Most Popular Birthday Parties for Kids
I am in the throes of planning my son’s 7th birthday party And he took too long to decide so I wasn’t able to book the trampoline party on the day he wanted and at an acceptable time when the parents wouldn’t kill me for. The Sunday night slot from 5 to 7:30 pm was not going to be popular with the parents! So, he opted for the video/laser tag party which, luckily, was free. Now I just have to procure a Sonic the Hedgehog birthday cake.
I realized that I have planned 27 birthday parties for my three kids thus far. It’s not professional event planning status, but it’s getting close especially if you add in more two hundred more children’s parties we’ve attended. That sounds like madness but it’s just seven parties a year times ten years times three kids.
It can be tricky planning a party in New England what with our weather and natural disasters that now include earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and snow. We always have to have an indoor contingent plan.
I thought I’d look back at all those parties, poll my kids, and come up with the ten most memorable parties. I hope this is helpful for those of you looking for new ideas. There might not be the exact same party vendors in your neck of the woods but there is probably something close.
10. Petting zoo. Barn Babies. This particular petting zoo was pretty amazing. We hired them twice for birthday parties (2 of my kids), and they visited my preschool twice. What is amazing about them is that they have enough baby animals — bunnies, kittens, puppies, goat, chicks, ducklings, pig — so that every child can hold a swaddled baby animal for as long as they like. When they want to switch animals, another one gets placed into their arms. The kittens, puppies, and bunnies are eventually adopted but I hate to ask what happens to the chicks, ducklings, goat and pig. The baby goat has a Depends diaper on and a child can walk it around on a leash. They can do parties indoors or out. They don’t advertise but you’d be wise to book early as they get booked up fast. They are based on the Cape.
9. Trampoline. Sky Zone. This is a new franchise that came our way last year and has become hugely popular. It’s very professionally fun. Kids have to wear special shoes that help prevent ankle twisting. Headcount on each gigantic trampoline is closely monitored. I tried to book 6 weeks ahead but, oops!, not early enough!
8. Trapeze. My oldest went to this party and had a blast even though she says she is scared of heights. My middle child is booking this for her next birthday. I hope I don’t have to do it!
7. Diego home party. I did an elaborate Diego themed home party that took me 6 weeks to plan. I wrote it up and submitted to a Birthday Party site but now I can’t locate it. I printed out coloring sheets from Diego website and stapled it into on side of a blue file folder as a “Field Journal.” I also made a drawing of a keyboard and stapled that on the other side. I got Beenie Babies that matched the footprints and made a scavenger hunt out of that by putting footprints all over the house and backyard. The kids decorated paper towel rolls to make Spy Glasses. They used their Spy Glasses for the scavenger hunt. I hired Barn Babies as entertainment. The final stop was an extra basket of Beenie Babies for trading in case the Beenie Baby you found was not the one you wanted. The kids were only 3.
6. Cookie decorating. Cookies by Design. This was the first time we had done this and my middle daughter chose this for her last birthday but it can easily be done at home. The kids had premixed sugar cookie dough to roll out and cut cookies. This was actually the most popular station. They also got colored bags of icing and decorated a plate of baked cookies. Finally, they decorated an apron using fabric markers.
5. Laser tag. This was a popular birthday party that is now a little passé though kids always seem to have fun playing laser tag.
4. Jewelry party. Home and at bead store. I did this party at home using stretchy string from the bead store. Each little girl and their mother strung a necklace and a bracelet. I think I tried this party for preschoolers which was a tad too young. I needed other activities like coloring sheets and games because the kids were either really fast at making the crafts or easily bored. My oldest went to a bead store for a birthday party at 5th grade and all the girls made beautiful necklaces. Some did not finish in the time allotted due to intricate designs.
3. Pseudo sky diving. My Mom Friend Julie’s son did this as a Middle Schooler. She said that all the boys LOVED it. The pseudo sky diving using some kind of gigantic fan to create a wind tunnel capable of suspending a person in the air to simulate sky diving. That’s my kind of sky diving: the safe kind.
2. Aquarium. On or off site. Both parties have been hits. We had a party at the Aquarium one year for my oldest when she was in preschool that, unfortunately, coincided with a gigantic snowstorm. Nevertheless, most of the guests made it to the Aquarium for the party. They do a great job letting kids touch sea creatures and it’s also educational! Our aquarium takes the show on the road and will travel to your birthday site. We went to a party that hired them and was also fabulous!
1. Cooking. Create A Cook. We have a cooking school for kids in town, but this can easily be done at home. The parties usually have a food theme with each child making about three items that they can bring home to share. I love that my child is learning to cook. Themes can be anything from breakfast, Thai, Japanese and Italian. And it’s not just for girls. Boys, as it turns out, love the hands on “making stuff” aspect.
Here are more party ideas that we’ve attended or hosted. I hope it helps you plan the perfect party for your child!
Bowling, karate, gymnastics, Museum of Natural History, paint pottery/plaster, video game/Chuckie E Cheese, sewing, knitting, paint ball, swimming (make sure to have plenty of lifeguards!), sleepover, ice skating, snow tubing, tie dye, ice cream party at parlour, Mad Scientist, magician, Puppet theater, jewelry/beading, movie, mini golf, old fashioned games at home (pass the shoe, scavenger piñata, etc), soccer games, dress up (renting a dress up trunk), water slide/bouncy house, water park, farm, sports at YMCA, TOMB, art/ceramics at art school, dance at dance studio, and dance party at home.
Strangely, we have never been to a clown birthday party.
Whew! I think that’s all. Can you please share any great birthday parties you or your child have hosted or attended?