Give Yourself A Gift—Let Someone Else Host The Party
Growing older is supposed to be a joyous experience, at least for the first several decades of one’s life in that sweet period when the only wrinkles seen in the mirror are on an unironed shirt. Welcoming another year is a perfect excuse to surround oneself with friends and enjoy some fun together. The annual birthday party should be a celebration rather than a headache; why, then, do so many children’s birthday parties leave parents in need of aspirin and a foot rub?
Many are the reasons. Perhaps it’s because some kids inevitably throw tantrums when the supposedly cute clown more resembles a horror-movie villain than a gleeful entertainer, or because a girl gets sick due to an allergic reaction to the wheat used to bake the cake. The day finally ends with parents spending hours scrubbing fingerpaint off the walls and icing off the floors. Given their all too stressful results, birthdays parties become dreaded nightmares instead of the happy events they are meant to be. It’s no wonder children’s parties are leaving home and finding refuge elsewhere.
One such place is Le Vitam, a centre for all things active, offering such diverse diversions as fitness classes, spa treatments, shopping, indoor and outdoor water parks, an aquatics centre, and a racquet sports centre. Created by Migros France, this hub of sports and leisure is teeming with people whose job it is to create fun and active environments, control the chaos of large groups of people, and clean up the aftermath.
The centre’s most recent addition, Vitam’ludic, is focused on children—specifically, children in a group setting. In addition to the recreational amusements such as pools, waterslides, and a rock-climbing wall to encourage physical activity, the new Vitam’ludic has three main features. Grands Jeux is a giant spread of tunnels, mazes, and ball pits—essentially, an expansive, brightly coloured obstacle course. Parcours Acrobatique has suspended ropes and swings, similar to a trapeze act in the circus. Labyrinthe Laser is a maze where kids (or future secret agents) must dodge beams of neon green light to complete the course. In comparison to these extreme adventures, the arts and crafts parties of years past making pictures frames with ice cream sticks seem fairly tame.
Gone are the days of simple birthday parties. The stakes are higher now, and the traditional ice cream cake at the dining-room table following a game of Pin The Tail On The Donkey doesn’t cut it anymore with the worldly children of today. Vitam’ludic has several options for your next party, without the clowns or added stress. The only bodyaches likely to be incurred this time around will be from hurtling through Vitam’ludic’s laser maze. After all, why let the kids have all the fun?
500 route des Envignes
GPS: latitude 46°07.439’, longitude 6°05.652’
tel: +33 (0)4 50 84 66 66
Article by Laura Holman