We had her party at a bowling alley on Sunday. Fifteen girls showed up out of the 18 invited! They had a blast bowling, although my husband and I had to try and keep them from getting hurt. The girls would fight over who could grab the bowling ball first from the ball return, which led to some dropped balls. We were paranoid that someone was going to break a finger or toe. Luckily, there were no broken bones.
My daughter does pretty well at parties. She was a bit overwhelmed and was not at her social best, but she did take our prompts very well and was good about making rounds and thanking her friends for coming once we told her to. This was better than the beginning of the party, when she would just snatch the gifts from her friends and put them down in her pile without saying so much as, "Hello!" Sigh. At the end of the party, she was even good about going up to the parents and thanking them for coming. This got one mom kinda choked up!
Overall, the party was a huge success. All the guests and the birthday girl had a great time. My husband and I were exhausted afterward though! This was the first birthday party we had where we didn't have a person running the show, so we were the ones expected to keep an eye on things.
My daughter opened up a few of her gifts when we arrived home. We have a weird tradition where we stretch out her opening her party gifts over a week or so. This way, she appreciates each gift and doesn't get overwhelmed by all her new toys. The first gift she opened was a really adorable lavender unicorn pillow pet. We had bought her one that was a cat that she was going to get later today. The first thing she said when she saw the unicorn was, "Wow! This is so much better than the cat I wanted!" Ahem. I guess that's one gift of ours we can return!