When did birthday parties become such a thing? My son’s school cafeteria actually sells cupcakes or ice cream sandwiches that you can special order for the entire class on your child’s birthday.
And people do it. In fact, we did it. $20 so 20 kids could have ice cream treats at lunch for my son’s 6th birthday last week. I’m shaking my head as I type this. I don’t know why we did it. Keeping up with the Joneses, I guess.
Birthdays for kids have become big business with every business offering an angle to supply fun and excitement for a couple of hours of chaos before cake.
Parents are heard negotiating dates in the hallway before and after school, making sure the busy spring birthday season doesn’t have any conflicts because “Mary” wants to have everyone from her class at the party.
$20 for class treats. $20 for a gift for someone else’s kid. $20 a head for everyone you invite to your kid’s party. It adds up, and I’ve been sucked in to the machine.
If you’re struggling with kid birthday party ideas, here’s some to help you out.
Happy Birthday! 1 of 9
Art classes, gymnastics time, petting zoo? These are just some of the unique birthday party ideas you can grab some inspiration from.
Petting Zoo 2 of 9
One classmate put up small cages around their garage and rented rabbits, goats, sheep, and other sort of fun and furry animals for the kids to play with.
Movie Date 3 of 9
This is our choice for Zacharie for this year. 10 friends get reserved seats for a hot new movie. Admission, popcorn, drink, and a party room for cake and favors after are all included.
Magician 4 of 9
Any form of entertainer at the home is quick and easy, if you have a big enough home. My son really loved being a guinea pig during this magician birthday party show.
Gymnastics 5 of 9
The gymnastics club my son went to when he was younger, had birthday spots on the weekend. You get an instructor for an hour to walk kids through obstacle courses and the trampoline, and then a birthday room for cake and presents.
Art Class 6 of 9
Our local community centre offers art birthday parties. You pick a theme and the instructor comes up with art supplies and ideas for the kids. Zacharie\'s 5th birthday was a Robots vs Dinosaurs party and was awesome.
Swimming 7 of 9
Older kids will probably be able to self-supervise for an hour in the pool before hitting up a party room, younger ones can be organized to have an instructor for fun lessons and activities.
Play Place 8 of 9
From Chuck E Cheese to generic indoor play place, they're a popular winter destination for birthday parties where the kids can run around and burn off steam for an hour before grabbing some treats.
Charity Party 9 of 9
Instead of asking parents to buy your kid a toy that he won't use, doesn't need, or already has, suggest a charity party. Have people bring gifts for the toy bank, donations for the food bank, monetary donations for another charity, or just skip the gifts all together and just bring birthdays back to what it was supposed to be about—a celebration with friends.
All images via Buzz Bishop