Why the best way to handle a grown-up party is to pretend you’re a kid.

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AMF Bowling
Thanks to our brand partner, AMF Bowling

Sophisticated cocktail party? Hell, no.

Many women approaching their 30s throw birthday parties involving bearded barmen at dimly lit bars, Michelin-starred restaurants serving refined, tiny portions, and fussy outfits involving leather-look pencil skirts.

I am not one of those women.

That’s because the girls from the office decided to throw me the ultimate throwback-style party this year – so while I was technically celebrating my 27th birthday, I was very much channelling my inner seven-year-old the entire night.

There was Neapolitan ice cream cake. There were balloons. There was bunting. And there was bowling – lots of retro-shoed, Sunkist-fuelled bowling.

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“I was very much channelling my inner seven-year-old the entire night.”

Here are some of the highlights, as voted upon by the Mamamia Women’s Network team:

1. The Laser Skirmish Battle.

Laser skirmish is a bit of a favourite at Mamamia; we make a point of blowing off steam en masse at lunchtime every few months by playing a game – so in a nod to office tradition, it was only right that the girls chose a party package that incorporated those awesome plastic phasers and vests.


There was a red team, there was a blue team, and there were names that sounded like something from Warcraft (Morpheus, anyone?)

birthday party ideas
“There was a red team, there was a blue team, and there were names that sounded like something from Warcraft (Morpheus, anyone?)”

There was also a Hunger Games-style points system — which thrilled me, because for the first time in my life I managed to achieve a score worthy of Jennifer Lawrence.

Blue team for the win.

2. Bowling Games.

We didn’t just bowl. We had a friendly and very, very patient party host, who even dragged over one of those slide-like bowling aids and instructed our less experienced bowlers in the art of avoiding the dreaded gutter ball. (Freya, days later, is still demonstrating her technique in-office. I sense she is quite proud of nailing a spare).

birthday party ideas
“Freya, days later, is still demonstrating her technique in-office. I sense she is quite proud of nailing a spare.”

Our host also somehow managed to wrangle us into pausing twice to play various games — which involved Lauren bowling slow-motion and Dimity performing a victory dance. At one stage, we even created a giant version of tunnel-ball, and won classic prizes (remember slinkies?) for our efforts.

Sophisticated? Not at all. Fun and childish? Very much so. Tick of approval from my seven-year-old self? Definitely.

3. Food and CAKE.

Remember those ice-cream cakes with sprinkles on top? Kids’ parties aren’t complete without them. Neither are adult parties, in my opinion.

And yeah, the venue provided the party hats and birthday girl crown.

birthday party ideas
I had a second slice.

4. Arcade games galore.

We’d assumed it would be time to stagger off home after our feast — but instead, our party host reached into her pocket, brandishing a bunch of shiny arcade game tokens.

So with our little silver coin-like tokens in hand, we topped off the night with a dance-off (which I did not win), followed by an epic round of whack-a-mole (which I eventually did win, happily realising that game is a whole lot easier when you have the reflexes of a fully-grown adult).

The end of the night involved cashing in our arcade tickets and choosing prizes – some of which, I admit, are still being worn around the office.

birthday party ideas
Some of the team were disappointed our tokens didn’t cover the selfie stick, but we consoled ourselves with these rings.

The consensus was that the night was a hit, not least because the entire party required zero preparation and zero clean-up on our end (the level of sugary fun was negatively correlated, in fact, with the amount of preparation required. Win).

So well played, Mamamia team, for arranging a bowling party.

All in all, my inner seven-year-old heartily approves.


Like this? Try these:

“I hosted my daughter’s birthday party at home….and almost lost my mind.”

‘I have my own birthday gift registry, and no I’m not embarrassed.’

So, this might be the most demanding 1st birthday invite ever.

Leave it to the professionals! AMF offers a fuss free experience for your child’s special day. Coordinated by your very own party host, packages start from $24.90 per person and include bowling, laser skirmish, arcade games, prizes, plus food. We also have ramps & bumpers, so we cater for all ages and skill levels. Our cafes offer a delicious range of food options that kids love including our famous hot dogs, nuggets, fries and fresh fruit platters!

So what are you waiting for? Get the ball rolling, search ‘AMF parties’ to book online today.


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