruise director for seven and eight year old boys. I don't really entertain my own boy. I also know he's not going to break anything or trash the house. I don't live in a museum by any stretch, but there are only three of us. We never really baby proofed. He's never climbed on furniture, written on walls, messed with the art we have. I don't know what other kids do. I have a bar in my basement. While we aren't drinkers, people always seem to bring alcohol when they come to someone's house. So we have alcohol bottles from 2006 to now just sitting down there because it looks nice. E isn't drinking from them or breaking them, but again, I don't know about other children.

Now, with these party places, we've been spoiled. An hour and a half, party hosts, entertainment of some sort, pizza, cake, home. Works for everyone. Moms are always looking for something different though. We're a little bounced out. Most of us have done parties at the bounce places, the mini gyms for kids, etc. They're all fun, but how many of the same party are you going to have? On Bergen County Moms, people are always asking where to have a party that hasn't been done a million times already. Personally, I had no problem going to Kids U pretty much every weekend of pre-school for another party. But by the time they're seven or eight, I can see wanting to find something to change things up. With boys, you want to get their energy out. I'm not taking ten boys to paint pottery. While E could get into that if it was just the two of us, that's not a party for him.

We went to a party at The Gagasphere recently. It was great. I can only describe Gaga as a physical game in the realm of  dodge ball, which I don't even think kids are allowed to play anymore. It's in a pit, and that's all I can tell you. It's a less aggressive version of dodge ball in the way that it's played lower to the ground.

The kids come in, get a name tag, parents sign a waiver online or in person, the kids play for an hour with two party hosts, popular music plays in the background, they eat pizza and cake and go home. It just simple, physical fun. The difference between this and other sporting party venues is that there isn't a particular sport that a kid would feel like they need knowledge of to play. Like, if a kid has a soccer or football playing party, some kids might not know how to play or feel like they're not good enough compared to kids who play that sport all the time. This is more like Four Square where I guess some people may be better or not, but there aren't a lot of rules and it's more just about coordination. You don't need any prior knowledge of how to play or have played before to be good at it. They have all the rules actually written on a chalkboard wall

There are also the party hosts to keep the kids from getting too rowdy.
The Gagasphere isn't just for birthday parties. They have regular classes for after school. They have classes for special needs. They have two pits in the main room and then they have a small room with a smaller portable pit where they can have younger kids or take that portable pit on the road to do events in other venues.

I don't have time for E to do a class but I know some of his friends are taking a class this fall. It's great if your kid needs some extra work in hand/eye coordination.

The birthday parties have the option of some really fun add-ons like a DJ. We went to a party at Bounce U once that did the DJ add-on and it made the party exponentially more palatable for me. I felt like I was at D'Jais in Belmar. It was great. Having music does make a difference. The Gagasphere offers music for any level party but if I had unlimited funds to do up the party, I'd totally do the DJ. Maybe even have an adult Gaga party on a Saturday night. That's the cool thing- I feel like Gaga could be a party for any age. Couldn't you see husbands and wives going all out in a Gaga pit? I see they have an adult gaga league on their website so a birthday party can't be a far off thought. Great way to get out any negative energy- that's for sure!

E had a great time at the party he went to and I'm sure I'll be attending many more there as people start hearing about it. I already just got another invitation for a party in October a week after we went to the first party.

The Gagasphere
Address:140 Franklin Turnpike Waldwick, NJ 07463
Phone: (201) 445-2546
E-Mail: info@thegagasphere.com
Like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegagasphere

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