Are you tired of birthday parties at the pool, Chuck E. Cheese’s, or the local bowling alley? But perhaps the thought of entertaining a large group of over-excited kids at your house fills you with dread? The solution: Think outside the birthday box.
My good friend Wishy‘s daughter recently had an original and totally fun party at a local knitting store! Her daughter had become fascinated with the idea of learning to knit after watching her aunt knit, and announced that for her 8th birthday she wanted to have a “Knitting Party.”
Wishy was understandably perplexed, but gets a Mom of the Year Award for researching the possibilities instead of just saying with a sinking heart: ” But wouldn’t you rather just go to the pool like last year?” (Like I probably would have done).
She called up our one, tiny local knitting store and asked them if they ever did birthday parties. Well, no they had never done a birthday party, but they said that they thought it sounded fun and would be willing to give it a try.
Ten 7 and 8 year-old girls (including my oldest daughter) went to the party and learned how to knit a book mark. The shop gave each girl needles and yarn and they had three instructors on hand to help the girls. All Wishy had to do was bring the cake, plates, napkins, and drinks.
The girls had a ball and each went home with a completed book mark plus a goody bag put together by the shop containing more needles, two more balls of yarn, the directions for the book mark, and instructions for a pot holder to try at home.
The girls had fun, even the shop-owner claims to have enjoyed it (and hopefully has gained a few future customers), and now ten little girls (and Wishy) know how to knit.
That beats Chuck E. Cheese’s any day!
Other unusual birthday party ideas:
- A visit to a fire station
- Visit a zoo, petting zoo, or alpaca farm
- See if you can tour a movie theater (many will allow school groups to tour, why not a birthday group?)
- Horse birthday: See if a local riding school or club might allow your group to come and give each child a short, guided ride on a horse around the arena
- Airport birthday: Visit your local small airport (I’m not talking O’Hare or JFK here). Picnic on the grass and watch the planes take off and land. Better yet, if you know someone who owns a plane, see if your friend would allow the kids to take turns sitting in the pilot’s seat. If your pilot friend has a handheld aviation radio, borrow it and tune it to the local airport frequency (the airport employees or your friend can help you with this) then the kids will be able to hear the pilots talk.
- Go Geocaching: Pick an easy one and give each child a small object to leave in the cache in exchange for taking one out. (You should probably try finding it on your own first to make sure it is easy enough and to avoid disappointments if it can’t be found).
- Go Letterboxing: Perhaps the kids could each create their own stamp before heading out to find the box. Be sure to pick an easy one. (Again, better do a trial run on your own first).
- See if your local pizza parlor would let you bring some kids in for a tour and to make their own pizzas. My daughter’s Brownie Troop did this and the girls loved it.
I’ll post more ideas as I think of them. Do you have any easy but unusual party ideas?
For a charity party idea, please read about my daughter’s Humane Society birthday party.
Cool knitting cake designed, baked and decorated by Wishy’s talented husband! Photo courtesy of Wishy.