Little girls may be made of sugar and spice, but that doesn’t mean their birthday parties have to be sweet, bland confections. Help your daughter celebrate her birthday with unusual themes, locations and foods that will make her day the coolest birthday party ever. No matter what age she’s about to turn, you can adapt classic birthday party ingredients to suit her personal style and tastes.
Location can add a definitive cool factor to a girl’s birthday party. If your budget allows, book an ice-skating rink for the afternoon. You get bonus cool points for a midsummer ice-skating party–or a winter pool party at the Y. Local parks may offer inexpensive rates for the use of facilities, such as picnic pavilions, which can serve as home base for an outdoor birthday party complete with a real playground. Don’t overlook your own house for cool birthday party locations. The right decorations can turn your basement into a jungle or your garage into the throne room of a fairy tale castle.
You don’t have to have a birthday party theme, but a theme can simplify planning and push the cool meter over the top. Put your own spin on familiar, tried-and-true party ideas. Turn a “princess” party into an adventure, for example, by greeting guests with the announcement that trolls have stolen the birthday cake, and it’s up to them to follow the clues and rescue the cake so the party can go on. Turn a sleepover party into a movie night, featuring bowls of popcorn and favorite videos played until all the guests nod off.
Creating a wedding guest list can be less fraught with peril than deciding who to invite to your daughter’s birthday party once she reaches school age. Enjoy the early years when you can simply invite friends, relatives and neighbors. Once your daughter has a social life, birthday party planning can get immensely more complex. Let your daughter lead the way when choosing party guests, but let her know your limits, especially if the party is at a location where you pay per guest in attendance.
Birthday cakes are usually the central attraction of the party menu, but pre-teen and tween girls may be ready for more sophisticated cake ideas. Glitz up a princess-themed party with a three-tiered cake complete with swags, bows and a tiara crowning the top layer. If you want to keep the menu healthy, substitute a fruit bouquet for the traditional birthday cake, or skip sugary frosting in favor of fresh fruits and skim milk whipped cream.
Eventually, every parent comes up against one of the major aspects of “cool”–parental supervision and adult involvement. Once girls reach “a certain age”–and that age varies from family to family–they’d rather have mom just disappear for most of the party. If your daughter wants less mom and more party, consider birthday party types that let you keep a watchful eye on the proceedings without being intrusive. A pool party at the local Y or an early evening roller-skating party can bridge that gap if locale rules require adult presence. That way, it’s not mom who’s being uncool–it’s just the rules.
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