While hiring an entire cruise liner for your little angel (as one doting parent did on MTV’s ‘Super Sweet 16’) might be a tad excessive, it seems that birthday parties are no longer a chance for kids to tank up on sugar and pop balloons. They can be an opportunity for them to express themselves, expand their interests and create lasting memories. Browse our run down of the best birthday parties for some inspiration.
The Science Museum is offering seven to 13 year-olds the chance to spend a night in the museum after it closes its doors to the public. Exciting hands-on workshops and science shows run throughout the night, and the evening culminates in camping out among the exhibits. Breakfast and an IMAX film are provided in the morning, followed by a prize-giving session for scientific achievements made over the night. One adult is needed to accompany every six children, so you can legitimately claim that sleeping under a space rocket was entirely for their benefit.
Aspiring pirates will love the chance to sail the Thames, brandishing eye patches and cutlasses provided by the Thames RIB Boat Party team. Whizzing from M15 HQ in Vauxhall to Canary Wharf, the party will be entertained by tales of piracy that once took place along the city’s river. Constant use of pirate lingo is actively encouraged and each scallywag leaves with a free goodie bag.
Fifties style All Star Lanes have four locations across the city for your kids to test their bowling skills. Each venue caters for parties, offering private rooms with unlimited bowling all night. Karaoke is also provided so the party can blast out their best renditions of whatever it is kids listen to these days, while a wide selection of American grub including everything from chicken wings to Lucky Charms will keep them energised.
If you’re sick of having glitter glue stuck to your furniture and doodles on your best wallpaper, why not encourage your kids to channel their creativity into a Fun Fashionistas party. Suitable for children of any age, the Fun Fashionistas encourage kids to express their inner artist by revamping and customising t-shirts, hats, bags, hair accessories, jewellery and more. Workshop leaders show the party how to design outfits, create textiles, knit and sew, and the afternoon culminates in a fashion show of the day’s creations. Parties can be themed to fit the birthday boy or girl’s personal taste so the day is truly theirs.
It’s a scientific fact that most kids love a spectacle, and Mad Science birthday parties aim to provide enough pyrotechnics to keep a flock of children cooing. Kids can participate in science demonstrations that include chemical reactions, movie special effects and bubbling potion, and guests can even create their own ball of super stretchy putty or slime to play with. The party can be held in a venue of your choice – inside or out – and up to 40 children can be kept entertained.
The Wheelie Good Party Company will travel to a location of your choice and transform the space into your very own off-road circuit, complete with mini electric jeeps for the kids to drive. What may sound like chaos is actually well organised, with floor cover and a surrounding provided to protect your location. Games such as connect four and a football table are set up outside the track to keep onlookers amused, while music is also provided. A PA system is used to keep daring drivers in line, and kids leave with a personalised driving license, certificate and medal as well as the all-important party box filled with sweets.
Prior to the party, guests receive a themed invitation outlining their character for the evening. A detective will then guide the kids through the murder mystery during a three-course meal, with unexpected twists and shocking revelations guaranteed. As the detective reveals details about each of the assembled characters, guests must draw a conclusion about who is the guilty suspect.
Catering for kids from four to 18 years old, Cookie Crumbles provides a hands-on cooking experience in any location with cooking facilities, or in one of their workshops in Kensington and Park Lane. Up to 35 children can be kept amused making (and scoffing) their own tasty creations from a selection of menus that include pasta, sushi and cupcake making. As an added benefit, the company actively promotes healthy eating, so kids should leave with a better understanding of good nutrition.