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Monday, November 9, 2009

Birthday Party Ideas

Lucas's birthday is just a few days before Christmas and so the poor guy is doomed to have his birthday coincide with frantic Christmas preparations, holiday travel and, most years, no in-school cupcakes on his actual birthday. Thus far in his short little life, we've never even been home for his birthday! His birthday celebrations have been lovely affairs but also have been very low-key with guest lists comprised of grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.

This year one of the items on my "To Do Before Baby" list is "throw Lucas a real birthday party with his friends." The only problems are that by the time his birthday rolls around, I'll be a solid 8 months pregnant, it will be very cold outside, and our not-very-large house will (hopefully!) already be decorated for Christmas. (Christmas tree + lots of preschoolers = trouble.) All these factors combined with the fact that his grandmothers completely funded birthdays #1, #2 and #3 have led me to want to splurge for birthday #4. We're going to throw Lucas's party at a fun location in Prince George's County!

Here are some local out-of-the-house birthday party options I've discovered in my research. After the big par-tay I'll let you know which one we chose and how it went.

College Park Aviation Museum
I've already professed my love of the College Park Aviation Museum. Hopefully you've taken my advice to visit. But, did you know they offer birthday party packages as well? Packages include access to the museum and party room, aviation carnival games, gift bags, a t-shirt for the birthday boy or girl and a craft. Click here for all the details.

Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex
You know how much I love the open gymnastics at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex but they have so much more to offer, including a leisure pool. You can host a birthday party there for kids ages 3-12. Features include a one-hour open swim and additional hour in the party room. They provide invitations, tablecloths, plates, cups, silverware and napkins. However, based on their website information, it appears that you can not supply your own homemade food. Food must be prepared by a "licensed food service manager." Click here for all the details.

Pump It Up!
Lucas and I had a blast at the Lanham-Bowie location's Pump it Up Pop In Playtime last winter and I imagine this would be a really fun place to have a birthday party. They have several birthday party packages with weekday parties being cheaper than weekend parties. All packages include plenty of time with the inflatables and the use of a private party room. Additional amenities include free full color invitations, complimentary paper products, party set up and clean-up. Click here to see the package options.

Watkins Park Nature Center
Watkins Park would be our top pick for a summer birthday party. We'd have a picnic and then take the kids on a carousel and miniature train ride. But, those just aren't options during the winter. Luckily, the indoor Watkins Park Nature Center offers a great winter (and year round!) destination for a birthday party. Their "Wild Things" birthday package includes a 30-minute animal show, private use of the workshop room for the party and a coloring book for each guest. Of course guests can also enjoy the public Nature Center exhibits. Click here (and scroll down) for all the details.

Please help me make this a great resource for other parents! Tell us where have you celebrated your child(ren)'s birthdays. Where have you attended fun birthday parties hosted by others?

Original post by Smiling Mama at Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

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