Birthdays are always a special event but sometime just a cake, party hats and presents may get a little worn out. Put the surprise back in surprise parties by doing something different.
Kids like to dress up and play, so have a “theme” to a children’s party. For boys, have a Pirate or Cowboy theme, for girls have everyone dress as their favorite fairy tale Princess: Cinderella, Snow White, or Princess Leia.
Games can help too. For a Pirate theme have a hunt for “buried treasure” (presents or candy), and have a “Treasure Map” with clues and puzzles they have to solve to find the treasure. The trick for kids parties is to have lots of directed, and supervised activities to keep them busy; games, contests, sing-along’s. Make sure there are lots of activities so they are occupied. This will let them focus their energies and also help teach them teamwork and problem solving, and also let you keep control. For “mixed” parties with both girls and boys, make sure you have enough activities for both that will keep them active and entertained.
Taking kids to a the park for a picnic, the zoo or an amusement park is another way to make a memorable birthday party that everyone (even the adults) can enjoy, but controlling a group of kids will be a challenge. Have enough adults to chaperone so they don’t wander off on their own. Make sure an adult is nearby at all times to keep track.
But birthdays are not just for kids. Adults reaching a threshold in their life, graduation, retirement or special birthday “celebrations” at age 30, the “Big Five O” or 65 are great milestones to commemorate and celebrate. Recreate the old TV Show “This Is Your Life” or even a friendly “Roast”, showing slides of the Guest Of Honor with friends and family sharing the important, amusing, or maybe slightly embarrassing, moments in the guest of honor’s life.
The Internet has lots of birthday ideas for both kids and adults. Find one that fits your budget and time requirements. Birthdays don’t always have to be just a cake and party hats. It’s also a time to celebrate both the future and the past, my making a special effort to make it memorable.