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Please help me plan surprise 40th b-day party!

Northern NJ
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Please help me plan surprise 40th b-day party!

What started out as a trip for my husband and I, for his 40th birthday, has now turned into a surprise party for him! His brothers and wives and some friends are all coming down as well, he just doesn't know it yet. We are going down in the first week of May and staying at the Southernmost. Not having ever been to the Keys before, I'm not sure of where to try to plan a surprise party! Money is an issue, and I'm not entirely certain how many people will be attending, which makes it that much more difficult to plan. If I had to estimate, I'd say probably 15 - 20 people, and I'd like to spend less than $20pp, if possible! I was thinking of possibly a sunset cruise, poolside at the Southernmost (not sure of cost) or drinks & apps at one of the landmark bars (Capt Tonys, Sloppy Joes, etc.) Anyone have suggestions for me? Thanks!!

arkansas
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1. Re: Please help me plan surprise 40th b-day party!

I think a sunset cruise is probably out. We payed either $40 or $45 each to go on Floridays a couple of years ago and I doubt they're much more than anyone else. Unless I'm mistaken, since you'll be staying at the Southernmost, you'll have access to their beach as well as the pool. (You'll get better advice on the beach from someone else - I've never been on it!) Since funds are limited, perhaps you could plan a party poolside or on the beach. There are lots of places in Key West to buy pre-made party goodies, and it's always cheaper to buy your own liquor than pay for it someplace else. If you'd rather not go to the trouble, my favorite bar is Schooner Wharf. The atmosphere is perfect Key West and they have music, too!

Key West, Florida
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2. Re: Please help me plan surprise 40th b-day party!

Bad news... If your husband is anything like me... I knew my 40th was coming so no big surprise. :-)

I bet you'll find Key West to be a party all unto itself. Let everyone buy thier own. All of them being there will be a great present for your husband in any case. Think of Key West as a mobile birthday party... You get tired of one place, move on to the next! On top of that, no clean-up! susancs picked a great place in Schooner Wharf Bar. A definate place to start or stop!

Bolton, United...
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3. Re: Please help me plan surprise 40th b-day party!

The Southernmost has a small meeting room/conference venue next to the smaller pool I think it would fit 15-20 people perhaps if you contact their office you could hire it. It has a bar adjacent.

Key West
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4. Re: Please help me plan surprise 40th b-day party!

The Publix Supermarket on Roosevelt Blvd. is a good place to get a birthday cake. There are other much more expensive places that do cakes, but locals love Publix, and they can even scan a picture and put it on the top of the cake. There is no problem taking a cake into the Schooner Wharf...in fact I'm doing it tomorrow!! :)

arkansas
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5. Re: Please help me plan surprise 40th b-day party!

One more addition. If you'll look at faustos.com, you can see the party trays they have available. Their food is delicious, but I have absolutely no idea how much the trays cost. If you decide to use the private room at the Southernmost (or the beach), Faustos could deliver food. I see advantages to letting everyone pay for his/her own food and drinks (cheap!) but also understand why you might want to host something yourself - albeit small - to repay the relatives for financing their own trips down to paradise :)

Northern NJ
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6. Re: Please help me plan surprise 40th b-day party!

These are all great suggestions. Thank you so much! I have been in contact with the hotel about having a party poolside or having it on their pier. They want over $1000 plus service fees for either, not including the food. I think I'd be better off having everyone meet at Schooner's Wharf or someplace for an hour or two and then pick up the tab!

I really need to get a better idea of how many people are coming. If it ends up being 10 -15, I'd probably spring for a sunset cruise. I believe some offer group rates.

If anyone has any other ideas, fire away! And to those who did reply, thanks again!

Key West
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7. Re: Please help me plan surprise 40th b-day party!

The Conch Republic Seafood Company, also known as the Conch Farm, has 2 for 1 drinks during Happy Hour at the bar and also at their outside Patio Tables. They have a great view of the harbor and also some very good and inexpensive appetizers. If you talk with them, they may be willing to hold a few of the outside tables for you. Alonzo's is just around the corner on the Harbor and they have 2 for 1 drinks and half price appetizers during Happy Hour. Both places would be nice...the Conch Farm usually has some sort of music...Alonzo's doesn't. Another thought is to go to Fort Zach . You can pick up food trays at many locations and have a beach side celebration. There are many options that aren't going to cost you more than 20 dollars per person. Good luck!!

Limey

Bolton, United...
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8. Re: Please help me plan surprise 40th b-day party!

We were in Key West in July and visited the Salsa Loca on Duval. Some people there were having a birthday party and the staff were really helpful they got all the other customers in the restaurant in the time to sing happy birthday to the lady who's birthday it was. They had long tables in the indoor area of the restaurant and everyone was sat together. Just an idea. We found the food to be very nice and reasonably priced, the staff were very friendly and helpful. I can believe the amount of money the Southernmost want to host your party. What a cheek!!!!! Hope you get fixed up and have a great time.

Pjk
New Jersey
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9. Re: Please help me plan surprise 40th b-day party!

If it helps I've also noticed the trolly and the Conch train sitting empty but with signs taped on them that read

"Reserved for the such-and-such wedding / birthday party."

Pjk

Northern NJ
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10. Re: Please help me plan surprise 40th b-day party!

Hi All! Thanks for your suggestions about this. I now believe there will be about 12-14 people coming, and I have upped my budget a bit to $30-35 pp. I have pretty much narrowed it down now to reserving tables on the upper deck at Schooner Wharf, or doing a Sunset Cruise on a BYOB boat or the Fury w/music (more $). I know that our crowd would prefer Coronas to the standard domestic beer served on the cheaper cruises. I'm still open to suggestions and opinions, please! Is the upper deck at SW nice? Any other thoughts? THANKS!

Jo