So you don’t have time to plan and prepare the perfect birthday party? Don’t despair. There are lots of fun places to hold parties away from home that will save you time in planning, preparation and clean-up. Most importantly, your birthday child and guests will have a blast!
Try some of these party places for kids of all ages. When you call, ask what amenities are available and included. Many provide invitations, food and cake, balloons and decorations, a private party area, a gift for the birthday child and other special birthday services.
Skates and Blades - Roller skating rinks are again gaining popularity and most offer a choice of inline or roller skate rentals for today’s kids. Consider ice-skating and ice or roller hockey parties as a fun alternative.
Strike It Big - Bowling parties are a fun form of recreation for kids of all ages. Preschoolers can score every time with bumper bowling, while teens can go cosmic for glow in the dark fun. Add to the amusement by offering small prizes for low and high scores, and the most and the fewest gutters.
Pizza and Play - Preschool and early elementary kids thrill at being invited to these parties where they can play kiddie arcade-style games, win tickets for prizes, hop on coin operated rides and romp in soft play areas. For the older kids, how about a hands-on cooking party where partygoers can learn and make their own delicious pizza!
Water, Water Everywhere - Head to an indoor wave pool, water park or hotel where big kids can ride the waves, swish down water slides, take a plunge and go on tubing adventures.
Got Game - Have avid gamers at your house? Have the birthday fun roll up outside your house where kids of all ages can play video games.
Recreational Romp - A number of recreation centres and entertainment companies offer a wide variety of activities for birthdays including gymnastics, swimming, basketball, arts and crafts, and more.
Enhance Creativity - Need a one-of-a-kind birthday party idea for your creative child? Give your child a unique experience they’ll love creating fused glass art with all their best friends.
A Day of Enchantment - In a special and magical locale with costumes, props and décor, your child and guests will enjoy an enchanting birthday.
Putt-Putt and More - Family fun centres offer a variety of entertainment including batting cages, miniature golf, video games, bumper boats and go carts.
Down to a Science - Keep kids of all ages thoroughly engrossed and entertained with fun, educational and hands-on science experiments or an engineering party where they can watch or participate in science experiments, try out gadgets, construct and more.
Rock Climbing Adventures - Daredevils won’t want to miss this exciting quest. Look for a rock climbing gym where party guests can do rock climbing with a professional instructor.
Get Pampered - Kids can indulge in a themed birthday party in a dazzling spa and leave with sparkly toes too! Or the spa can come to you and treat the party guests - how cool is that?
Z is for Zoo - Zoos are a great source for birthday entertainment. You can choose from a variety of themes, and they offer party packages that include admission, a mini tour, games and activities, and more.
And lastly, no party would be complete without a visit from a fairy princess, magician or clown. With so much great talent in our city to choose from, your party will be the talk of the town.
When planning your child’s party, keep in mind what’s important is not how perfectly the party goes, but that your birthday child and guests have fun.
To ensure success, follow these tips:
Keep the guest list manageable to avoid chaos, confusion and conflict. The number of guests should correspond with the child’s age or slightly over.
Request an RSVP with a specific deadline, allowing time to invite others should the guest list fall short. Be sure to include your phone number.
Offer your child choices for their party. Ask for input and allow your child to assist in the planning.
Send out written or e-Invites. Verbal invitations may be forgotten, make the invitee feel they were an afterthought and often leave parents of the invited child wondering whether the invitation was approved by the birthday child’s parents.
Include all details on the invitation including a start and end time, address and directions, phone number and what guests need to bring, such as a bathing suit and a towel.
Keep the length of the party within reason. Unless it’s a sleepover or special event, preschool parties should be limited to one hour and two to three hours for older children.
Kimberly is an author and freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in more than 200 newspapers, parenting and women’s magazines, and other publications.
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