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8 birthday party ideas

How will you make your child’s next birthday party special and memorable? Here are 8 ideas.

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By Susan Gale

Your child is another year older and you are faced with trying to outdo last year’s birthday bash.

What can you do that they will remember forever? How will you entertain all those children at one time, allowing you a moment to breathe in between the spills, craziness, and occasional tears?

Rhode Island Parent Magazine has eight wonderful advertisers we’d like to introduce to you for consideration when planning your next birthday party – or any kind of get-together, from schools to corporations. We’ve put them into groups based on what they can bring to your next party.

Animals, animals, animals!
All children love animals! From the cuddly to the slimy, there are a number of options to bring animals to your next birthday party.

Animal Experiences
401-433-4722, www.bestanimalexperiencesbydave.com

With more than 20 animals at every show, Dave Marchetti offers an exciting, hands-on presentation with reptiles, mammals, and amphibians, or programs that focus on one type of animal. Typically, his show runs an hour long with a presentation portion followed by the hands-on session. For younger children, the show can be 30-45 minutes long. Marchetti takes pride in helping both adults and children conquer their fear of snakes. He educates the audience to appreciate and respect reptiles and small animals. He can also help children understand which animals make good pets and which should not be pets and why. Marchetti, who has 20 years of experience, also offers shows for schools, libraries, camps, company outings, Christmas parties, nursing homes, and campgrounds.

B’wana Iguana Reptile AdventureTM
401-943-1594, www.bwanaiguana.com

Ray Ward has kept and successfully bred many types of reptiles since boyhood, so he has expansive knowledge in this area. Ward, who is a bit like the Crocodile Hunter, combines his subtle humor and wit with unbridled enthusiasm and love of reptiles and children, to make his shows fun. Education and conservation are always the message at a B’wana Iguana presentation. Ward is a member of the National Geographic Society and was the first President of the Rhode Island Herpetological Association. He works to educate his audience without boring them with facts. He says that quite often people with a lifelong fear of snakes actually enjoy the hands-on portion of the show. He can custom-tailor a presentation and offer party prizes and gifts.

Ponies to Go
401-683-9437, www.poniestogo.com

These ponies come to you for a unique, fun way to entertain your guests. Ponies to Go offers quality ponies and small horses who are used to being around all kinds of commotion and are very gentle and sociable. They look great in photos, too. During rides, the ponies are accompanied by adult handlers who answer questions from riders, making this an educational experience as well. After rides, guests can give the pony treats, watch him get ready to go home, and ask more questions. In addition, Ponies to Go operates summer camps and riding lessons at their farm in Middletown, RI. They cater to beginning riders, as their ponies and small horses make the learning experience fun and easy.

Make it magical
Children love magical things, from actual magic tricks to crazy bubbles they can chase.

Bjorn the Magician
401-742-2441, www.bjornthemagician.com

Bjorn the Magician’s show is non-stop, age-appropriate comedy magic. He offers puppetry, stories, balloon twisting into amazing shapes, and a real rabbit called Wilbur who is convinced he is the star of the show. Shows are customized based on age of participants. He offers a workshop for older children which teaches how to do a series of magic tricks and how to present them. He also does shows that compliment what parents or organizations are teaching, with topics such as Dental Hygiene, Lean Green Eating Machine, self-esteem, and holiday-themed shows. You can also book this magician at www.gigmasters.com/magician/bjorn-the-magician.

Pop N Bop Bubble Bash
401-523-4679, www.popnbopbubblebash.com

Do you remember blowing bubbles and chasing after them with your friends when you were a kid? Now imagine chasing after hundreds of bubbles while dancing to your favorite children’s music. That is a Pop n Bop Bubble Bash party – a 60-minute interactive bubble show with dancing, games, and fun for children ages 3-9. The music is customized for the age group with songs like the Chicken Dance and Hokey Pokey. For older children, there is music such as Cotton-Eye Joe, Cupid Shuffle, Cha Cha Slide, and Macarena. Along with the music are the bubbles, which can be inside or outside. These bubble parties are performed by DJ Roland Coutu of Soundtrack Music Entertainment. Visit www.bubbleparties.com to see a video of what a bubble party is like.

Blind them with science
Science experiments are fun and kids love doing them!

Mad Science of Southern MA & RI
1-800-748-7067, www.southernmass.madscience.org

Mad Science makes it their mission to spark imaginative learning with birthday parties and shows for children from pre-K to 6th grade. All Mad Science programs are conducted at your location for 45-60 minutes by highly trained, professional instructors equipped with cool gear to deliver unique, hands-on science experiences to children. Parties include a project that each child makes and takes home, as well as a Mad Scientist T-shirt and poster for the birthday child. They offer several add-ons such as a rocket launch or building a periscope. They also deliver programs and classes in-school, after-school, for preschools, and conduct Awesome Activity Weeks when school is out.

401-788-1024, www.powsciencetoys.com

This retail store in Wakefield offers one- or two-hour parties with hands-on fun in their special party room. They offer add-ons such as a kid-sized indoor roller coaster and slime. There are different party themes for different age groups such as: Alchemical Chemistry (ages 5-8); Chemistry 201 (ages 7+), Dinosaurs & Fossils (ages 5-8); Dynamic Earth (5+), and Spy Science (ages 7+). You can have pizza delivered to your party at a 10% discount from Kingston Pizza. Pow!Science! is also a fully-stocked educational toy store with 1000s of science kits, toys, and games. They offer free shipping to all New England states, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania with no minimum order.

Make them a singing star
No party is complete without music!

Reel to Real Recording Studio
401-946-1520, www.realtorealrecording.com

Let your child and their friends feel like pop stars with a recording session birthday party at Reel to Real Recording Studio in Cranston. This is a professional studio that does corporate/commercial work such as radio and TV commercials, videos, and CD/DVD duplication. A recording session birthday party is 90 minutes, during which your child and their friends choose their favorite songs and sing them to provided karaoke tracks. It offers fun things such as party hats, light effects, and an inflatable guitar that guests sign for the birthday child to take home as a keepsake. There is a table and space for your cake and refreshments, too. Every child receives a CD of the recording session and the birthday child receives an additional CD with photos from the party.

Susan Gale is Founder and Publisher of Rhode Island Parent Magazine.