Birthday parties are fun for the kids but can bring anxiety to parents. Finding an activity for a bunch of amped up kids can be hard. It’s also become a big industry.
Back in the 70’s, we gathered at a house, played pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs, popped balloons for fun, ate hot dogs and cake, went home. Everyone had the same party. Now, it’s like hosting a small wedding reception. It can get crazy with small petting farms and jumbo bouncy castles. Don’t let the pressure to (one up) get you.
I found, from, say, 7 to 11 years, planning parties, buying decorations, planning entertainment, food and drink, loot bag items was exhausting and stressful. No one wants to host a lame party, but are we putting too much pressure on ourselves. Do kids judge?
I found it was easier to do an activity outside the house because... I just didn’t relish the thought of cleaning cake out of the carpets or sticky hand prints off the walls.
So, here are some fun and easy suggestions to keep kids occupied for a couple of hours that won’t break the bank:
Pottery, indoor skating, swimming, ball hockey, go-karting, laser tag, Zig Zag Zoo, Tobogganing when the weather permits, a visit to the eco-museum.
Most places will have a room you can throw some balloons in, seat the kids, serve food. Don’t stress about the day. Kids enjoy an activity & socializing.
Laura Muer is a native West Islander and single mom, and she's not defined by life’s curve balls.