6 Creative Birthday Parties
Looking for new birthday party ideas? Here are six ideas to get your creativity going. Some of the themes might seem specific to one gender, like baking for girls or pirates for boys. But if your little boy likes baking (remember some of the best chefs are men) and your little girl loves pirates, go with your child’s interests!
Bake Up a Storm!
Whether you decide to host the party at your house or at a local cooking school, baking parties can be a big hit. For the invitation, how ’bout a cupcake-shaped label attached to a small jar with dry cupcake mix? If you host the party at your home, as guests arrive have them decorate blank canvas aprons with fabric paint, sequins, buttons ribbon, and feathers.
After all the aprons have been decorated, move on to baking! You can divide the group, with half the kids preparing pizza and the other half helping to bake cupcakes.
Bring in a pro: Cooking guides from The Playful Chef will come to your home (and for $30 per child will supply hats, aprons, an entrée, dessert, favors, a gift for the birthday girl and a craft. At the cooking school Young Chef’s Academy, with locations in DE, PA, and NJ, chefs will teach your partygoers how to create a dish from scratch.
You can host a spa day for your little lady and her friends. For an invitation, send out a hot pink luggage tag with the party details. Attach it to a plastic tiara that the girls can wear to the party.
Hire nail technicians, hair stylists and make-up artists to come to your house or set up do-it-yourself stations where girls can do their own simple beauty treatments. Have a designated photographer take snapshots. Serve adult-like sparkling apple cider and small sandwiches. As a chic favor, send the divas home with small purses filled with nail polish, lip gloss and lotion.
Bring in a pro: For $50-$75 per child, Lil Angels Kids Spa will come to your home. You can also take the little princesses to La Petite Spa and Salon in Newark, DE. For $235-$475, eight girls will share a glam party with manis, pedis, hair, make-up, pizza, photo shoot and karaoke. You can also take them to Nurture Spa in Doylestown, PA, where they will enjoy manis, pedis, an updo and a dance lesson for $30-$35 per child.
For all those crafters out there, pottery can be the vessel for a perfect party. Either attach the invitation to a paintbrush or have your child splatter a foam poster board with paint and cut it up into squares and write the party information with permanent marker.
Bring in a pro: Your party group can meet at The Expressive Hand in Philadelphia, The Mud Room in Ardmore, PA (610-896-3887) or Creation Station in Middletown, DE to express their creativity. For around $250 for 10 children, each guest will leave with a personalized way to remember your child's special day.
A Pirate Adventure
Arrrrrrgh!! Is your child a Pirates of the Caribbean fan? Create a message-in-a-bottle invitation to get the guests in the seafaring frame of mind. As the pirates arrive, adorn them with hats, eye patches and swords. What would a pirate be without buried treasure? Have the kids go on a hunt with a treasure map. Follow up with a game of pin-the-tail-on-the-parrot, and instead of sailing on the high seas, look for a pirate ship moonbounce.
Don’t forget to send the little swashbucklers home with their pirate booty. Fill small canvas pouches with chocolate coins, tattoos and fake gems.
Bring in a pro: For $25 per child, you can reserve an expedition with the Pirates of Lewes, sailing from Lewes, DE on weekends in May and September and Tues.-Sun. during the summer. Included are a pirate gun or sword, eye patch and earring, pirate dress-up, face painting, music, booty bag and a 70-minute interactive pirate fantasy cruise.
Have a future zoologist on your hands? Or maybe your kid just loves animals. A favorite animal party is a way of bringing the safari to your home. As the guests arrive, have a face painter decorate their faces with their favorite animal markings, followed by a game of animal charades and matching the animal to their tracks.
Set out animal crackers and other themed foods. Play a CD of animal sounds and send the kids home with small animal figurines.
Bring in a pro: You can arrange for a zoo to bring animals to your home. For
example, the Bucks County Zoo in Warminster, PA will bring 10-15 animals and two zookeepers to your home for $350-$500. The animals, such as a spectacled owl, fennec fox, baby lemur, crocodile python, macaw or African serval cat, are presented one at a time to guests in carriers (by Pennsylvania law, no touching).
On Saturdays, the Zoo closes for private parties ($350 for the first 24 guests, 1 hr. 45 minutes). Guests visit the indoor zoo’s 60 animals, ranging from Arthur the aardvark to Zaboo the lemur.
Don’t want to wait for the science fair to begin experimenting? Treat your partygoers to a lab journal as they begin their science experience. You can find a set of home science experiments at www.stevespanglerscience.com. Set up your dining room table with several experiment stations, each with instruction sheets. In the kids’ goody bags, include the supplies necessary to conduct the experiment.
Bring in a pro: Mad Science, Professor Bob (484-213-7330), Wondergy and other providers will come to your home for one to two hours to show budding scientists several experiments. They’ll go home with souvenirs from their experiments. A science party is a great way to remind your kids that learning is fun!
Jessica Jones is a local freelance writer.