There’s nothing wrong with a standard backyard birthday party. (In fact, it can easily be the best kind of celebration.) But if your child is hoping for a bash that is anything but run-of-the-mill, steal or get inspired by one of these four ideas.
For Your Handy Helper: Craftsman and Apprentice
Treat your little builder to a celebration of creation. From Junk Robots to Slingshots to Cardboard Castles, the birthday kid can pick from six pre-planned projects or plan something unique with the Craftsman and Apprentice team. The materials, invitations, instructor, and paper goods (to keep the party as green as possible) are provided. All parents need to bring is the sweet treats and a child ready to build.
Goody Bag Trade-Off: The project each kid makes will be a perfect take-home prize.
Cost: $265 for up to 10 participants, four years old and older
For Your Budding Chef: Sticky Fingers
We can’t think of anything better than a child coming home from a birthday party ready to whip up a new dish. The birthday kid will don a personalized apron as a chef from Sticky Fingers turns your kitchen into a culinary workshop. Whether its Italian gnocchi or lemon ricotta blueberry pancakes or Chinese dragon noodles, the group will learn the step-by-step recipe for an exceptional dish. For at-home celebrations, parents are in charge of picking up the ingredients. But if you opt to host at Stir Cooking School, all you need to bring is your kid and the cake.
Goody Bag Trade-Off: Kids will leave with a recipe card to try out their new dish at home.
Cost: Starts at $295 for at-home parties for up to 12 kids; starts at $700 for parties at Stir Cooking School
For Your Wildlife Lover: Thorne Nature Experience
For your outdoor explorer, Thorne Nature Experience will up the ante and dress the birthday kid up as an insect to describe the six-legged friend. Parties start with a few moments of quick intel at the Sombrero Marsh Environmental Education Center before setting out on the adjacent trails to explore with binoculars, nets, and magnifying glasses. The party educator will share details of the wildlife the kids spot along the way. Exploration can last for up to two hours before cake time, but if the group hits a stopping point, other activities include crafts like casting animal tracks and building habitats.
Goody Bag Trade-Off: Kids can make seed necklaces as a souvenir.
Cost: Starts at $250 for up to 12 children between the ages of three and 10 years old
For Your Future Farmer: White Fence Farm
Leave the entertaining to the goats and ducks. A birthday party at White Fence Farm is a fully customizable day that can include a visit to the petting zoo, horse-drawn carriage rides, playtime on the indoor and outdoor playgrounds, and exploration of a model trainset that used to occupy the basement of Union Station. Once the kiddos build up an appetite, they’ll dine on a down-home meal before digging into cake. As soon as the candles get blown out, partygoers can head back to the giant indoor slide while the event winds down.
Goody Bag Trade-Off: Each child receives a token good for a special treat or toy from Granny’s Ice Cream and Candy shop.
Cost: Starts at $16.25 per kid, including a meal from the children’s menu