There are many options and venues available for celebrating children’s birthdays. To celebrate these special milestones parents are always searching for new and fun ideas for gathering friends, singing “Happy Birthday,” and eating birthday cake. Often the choices are indoor venues like the local kiddie gym, a movie, or bowling. It’s easy to end up debating ideas for weeks. There’s mini golf, a party at a toy store, a dance class for friends and more.
Rather than those option, you might consider doing something outside. Check out where there are local nature centers, zoos, and farms that welcome birthday parties. Local Audubon Nature Centers offers programs for children throughout the spring. You might be surprised by your child’s enthusiasm if you offer the opportunity to take friends to the nature center to look for frogs, salamanders and bugs in a vernal pool. Your child many jump at the chance to be outside getting dirty and touching bugs and slimy things for her birthday. Being outside exploring gives childen a great deal of pleasure.
You may even find that the parents of your child’s friends will join right in and dig through the leaves and catch critters in their own nets right along with them. This is certainly more fun than standing around watching kids run around.
Here are photos of some of the neat critters that can be found while investigating venral pools (credit: the Vernal Pool Association):
Don’t be surprised when the party come to and end if your chil gives you a big hug and tells you that it was one of the best parties they have ever had. When I did this for my daughter she said ‘Mommy, I love you so much! Thanks for planning the best party ever for me.” It’s a really great feeling when that happens.
When planning you child’s birthday party, I encourage you to consider alternatives to the norm. Research your local area to find opportunites for outdoor celebrating. You might be surprised by what you find. Not only will it be fun, but it will be memorable for everyone and a great learning experience for the kids.