Ok, not real fire. Fun with fire DEPARTMENTS.

With some good fortune (not to mention a 10-year employment), we were recently able to realize every young boys dream birthday party by hosting it at a real live fire station. With real fire trucks and everything.

Thanks to the flexibility and generous hospitality of my husbands fire department, we were able to enjoy a 4-alarm 4th birthday for our son. Some of our favorite firemen were even on hand to offer a bunker gear demo and good healthy stomp on the air horn.

I can't remember the last time I was so relaxed prior to a birthday party starting. The ample space, larger than life equipment as decoration and the muscles of a few everyday heros made my party set-up a cinch.

I don't know if many city fire stations allow this, but I have heard of a couple that open up to the public for parties and it would certainly be worth looking into for your little ones. Though the guys certainly deserve and appreciate some pizza and cake, the entertainment is nearly free as kids love sitting in the fire engine, taking a station tour and getting to hear firefighters talk about why they wear the gear they do. The wide open spaces of the truck bay allow for plenty of movement to wear off the sugar afterward.

And let's not ignore the massive public service message this is sending to our children (the future voters of America) as they further learn about fire safety and how awesome firefighters truly are.

I am so grateful that the brotherhood of firefighters chose to be part of the event, even if indirectly. We really are a family.

(The photo ops aren't too shabby either...)

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