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Aubrey's birthday (she is turning 5) is still a couple months away, but I have been trying to think of ideas to offer her to celebrate her birthday.

 

What do you usually do to celebrate your child's birthday? Do you do the the traditional house party? Do you eat dinner out? Do you take a bigger trip? Or do you have a party at a local businesses around town?

 

 

 

 

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We had Macy's 5th birthday party at the Rec Center in Alachua and it worked out great.  There were plenty of tables under the pavilion for everyone to sit and eat, the play park is right there as are bathrooms and once the kids were all covered in pizza and frosting (not together mind you) we moved things over to the splash park and let them run amok AND wash off.  The combo of outdoor play wore off the sugar overload and by the time we got home, nap time was underway!   All I had to do was reserve the pavilion and Dominos even delivered the pizzas there so one less thing for me to pick up.

 

For Zane's third birthday, we had friends over to our house and let the kids play outside in the bounce house and it worked out fine too.  His friends and Macy's happen to be the same so it was more like a super play date for all of them, which was nice too. I got a nugget tray (actually WON it so freebie!!) from Chick-Fil-A and had fruit and other little foods, and it went very well.  The kids had fun and that is what was important but the parents did too with a nice visit.

 

Mind you, for each of their second birthdays', we went much bigger.  Macy's was a trip to Sea World and Zane's was to Lowry Park Zoo - each time it was just us, no actual "party" going on.  Macy's 4th we did at Silver Springs, which was a lot of fun too.  We did the party outside at the picnic tables.  All the kids got happy meals thanks to hubby hitting the drive thru on his way in and the adults enjoyed Publix deli sandwiches and fruit.  We did that, the cake and then hit the park for a fun day with a few friends and it was a great time.

I have always had a traditional house party with a cookout... could be elaborate, but also very simple.  We get pinata's, have cake (of course), goody-bags, games, present time, then fellowship.  I like doing this because things can usually be run smoothly, and with a plan of action.  My sister had her son's first birthday at the Fire Department, which was wonderful, but that was in NC, I'm not sure if they do that here though.  I enjoy having it be his birthday rather than going to say a Chuckee Cheese where there are tons of kids who can be harder to manage because of all the excitement.
You know what we do we just have a party in the Park.  We also take cupcakes to school to Celebrate with her school friends.    This year since so much focus will be on the new addition of Caden right before her birthday we are taking her to Disney on her birthday with my mom and dad and eating with the Princesses in Epcot.

We usually do the park or a home party as well....most of the time the kids have just as much fun in those settings and like Jacquie said they really get to be the center of attention instead of just another kid in the masses of children. 

However, that being said we just had a party for my stepson at Splitz (the new bowling alley by SkateStation) and they really do put on a great party too, but for the slightly older kids (I'd say best for 6 and up but I'm sure they cater to any age).

Also the Museum of Natural History does a really cool party for kids interested in those types of scenes and there is a place called The Little Shop in Haile....I've heard wonderful things about their parties too!!!

We've had Magic Mikecome to the last few birthday parties. He's always a hit. The kids totally love him and it makes the birthday party so easy!

 

Kathy

For Williams first birthday party it was delayed twice, I think, because of sickness in the family so we had two 'parties'. For the first one it was just the three of us on his actual birthday and I made him a little cake to smash and eat. It was sweet to have him all to ourselves for a private celebration. I'm going to do it again every year, too!

For the actual party I got a Publix cake and smash cake (they're free for first birthdays) and we had just family which included his two young cousins. It was good, low-key, all inside because it was cool out and we had an unsecured pool as well. The kids played with toys and the adults hung out and talked.

THIS year it's going to be bigger, about 15-20 adults (friends and family) and 4-5 kids here at our new place. My parents got him an outdoor climber with two slides for Christmas which will be assembled this weekend so hopefully the kids will be entertained while they're here. I still need some game ideas but I think it'll be fun.

He didn't do incredibly well at Christmas with all of the excitement, people, and noise but this will be outside plus we can bring him in to his playroom if he get's over-stimulated.
We've had a quite a few really fun birthdays. Now in my family as kids, birthdays were always the big "celebrate you" event of the year so my mom always went all out, as do I. So some of the suggestions are a little expensive but great fun and well worth it.

Skate Station Fun Works, great for older kids we did this for his 5th bday - you can pick and chose the events you want to do and the kids also get tokens for the games. The party room is rather large (we had like 20 kids) and the lights get turned off and a spotlight put on the bday kid and an announcement made. Very Fun. The parents even loved this one!

Sun Country - More organized than Skate Station, you get a party specialist that leads you around and does structured play with the kids. This is great for little ones too.

Bowling - the kids always love this, and at Splitz they have the lanes that you can specify which kid needs bumpers and not.

We also have a friend that lives in a condo and we have rented his clubhouse and pool area. Always a blast and and not much entertaining needs to be done with the pool.

We have some friends that rented a couple inflatable moonwalks/bounce houses and the kids had a BLAST on them.

My son's birthday isn't until September and he is starting to plan and ask about different ideas already.

Goodluck planing the party. I'm sure whatever you do the kids will love it and your daughter will have a great time.
We usually try to have them at the park (Tower Rd), unless its too cold.

We had Dakota's birthday party this passed Sunday. Since it was so cold, we just moved it to Cici's Pizza and had it there. It was very laid back and enjoyable.

We like doing it at the park because the kids can run and play and not feel all cooped up. We can also do games and/or crafts if we want.

As far as food, we usually just do cake, ice cream, and finger food snacks.

O2B kids do the best birthday parties!

Savannah's birthday is in Feb and I'm thinkin about it already too!  I think we are going to do a karate birthday party since she is a green belt and we won  a free birthday party at her karate school. 

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GainesvilleMoms.com moderator Stacy Fournier is a Gator grad and freelance journalist. But she does her most important work at home as a wife and mommy to daughters Aubrey, born March 2006, and Riley, born June 2010. Read more about GainesvilleMoms.com or contact Stacy at gainesvillemoms@gainesville.com.

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