Let them eat cake
BY WENDY ALTSCHULER For Sun-Times Media
As your child tacks on another year, it can be increasingly difficult to come up with fresh birthday celebration ideas. Let your kid be the star of the show at his next party as he bounces, climbs, engages in pretend play, paints or zooms down a zip line at one of the following places.
Guilt free mess making
What could be better than a place that lets kids slop paint on a work-of-art and then has a clean up crew to take care of the muddle? Make-a-Messterpiece, located at 2050 Tower Dr. in Glenview, is not afraid of a little paint on the floor and in fact they encourage kids to invent and imagine without inhibitions. Birthday parties are full of artistic fun. Rent out a private party room and invite all of your child’s pals. The birthday party package includes two Mess-Masters that will help you from start to finish, a canvas for each guest to paint on and the use of the Bubble’ology machine to create multi-colored bubble paintings.
“At Make-A-Messterpiece families can host an unforgettable party. Kids experience the ultimate mess while our Mess-Masters take care of the clean up, set-up and all the messes in between,” said April Pingol, marketing communications manager at Make-A-Messterpiece. “Parties are filled with fun creative play and messy hands-on activities that lead to critical thinking and problem solving skills.”
Party packages could also include lunch or dinner, balloons, invitations or goodie bags. For more information, or to book your next party, visit www.makeamessterpiece.com.
Bringing the outdoors in
Do you remember how fun it was to play in a tree house when you were a kid? Now, you can romp around with your little monkey indoors at The TreeHouse, located at 985 South Rand Rd. in Lake Zurich. This 7,700 square foot mammoth playground has rocking bridges, huge slides, swings, ramps and even a soft basketball court. While the kids at the party are running around and expelling all of their energy, parents can sip an espresso and chat while sitting in overstuffed leather chairs. The TreeHouse is the perfect mixture of kid fun and adult comfort.
“Birthday parties are fabulous and full service at The TreeHouse,” said party host Sandra Finn.
The birthday party package includes 2 hours of reserved seating, pizza, drinks, balloons and a party host to set up everything, serve the food and drinks, clean up and organize the event. Check out www.thechicagotreehouse.com for more information.
A little of everything
Gymboree Play and Music is an excellent place to host a party if you’re looking for something specific for your child. Specializing in parties for children turning 1 to 5 years old, the party planners will put together an event based on what your child enjoys most. Whether your toddler has an affinity for dinosaurs, construction vehicles, princesses, art or music, the open-minded staff will design a birthday party your kid will adore.
“There are quite a few things that are distinctive. The host has nothing to do. We take care of everything,” said Steve Sulkin, owner of the Vernon Hills Gymboree Play and Music. “We are opposed to the birthday mill kind of thing. People have the option to buy out the Gymboree as a private party. You never have a feeling of being in a mill with lots of kids.”
Gymboree Play and Music is a stand out with an instructor-led birthday party.
“Children need direction. They like people to play games with them,” said Sulkin. “We have a teacher there and we actually run a birthday-oriented class with activities and games. The parents are also involved.”
With locations all over the Chicago land area, including Northbrook, Skokie, Vernon Hills and South Barrington, Gymboree Play and Music is as convenient as it is fun. Parties may include the private use of the facility, a knowledgeable and energetic Gymboree teacher, all serving items, balloons, invitations, a gift for the birthday child and party gifts for the guests. For more information, visit www.gymboreeclasses.com.
Let’s get physical
Let the professionals at My Gym put smiles on your child’s face as they pilot a birthday party full of surprises and fun. With a focus on fitness, all of the kids at the party will have a blast climbing, jumping, bouncing and flying down a zip line. Songs, puppets and games will keep the children entertained for the entire length of the party and you’ll have exclusive use of the facility. Enjoy the party and your guests without worrying about setting anything up, cleaning or organizing.
“The best thing about My Gym birthday parties is that we make sure everyone has a wonderful time all the while keeping your child the star of the party. We make sure to do the best games and activities,” said Lindley Wisnewski, owner of the My Gym in Skokie. “We plan, coordinate, and lead an amazing, memorable occasion for the whole family.”
My Gym has multiple locations, including Buffalo Grove and Skokie. Visit www.my-gym.com for more information.
Get the wiggles out
The Blast Zone, located at 645 Lakeview Pkwy. in Vernon Hills, is an ideal party place for children age’s 4 to 12.
“As moms leave and they are thanking us for a great party they always say that the kids had a blast,” said general manager Carlos Rodriguez.
The Blast Zone has games, rides, trampolines and climb on structures with the highlight being the Turbo Tub Speedway. Kids can race in a bathtub on a winding course. Party packages may include a party host, a private room, invitations, food, piñata, goody bags and balloons. Visit www.theblastzone.com for more information.
Bounce, bounce, bounce
For the active child that loves giant inflatable climb on structures and slides as well as rock walls and games, try Pump it Up in Glenview on 1857 Elmdale Ave.
“At Pump It Up, the focus is on the birthday child, we don’t share parties here. All parties are private, meaning that the children play only with their guests and friends,” said general manager Adam Bandari. “Parents can relax and enjoy knowing that their kids are in a safe private environment where we manage the whole experience. From Pizza to goodie bags to balloons we take care of it all.”
A party here is sure to raise the excitement level for your child and all of the party guests. For more information, visit www.pumpitupglenview.com.