Fun Birthday Themes
Take a cue from the calendar. Try a winter skating or tobogganing party, an autumn party at a nearby pumpkin farm or a summer pool party at the local pool, complete with beach-inspired decorations and leis for everyone. Or if you'd prefer to hold the event at home, Mersene Norbom of Indulge by Mersene recommends setting up a few play stations. For a spring-themed party, for example, have a flower arranging station, complete with small vases or tall mugs and an assortment of cut flowers. The kids will love having a keepsake to take home!
A sport or activity focus
Bowling parties are fantastic fun for any age, and most public swimming pools can be rented by the hour for a private group. Other options include roller rinks, mini-putt, gymnastics, ice-skating rinks or even a birthday picnic at the local soccer field or park!
Reality show theme
Kids love parties where they get a chance to act as contestants on their favourite reality show. Get out the karaoke and recreate Canadian Idol, have the guests wear costumes and choreograph dance routines for So You Think You Can Dance Canada or for older children, try Survivor.
Every child has a favourite cartoon, so if you're short on time, this will be a no-brainer. The party can be as simple as having decorations, invitations, a cake and loot bags with the cartoon characters on them. Or to get them more involved, ask guests to dress up as their favourite characters from the show. You can even come up with games that pertain to the show! You might also consider looking for a pinata in the shape of the character at a bulk food or department store — children of all ages love them.
Boys love to become pirates or rodeo cowboys, while the top pick for girls tends to be a princess theme. Costumes and play-acting bump the excitement level up a notch, and the straightforward theme takes the guesswork out of choosing decorations, games, prizes and loot bag items.
While the kids will relish making something special they can take home, Mom will love having the rambunctious party guests settle down and focus. Tots will go crazy for fingerprinting on a large piece of newsprint (available at your local newspaper's printing press), and older kids will love being able to take home their own canvas painting. Mersene highly recommends having a cookie decorating station that has a variety of sprinkles, toppings and colours of icing. She also suggests a card making station, where the kids can make a card for the birthday boy or girl or even a card to take home for their mom or dad. A few markers, crayons, stickers and brightly coloured cardboard will keep them going for a while.
Magic or makeup
Enlist the help of a willing and able friend or relative, and treat girlie-girls to a makeover party, complete with manicures, makeup and fun hairstyles. For boys, work up an exciting interactive magic show or a scavenger hunt for a party they'll never forget.