Another weekend, another kid’s birthday party – and another trip to one of the typical destinations for these celebrations. By the time your child hits elementary school, the constant party parade can begin to feel a bit monotonous.
For the sake of our fellow parents’ sanity, can we trade in bouncing and bowling for circus tricks and science experiments? Or skip swimming and paint-by-number parties for LEGO builds and cooking classes? Fun alternatives do exist! Before you plan your child’s next birthday party, consider these local out-of-the-box ideas.
Bongo Boy Music
No one sits still for long at this high-energy Castleton music studio. Ninety-minute birthday parties include dancing, rhythm activities and a drum circle. For an extra $5 per guest, kids can make their own musical instruments, such as tambourines or cardboard guitars. Tables/tablecloths and cups/plates/flatware are provided.
Prices: $195 for Basic Party; $325 for Deluxe Party, including pizza, drinks, cake and balloons
Info: 8481 Bash St., Indianapolis, 317-771-0241, www.bongoboymusic.com/RMC/Programs/Birthday_Parties.aspx
There’s nothing boring about a birthday party involving a trapeze. At Cirque Indy’s studio just off Mass Ave, trained instructors will teach kids 7 and older circus tricks on a variety of swinging apparatus. Parties are typically an hour long, and outside food and drink are allowed. Bookings start in October.
Prices: $125 for 1-5 people; $225 for 6-10 people; $300 for 11-20 people
Info: 617 N. Fulton St., Indianapolis, 317-758-7455, www.cirqueindy.com/parties
How were birthdays celebrated in the 1800s? Well, probably not like this. But your kids can still get a glimpse into the past with a party at Fishers’ popular living history museum. Spring through fall, parties include the private use of a picnic pavilion for two hours, 20 tickets to all outdoor areas and a coloring craft or scavenger hunt. November through March, parties move inside to a private room reserved for two hours, 20 tickets to indoor activities and a coloring craft.
Prices: In-season parties are $225 for members, $250 for non-members. Off-season parties are $175 for members, $200 for non-members.
Info: 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers, 317-776-6000, www.connerprairie.org
LEGO lovers rejoice! Throw a building party at your home or at ItsABlockParty’s storefront on Indy’s south side. Owner Doug and son Jacob are big-time LEGO enthusiasts who will guide builders of all ages through games and contests using hundreds of special pieces. Parties are typically 90 minutes and each guest gets to build a LEGO minifigure to keep. DUPLO parties are also available for the younger set.
Prices: $119 for up to 10 people, $8 for each additional guest
Info: 6025 S. Madison Ave., Indianapolis, 317-506-8887, www.itsablockparty.com
Love Pinterest but don’t have the time/energy/craftiness to pull off those themed art projects? Enter Frances Samarripa, owner of LINE+form Atelier, a unique art studio in Irvington. Parties here focus on the process of creating art, rather than on the finished product, and kids are invited to explore multiple mediums as they interpret the theme you choose. Parties are offered on Sundays and last 90 minutes, accommodating 12 to 16 children. The LINE+form Art Cart can also be rented for off-site parties.
Prices: $250 for 12 guests, $15 each for up to four additional guests
Info: 5612 E. Washington St., Indianapolis, www.lineandformatelier.com/birthday-parties
Give kids a chance to get messy, and learn something in the process, with Science Time’s in-home parties. Owner Kim is a Purdue grad who left a career in lab work to raise her four boys and now brings her science expertise into your kitchen/dining room/back yard. Each party incorporates at least four experiments, from mixing slime to constructing a Diet Coke geyser, along with lab coats, goggles and party favors. (Clean up is included, too!)
Prices: Hour-long parties are $125 plus $10 per child, up to 10 kids; 90-minute parties are $190 plus $15 per child, up to 10 kids.
Info: Party takes place at your home, 317-660-1433, www.sciencetimeindy.com
Sprout’s Cooking School
From pizza to cupcakes or a “Chopped”-style challenge, your kids are sure to cook up some birthday party memories at this Carmel cooking school’s new location. The 90-minute parties accommodate 12 to 16 pint-sized chefs, and instructors are on hand to guide them through multiple recipes. All celebrations include ice cream sundaes with all the toppings (or birthday cakes can be added for an additional cost).
Prices: $325-$375 for 12 guests, depending on theme; $15 each for up to four additional guests
Info: 13190 Hazel Dell Parkway, Unit 100, Carmel, www.sproutscookingschool.com/birthdays
Plan a birthday as special as your child and make the celebration as unique as they are!