Tuesday, July 2, 2024


Who: Timothy
What: Another Epic Alder Family Birthday Experience
Theme: Champion

I bought a pack of shiny gold t-shirts on Amazon, which, when worn, naturally turned us into instant champions. The scissors came out and I gave everyone instructions to cut and tuck tear and tie their shirts however they wanted. I was envisioning dramatic rips and tassels, but after the boys cut off their sleeves and Eliza tied a big knot at her hip, they were ready to go. Perhaps this crafting activity would have gone differently had my home been filled with girls.

Our first stop of the evening was to Lost Worlds Myth & Magic, marketed as “The Top Family Fun Center in Las Vegas!”

Which, after attending,  I agree might be true. It was certainly a place for a champion to show off his skills.

Laser tag (above), ninja course (below),

Arcades, unicorns,

a live magic show…

Side note: you may notice Brian’s head in the guillotine up there… it’s funny. He seems to get called up from the audience everywhere we go. Whenever a performer starts looking for an audience participant, Brian sinks as low as he can in his seat, and still, they find him. He’s been a participant in a mind reader show (Paranormal), the Blue Man Group, Mac King’s magic comedy routine, and now a children’s magic show. We laugh because it’s funny. He laughs because it helps diffuse his discomfort. Maybe it’s because he’s tall and his head sticks up above most crowds. Maybe it’s because his face is handsome and kind. Maybe it’s because he shows up in conspicuous golden t-shirts. In any case, the kids love it just about as much as he hates it.

Anyway - back to our champion, Timothy.

To make things more fun, we had a whole bunch of medals that he was tasked with winning throughout the night. 

If your team wins in laser tag, you get a medal.

If you complete the Ninja course without touching the ground, you get a medal.

If you climb the rock wall in so many seconds, you get a medal.

His ultimate task was to have all 12 medals hanging around his neck by the end of the night, and if he succeeded, he would win dessert for the entire family. (That last bit was an intentional ploy to create an atmosphere where everyone would be cheering for Timothy all night long, which totally worked.)

Once he cleaned out the medals available to him at Lost Worlds, we headed to the Golden Corral (see what we did there?). Fortunately and unfortunately for us, Brian is a pretty great chef over in the Alder household, so my kids palates are quite spoiled. They responded to the Golden Corral food about the same way I did. Somewhere between ‘meh’ and ‘gross.’

But we had fun. 

Before Timothy began eating his meal, each of us ran around the buffet and selected one bite of something interesting that he could try. We put all five bites on a plate, and if he succeeded in eating them, he would earn another medal. Which, being the champion that he is, he did without too much fuss.

He didn’t like the baby pickled corn on the cob thing I chose for him, haha.

After dinner, we went to the bowling alley where they had a great glow-in-the-dark theme going on.

We bowled a couple of games, and opened it up to let Eliza and Timothy work together to earn those last few medals. Every spare or strike from either of them would earn one, and Eliza walked away from the bowling alley quite thrilled to have a couple of medals hanging around her own neck. I was quite thrilled to see that the bowling ball brand was Linds… it felt like a good omen. Though, it didn’t seem to improve my game.

I’m always shocked with just how terrible I am at bowling.

But everyone was happy to have beat me, and with all the medals earned, we drove through Pink Box on the way home. 

We all feel pretty grateful for our own little champion, Timothy.

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