When I think about my birthday parties growing up, I picture friends, cake, presents, and balloons. I also remember the simple but super fun parties my parents threw for me. Roller skating rink? Check. Swimming party? Check. And my personal favorite, the “Birthday Party Talent Show,” which happened to take place in my dining room.
I don’t know what’s happened since the 80’s but oh. my. gosh. kids’ birthdays are a big production these days. Are we just fancier parents? Is it Pinterest’s fault? Whatever is going on, it’s pushing kids’ birthday celebrations over the top.
However, last month, we were invited to a little boy’s birthday party that took us back to good old fashion fun; that’s right, we were invited to go party at our local car wash.
As we pulled up, we saw our buddy Garrett waving cars in. My 3-year-old son couldn’t wait to run inside and join the other kids perched on the steps, watching the sudsy cars go through. It was genius. And to make this party even better, the parents were handed free car wash tickets to help provide the entertainment!
Since the party was a hit with both kids and parents, I decided to do a little Q&A with mom, Shannon, to see how it all came about.
How did you decide to have Garrett’s birthday at a car wash?
During one of our many trips to Green Planet car wash, the owner Larry came in to say hi to Garrett and me. During our conversation, he mentioned that they’ve hosted a couple birthday parties there before for other kids who love the car wash. I didn’t think much of it because Garrett’s 4th birthday was still months away, but as time flew by, and the car wash was still Garrett’s favorite thing in the world, I started to give it more consideration.
Do the owners work there often?
The owners are Larry and Laura Zamora. They started in the car wash business in 1988 and GreenPlanet has been at its current location for 7 years. It is a family owned and operated car wash. There has not been one time that we’ve visited when either Larry, Laura, or their son hasn’t been there working. 2022 update: Green Planet car wash has been replaced at this location by Wash Guys. But we love the car wash birthday party idea so much, we wanted to keep Sally’s original article intact.
Is this party available for anyone?
Before our party, they told us that they had hosted a few birthday parties at the car wash. Anyone can go in and talk to them about having their party there. We’re honestly just frequent visitors who they started to recognize.
How much did it cost/what was included in the birthday package? What did you provide?
It was FREE! Green Planet did not charge us one cent to have our party there. The best part is that the actual car wash lobby is large, so we were able to use the entire back room which is connected to restrooms and has great windows for watching cars. (The paying customers had another area to wait in, so the party was private and the customers weren’t overwhelmed by 20 excited kids.)
Green Planet is a true testimonial to the greatness of small business. The owners were so accommodating, welcoming, and helpful. We were able to use the space free of charge and the owners even offered (and we accepted) to grill hot dogs for us on a grill that they use for customer appreciation day. They also surprised us by putting “Happy 4th Birthday Garrett” on their electronic outdoor sign.
They helped us clean up the space before the party and asked us multiple times if they could do anything else for us. It was AMAZING! We brought our own food (they grilled the hot dogs), a car wash cake, and decorations. Because the space was free, we choose to pay for a car wash for each of our party guests. We also hired a balloon artist and a face painter so kids who don’t love the car wash would have a great time as well.
Green Planet Car Wash
Connie Crow — Car Wash Cake