We are about to head into the twilight zone when parenting and football season collide head on. What is that you say?
No, I am not talking about a tailgate that got out of control or a toddler who has to potty at the end of the fourth with two minutes to go. I am talking about birthday party planning strategy in New Orleans.
Last year I discovered a strange phenomenon. It may happen in other cities, but it definitely happens here in New Orleans. In early April, I was being the hyper-organized mom that I am and was researching birthday party locations and prices. We had hosted her previous birthday at our home, but with her friends from school, our friends and our family, we quickly needed an outside space. Plus, the idea of not cleaning the house before and after the party was attractive.
While my daughter’s birthday was not until the fall, I had heard rumors that key places book fast and book early. So I was getting my game plan together; I called around and got prices and dates. It seemed like this was easy enough; there were plenty of dates open since it was so early in the year.
After hubby and I talked and decided on a location based on the number of people, the time of day and the activities, we were ready to book her party. It was only about a week later that I called to officially book her birthday party and put the deposit down. But I was shocked when I called; there was only one day and one time slot left in the entire month of her birthday! And, that date was three weeks prior to her birthday.
I was flabbergasted. What happened to the crazy amount of availability and date options that existed only the week before?
When I inquired about this to the very polite rep on the phone, she said, “Ma’am, this happens every year when the NFL releases the Saints schedule.”
And there it was. Something that, as a rookie mom, I was not aware of. Apparently when the Saints schedule is released, all “good” weekends and times to have a birthday party are immediately booked.
So I hung up the phone and jumped in the car with a deposit check in hand during a torrential downpour with New Orleans streets flooding. That last available date was mine if I could get there to reserve the space before someone else.
Well fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me! The NFL will announce the official schedule on April 14. Get ready, moms of children with birthdays in football season! It is about to get very hard to book a party. And if you want to plan even further ahead, start researching gift ideas now!
*Note: we’ve updated this article to reflect the 2016 schedule release date, as it changes yearly.