By Katie Saltz
Birthdays are a perfect opportunity to teach children the value of giving rather than receiving.
Instead of bringing home a pile of presents to add to your child’s stash, consider these alternatives for a “Giving Back” Birthday Party.
Party to End Hunger: Host a cooking-themed party, but instead of gifts ask guests to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to a local food bank.
Pet-Friendly Party: Contact the Humane Society and see what donations they need. Ask your guests to visit the pet store and bring those items instead of gifts.
Toy Triage: One of the easiest ways your child can give back is to choose old toys to donate before his birthday. This makes room for any new ones he receives.
If he’s feeling extra generous, choose a local shelter that houses children and donate some of his new toys.
Cards for Kids: Have an arts-and-crafts party to decorate cards for the local children’s hospital. Gather paper, markers, stickers, etc; then have each party guest make a few cards that will brighten a sick child’s day.
Want more ways to give back at a birthday? Check out these websites:
Parents can register and choose a charity before the party. Guests can make an online donation instead of bringing a wrapped gift.
After the party the amount raised is split between the chosen charity and your child as a gift card.
This organization hosts birthday parties for homeless children all over the country. Your child can raise a financial donation or collect new toys to donate to children in need.
Your child can collect new party supplies to send in a kit to a child who is celebrating a birthday in the hospital.
Collins Bowling Centers
205 Southland Drive / 277-5746
750 East New Circle Road / 252-3429
Children always love bowling parties to celebrate their birthdays. Parties are priced per child and include bowling, shoe rental, favor bag (includes coupon for free game of bowling), paper products and balloons. Food, beverages, game room and juke box are available.
Cut & Paste Craft Studio
220 Ruccio Way, Suite 180 / 223-0114
Leave the mess and take the memories! Packages include: a 90-minute party with a dedicated party host, a craft to fit your theme, special time for cake and presents, all paper goods, plus a special t-shirt for the birthday child. Customized crafts can fit almost any theme.
Explorium of Lexington
The Square, 440 W. Short Street / 258-3253
All parties include tableware, balloons, all-day admission to the museum, pizza, juice boxes, ice cream, and setup and cleanup. Parties are $12 per person. The Explorium offers a large a la carte menu, so you can create the perfect party.
2524 Nicholasville Road
277-2323 / www.gattitownlexington.com
Gatittown has the BEST birthday parties in town with great food, fun games and awesome prizes. Party packages include the Marketplace buffet and drinks, a private party room or reserved seating, decorations, goodie bags, game cards and rides on the Bumper Cars, Carousel and Frog Hopper!
520 Lagonda Ave. / 255-3432
Need something to fill those goody bags? Check out Kremer Wholesale for a huge selection of party favors and toys. Party supplies for all budgets.
Legacy All Sports
261 Ruccio Way / 977-8862
Celebrate your child’s special day at Legacy with fun, flipping and fitness! All party packages include complete setup, cleanup, two party hosts/hostesses, an hour of gym time and a private party room. With the setup, Legacy will also provide balloons, tablecloth, cutlery, plates and napkins.
The Mad Potter
3385 Tates Creek Road
Painting pottery or fusing glass is a great way to celebrate your child’s birthday (Adult parties too). Private party room will host 8-20 for 90 minutes. You are welcome to bring lunch or refreshments and cake. Project, instruction, invitations and balloons provided. Call Monday -Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. for reservations.
Monkey Joe’s Party & Play
1850 Bryant Road / 264-0405
Parties feature a private party room for two full hours and unlimited play in more than 16,000 square feet of jumps, slides, obstacle courses and an arcade. Monkey Joe’s has three party packages and a private party option to help meet your party needs.
Once Upon a Dream Tea Room & Princess Entertainment
230 Plaza Drive / (859) 321-8679
“Making birthdays magical!!!” Once Upon a Dream offers princess parties, tea parties, etiquette tea parties, dress-up and make-over parties as well as home princess appearances.
Sky Zone Lexington
3644 Boston Road / 629-4455
Elevate the way you celebrate! There is no easier way to throw your kids the best party ever. Just show up and Sky Zone does the rest. Two all-inclusive party packages to fit your needs. Voted Best Boys Birthday by Lexington Family Magazine!