Adding to the growing ranks of full-service travel parties is Long Island Sports Complex’s newest package dubbed "the outdoor sports party," where the turf finds its way to you. Well, sort of.
Customers can choose up to three sports to be played in their own backyard or at a nearby public park, an effort coordinated with the sports complex's help. There are more than 10 activities to choose from, ranging from soccer, baseball and touch football to "pillow hockey" (the sport is played with a plastic stick that has a foam bottom and a small dodgeball-esque "puck") and European handball.
Parties are for up to 25 children and includes one hour of field time and staff.
Jordan Diamond, owner of the 12-year-old complex, says the idea came about after he realized there was a decline in parties these past few months compared to the same time last year. Since its inception in April, he's booked just under 10 parties. "With more and more people getting vaccinated, we forecast our numbers at the facility to return to how it was pre-pandemic if not stronger," he says.
So far, the most popular sports have been soccer, kickball, running bases, capture the flag and relays.
Erika Castillo, of East Meadow, hired the company to come to her yard for her son CJ's 10th birthday in June. Castillo says she's been to the complex for other parties, but it was nice to have it come to her this time because she has an in-ground pool and "figured they can do the hour with the sports and then hangout in the backyard and play in the pool and make it more of a three-hour party" as opposed to an hourlong party. This way, "everybody could relax and the kids could have fun."
Two staff members bring the equipment for each sport and stay for the duration of the party. "They blended well with the kids," Castillo says of the two men that tended her son's birthday. "They kept them engaged. They made it fun. They made it challenging. The boys really enjoyed it. It was perfect." Perhaps the best part, though, for parents at least: Staff cleans up all the equipment that they bring.
For a party of more than 25, an additional staff member is in attendance, too. The company will travel within a 15-mile radius from its facility in Freeport.
Long Island Sports Complex is also booking multisport reservations for indoor parties at its facility. Customers get 90 minutes of fun and food (one hour being devoted to sports and a half-hour to pizza and cake). The complex supplies eats and drinks, as well as invitations and paper goods.
Both packages are available for children and adults alike; no minimum required.
Long Island Sports Complex parties
INFO: 103 Mill Rd., Freeport. 516-546-0900. longislandsportscomplex.com
PRICE: Traveling parties start at $325. Price includes one hour of play time for up to 25 children, plus staff. Invitations are included in the bundle; for an additional cost, customers can add favors and more field time.
Indoor parties at the facility start at $425. The party includes up to 15 children; each additional child is $15.