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Birthday Parties for 5 - 7 Year Olds
Berkeley Parents Network >
Birthday Parties for 5 - 7 Year Olds
I am looking for an entertainer/juggler/balloon
artist/magician for my sons 7th birthday party. It will be
a backyard party for around 40 people mostly kids). Any
suggestions for a fun entertainer that is reasonably priced
would be greatly appreciated. joann
We have had Thomas John twice and he's great. A good
juggler and entertainer and funny to both kids and adults.
Also very reasonably priced. 'Thomas John'
firstname.lastname@example.org Good luck.
Our 8 year old just had a birthday party at our house with
'Lick your eyeballs' as the entertainment (the name refers
to the way geckos without eyelids clean their eyes). The
kids were all fascinated by the creatures they brought -
geckos, tarantulas, frogs, toads, turtles, snakes, hissing
cockroaches, a giant monitor lizard, and maybe some other
creatures I'm forgetting. Their website,
lickyoureyeballs.com, has photos of the kinds of animals to
expect. The kids get to touch, hold, and even feed some of
the animals. Nick and Audra, the presenters, were excellent
with the children and presented lots of interesting
information at a level the kids enjoyed. They really made it
a memorable party. Two of the guests at our party hired Lick
your eyeballs for their own parties within weeks!
Their contact information is LickYourEyeballs@yahoo.com
Birthday Party Ideas for a 7 Year Old Boy
I'm helping to plan a birthday party for my nephew who is
turning 7 years old. We're looking for some new and
creative ideas other than a magician or a Lego block
building party. Anything new under the sun out there for a
smart group of ten or so little guys in the seven year old
Our son had his birthday party at Albany Bowl and it was a total blast. The
provide two lanes, I think, as well as pizza and drinks. You bring the cake,
have plates etc. If you don't want the kids drinking soda i am sure you can
for something else. I can't remember how much it cost but the prices are on
You should call Owen from East Bay Vivarium! I have been to two parties in
public parks (one for kids and one for adults) where he came to do his reptile
presentation. It is fascinating for both kids and adults. He is very funny and
great with both crowds. Everyone gets to touch some of the reptiles and it is
I only heard about this yesterday, and thought it was a
great idea. How about a Quiddich (a la Harry Potter) party?
UC Berkeley has a Quiddich team, and a few members of the
team will come over and teach Quiddich to the birthday child
and their friends. It sounds like fun! I don't know if 7 is
too young, as my son is just a bit older. Another idea is
to take your son and a few of his friends to the Musee
Mechanique to SF via the Ferry. I did this for my son's
7th, and he loved it.
Part of the answer depends on what you all want to spend on
the party. If you're willing to consider doing an organized
thing outside of the house and can spend a little, things
we've done which were great include:
Head Over Heels gymnastics party
Berkeley YMCA gymnastics/playroom party
Playland Not At The Beach birthday party
We've also done a Captain Underpants themed party, complete
with music and red capes (ordered inexpensively online) as
== Party On!
We had a lot of fun at Pump it Up with our kids. It has
lots of inflated jumping houses, slides, etc. If you want
to keep it low cost, Capture the Flag at a park is lots of
-parent of twins
My daughter's school just had this wonderful bubble-making guy and the 2nd
graders loved him. His videos look truly extraordinary.
I also would recommend Thomas John the juggler. He's very funny and not as
expensive as Mike and most animal people:
Have a great party!
A party at a climbing gym like Berkeley Ironworks. We had
one for my 5 year-old daughter last year and it was a
I just threw a Astronaut Training party for my 5 year old son
and it was such a fun - and educational! - theme. We learned
about the planets and space and what makes our earth so unique
among the other planet in our solar system! I found some
discarded refrigerator boxes and with creative use of white
paint and duct tape, turned them into rockets and Mission
Control. I made jet packs out of tin foil covered cereal boxes
and plastic juice bottles (and yes, more duct tape). Oriental
Trading (www.orientaltrading.com) has some great space related
party favors (inflatable space shuttles, little aliens,
sticker sets). I found this website super helpful for planning
this and other fun birthday parties:
Loves party throwing!
rock climbing in oakland:
airplane party at hayward airport:
indoor skydiving in union city:
robot party in oakland & moutian view:
have a 7yr too!
The first idea that came to mind is a ''Mad Scientist''
party. You can set up some fun, messy experiments (vinegar
and baking soda, making slime or goop, potato clocks?) for
the kids to do. You can do crazy hair and make ''lab coats''
out of thrifted white mens work shirts. You could also
do an explorer party with a fun treasure hunt/obstacle
course and a dig for fossalized bones.
Love to plan parties!
Quite a few students of mine ages 5--9 have told me about
their wonderful birthday party experience at Pump It Up.
Happy birthday & Have a great time!
Have you looked into Happily Ever Laughter Parties?
I cannot say enough great things about them. They do
characters for boys and girls. The costumes are handcrafted
and the performers are simply wonderful.
Any idea of places to celebrate 7 years old boy birthday.
Indoor or outdoor in Berkeley or Oakland. but not very
expensive - for May Month. all advise are welcome sb
Berkeley Adventure Playground at the Marina - kid heaven
Tilden Park - a great place to set up games on the grass and
have a picnic
'Playland Not at the Beach' in El Cerrito has birthday party
options, including pinball (my kid proclaims it 'hella fun'
A visit to the East Bay Vivarium (keep the group small, it
gets crowded in there). Use discretion: they feed small
animals (chicks, rats) to big snakes.
Lawrence Hall of Science
Chabot Space Science Center
...I suddenly want to go to a party!
Adventure Playland at the base of University, near the Kayak
rental place is FREE. They give the kids hammers, nails,
paint and brushes and they play and build neat forts and
stuff. There is an AWESOME zip line to fly down too. My
kids love that place. Right outside is a lovely beach and
grassy area with picnic tables to have lunch and eat cake.
I cant remember if there are grills. There may be. Reenie
Games for 6-y-o boy's at-home birthday party
We're having our son's sixth birthday in our yard and I'm
having trouble dredging up memories of games I played at
parties as a kid. I can only think of Pin the Tail On the
Donkey and treasure hunts. What other games have worked for
your kids? (Or which games do you remember from your
childhood!?) We'll probably have about 15 six-year-olds and
a few siblings ages 3, 4, 5, so we're planning on doing a
lot of loosely structured games that keep everyone excited
over a couple of hours. Food is going to be cake and pizza
and a few snacks.
FWIW, we're absolutely not getting a jumpy
house/entertainer/etc. etc. -- just doing this one the old
birthday planner mom
we just had my daughter,s 6th birthday and had about the
same number of kids...one thing we did that was fun was a
table where they could design their own t-shirts...i
bought some plain white t-shirts and fabric markers and
glitter spray and sparkly stickers and so everyone made
their own t-shirt and it was fun to see all the
creativity...another popular part was the ''Body Boppers''i
had bought at the Oriental Trading Company...not very
cheap but the kids sure had a blast with them...and then
we had pinata ofcourse
love birthday parties
I prefer the station approach at this age.
Treasure Hunt: Do you have a sandbox? If so, buy shiny or interesting
objects at the dollar store, michael's or online such as: buttons, gems, fake
coins(real coins are fine), confetti rocks, real pebbles and shells etc... and hide
them in the sand. Provide each interested child with a small cup, write their
name on it with a sharpie. When their cup is full, they can transfer it into a
labeled ziplock bag to take home.
Stuffy Dress-up: Ask the kids to bring their favorite stuffed animal to dress-
up. For those who forget, you could have a bin of washed and used stuffies
to give out. Provide ribbons, pipe cleaners, stick-on jewels, scissors, scraps
of cloth, clasps etc... and kids make simple outfits, capes, accessories for
their stuffed animals.
Stuffy Transport: Install two pullies and a rope (the old-fashioned laundry
line) and attach a basket. Kids spend a lot of time transporting the stuffed
animals from each location. We had it attached to the deck and the treehouse
with a kid on each end.
Motors & batteries: buy little motors, alligator clips, 9-volt batteries, small
paper plates, markers and let the kids explore. If you attach the small paper
plate to the motor (a little tape helps), the kids can figure out how to get the
paper plate to spin. Decorating the paper plate makes it look really cool
when it spins.
Bubbles: Buy a bubble machine and place up high. Kids run around and try to
catch the bubbles.
Lego: Provide lego flats (the bigger the better) on a low, flat table. Buy
miscellaneous pieces (Toy-go-Round) if you don't have any and challenge the
kids to build a lego city.
Buy rocket balloons and any parents who stick around can help blow up the
balloons (they often come with the pump). They fly high into the air and make
a loud screeching noise. Really fun!
I've attended a lot of kid birthdays and a game that seemed to be fun for
everyone was ''Musical Present''. Kids pass a wrapped present around while
the music is played. When the music stops, the kid holding the present gets
to unwrap it. The next present goes in and if it lands on the same kid, he/she
passes it to the left. All the presents are the same and/or similar. Have fun!
At our outdoor birthday party last month, we had some ideas
for games, but it turned out not to matter, because the kids
spent the entire time throwing water balloons at each other.
We hired one of my son's camp counselors to help at the
party (we have no local relatives) and she spent most of the
time filling water balloons (which was great, because my
husband and I were free to do other things!). She also came
up with the great idea of having the kids find balloon
pieces on the ground and trade them in for tickets (we
bought the tickets at a party supply store). We had some
vague idea of having them turn in the tickets for prizes,
but in fact kids were pretty happy to just have a bunch of
I personally hate pinatas, but my kids like them, so we
always get one of those. You can fill it with little toys
if you're anti-candy.
Parent of two summer birthday kids
We just had our 6-year old's birthday party at home so have
some ideas for you. We did a 3-legged race and a water
relay. For the water relay, kids are divided into teams
and each team had a sponge. Behind each team was a bucket
of water and about 10 yards away was a cup. The kids
dipped the sponge into the water, ran to the cup, and
squeezed it out. In the past we've also had a jellybean
race where kids have to push a jellybean down the hallway
with their noses. You could have a spoon race where each
kid has a (hard-boiled) egg on a spoon and have to run
across the yard without dropping it. To even things out,
use bigger spoons for smaller kids. Have a race where kids
have to do different things to get their next clue to go to
the next location (go to the kitchen and everyone drinks a
cup of milk, when the last person is done give them a clue
which sends them to the driveway where each kid has to
write his/her name in chalk, etc.). You can have kids
collect leaves (or you do it ahead of time) then paint one
side and press it into paper or onto T-shirts. Tie a
balloon around each kid's ankle and everyone tries to pop
everyone else's balloon. You might divide kids by age.
Know that my 6-year old didn't participate in any of the
games and few of the younger kids did either. So keep it
flexible and be ready to switch to another game if one
isn't popular and have things for a free-play option.
You asked what we remember from childhood and one of my
earliest memories is of my 4th birthday party where my
parents hired a neighborhood girl to do magic tricks for
us. I'm sure watching it as an adult I would find it
really corny but as a child I was transfixed. I couldn't
believe she could put an egg (I saw her crack it!) and
flour into a hat and come up with a little present for me.
So last year we hired a couple of high school kids who were
magicians/jugglers and the kids LOVED them. I know you
said no entertainers, which is usually the way we go too,
but we wanted to see if we could make special memories for
our kids. It worked! They still talk about it more than a
year later. Will and Eli can be reached at
Mostly, just stay calm and relaxed. Sugar + running around
with friends for a few hours is a great party.
Have a fun party!
Get yourself a Stomp Rocket Jr! This is great toy, easy to
set up: kids stomp or jump on a plastic bladder that shoots
a styrofoam rocket up into the air. Great for all ages--easy
to engage with, fun to watch. Sometimes the rockets get
stuck in the trees, but even that can be kind of
entertaining, as kids and adults try to get them down.
A popular kids birthday party game in Germany is
Topfschlagen, or Bang the Pot. My son's only four, so I've
only done it with that age thus far, but I figure it's good
for several more years. Here are some instructions in
Some of my favorite classic party games from my youth
(besides pin the tail) include treasure hunts (for the
goodies or cake), spider webs (strings run throughout a
room that they have to untangle to get their prize),
putting together a puzzle without the box/picture, musical
chairs, simon says, and red light/green light. You could
also try a couple of activity stations such as ''decorate
your cupcake'' station, a simple craft station (make a
cereal necklace, color/paint a small wooden figure) or
anything that fits with your theme (if you have a theme).
HI! Good for you! How about potato sack races (i went to the
thrift store and bought pillow cases), three legged races,
musical chairs, hot potato, red light-green light, a
pinata?, quiet crafts are good. Like painting your own
''treasure box'', tacking paper rolls to a fence, even the
ground, and letting them paint as wanted.
We always do ours in the park/home, no jumpies, and my
experience is it's great to have games on hand, but free
play works best, with options. Put out chalk, bubbles, and
hoola hoops, you're good to go. OH! And frost your own
cupcake kills a good 40 minutes! Good luck and have a blast!
(ooh, that reminds me, water guns/rockets are great too!)
another old fashioned mama
We always do themed parties, so the games are adapted to
the theme, but there are SO MANY choices! Try
googling ''tag games'', ''circle games'', ''outdoor games''
or ''camp games'' and you will get tons of results.
You mention treasure hunts, and there are many possible
variations on that: simple ''find as many X as you can'' or
scavenger type hunts with a list of items or follow-the-
clues type, in teams or as a group. Plus things
like ''fishing'' for prizes in a wading pool or hunting for
small toys in a big bin of sand or some other appropriate
Tag games: freeze tag, amoeba tag, hospital tag. Circle
games: Duck Duck Goose, Farmer in the Dell, Doctor Doctor,
Who's Got the Button.
Hide-and-seek, plus variants like Sardines.
Follow-the-leader, obstacle courses.
Racing games: relay races of various kinds, pass-the-
object games (like the one where you tuck an orange under
your chin and pass it down the line without using hands),
build a car or rocket or boat and race it on an
Cooperative challenges: Cross the ''river'' using a limited
number of ''stepping stones'' (various ground rules about
whether, when and how the stones move make this one more
or less challenging); Knots (stand in a circle, close
eyes, everyone hold out right hand and grasp someone
else's hand then repeat with left, open eyes and group
attempts to untangle itself back into a circle without
letting go of hands); Line up by name in alphabetical
order (or birthday in chronological order etc.) without
Lawn and schoolyard games: Croquet, bocce ball,
ladderball, foursquare, dodge ball, hopscotch.
Miscellaneous: water balloon toss, beanbag toss, Red
Rover, Red Light Green Light, Simon Says, tug o'war.
You can also do non-competitive activities, like crafts,
blowing bubbles, etc.
Oakland Aviation vs. Mad Science Bday party for 5 year old
We are considering having a small birthday party for a 5yo
at either the Oakland Aviation Museum or at a park with Mad
Science. Anyone ever host a party at/with either? birthday
Hi - I don't know anything about Oakland Aviation, but my 7
and 8 year old daughters just attended a Mad Science party
and absolutely loved it. My younger wants it for her
birthday next year. It appealed to the various ages at the
party including the adults. Sandy
My son and his friend did a joint birthday party with Mad
Science for their 6th birthday. It was a huge hit with
every kid and every parent that attended. The instructors
were very fun and engaging, the activities they brought were
simple yet enjoyable and we ordered the hovercraft which the
kids just loved. Can't recommend them highly enough. Happy
Mad Science Mom
Didn't see the original question. I took our kids to the
Oakland Aviation Museum a few months ago. ONLY aviation
museum I've ever been to where you can't actually get on a
plane and look around. We were pretty disappointed. sad
Sports birthday party for 7 year boy
My son is turning 7 in a few weeks and I'm looking for a place to celebrate his
bday that would be around some physical activity. The jumpy house thing is
over for him. A friend of his did a basketball party but his dad is a coach and
had access to a court. He organized games around basketball for the kids and
spent no money. It was an absolute blast for all the boys. The other option is
the bowling place in Concord but too many of his friends have done it and he
wants something different. He would like something around martial arts but the
only place where they also do bday parties for kids that's also a martial arts
academy is at the far end of Concord. We live in Moraga. Does anyone know of
a martial arts academy where they also do parties that's closer to our area? Or if
you have any other suggestion for a place where they do bday parties around a
sport or fun physical games that would be easy, fun and not too expensive I
would really appreciate it!
Hello! At the Berkeley YMCA we can do sports parties. It
takes a little extra effort and flexibility to set it up
since we have to find gym time and a coach. But we are
able to do basketball, indoor soccer, even volleyball. A
party like this would generally be 1-1.5 hours in the gym
and then 45 minutes or so in a party room afterwards. For
more information, just call or email me directly. 510-665-
Try the Lafayette Community Center for a dodge ball party or
indoor sports party. My son loved his party, and you don't
have to be a resident.
Maybe your son would enjoy a party in a climbing gym? I heard that Bridges
Rock Gym in El Cerrito hosts birthday parties and even slumber parties...
Place for large indoor party for 5 year old
Hi, I'm looking for updated recommendations for where to hold a birthday party in
late February for an active boy who will be turning 5 years old. We are committed
to the idea of inviting his whole preschool class, so we need a venue which can
accommodate 20-25 kids. It probably needs to be inside, since the weather is
unpredictable that time of year. Any recommendations would be most appreciated.
Also, if anyone has attended a party at the Albany Bowl recently, would this be
appropriate for 4 and 5 year olds?
Mom in Berkeley
The Western Aerospace Museum at Oakland Airport, recently renamed the
Oakland Aviation Museum, has great birthday parties for kids. We had my
son's 5th birthday party there and invited his entire preschool class.
Everyone had a great time and really enjoyed sitting in the many interesting
aircraft and playing with the flight simulators.
They're at the North Field of the Oakland Airport, (510) 638-7100.
happy airplane birthday
We just held my 6-year old's party at Head Over Heels Gymnastics in
Emeryville and it was great. Lots of room, great leaders/teachers who
organize the kids and lead them through obstacle courses, and time for free
I am planning to do it again for my younger boy!
My daughter went to a few parties at Pump It Up in Concord when she was
smaller. It was always a hit with the kids. I know they also have a location
in Oakland, if that is closer for you:
I just had my 5 year old son's birthday party at Pump it Up in Oakland. I
had the same issues (number of kids, space,
weather.) Although I, as an adult, find pump it up obnoxious, slightly
tacky, and a bit expensive, the kids loved it. They ran around for 80
minutes, jumping, yelling, laughing, chasing each other, playing air hockey
and having a grand time. It was really perfect for them and my son was in
heaven the whole time.
mom of happy 5 year old
Pump It Up. We've been to the one in Concord, but there's one in Oakland.
Great for larger groups and lots of physical moving around.
If you still haven't found a venue, I would check out the Albany YMCA. I've
recently starting working bday parties there and they all turn out to be
very successful. It's reasonably priced with a lot of space to accommodate
an entire class plus some. There are fun activities such as art, basketball,
dodgeball or just the plain Gymnastic mats with HUGE obstacles, trapeze,
rock wall, etc. to play with..
whatever your child is into. Good luck!
You didn't mention yout budget for the birthday party, but a few places I
know of are:
- Pump It Up in Oakland, near jack London Square. For about $300 you will
have 2 hours to jump in two big rooms of huge bouncy houses and slides. Its
a blast for the kids and easy for the parents. They help with the party room
and there is a throne for the birthday kid. Fits 25 kids.
So much fun, we've done it two years in a row.
-Head over Heels Gymnastics in Emeryville. About the same price I think and
good, active fun.
You'll be happy with either of these places.
Happy Birthday Fun
A Music Birthday Party for 5-year-old?
My son, who is turning 5 at the end of February, wants to have a music birthday
party. He wants to invite all 17 of his age 4-5 classmates. And he wants to
have it at our house. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to do this?
Anybody arranged something like this for their kid before?
Not a good party planner
For my niece, my brother built a little stage and the kids sang karyoke style.
They had musical instruments, tamborines, shakers, etc. plastic blow up
guitars. The kids had a lot of fun. Lots of items at a Party City, or Michael
type store, for great ideas
I'm not quite sure what you are asking, but one idea for a music party would
be to hire someone like Enzo Garcia. He is a musician who does lots of music
for kids, very participatory and wonderful. He does parties. Check out his
call a Music Together teacher, they have music and instruments and could do a private party.
If you can handle 17 5 YOs in your house, I'd suggest keeping it simple. Kids
don't need entertainment when they have that many buddies around. As parnets
we think they need more, but they're happy with firends, cake and fun.
Here are some ideas:
Borrow all the musical instruments you can and have a parade around the
block. Tell kids to bring their favorite instrument if they have one. You ca
nget a baton (or broom stick) and lead the parade
Have a craft project related to music that kids can opt in to do. You can
print colloring pages from a book or online.
Instead of a crappy toy filled party bag, buy a decent harmonica for each kid.
Have your Ipod player going to have a dance room...Sippy Cups, Snacktime by
the Bare Naked Ladies and the They Might Be Giants kids CDs are awesome!
My best idea I did was to ask that in lieu of a gift, please consider donating
$5 toward a larger gift of the child's choice. This started a trend amungst
our group of friends. Parents don't need to shop or wrap, but they still can
if they want. If you're worried about being rude, you cna state that they
should bring a recycled toy or $5 toward something the child gets to pick
out. That way you don't end up with 10 crappy birthday gifts that the child
forgets about within the week. Miss Manners be damned, it works and 95% of
parents think it's great!
Whatever you do, don't stress out.
mom of two boys
my sister used tim cain as entertainment for her daughter's 4 year birthday
party and the kids had a blast. he plays guitar and sings and all the kids were
jumping around and loving it. he also engages them in activities like acting
like an animal, etc. my sister was very happy with him.
Music Together offers ''housecall'' classes- I went to a birthday party hosted
by a music together leader- it was fun and easy on the parents because the
entertainment was already take care of!
enjoy music parties too
I had a musical birthday party arranged by Nanci Armstrong of Dancing Out
Loud. It was wonderful. Nancy specializes in young children and does a great
job with them. We had one meeting in advance to 'walk through' the party and
let my daughter make some choices about how things were going to go. On the
day of the party, Nancy brought everything she needed and it was splendid. You
can look her up at dancingoutloud.com. Feel free to contact me for more
Bakery for Cookie Decorating Party for 7 year old
Hi: My daughter is turning 7 and wants a cookie decorating
party. Can you reccomend a bakery in the east bay that does
East Bay Mom
How about cupcakes???
My daughter was recently invited to a Cupcake decorating party - it was fun. Don't
know the cost since she was a guest.
Teacake Bake Shop
5615 Bay St
Emeryville, CA 94608-2407
mom of 9 year old
Hi: We attended a birthday party for a 6 year old at The Nutty
Cookie in Emeryville. It was a balst! This is an actual cookie
company that offers birthdays too. The party involved the kids
seeing how cookeis were made, then they got to cut out, bake
and decorate their own cookies and were send home with their
creations. The mother/daughter owners are very nice and
accomodating. Checkout their web site www.nuttycookie.com
Site for small 6yo birthday party
I'm trying to organize a small (less than 10 people) birthday party for my 5yo. I
definitely don't want to do it in my home and I also don't want to spend tons of
money. I'm not sure a park will be enough entertainment. Any other ideas?
Don't worry: a park is plenty of entertainment for 6 year olds! We've had a
variety of park parties for our 2 kids for years now, and the 6-yr olds have
just as much fun as the 3-yr olds. In addition to the land and play
structures at any park, we always bring the following:
- craft for craft table
- bubble machine (available for $20 at Target)
- indiv bubbles for each kid
- balls, outdoor games, etc.
- Food and birthday cake, of course!
THe only drawback to a park party is herding all the kids. They tend to roam!
Here are some party ideas for parks that we've done. You can make a park
environment entertaining depending on the theme you choose and how creative
you get about the organization of it. For our son's 4th birthday party, we did
a Dora party in Golden Gate park, complete with a Map Man treasure hunt, map
invitations, a game of musical chairs, and a Dora pinata. For his 9th
birthday, we did a Star Wars, ''episode 9'' party with pinata, themed
scavenger hunt for star wars items hidden around the park and other themed
games. For his 7th party we did an airplane theme with passport invitations,
paper airplane making, obstacle course made of pool noodles to represent the
landing on a tarmac... etc. There are great web sites on party ideas. Lots of
creative crafts for games, decorations, etc.
Is $100 too expensive for the entertainment part?
We just got back from holding a 5 year old birthday party at the
brand new ''Bridges Rock Gym'' and Yoga place in El Cerrito. The
party worked great. The staff provided a brief orientation,
climbing harnesses, and up the walls the kids went. All of them.
One 4-year-old guest got scared halfway up, but she had a great
time later on the tightrope, and said she wanted her own 5 year
old party there. Cost is $100 for first five kids. There is no
upper age limit, but 5 seems a reasonable lower limit. Having
parents learn to ''belay'' ropes for kids is very helpful, but
is not required. http://www.bridgesrockgym.com/ Bryce
5 year old girls birthday party
My daughter is fascinated with nature and wants to have a
birthday party at a butterfly farm. I have not been able to
find any such venue in the Bay Area.
Do you know of any place like this or a nature based venue that
might offer parties for small kids.
I'd love to get any recommendations for a party in early June.
Probably the best birthday party my daughter ever had was at the Crab Cove
nature center in Alameda. The docents who ran the party were really
well-informed and great w/kids, and the kids learned a lot. Plus it was really
cheap! This was a few years ago but at the time it was $50 and they did the
parent of a nature lover
Looking for something different for daughter's 6th birthday
I am looking to do something different for my daugter's 6th birthday
party. I am tired of having birthday's at Gyboree or Pump it Up and
also tired of going there for other birthday parties. I thought of
Libby Lu, but they just pretty much stamp your kids with glitter hair
spray, makeup and rush you out. I do not really have time to pull
anything together either. Any advice would be appreciated.
Just held my daughter's 9th birthday party at Evarize Fashion
Cafe in Berkeley. She and her friends sewed clothes for their
stuffed animals, dolls, etc. The girls
were totally engrossed in what they were doing. Erica had lots
of material, ribbons
and buttons for them to go through to make their selections.
Then she worked with them on cutting, stitching, etc. The
whole experience was a real treat: fun and creative, and
adorable clothes to show for it. Erica is really on a mom's
when it comes to putting a party together. She also does
classes (for as young as six) and a camp in June:
(510) 845-0376, email@example.com
Children's Fairyland offers fun birthday parties in Oakland.
It's a small amusment park for children ages 1-8. The web
site it www.fairyland.org Maybe they will work for you.
Either way, good luck and I hope it's a great party!
If you want a really fun and unique party for your daughter,
call Marianna Sucher at 925.254.1122. She creates ''fairy
parties'' for girls. She is an herbalist/aromatherapist and
will customize a party that includes making some special
herbal creations. Marianna loves her work and it shows! She
has a magnetic personality and will create a party that is
filled with beauty, creativity and loving energy.
I used Social butterfly for my daughter's 5th birthday party.
She had a princess party. The kids had a ball. When my
daughter turns 7 we are going to have one of her spa parties.
She brings & sets up everything. Here's the website.
Let her know that Shelly from Tracy referred you.
What about Fairyland in Oakland? http://www.fairyland.org/
Does she take ballet classes? There are ballerina birthday
parties at the Berkeley City Ballet.
http://www.berkeleycityballet.org/ Or bunny birthdays at Bunny
Central, a rabbitry in the East Bay.
she like arts and crafts projects? How about a mosaics party
at Snapshot Mosaics in Oakland
http://www.snapshotmosaics.com/kidsprogram.htm or an
Arty-Party at Mocha in Oakland
love interesting birthday parties!
Check out the Buddy Club -- they put on a series of shows for
children, and you can make a party of it by reserving a room
for your daughter and her guests afterwards. In the East Bay,
they're held at the Berkeley-Richmond JCC.
www.thebuddyclub.com. My daughter (now 12) had a couple
parties there several years ago and, as birthday girl, was
even incorporated into the entertainer's (magician, juggler,
etc.) act one time!
Our favorites have been at MOCHA in Oakland -- creative art
projects, where you can work with the teaching artist to come
up with something your child will like; I've been to/given
parties with themes of clay, hats, making books. Another fun
location is Lawrence Hall of Science -- try party animals, or
the household chemistry one.
I didn't see the original post, but I wanted to recommend a
unique party venue for bday parties. Today, we had my 5-year
old daughter's party at Lucky Juju Pinball in Alameda, and
it was a huge success. We also had my birthday there last
Fall. They have 3 rooms of pinball games(really old ones and
more recent ones), 2 jukeboxes, and a central area for
food(bring your own) and shmoozing. The folks who run the
place are really nice and easy to work with. The grown-ups
and the kids all had a fun time. In fact, many of the adults
said that it was the most fun they'd had at a bday party in
a long time! By the time I got home today, one of the
attending parents has emailed me to get contact info for her
kid's next bday. My daughter is hooked on pinball now! (You
can check it out on weekend nights, when they charge a flat
fee for up to 6 hours of free play.) You can get more info
on their website: www.ujuju.com. Lots of fun!!!
The person who takes care of my pets when I'm out of town also
does bunny birthday parties and school events for children. She
arrives with 10 to 12 rabbits of various ages and breeds and
does an educational program / ''petting zoo'' with her soft,
child friendly bunnies. The best description is on Georgia's
website at: http://bunnycentral.com where she has pictures and
videos of previous events.
Lego Party for 6 year old
My almost 6 year old is busy planning his lego birthday party in his mind
but I think I might actually need someone to help me with this! Can
anyone recommend a service or individual that can put together a Lego
birthday party for the 6 year old set.
I went through the archives and found people liked Lego Parties but no
Looking for Lego Help
Check out the teachers at Marin Engineering Center, where they have lego
classes and the teachers also do parties.
lego expert's mom
I don't know anybody to lead a LEGO party, but I've thrown two of these
parties for my boys. This is what I did.
I hand made individual LEGO brick cakes. Now it's easier becaue the have
cake pans to do it:
I bought buckets of bricks and wheel/car parts off of e-Bay. There are a
ton of them for sale there. The kids had building contests and car races.
I think I had a car pinata as well.
For goodie bags, they got to keep their cars. I went to Target and bought
the cheapest sets I could find ($2-3 each). You could probably do this
online as well. I went to Sweet Dreams in Berkeley and got LEGO brick
candy for them.
Hopes this helps.
Check out www.cakesby2moms.com if you are looking for a cool
Place to have a 5-year-old b'day party in December
My daughter's birthday is in mid-December. I am looking for a
reasonably priced large space in the East Bay to have a party for
about (15) 5-6 year olds. Ideally the spot would be connected to
an outdoor area in the chance that the day is not raining. The
indoor space does need to be significanlty big since these kids
love to run around. Any ideas? Thanks jean
You might try the Berkeley or Albany YMCA. Neither of them have outdoor spaces. But
you can do a kindergym party and/or an indoor pool party at the Berkeley Y and the
Albany Y has a great gym party room Ann
Pump it up in Oakland on E16th a place full of jumpers and activities, Round Table
Pizza (Pinole has a play area) Chuck e Cheese's (Newark)and (Fairfield) The health
Museum in Berkeley across from the main library, the YMCA used to have specials for
children's parties, If it is open Adventure playground in Berkeley.
Hi. I'm looking for ideas on having an indoor birthday party at our small
home for about 15 kids. If it's nice it's no problem, but I'm afraid it will
rain, and we'll have a lot of 5 & 6 year old boy energy that may not be
too interested in arts and crafts. We can't afford to hire someone to
come in. Anything besides pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and musical
chairs? Also, in previous preschool experience, the parents would
stick around too but is that the norm for this kind of party/age group?
They may not like arts & crafts, but they could probably be
enticed into a huge Lego project!
Pick the room in your house with the least furniture -- in ours
it's the dining room -- and clear out as much of what IS in
there as you can. Remove chairs, push tables against the walls,
roll up rugs, take away or barricade anything fragile or hard to
clean. This will give you as much open floor space as
possible. Then channel their energy into sanctioned
activities. A tower-building contest with Lego, K'Nex, or the
like. A pull-string pinata. Games that are physical but don't
involve running, like a pass-the-egg-from-spoon-to-spoon relay,
or that old standby, pin-the-something-on-the-something. (An old
circle-game favorite of mine is ''doctor, doctor'': One person,
the ''doctor'', leaves the room. Everyone else stands in a big
circle and holds hands, then ties the circle into knots by
twisting and passing people under and over others' arms. The
people in the circle then chant ''doctor, doctor, we need help!''
and the ''doctor'' comes back and attempts to untangle the circle
by directing everyone else where to go.)
Or heck, let them go out and play in the rain! (Just warn
parents ahead of time to have the kids bring their raincoats and
boots, and have a lot of warm towels and mugs of hot cocoa ready
when they come in.) They will probably have more fun in the
puddles and mud than they would doing anything you could devise.
I've got a winter birthday boy too
I did an indoor party when my son was about 7 or 8 that was
really fun for adults and kids. You need to be able to team the
kids up in groups of 3 or so, with multiple adults to help
(almost one adult per team is good, you can make do with fewer if
I set up a ''riddle hunt'' with riddles from somewhere like the NSF
website (example: what kind of rocks are at the bottom of the
Mississippi River? A: Wet rocks!) I handed them the first
riddle, and once they solved it in front of an adult (who had the
answer key) they had to hunt for the next riddle. The clue for
where the riddle was might be ''I'm short and stout'' and their
clue, color-coded to their team, was in the teapot. All the clues
were in the same places, but I mixed up the order in which they
had to do them so they were in different places solving different
riddles at the same time. They were quite honorable about leaving
the other teams' riddles intact.
I think I had about 8 riddles total, and it actually took almost
90 minutes for all the teams to finish. They all finished at
exactly the same time, more or less, and I had prizes for all
anyway so it was competitive, fun, thinking, active, only
moderately noisy, and easy to do inside.
There are riddles for younger kids too. But you have to think
about whether your kid likes this sort of thing. (Mine said it
was his best birthday ever!) And it does take some thinking prep
time, and printing or writing up clues on colored paper in
advance. I had as much fun planning and watching and helping as
they did solving.
One idea for you, good luck!
I recommend www.birthdaypartyideas.com for lots of ideas. It helps if you come up
with a theme that you can build your activities around. We had success with that
many kids (boys and girls) with a Scooby Doo Pirate Adventure theme, with a
treasure hunt in which they had to perform tasks to get clues. (Although ours was
last summer and we also had access to the back yard, but lots of it took place in our
house too.) Also at this age, many parents look at birthday parties as a nice break
and chance to do other things. I would only expect those parents you know well
and are friends with to stay, unless you specifically ask people to stay and help out.
Good luck and have fun!
I just had this exact birthday scenario yesterday for a 2 1/2
hour birthday. So, here are some ideas that worked. Fishing:
wrap little prizes in tissue paper and use ribbon to tie. Make
the ribbon bows big enough to hook from a ''fishing pole''. We
made the poles out of 2 Ace hardware dowels (75cents) and metal
hooks ($1.50). 2 to 3 prizes each or fun/silly messages.
Balloon volleyball: blow up 2 balloons per child. Put them in
a bag until you are ready to use them. Spread them throughout
the house being used for the party and let the kids play with
them. Boxes: Galvin Appliance has great washer/dryer boxes.
Get a couple. The kids came up with things to do with them.
The only ''game'' we played was ''pass the basket'' where we
wrapped poppers (get them at the dollar store) in tissue paper,
played music and stopped it and one child picked out a wrapped
popper, and did this until everyone had one. My husband showed
them how to use them and all at once (more or less) they let
them go. Yes, we did a pinata too but put the same amount of
candy in a ziplock bag. We also decorated our own cupcakes. I
gave everyone a plain cupcake with a cupcake holder filled with
edible things to decorate the cupcake with (sprinkles,
marshmellows, m&m's, gummy bear). At the end of the party the
kids came back and we made ice cream sundaes with icecream,
canned whipcream, and sauce and sprinkles.
Be ready for alot of energy and let it loose. Don't worry
about keeping too much order or over structured. The kids
loved being with each other and it was fun and safe and wild.
If you have legos or anything put them in a visible corner
where kids can play if need be.
I am looking for a nail salon which would be willing to host a birthday party for
my soon to be five year old. I am looking for a salon that would do mani/pedi's
for about ten little girls. I would like for the salon to be near a restaurant
(casual) that we could have a cake, or the salon would be willing to let us have
cake there. I need a salon that is clean and friendly. I have been to Mani-Pedi
in Potero Hill which offers parties. It is perfect except that it's catering more
towards people who live in the neighborhood and can go home for cake
etc..and will only allow the party in the salon for about 30minutes which just
isn't long enough. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am willing
to go as far as SF or Walnut Creek...As a last report I would entertain the idea of
a nail professional coming to my house for the party. Has anyone out there
been crazy enough to do this type of party with any success???
I haven't been there for a party, but Cool Tops is a fun
atmosphere and offers hair-do and manicure birthday parties.
They're in Lafayette and San Ramon.
I went into one of my regular nail salons to get my monthly brow
wax a few months ago only to discover the place had been taken
over by a pre-teen/teen mani/pedicure party.
The girls that were there looked like they were having a ball. It
is a cool birthday idea for some girls.
I tried to imagine myself at that party, and I wouldn't have had
a good time. It would have been too much for me.
My younger sister and her friends would have totally been into it.
The salon that was hosting the mani/pedicure party was the salon
on Grand Ave by the eye doctor. Can't remember the name of the
salon though. They have good rates in general and it looks like
this isn't their first party. You could probably get a good rate.
Hope this helps.
I'm looking for some alternatives to LHS, the Zoo, Mocha,
Gymnastic, or Fairyland for a fun place to have my daughter's
5th birthday party. Can anyone recommend any other places?
I've thought of those pottery painting places but most are small
and might not suit a group of 5 yr olds...thanks for any
Junior Center of Art and Science Lake Merritt in Oakland
Sulphur Creek Nature Center Hayward
hi i am planning on having a 5th birthday party for my son and
am a bit nervous. i won`t know most of the parents or the kids
for that matter since we are new here and am on a budget so
can`t get an entertainer any ideas on what to do? i`ll have
music and food and its around noon but am a little self
conscious and can`t think of anything other then pass the
parcel and musical chairs!!!
how long should these thing last for? my son is an extrovert
and is desperate for a party and has had a very hard time with
his health recently so really deserves this to go well.
anxious single mum
I have always found children enjoy treasure hunts. I would
split the kids into two group (say red and blue) and then the
children would follow clues to find treasure - they would have
their goody bags with them (make sure they have their names on
their bags) and each treasure found would include
enough candy or stickers or trinkets so each child got one for
their bag - and the next clue for them to continue. At other
children parties, parents have used polaroids as clues, or cute
rhyming clues. For the trinkets, I have found lots of variety
from Oriental Trading Co. - what I ordered was usually just
fine. I noticed this webpage had a few good ideas for the pirate
theme and activities (www.dltk-
kids.com/discussion/_disc3/0000034a.htm) and when I tried Google
there were many sites that came up with ideas. Good Luck!
We have been to a couple of 5 and 6-year-olds' parties that were
lots of fun but didn't involve expensive entertainment. One was
at a neighborhood park so the kids played on the equipment and
gathered around for hot dogs and gift-opening. The other was at
someone's house and involved food and a pinata. Neither had
lots of organized games, but the kids seemed to be having lots
of fun. Another fun thing is to give little party favors to the
guests (brown paper bags decorated and filled with inexpensive
trinkets). Good luck, and have fun!
Simple party ideas: Pin the X on the X (fill in the blank with
whatever interests your son these days)- use tape, and there
doesn't have to be a winner; group treasure hunt (find simple
clues that lead to the next clue, etc., all the way to the
treasure chest - a paper bag full of goodies for all. Adult
can read clues, or you can make picture clues); treasure dig
(bury little trinkets in a deep pan of rice or beans; dig with
hands or little spoons, depending on how long you want it to
take); simple decorating craft (assorted stickers and colored
Elmers glue, little shells, beads, pebbles etc. glued onto
shapes or frames or juice-can lids, and glue a magnet on the
back); decorate own birthday cupcakes (assortment of frostings
and toppings - quite a mess, but simple); simple relay races
such as potato-on-spoon or having oversized clothes to put
on/take off; variation on musical chairs (no one sits out, but
you still remove a chair each time, and see how few chairs you
can get to and still have each child at least touching a
chair). Try not to make all the games have
individual ''winners'', since that will inevitably leave some
kids out (maybe even the birthday boy!). Two hours should be
plenty at age 5.
My heart went out to your son who has had a hard time with his
health lately and I thought about your birthday party dilemma.
Below are a few ideas that I hope will be of help to you. My
daughter just celebrated her 5th. She wanted to invite her
whole class, as well as a bunch of old friends, but I pared it
down to 7 kids by explaining that there would be a school party
and a ''special Friends'' party. It was a very fun time and not
too much work.
I think that birthday partys should be kid-focused and fun. I
knew all the families, so we made it a ''drop off'' party. That
doesn't sound like something you are in the position to do, so
maybe you could hire a teen to run some games like the ones
described below so you could also have time to chat with
parents. Just a thought...
I'm assuming this will be an inside party: I would plan for 2
Have an area with some interesting open-ended toys out, where
kids can play if they're not participating in a game. If you can
score a refridgerator box and cut some doors and windows out,
you're really in business.
Here's an example of a schedule: Party is from 12:00 to 2:00 pm.
12:00 - 12:30 Arrival and Craft
some sort of craft project - for my daughter's recent 5th
birthday party, we had a table set up where the kids could
decorate some ''binoculars'' I had made up out of empty toilet
paper tubes stapled together and strung with yarn (check out
East Bay Depot on San Pablo Ave @ Ashby 547-6470, very cheap and
interesting stuff!). There were cups of markers (50 cents a pack
from Ikea) and some sheets of stickers for decorating the
12:30- 1:00 Games
Have kids sit in a circle and explain your house rules about
having fun and being safe, where the bathroom is, what's off
limits etc. Pass the Parcel would be great fun, the only
hesitation with Musical Chairs that I would have is that,
basically everyone except one child loses, and some kids aren't
emotionally mature enough to take it in the spirit of a game at
this age. Maybe Musical Statues instead: the music stops,
everyone freezes into a funny pose, etc. Or a ''Cake Walk'' type
game where everyone wins a small prize.
Some fun circle games that don't require expensive supplies:
1)''Bear and Tiger''- need one stuffed Bear and one stuffed Tiger
(or whatever stuffed animals you choose). 2 children on opposite
sides hold the stuffed animals. Explain that the Bear is trying
to catch the Tiger. Children pass the animals around as quickly
as they can, trying to make make the Bear catch the Tiger, or
helping the Tiger escape the Bear. No winners, good fun.
2)''Paper Bag Guess''
Label some paper bags with each letter of birthday boy's name
and put an object that starts with that letter inside. Pass
bags around and children guess contents. Example: ''S'' bag has a
This was originally peanut vacum, but changed due to some
children having allergies to peanuts. Supplies needed: A pound
or so of pistacio nuts or other small, light objects, drinking
straws, cups. Place a spread-out mound of nuts or whatever in
the center of the circle. Show how children can use their
straws to suck a nut back to their space and place it in their
cup. On ''Go'', everyone races to fill their cup.
4)''Snowball Fight'' of ''Clean Up Your Room''
supplies needed: a lot of socks, balled up. Ask children if
they've ever been asked to clean up their room. In this game,
you win when your side of the ''room'' is clean, i.e. has no socks
on the floor. Children can be divided into two teams or even
better, adults against kids since it's a pretty even ability
game. Lay a rope or something to demarcate the dividing line,
(after first having removed the breakables from the room) toss
the socks out and yell ''Clean up Your Room!''. This usually goes
until everyone is too weak from laughing.
5)''Fruit Roll Up Race''
Have an adult set this up while the other games are going on.
Supplies: one fruit roll up per child (remember to allow for
siblings, etc.) string, and miniclothes pins (from good old
Ikea). In an area that will allow space for each child to stand
side by side, unroll and suspend fruit roll ups from a
horizontal string, about at child head height. Secure with
clothes pins. Children place hands behind back catch the end of
fruit rollup in their mouths and eat. ''Can't use your hands!''
1:00 - 2:00 Free Play and clean up from games, then food, cake
and pinata and more free play at the end.
A pinata is a standard grand finale to kid birthday parties
around here, if you've got the space for children to swing
wildly at a suspended object! Check out the Paper Plus Outlet on
San Pablo Ave 525-1799 for pinatas, balloons and thank you
notes, etc. Pinatas are usually filled with candy, but can also
be stickers and other treats. Giving children a small paper bag
with their name on it pre stuffed with and party favors you
might choose (see www.orientaltrading.com for personalized
pencils @ 2 dozen for $5) gives them a place to store pinata
loot and also serves as a party favor.
I don't like to have my children open their gifts at parties at
this age, as I prefer the focus to be on fun and celebrating,
but many people do.
I wish you and your son a great birthday! Please feel free to
contact me if there is any more info you need. All the best to
My son is turning 5 in December and I am totally at a loss on
what to do for his birthday. He loves the park and the
outdoors, but since it's winter, it will be cold and likely
raining (it has the past two years!) I will be inviting about
10 friends. I would love some ideas for either a party at home
with entertainment like a magician, balloonist, etc., or other
clever ideas/games or an outing to a great indoor place that
isn't too pricey. Thanks!
Habitot Children's Museum (2)
Sacramento Train Museum / Train Trip
I am looking for recommendations for a birthday party for a 5-year-old in the Walnut Creek/Lamorinda area in early-to-mid August. It's really hot at that time of year and having an outdoor party at home isn't really feasible. We have, in the past, had parties at the Lindsay Museum, Pixieland, and the Oakland Zoo. My daughter claims she wants a small party with just a few friends. She loves to dance - is there any dance school which would do a little party? Any suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Hoping for great ideas!
As an experienced party giver of two girls I highly encourage
you to listen to your daughter's request. After fretting over
how to creat a great birthday party and spending too much money
on a child (they really don't care) and going to some really
nice low key birthdays where the kids had a blast I want to
recommend this: your daughter wants to dance, so have each
friend bring their favorite dance costume(s) and favorite dance
music and let 'em at it. SAVE YOUR MONEY! Provide extra
music, extra dress up, make cupcakes (kids don't eat cake) and
put a plastic dancing figure on each one. Let your daughter
provide ideas for the party too. If you don't have much room
in the house do it in the backyard (extension cord for the
music box). Finally, it is okay to have 4,5, or 6 friends and
no more. That's really about the right amount for your
daughter's age. Sometimes when too many kids are invited you
can get some very unhappy birthday children. Mostly, kids just
want to play and that is a managable amount along with the
dancing. For party favors there are some $1 sticker books with
a girl dancer and outfits to put on her. Good Luck.
My daughter's 5 year old birthday party is coming up and we are
planning a simple event with approx 10 children. We would like
to play some party games such as duck duck goose and pin the
tail on the donkey. We are wondering if anyone could recommend
any fun games of this nature for the gang to enjoy.
We played some games at my 4 year old's recent party that were a
1. ''Clean Your Room'' - need a bunch of old socks, balled up
and a jump rope. Divide group into 2 teams on either side of
the jumprope laid out on the ground(we played kids vs grownups.
Toss the socks out - everyone pelts them at the other team
whilst yelling ''CLEAN YOUR ROOM!'' Object is to get all the socks
on the other side (never happens - just play until everyone
collapses into sillies).
2. ''Stomper Tails'' (Outside game) Need some crepe paper
streamers. Tuck a length into each child's waistband, long
enough to trail to the ground. Run around madly and enjoy your
tail. 5 year olds may enjoy trying to stomp each other's tails
Enjoy the party!
Check out birthdayexpress.com for a long list of group party
games and other party planning ideas. Or, make up picture bingo
cards on your computer that are related to the party theme (4x4
is a good size) and play bingo (with candy markers, of course).
Also, most girls that age love crafts. Check out Oriental
Trading Company at oriental.com for really cute but cheap, easy-
I highly recommend any kind of cooperative ''Treasure Hunt'' for
that age group. You can make picture clues (or words, read by
an older helper) that lead the whole group, clue by clue,
around all over the house, yard, park, or whatever. At the end
is a ''treasure'' (candy, party favor, new game to play, etc.)
One game that a friend of mine did at her daughter's party was
really fun -- she gave each kid a different colored bag and had
hidden different ''treasures'' in her yard, all wrapped in the
different colors of each bag. The kids were instructed to find
only the treasures that were wrapped in ''their'' color. It was
nice because the kids didn't fight over the stuff they found,
and it became kind of a cooperative hunt rather than a
Party ideas for active 6-year-old boy
I've checked the web and don't find exactly what I want - a bday
party for an active 6 yo boy. We want to keep it small (7 kids),
so we don't want to rent a big space but we want them to run
around some place besides our house. Other problem - the birthday
is in January so planning an outdoor party means we have to have
a contingency plan. We were thinking about hiking and then
picnic, movie and our house for cake if it rains. Is the Bkly Y
too limited for the age? Is the climbing gym in emeryville
suitable for a 6 yo? Has anyone done a bday party at the hammer
park at Bkly Marina or have any other success stories to share?
Two great birthdays that we did have been bowling at Albany Bowl
adn Adventure Playground at the Berkeley Marina. Both parties
were a great time. The staff at both sites were wonderful and it
was easy to bring the food, cake, etc.
We had my son's 6th birthday party at the rock climbing gym in
Emeryville, and I thought it worked very well. Some kids
really took to the climbing, and others weren't as into it; I
brought supplies for drawing and an art project, which I think
occupied people when they weren't climbing. It also helps if
you and/or your partner learn to belay so that more kids can
climb at once (it's pretty quick and easy to learn). I think
it's an especially good site for a smaller birthday party--12
kids or fewer, although we had just over 20 and it was
manageable. You might also want to investigate Albany Bowl--we
had a 7th birthday party there, and it was a blast.
I am wondering if anyone has any great games to recomnmend for a 5
year old birthday party. For various reasons, it will probably end up
being a fairly big sized group (over 10) and i'm a bit intimidated by the
idea. I'm looking for non-competitive, simple game ideas that could
ideally work either outside (weather good) or inside (weather bad) -- but
any and all ideas are most welcomed.
party planning mom
Here are a few home-based ideas that have worked well for us with a variety
of pre-school ages.
1) Decorating your own cake or cupcake. If you make a cake in a cool shape
(castle, with layers, or a rocket or flower cut out of a flat cake, etc.),
they have great fun throwing all kinds of sugary stuff on it (I give each
kids a couple tiny cups of different stuff, most bought at Spun Sugar on
University). It looks pretty awful when they're done, but it's very
inclusive; all the kids feel ownership, and they love doing it. You can also
just use a flat rectangle and apply all kinds of themes (circus, fair,
jungle, etc.) by using tiny toys as well. Cupcakes work too, though it's not
as much of a group game.
2) Making costumes. This works best with a base that's fun to wear by itself
if kids don't feel like doing any decorating. Our biggest success was with
jetpacks (I saved cereal boxes and similar shapes for a couple months, and I
save all kinds of little shapes to glue on, like egg cartons, toilet paper
rolls, other rolls, wine corks, jar lids for control-buttons, pipe cleaners,
paper cups to be the jets, etc., and I spray-painted everything a silver
metalic color; we used duct tape, pipe cleaners and brass fasteners to
attach everything; I got elastic from that re-use place on San Pablo at
Ashby to make arm straps, and they were off.) We've also made wings using
hangers covered with girls' tights (so they're anything from bees and
butterflies to fairies) and antennae made with headbands and pipecleaners.
(3) Making a collage mural with a giant piece of paper from the Art Store,
lots of cool shapes and pictures you cut out or buy, and lots of tape (avoid
glue and paint if you're indoors). Take polaroids in front of it that each
kid can take home.
(4) If you're outside, have them strip to their underwear and paint T-shirts
with regular acrylic paint. Remember to put newspaper inside each T-shirt
until it dries so front and back don't stick together. We did this with
4-year-olds, and they loved it.
I used to be a parks and recreation leader way back in the dark ages...
I advise you to solicit one extra adult for ever 4-5 children you have at
the party. Otherwise its gets to difficult to coordinate and keep everyone
safe. Having parents of children stay with their sibs make for a big party,
but can help keep everyone happy and playful. Having parents that are
willing to clown around and participate in activities makes them easier to
Games to quiet a noisy bunch down:
Story games work great:
Write up a 5-10 minute story and include each child in it and have the child
contribute on the fly (by naming a favorite toy, animal or something). Many
times the results are hilarious and the children really love them.
( This is reminiscent of ''sniglets'' I think they were called... where you
name so many nouns and verbs and they are inserted into a story randomly.)
Party Hat making: You can set the kids to making party hats from
construction paper, all sorts of stuff. Just make sure you have some rough
designs and if needed some parts cut out already. A party hat fashion show
after is also a hit.
Games to exercise a bunch with too much energy:
Balloon popping. You can put ''toys,'' ''fortunes'' or ''matching puzzle
pieces'' into balloons before you blow them up. The children then retrieve
and pop several balloons and work to use or read or put together their
treasures. Balloons can be hidden, hung, put into a big random box, floated
on the ceiling with helium...
Hunting games: simular to easter egg hunts... Hide something the kids must
find. This can be a bag of goodies, a small toy, a piece to a puzzle.
Realize if the area they will be ''hunting in'' is the party area, your
items might be found before the game begins!
A good circle dance with ''The Hokey Pokey'' works great and is completely
non competitive. This is a bit tough with 5 year olds and the left/right
knowledge is above them, but if you can get the adults to dance along too,
the kids pick it up QUICK! You can pick up a CD of the music fairly easily.
Sing along on old MacDonald and having the children be animals and make
animal sounds is REALLY FUNNY. You can break them up into groups to
sounds or give each child an animal to be... A great ice breaker.
The best party we ever had was spent mostly playing with a large number of
cardboard boxes (we had recently moved and I think our boxes were mostly
from IKEA). If you have the time you can collect boxes from appliance and
grocery stores (actually liquor stores are excellent for boxes) and build
castles or forts or tunnels ahead of time -- or let the kids build and paint
with poster paints... (wearing old clothes of course). Another option
would be to visit the Art Depot and pick up recycled wonders for making
collages and sculptures, etc. Art Depot would probably even send someone to
your house to do a crafts project , but that would cost money.
For us the best activity was rolling across the lawn in a long thin box. The
kids did this over and over until the box finally died.
Two more suggestions - (1) Have at least one extra adult, but maybe not all
those parents, and (2) consider serving drinks in heavy bottom glasses
instead of paper cups (I read this somewhere and it really cuts down on
Good luck, enjoy!
Twister is a fun old standby. It's physical and it doesn't really matter who
wins. You could also engage a couple of teenagers to play with them games
like London Bridge, (as of last year they still played it).
If you don't mind simple cleanup outside, get some sidewalk chalk and have
them draw a single item together. Make a mural. Do the face painting thing
(some teenage girls are very good at this and love doing it).
I hired my son's favorite character from TV (an impersonator) and he kept
them entertained for over an hour, which was about half of the party time.
The rest was spent in eating cake and ice cream and opening presents.
Successful activities at our 5 year old parties have included, at the more
expensive end: renting an astrojump; at the less expensive end: making bug
homes in little critter cages (which cost on the order of $3 each), adding
dirt, grass and rocks, and having a treasure hunt for plastic bugs (or let
them take home the real bugs from your yard or the park); at the least
expensive end--decorating their own food--for example frosting cupcakes and
building candy towers on top of them. Wooden spoon puppets or paper plate
masks also are activities 5-year-olds enjoy--or just decorating plain paper
bags as party bags. And it never hurts to hire a teenager to help out and
play some energetic ball game or run races with those that just won't do the
more organized activities. Kids also enjoy silly games like dividing into 2
teams and seeing which team can make people on the other team laugh the
soonest (but this one is maybe better for the 9-year-old set). Games like
duck-duck-goose, hot potato, guess who has the marble, and many others can
be played in such a way that everyone has a chance to ''win''. For example,
we would pass around a bowl filled with little prizes and then stop the
music. The person holding the bowl would pick a prize and then leave the
circle. In the end, everyone gets a prize. Invite enough teens and adults
to guard the perimeters, and have fun.
This is the first birthday party for my daughter since the divorce and I am not
sure what to do. Initially, I wanted to throw a
party in the park, only later to realize I have only about 3 children to invite to
my daughter's party. I have not kept up with most
of the families from our marriage and most of my daughter's new friends are
from school and I simply don't have their phone numbers!
I wanted to do something very special for my daughter, but don't know what I
can do with a group of three children. (Granted her
father is throwing a big party for her, I was thinking to do something other than
a party, perhaps take them to a theater, or a
hiking adventure?). Please, I need some creative help here.
Some ideas: go to Stow Lake and ride paddle boats and have a picnic. Have
a formal, dress-up tea party. Have a group sleepover (4 girls would be a
manageable number). Trip to theater with stop at Fenton's afterward.
Maybe a trip to a live theater performance with stop at Fenton's or a lunch
afterward. Check listings for what kids events/activities are on going right
now. If all kids swim, go to WaterWorld with another adult to help
supervise (may be a bit pricey for all of you though.) Even a trip to the
Oakland Zoo for four 5 y.o. girls can be fun - bring a picnic along, play some
games or do an animal art project or two in the field, go on some of the rides,
give out some animal favors (the Zoo gift shop or Oriental Trading
Company will have some.)
Please don't feel that you have to do something large and elaborate.
5-year-olds can melt down pretty damned quick at large and (overly)
stimulating events, especially when the focus is on them. An outing to
some place like Tilden Park--merry-go-round, Little Farm, pony rides,
steam trains, take your pick--should satisfy most kids. Or just have a
tea party at your place, with a couple of games and a treasure hunt
(whose prize is the party favors). Another thing to remember is that
refreshments can be simple finger foods; in fact, think about just having
a small, special cake for immediate family, and buy or make decorated cup
cakes for the party. (Experience FINALLY taught me that big birthday
cakes are kind of wasted on children, but cup cakes--with individual
candles--always thrill them.)
I would suggest you have a party in a park -- with just the three
other girls. The rule we always followed was one guest per year, so
that's not far off. Invite the girls families, too, and if there is a
friend from school you'd like to track down, the school office may be
opening in the next week or so and they might be able to either give
you the phone number or pass along a message.
You could do the merry-go-round, or steam train, or pony rides in
Tilden, or take the 4 girls to Oakland zoo.... or just play in the
park. Each of my kids has had a party with less than 4 kids, at some
time...and its no biggie. Fun is Fun!
looking for a place for my daughter's 7th birthday party. She's
done Golden Bear gymnastics, doesn't want to do it at Head over
Heels. Any other ideas for about 10 girls? Thanks so much!
Try the Lawrence Hall of Science for a party. They are really
fun and basically worry free as the facilitator guides the kids
through the activity. We especially enjoyed the bubble party.
You can also request the party room after for cake. That way
you are not in the main dining area.
Good luck and book early,
We just had a very successful birthday party for our 7 year old
daughter at Brushstrokes on Page St. and 5th St. in Berkeley. We
had 8 girls and they all had a great time painting their
pottery. There is a picnic table outside for cake, etc.
For girls or boys, Albany Bowl puts on a great birthday. They
supply shoes, lanes (including bumpers so the kids get
confidence), pizza and a helper to coordinate it all. We had my
son's 7th birthday party there, and they were very friendly and
flexible. It was the easiest party to date.
We also did Advnenture Playground, but the weather might be a
factor for a November birthday.
You didn't say when the birthday is but I'm going to assume
you're looking for indoor locations. I've been trying to organize
my son's first birthday party and have actually found a few
places that would have been perfect if he was older:
1. Lawrence Hall of Science
2. Lindsay Wildlife Museum
3. Berkeley YMCA Splash Party
4. If outdoor ok, then Oakland Zoo
Several years ago, we had a successful birthday party at the
Berkeley YMCA. They have a shallow pool for the kids. I think
they spend an hour in the pool, change in the dressing room,and
then go to a nearby room for food, cake, presents. I don't
remember too well, but I'm pretty sure they supplied plenty of
noodles and other pool toys.
I have just moved to Oakland from San Francisco and have been wondering what
kind of birthday-adventure party that I could give my six-year old this
year. Last year we had a western birthday party in Golden-Gate park,
complete with pony rides. This March I was hoping to do a rodeo, but have
been unable to find any. I have also considered Tilden Park, but their
pony rides don't start until summer. I was hoping to find some kind of
adventure themed party this year preferably in Berkeley. I like the idea of
doing something that relates to nature in some way, animals or hiking, but
anything adventurous is good-maybe a ride on a steam engine? Does anyone
have any fun suggestions, I have to plan early and am stuck, as to what to
We recently went to a great party at Bay Island Gymnastics (BIG) in Alameda
for a six year old that was terrific. Check them out.
I don't have the perfect suggestion for a March birthday party in
Berkeley with a rodeo or steam train theme (unless your son is not
completely Tilden-steam-trained-out by this age!), but I thought I
would mention another fun steam train outing which is within striking
distance and which does run year-round, plus mention a fun rodeo which
takes place in May.
The Niles Canyon Railway in Sunol ... (see recommendation for Niles Canyon Railway in Sunol)
As for rodeos, we took our 9 year old to his first rodeo last May ...
for Rowell Ranch Rodeo
Can any body recommend a good entertainer for kid birthday in east
bay? My son will turn 6 year old in December, I am thinking to have an
entertainer to come over if I could find one.
Calamari Brothers Magic Show
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