A kid’s birthday is the all-about-ME day. We parents know that. We want nothing more than to see that shine in our kids’ eyes when they get to celebrate their big day “their way.”
To inspire you to throw that perfectly memorable birthday party, we like parties that reflect a kid’s personality. You know your kids best. And what they like to do best is a great place to start when planning a party!
If your kid can’t stop tumbling or jumping or kicking the ball around the house, celebrate your future sports star with a party that lets him or her do just that.
The DMV has a plethora of indoor and outdoor venues for that active kid, whether they love ice skating, swimming, gymnastics, soccer or hockey. If you’re keen to “guarantee” the weather, opt for an indoor sportsplex or pool. Sports stars to be – no matter how young – can find their fun at an indoor play gym for the toddler set.
If too many pets are never enough, your animal lover can get his or her fill with a zoo-full at their next birthday! Go somewhere full of critters or have them come to you.
We don’t need to tell you about the National Zoo, but if you dwell in the burbs, you can also find local zoos throughout the area that give your animal lover a thrill without a trip to the city. Many local farms have animals on-site and offer a chance to hold and pet them. If you have a budding equestrian, think ponies and progress into horseback riding as the rider grows. If you’re okay with fur, feathers and scaly creatures in your living room, mammals and reptiles can be brought to you by capable handlers.
From finger painting on your walls to formal shows at area galleries – that’s our hope for our aspiring artists. Have an artsy party to celebrate your Little Picasso!
If you haven’t painted your own pottery, start there! For hands-on artsy parties, think pottery, painting, crafting and more. Retail craft stores offer parties, as do many of the studios in the area. If you want to appreciate art and keep your hands clean, try the art museums – many offer treasure or scavenger hunts for parties. Great fun, and you learn something while you’re at it.
For those gamers who can’t get enough, party at a venue tricked out with the latest gaming technology. Or, have a gaming truck come to you (yes, there is such a thing!).
For a techie yet social birthday, unplug that device and explore. Host a party at a science center where you’re sure to discover something interesting – robotics, engineering or chemical, all of interest to the tech kid. What about a real-life example of mind games? Have a magician come amaze the group and maybe teach a few tricks to share with willing friends and family.
If it’s all about the food for your birthday kid, make your own pizza or have a bake off where parents get to judge the outcome (if they can brave the “interesting” treats kids tend to create!).
There are also party hosts who will “cater” your birthday party – with foods and recipes the kids make as part of the entertainment. You can also find local restaurants and cooking schools who host kids and let them make their own meals and treats.
It’s not all about the pink (well not ALL the time). Let the girly girl outdance, outdress and outshine on her special day!
For the little divas in training, check out the princess parties – either a Disney princess coming to you or going to a venue that specializes in princess parties. You can find dance studios that cater to the youngest prima donnas as well as older girls (and boys) who want to learn a few steps.
For the more experienced divas, try a mani pedi party at a local nail salon or have a mobile spa come to you. There’s also the fashion show angle where the kids can dress up based on a theme or create clothing out of unexpected materials. (Think newsprint duds or a wrapped-in-bath-tissue ensemble.)
A birthday party for the adventurous spirit is a great opportunity for fun to be had by all – moms and dads included! From racing to sailing to (pretend) shoot-em ups, your adventurer can ring in his next year with gusto.
There is no shortage of adventure to be had in all parts of the D.C. area. We have indoor laser tag and rock climbing, or go outside to climb “real” rocks, sail or play paintball. Or explore the natural world’s adventurous options and hike, camp, swim and trek from the seaside to the Appalachians without officially leaving “home.”
Future Pop Star
If it’s all music all the time for your kids, celebrate the songs of their lives. Little kids can appreciate the entertaining sing-alongs, and big kids can stage their own music videos or rock a throwback disco party!
You can find places where kids can experiment and create their own rad riffs and mean vocals. There are professionals who will come to you to help stage a music party. They can lead the pack – singing with the little ones, or DJ the way for older kids to find their voice.
Passion for Performance
If your kid is happiest at the movies or a play or really enjoys their school’s annual talent show, a party with a stage of any size is a perfect fit. Popcorn, talent and a beverage makes for a performance party worth reviewing!
Have the kids put on a show, complete with crazy props and “out there” ideas to inspire, or have someone come and do the show for them. Puppets are a great intro to the theater for the youngest show-goers-to-be. Movie theaters host birthday parties in addition to the show – or stay closer to home and stream your kids’ faves.
However you choose to celebrate the big day, just be sure to capture the memories – have your pix and/or video edited into a presentation that you’ll always have to remember. Use a picture collage for thank-you cards so the guests can share the fun all over again.
Birthdays are also the perfect time to have professional portraits done of your kids and the family – and maybe not just the standard smile-for-the-camera shots. Feature your birthday kid’s personality in a portrait.
As you plan a birthday party and capture the event, start with the special person your kid is this year to make the most fun and smile-worthy memories.