Our best birthday memories happen when we’re kids. That’s when your birthday mattered.
Once you have children of your own, the focus turns to them. If you think about it, your kids only get a handful of birthdays to really celebrate before it turns into a regular old “cake and ice cream after dinner” sort of celebration.
Planning a special party they’ll never forget can be a challenge. Most of us end up taking the overrated Chuck-E Cheese route. But we don’t have to!
I had quite a few birthday parties at Chuck-E Cheese as a kid. That was back when it was still called Showbiz Pizza and featured the big animatronic band. Most Chuck-E Cheese restaurants don’t have all those characters anymore – just one robotic Chuck-E and videos playing on a bunch of flat-screen TVs.
Each year, those of us with young kids rack our brains to come up with a memorable party idea. Rack your brain no more. After a little research, WhooNEW discovered 18 exciting birthday ideas for your kids that are unique to Green Bay, the Fox Cities and surrounding areas.
There are enough suggestions here to give your young-ins an unforgettable birthday bash for years to come!
Take a look…
1. Head Chef Birthday Party
Remember when you were little and your mom let you help stir the brownie batter?
As a kid, helping out in the kitchen can bring so much joy and excitement. My son, Max, recently helped whip up a batch of Rice Krispy treats with Daddy, and he was so proud! Plus, it turned out to be one of the best Rice Krispy treats I’d ever eaten!
Now picture your little cook having the chance to be lead chef at his or her very own birthday party! Gather up a group of friends and create individual pizzas with faces and decorate cupcakes for dessert. Budding Chefs of De Pere makes birthdays like this possible.
Budding Chefs owner, Deb Johnson, is a mom who is passionate about kids and nutrition. She uses natural ingredients as much as possible including organic and local produce and pure maple syrup or raw honey instead of sugar.
Besides a fun cooking lesson with yummy eats and treats – your little guests will even get to decorate an apron to take home!
You can get more info on the Budding Chefs website.
2. Bouncin’ Birthday Party
Letting our kids have some freedom to be a kid is important, and that’s why a bouncin’ birthday party would be a special way to celebrate your little one.
Have you ever heard about the Bouncin’ Bus? It’s basically a school bus converted into a gym on wheels and is perfect for kids two to seven years old. Inside the bus, there are lots of fun things to do, including a zip line, ball pit and mats for tumbling. Plus, all the kids at the party will get to learn the basics of gymnastics and fun ways to improve their balance all while they work those muscles!
Get the Bouncin’ Bus delivered to your own front yard – or location of your choice. There will be a good hour of free play as well as some organized activities and fun music. The birthday child will get a special medal at the awards ceremony and balloon animals for everyone!
You can even choose to add an outdoor bouncy house and a 3D cake too. FYI – the Bouncin’ Bus is available for your kids party anytime of the year!
There’s no denying that most kids have an abundance of energy that we adults wish we had! Sir-Bounce-a-Lot’s and Monkey Joe’s are two more perfect places to plan another bouncin’ birthday party for your kids and all their friends.
At Sir-Bounce-a-Lot’s in Green Bay, your birthday king or queen will wear the royal crown or tiara and be free to get crazy with their friends in the inflatable kingdom! Pizza, ice cream, a special birthday gift and a spin on the birthday wheel – what else could your little birthday guest of honor want. There are also tons of arcade-style games to play to win tickets and get prizes.
If you live in the Fox Cities, there’s a very similar option for your little ones birthday party. The two Monkey Joe’s locations in Appleton provide wall-to-wall inflatable slides, jumps, and obstacle courses that will keep your barrel of monkeys bouncing, sliding, and jumping. You’ll get a private party suite, pizza and if you have more than 24 kids you can even book an after hours private party to have the whole place to yourselves!
3. Out-of-This-World Birthday Party
It’s no surprise that kids are fascinated with the moon and stars – because who isn’t?
Space is fun to learn about! My son is only three and he already tells me he wants to “fly a rocket-ship when he grows up.” Of course he wants Mom, Dad, his little brother and dog to come with. So, since you only get one day to celebrate your little one each year, why not make it an out-of-this-world celebration!
Give your child a thrilling, unique and educational birthday party under the stars at the Barlow Planetarium in Menasha. Even you will enjoy the unforgettable 3-D experience.
See a private planetarium show, travel back in time for a look at the starry sky on the night of your child’s actual birth date, and get a personalized star chart featuring the stars and planets on this birthday and the day he was born.
The state-of-the-art special effects, 10,000 watt surround sound and interactive keypads at your seat will make for an exciting and realistic adventure.
4. Dress Up Birthday Party
When I was younger, one of my good girlfriends and I had hours of fun dressing up in all sorts of outfits and posing for the camera.
Looking back at the crazy amount of pictures we took makes me laugh not only because we look ridiculous, but… well I have to admit – I was actually 15 and in high school! But the truth is, most girls love to look pretty and feel glamorous, especially when we’re little. Dressing up, braiding each others hair, stealing Mom’s make-up and painting our toenails get us pumped up.
This birthday party idea could just be your little sweetie’s most memorable, and there’s a perfect kid-friendly salon in De Pere that will help make her dream come true.
Plan a princess birthday party at Snips & Giggles. She’ll love it and she’ll love you for it! Picture her all dolled up in a pretty dress that she picked out, with a beautiful up-do, sparkly nail polish, make-up and she gets to be the star of her very own dance party. To save the memory, she will take home a group picture with all of her friends and everyone will get their very own tiara to keep!
Whether your girly-girl is turning four or twelve, the salon has custom packages to suite the glitzy glam, cheerleader, fairy princess or cover girl.
5. Open Gym Birthday Party
Oshkosh Gymnastics Center even as a castle maze and a zip line!
Choose between a giant inflatable slide or caterpillar when you have a birthday party at Starz Gym. Plus, they even do sleep over parties with popcorn and a movie on the big screen!
A party like this is perfect for boys and girls and you definitely don’t need to be a gymnast!
6. Bubble Birthday Party
Bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles! What kid doesn’t like bubbles? The Happy Feet “Bubble Man” turns everyday bubbles into a high energy bubble party with bubbles galore – right in your own backyard!
This Bubble Man is also a DJ so the kids will enjoy music, games like potato sack races, limbo, hula hoop contests, depending on the age of the group, and lots of interaction. It’s a simple, convenient and an exciting way to jazz up any birthday party! Visit the Happy Feet Entertainment website to get the details and check availability.
7. Artistic Birthday Party
For most kids, crayons are fun, markers are “funner” but, painting is the “funnest!”
This creative birthday idea is perfect for the little artists at heart. At Paintin’ Pottery or Bead It in De Pere and The Fire in Appleton, everyone at the party can paint a pottery project, create a mosaic, or make some beaded jewelry. They can even do glass fusing which is for kids of all ages!
Order in some pizza, have some cake and open presents all right there. The birthday child even gets to take home a personalized memory plate with everyone’s fingerprints.
8. Imaginative Birthday Party
Isn’t it ironic that when we’re kids, we like to play house, pretend to have a job, mow the lawn, cook in the kitchen, and other adult responsibilities. Then when we are adults, we wish we could be a kid again – free from responsibility!
Child psychologist David Elkind, Ph.D., explains in his book, The Power of Play, that “Imaginative play fosters creativity and helps children explore the world. Make-believe also has therapeutic value.” he says. “Imaginations and creativity are like muscles: If you don’t use them you lose them.”
At Kidz Town in Green Bay, or Play Date, in Neenah, kids can play, pretend, run and jump and be free to experience the world inside a kid-sized town! At Kidz Town there’s a hospital, restaurant, fire station, vet, schoolhouse, and lots of costumes to help their imaginations run wild! There’s also the Lil’ Sprouts Garden, which is an area for the smaller babes.
At Play Date, kids can dress as a princess, construction worker, police officer or king of the castle. Play Date even offers treasure hunts and dart blaster parties! Both places have a Rainbow play system and and a private room for food and presents.
9. Sports Lovers Birthday Party
This birthday party idea will be a huge hit! (pun intended)
Give your birthday child an opportunity to throw the first pitch at a Timber Rattlers baseball game. They’ll get a team autographed baseball, hot dogs and drinks to share with all 10 people at his party, a personalized ice cream cake, a b-day card presented by Fang the mascot – and the entire crowd will sing him the Happy Birthday song! Not to mention a whole baseball game to watch and enjoy. The Timber Rattlers birthday party package is a very reasonable price!
Here’s another option for kids with a competitive edge…
Imagine your child walks into a place with mini-golfing, batting cages, go-kart racing, laser tag, mini-bowling, unlimited video games and inflatables.
Badger Sports Park is truly a youngster’s paradise! And the newest attraction is the Mission Impossible Laser Maze where you navigate through a web of laser beams as fast as you can. It’s no wonder they host more than 1,000 birthday parties every year! It’s a total blast of a birthday party idea. Get the details on all of the attractions at Badger Sports Park.
Kids will enjoy pizza, birthday cake and Slushies in your own private room. The birthday child will even get a spin on the birthday wheel for extra prizes and your group photo will be added to the party wall of fame!
10. Hay is For Horses Birthday Party
If you’re looking to do something very unique for your child’s next birthday celebration, consider Meadowood Saddlebred Farm, in Brillion, for an equestrian-style party. Saddle up!
Bring some of your child’s little buddies to have some fun with horses. Groom them, feed them, and then saddle up for a ride – rain or shine! The special birthday child even gets extra saddle time. Then you can use the indoor area for decorations, cake and opening presents.
Meadowood has 15 acres of fenced in pastureland where the kids can chase farm cats. Plus, there’s a great pond for catching frogs!
There is also Rock K Ranch in Greenleaf. You’ll take a horse-drawn hay or sleigh ride (depending on the time of year) through the scenic wooded trails!
Stop in the woods to roast hot dogs and marshmallows over a campfire before riding back for cake and presents in your private cabin. If you’re birthday boy or girl is more of a pizza fan, Fox’s Pizza Den in Wrightstown will deliver to the ranch! To top it off, the kids will get to chase some kittens and play with other animals.
11. Roller Skating Birthday Party
Admit it, roller skating was one of your all-time favorite childhood memories.
Great tunes like Celebrate, The Locomotion and Hokey Pokey filled the rink while you made laps around and around. I can still remember the feeling of wind hitting my face, the music in my heart and the feeling in my tummy like you get from a ride at an amusement park!
This is a great birthday party idea. Give your son or daughter a taste of the fun birthday parties you had when you were their age. Two places to check out are Skater’s Edge in Appleton, and the Rola-Rena, in Green Bay.
Rola-Rena birthday parties include skates, drinks, party bags, cotton candy, a special birthday cupcake with a message and a birthday song for the guest of honor. Skater’s Edge claims to have the largest roller skating rink in Appleton. Birthday parties there include skates, drinks, ice cream for everyone and a free roller skating pass for the the birthday guest to come back for more fun.
And I’ve heard the skating rinks are still playing the same 70’s and 80’s songs – so it just might bring back some good memories for you too!
12. Nature Lovers Birthday Party
It’s not hard to find amazing places to experience nature up-close-and-personal in Northeast Wisconsin. Kids love being outside. Sticks, rocks, insects and wildlife are so fun to see and explore! Have your kid’s next birthday party in the great outdoors at one of these awesome places…
At Woodland Dunes Nature Center in Two Rivers, you can rent the facility and a naturalist who will lead you along one of trails to explore the prairie, marsh, woodlands or forest and tell you stories about things you see! They have live animals to play with and a neat Little Wings natural play ground with a frog pond where kids can splash around and search for water critters. There’s an area for kids to build forts out of things they find in nature, an art area, wind garden and tree circle, prairie maze, grassy knoll, bird sanctuary to observe and watch the wildlife and a sand pit to search for fossils and rocks.
At the Brillion Nature Center, pick a nature-themed birthday party that includes – wildflowers, frogs and exploration in the spring or snowshoeing, animal tracks and survival in the winter. There’s a fun theme for every season and nature hunts and games are all year round. A naturalist will customize and lead your games and activities according to the nature theme you pick!
13. Animal Lovers Birthday Party
Many of us visit the NEW Zoo, especially on nice summer days. But, have you ever considered making a birthday party out of it? Did you even know the zoo offered a birthday party package? Well – now you do!
If your birthday child loves animals, the zoo is a perfect idea for a party! Besides encountering animals like monkeys, lions, and giraffes each kid in the party will get an ice cream cone filled with food to feed to the sheep and goats. Feed rye crackers to Hodari and Zuri (the 2 giraffes) or get a special personal experience with a soft and cuddly creature, cold and Scaly pal or fine feathered friend of your choice. Take a ride on the safari train or endangered species carousel, have pizza and cake and popcorn for a snack and the birthday guest will even get a special zoo gift.
If you want to get very up close and personal with the animals, consider renting a pavilion at the Special Memories Zoo in Greenville for a unique petting zoo party.
Many people have told me that it’s a much more intimate experience with the animals than most typical zoos. They have lots of baby animals the kids can play with, a little playground and you can even take a train ride through the Badgerland trails to explore native Wisconsin animals.
In addition to the lions, tigers and grizzly bears – you’ll get to hang with the monkeys, kangaroos, lemurs, camels, zebras and otters to name a few… plus they are adding a giraffe this summer! This would definitely make a very memorable birthday for the little one.
14. Water Fun Birthday Party
Thankfully we’re starting to see signs of nice weather in Wisconsin and being outside is a new found thrill for our kids! Add some water fun and friends to the mix, and you’ve got an unforgettable birthday party. Here’s a few places that will help make it an extra special event…
The Pollock Community Water Park in Oshkosh has huge inner-tube slides, a lazy river with water falls and tipping water buckets plus much more! For those who just want to swim, there’s a walk-in pool, a lap pool and diving boards. Younger kids can enjoy the water splash pad and sandy play area. When you have your birthday party at the water park, you’ll get hot dogs, birthday cake for everyone, and a surprise gift for the birthday guest! They’ll even play Happy Birthday over the loud speakers for the birthday kid. Check out their party packages.
Also check out the Green Bay Kroc Center for your swimming birthday bash. The aquatic center has a large tube slide and 2 smaller slides in the shallow play structure, a big tipping water bucket and a leisure river too. You’ll get time in your private room with pizza and cake and a visit from RJ the “Kroc-a-dile!” Plus a special t-shirt for the birthday child. A swimming bash isn’t the only party package the Kroc Center offers… check their list of party packages for more.
And of course there’s the Tundra Lodge Water park in Green Bay. This three-story indoor water park has 30,000 square feet of slides, fountains, pools and play equipment that the kids will get to enjoy for the entire day! On top of all the water fun, you’ll get pizza and birthday cake and tokens for extra fun in the 70-game Gold Rush arcade room.
Check out the Tundra Lodge website for more details and great pictures of the water park.
15. Games & Rides Birthday Party
The rides at Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay just keep getting better and better! It’s a great place to make memories and hold summer birthday bashes.
If you grew up in the Green Bay area, you probably had your favorites. Maybe it was the helicopters and Ferris wheel when you were younger, then the bumper cars and the Scrambler when you got a little older. Today, Bay Beach is even home to its own roller coaster, the Zippin Pippin.
Plus, the park plans to add the Sea Dragon ride sometime during the 2013 season! It’s giant swing ride shaped like a huge canoe. Bay Beach has pavilions, shelters and picnic areas that can be rented for your child’s birthday party, and the ever popular snow cones and cotton candy are sure to be a hit.
Funset Boulevard of Appleton is another one of those amazing places that will make your kid’s jaw drop at the site of it!
There’s more than 100 video and arcade games, laser tag, bowling, batting cages, bumper cars, mini bowling, mini golf, a train, a carousel and a kids playground with balls, tubes, slides and a toddler zone. Your package can include pizza, cake, ice cream and 200 points for the prize counter.
16. Bowling Birthday Party
Bowling birthday parties are super fun – especially for kids. Besides, it’s easy and pretty affordable for the parents too.
For instance, when you have your bowling birthday party at Ashwaubenon Bowling Lanes, you’ll get two hours of bowling – plus, shoes and pizza for everyone. You can also rent a private room to gather together and open presents. The birthday child bowls free and gets to take home a cool happy birthday souvenir bowling pin. Plus, send a picture of your birthday child to be the featured background on your scoring monitors while you bowl!
Visit Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley’s website for more details.
Some other great bowling lanes in the area to check out include Super Bowl in Appleton, which has party packages for kids, teens and adults and The Gutter in Suamico (formerly the Pro Bowl/Suamico Ale House)
17. Museum Birthday Party
Exhibits at the Green Bay children’s museum include things like a tour of the digestive system (complete with slide), a lifelike lighthouse and a construction zone just to name a few. Similar to places like Kidz Town, there are also play areas featuring a market, diner, firehouse and other grownup stuff.
You’ll get to spend a full day of fun exploring the exhibits. Plus, you’ll get to pick a theme for the party! The “Let’s Dance! Be a Star” theme includes dress up and karaoke. Pick the “Fairy-Tale Princess” party and design your own jewels. Or have a Superhero or Mad Scientist host your party!
You can also have a Bricks 4 Kids-Lego theme party and everyone gets to make their own Lego creation to take home. Whatever theme you choose, there’s a special craft project and fun games to go along with it.
A birthday party at the Building For Kids in Appleton is just as much fun. The exhibits here include a Castle Adventure, Move-It (levers, pulleys, etc.), Doll Hospital, Water Play area, Kwik Trip store, Happy Baby Garden, Jet, Construction Junction, Fire Truck, Diner, DaVinci Studio, Playground, Story Tree and an Amazing Heart.
Their new temporary exhibit, that just opened in April and will only be available until July 31st, is the Wild Safari Adventure. It’s a safari experience with real African animals!
Choose between a Mad Scientist, Pirate, Dino Dig, Safari or Princess party theme and enjoy crafts, games and other fun activities too.
Having been to both museums with my boys and I’d say they are each worthy of a visit, and a birthday party at either one would be a memorable and exciting experience!
18. Magic Birthday Party
Have you ever thought of having a magician perform for your child’s special day?
Honestly, the thought hasn’t crossed my mind, but after looking into it – I think it’s an awesome birthday party idea that your kids will be excited about and will make for a very memorable experience for them!
WhooNEW found a professional magician from Appleton that is sure to make your child’s next birthday party a blast.
Zoomalata Magic is the comedy magic of Steven Dickinson. Kids call him Mr. D.
He’s been a magician for more than 20 years so he knows just what kids like to see! In fact he even promises that if the kids don’t have fun during his show, you’ll get 100% of your money back. Dickinson’s shows are funny and entertaining for kids to watch, and you’ll be amazed by how well they sit through the entire show! Besides the magic, he’s a pro at making all sorts of balloon creations! And the kids will get to help the magician – especially the birthday child! Here’s a short clip of Mr. D in action!
Another well-known area magician and hypnotist is Ron Lindberg (better known as Rondini).
He has a custome and magic shop on College Avenue in Appleton where you can rent a party room. Check out Abramagic.com for more information. Rondini is a great choice for adult birthday entertainment too.
What Are Your Birthday Party Ideas?
Hopefully these birthday ideas gave you something to think about. Whatever you choose to do for the party, I hope it turns out to be a blast!
If you have ideas or secrets for making amazing birthday parties, experiences to share or anything else to say – leave us a comment!