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Birthday Idea Bonanza

Birthday Idea Bonanza

Birthday party planning…start early!

The calendar keeps moving and before we know it, our child has reached another birthday! The decision on how to celebrate your child is sometimes a tough one. Here are some ideas to consider for your child’s next birthday; hopefully something here will spark some inspiration.

Consider a location with a birthday package

Parties at locations such as a children’s museum – or play place such as a trampoline park, Chuck E. Cheese, or other game center – can be easiest of all. These packages often include tablecloths, plates, cups and provide options to add pizza or other food items, along with cake and ice cream to complete the day.  The entertainment is built-in, so you don’t have to come up with games and other ways to entertain the children. The birthday décor is covered, too, so all you have to do is send out the invites and show up!  

“I’m not a planner, so this party was perfect for me as a mom,” Mississippi parent Yakeyla Naylor said, referencing her child’s party at a trampoline park. A big bonus is that your child might love this party “package” option the best! One 7-year-old I know still remembers her Chuck E. Cheese party from several years ago as being her favorite. 

Have a “water park” adventure

One 9-year-old boy I know recalls a backyard inflatable water slide with Nerf water guns as his favorite. The bonus here is that some inflatable rental locations allow the rental period to cover several days for the same price, so your child gets to have days of fun well after the party. A younger child might enjoy a kiddie pool, and a sprinkler to run through. Add some water balloons for another simple, fun activity. Water guns used in the pool – or used to shoot down stacked cans – may offer another way of “spending energy” for little partygoers. 

A party at an actual waterpark could be an option as well. Most waterparks offer a birthday party option that includes a pavilion or cabana, food and passes for the attendees. 

How About a Getaway?

An adventure to a new location with family can also be fun. Adding just a friend or two to the fun may add an extra layer of joy, but still keep things affordable. A camping trip, a trip to a roller coaster park, a visit to a new city – or the child’s favorite city – can be a celebration to remember. Places with built-in activities – such as fishing or swimming in a pond, theme parks, adventure parks or dinner shows – can offer an overload of experiences to build memories.

Covid-friendly Zoom Parties

With covid, some locations still have limited party options, and some families remain uncomfortable with large gatherings. If that’s the case with you, consider a Zoom party. Put together a few games to easily play virtually, such as bingo, scavenger hunt, charades or Pictionary. Cards for bingo can be emailed to the parents to print, or can be printed and given out with invites. Clues for charades can be texted to parents to pass on to their children, so they can act the clues out on camera for the other party attendees to guess. Call out items for children to find in their homes for a scavenger hunt, such as “find something shiny” or “find something furry,” or ask them to find something that starts with a particular letter of the alphabet. We played this for my child’s birthday party, and the kids loved it! They even got in on it by offering their own ideas of what should be up next for the hunt. Set up a table with cake and balloons behind your child as a backdrop, and voila…your party is ready!

A Gathering of Friends at the Park

Party at the local playground. Reserve an affordable table or pavilion at a local park and let the kids run and play until their hearts are content. Bring a few tablecloths if you desire. Decorate with balloons. Bring a cake and some light food. Add a few games – such as a sack race or tug-o-war – and have fun around your reserved spot. 

No matter which route you take, your little one will have memories to last a lifetime…so…happy partying!

Alicia Stevens, a resident of Pearl River County, is a freelance writer, wife and mother of two who enjoys traveling with her family and friends.

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