I would like to dedicate this blog post to our friend Andrew, who point blank refuses to attend any kids’ parties organised in a play centre. The following article will mostly be relevant to parents based in Derbyshire and Yorkshire area.
It’s very likely that in your twenties, social life was blooming marvellous. Responsibilities were limited and as long as we were present at school, life outside was pretty fun. Then we embarked on the journey into the land of parenthood, initially a lonely road, but as we soon found out, busier than we ever imagined.
Due to the fact an average British family now has both parents working, to sustain the standard expenditure, we feel guilty for not spending quality time with our children. To rectify that, we say yes to every single social event going, every birthday party and run around like headless chickens every Friday, stocking up on birthday presents for the weekend ahead. The more organised amongst us buy presents in bulk, well done guys. You are the true grown ups I aspire to be one day. Currently I am the headless chicken.
Then once a year it’s our turn to entertain the fellow mad men, so we ponder: what shall we do this time?
It’s hard to be creative when your head is preoccupied with million and one things, so let me help you with some party entertainment and locations you could use next time when you get stuck:
1. Science Boffins
Slime making, sweet science, dry ice or a rocket launches! All this could be happening at your kids’ party. You get a dedicated Boffin as your presenter, all within a party atmosphere.
Your total party cost starts at just £220 for one hour of guaranteed edu-tainment for up to 20 children (prices subject to change). Then it’s just £5.00 per head thereafter. The final cost of your party depends on your choice of experiments. (subject to availability).
Upon booking, your child will get a free birthday pack via post. This includes their very own laboratory coat, a special SB’s badge, a certificate and party location balloons! They will love the fact that they really look and will act the part of an Assistant Science Boffin.
The company also takes the party bag hassle off your hands, and can supply you with those, starting at £1 (plus p+p) per child.
You will also receive party invitation template, free of charge, that you can download from their website.
2. Living Adventure, Sheffield
If you like your kids getting mucky, and do stuff outdoors, teaching kids what it takes to survive in the woods, this party is for you. The group will be guided through a series of fun and exciting activities, seeing them make their own camp fires, attempt to survive a zombie invasion, take part in a treasure hunt and build your own survival den!
To round off, they’ll be eating open fire cooked sausages (vegetarian and gluten free options available) and toasted s’mores (chocolate biscuits and marshmallows!) around the fire.
Parties are 2½ hours with food and drinks provided for all children. Adults are welcome completely FREE with tea and coffee available to all. You are welcome to add a food option for parents as well or supply your own food. So all that’s left to do is sort the cake and get to the camp!
For larger bookings and for groups that may wish to stay with for longer, they also have access to kitchen facilities, bunkhouses and group indoor spaces (additional costs may apply).
Cost wise, you are looking at £50 non refundable booking fee, £17 per child for the party, plus £3.50 per child for the picnic for kids, invitations are £0.40 each, and should you wish to add a buffet for parents, that’s £9 a head (you get cheese selection, meats, biscuits, drinks, mediterranean style food)
To book, call Tim on 07773 689 680 (don’t quote me on this, but he works log hours, so don’t be shy calling outside of the standard 9-6, Monday to Friday, this guys is a grafter)
3. My Little Princesses Parties
It’s 2019 and if your child decides they want to party with a Princess (or a Pirate, Batman, Tinkerbell, you name it!), this is as easy as filling an order form.
My little Princess Parties operates around the UK, and provides anything from guest appearances, to 2 hour parties, where the entertainer dresses as your favourite character and makes sure all the children have the best time. They will run your pass the parcel, offer balloon modelling and music & dancing games (depending on the package you decide to go for).
Prices vary from £99 for one entertainer for 30 min, to £349 for two entertainers up to 2 hours.
To book, call 01482 762761 or fill an enquiry form with your requirements here.
4. Fired up Painting at Aston Springs Farm
If you happen to have a super creative child, that loves to tinker, why not book them a more of an artistic birthday bash? Fired up painting offers pottery painting classes and birthday workshops, full day experiences with clay, acrylic painting on canvas or board. There is plenty to choose from.
OPTION 1 – Book a table in the Studio, set your own pottery budget. No minimum number.
OPTION 2 – £15.50pp. Pot painting (Choose from our party range, can be glazed and fired or as a take home on the day option with acrylics, embellishments and foam clay), Gift Plate, Party food and drinks. 1.5hrs. Min of 8, max 16.
OPTION 3 – £17.50pp. Pot Painting/Clay. Pot Painting (Party range, small money bank, or cup), Gift plate, Party food and drink, Clay making session to take home. 2hrs. Min 8, max 16.
Why not make a day of it and enjoy a walk around the farm to see and feed the animals at your pace (discounts available for groups please call 0114 2876699)
To book, contact Sarah on 07707 1920435.
5. Hotel Chocolate chocolate decorating adventure, Leeds
I cannot lie. Hotel Chocolate deliveries are celebrated in our home. I love everything about the company, from what they make to how they deal with customers. I booked one of the children’s chocolate decorating workshops, and their manager emailed me back on a Sunday evening. Not only that, but in such a cheery, approachable, no bother way, that this list would have been incomplete without a mention of their workshops.
There are a lot of dates available, and all bookable via their site at just £20 per child.
What you’ll get: one hour of delicious fun!
A warm welcome with a soft drink on arrival. Learn about chocolate and how it’s made.
Get expert tips on decorating. Save 10% in the shop on the day!
Take home decorated slab and goody bag!
A fun way to learn about the history of cocoa and how beans are transformed into chocolate. Their friendly, expert chocolatiers share tips on decorating, then it’s time to create their own chocolate masterpiece to take home.
Although the website states it’s best for the ages between 5 and 13-years-old, as long as your baby can pipe their own chocolate, they are fairly accommodating.
Experience is available for a maximum of 19 children per group, and not recommended for severe nut allergy sufferers.
To book, visit their website. It’s a really straight forward process.
6. Whirlow Hall Farm adventures, Sheffield
Mucky boots, messy hair, we don’t care. If you love animals and want to rough it with the locals, learning about their life on a farm, or simply looking for a location where your kids can go wild, this is a place for you.
The options are endless. You can have fun indoors, outside, hire the place, pay per head. You can go pet animals or provide your own entertainment. Catering can be taken care of or you can also provide your own.
As well as the Farm Tour and Animal Handling Experience that is included in all of the parties, you can also add:
Scavenger Hunt – children work to find all manner of things around the farm. It is a fun and active way to self-explore and learn about the farm. 5+
All activities are fully risk assessed and lead by trained members of staff.
When can you have a party? Saturdays and Sundays at either 10-1 or 1:30-4:30.
Who can enjoy a party on the Farm? Children aged 3 years and over really enjoy the place, but they can accommodate younger children if required.
How much does a party cost? They offer venue hire for £120 for a three hour party including a Farm Tour. The venue is an education building and includes two separate rooms (so you can keep the jelly and ice cream separate from the Pass-the-Parcel!), loos, cloakroom and a small kitchen area for a well-deserved cuppa.
As an added bonus, there is a large car park so no stress about the numbers of vehicles blocking the road outside the venue.
For more information and to book, call 0114 2620986
7. Animal Magic Parties
If your children love animals, why not have animals at the party? As an animal lover, I was initially sceptical about those kind of parties, but having experienced it first hand, I can assure you that animals are handled well and are accustomed to people. Whether it’s bearded dragon, snake, vinegaroon, rabbit, guinea pig or a stick insect, your children will love it.
If you are bored of clowns and bouncy castles, and want your guests to be entertained as well as educated, this is a party with a difference.
Over 18 species of exotic animals will arrive at your chosen venue.
All the children (and adults if they want to!) will be able to hold and stroke the animals, whilst we explain about each animal’s habitat and care. Whether you love tortoises, geckos, owls or hedgehogs, they will find something for you. Full list of animals is available here.
Free printable invitations are available.
There are a few different packages (available at the time of writing this post):
Animal Party (15 children max), at £125 per hour (plus travel)
A one hour fifteen minute visit would cost £140
A one and a half hour visit would cost £155
Additional children charged at £2,50 each.
What I found quite cool is that you can actually have a themed party as well, when you get only a certain type of animals (great if your kids are afraid of spiders or snakes)”
– Cute and Fluffy Party (with meerkats, owls, skunk, chinchillas, rabbits, opposum)
– Reptile Party (with boa, milk snake, chameleon, geckos, and dragons)
– Deadly 60 Creepy Crawly (mantis, giant snail, cockroaches, millipede, bird eating spiders, scorpions and more)
The company can supply party bags as well, at £2.50
Contact: 07578 467924 or 01298 77412
8. Abi’s balloon creations and face painting
It was an absolute pleasure to have Abi at my daughter’s party last year. Not only is she ridiculously talented, but she is also super considerate and always makes sure all children had a go, had a balloon, had a face paint. She clearly loves what she does and it shows.
I cannot remember off the top of my head how much the service was for a 1.5h slot, but she is worth every penny.
Call her on 07921 311 865 to book.
Bonus: Birthday cakes!
So here’s an extra bit from me: your birthday cake makers sorted.
If you are looking for fondant, iced goodness with 101 Dalmatians made out of sugar, over 3 tier glorious cake, Chocomoo cakes are where you want to get it ordered. They make cakes and also teach how to make them, should you ever feel like a career change. Everything is polished to perfection.
Prices obviously will vary, but for a beautiful, fondant 3 tier birthday cake, with some figurines thrown in for good measure, you are looking at around £250. And it’s worth every penny, as you will easily feed around 100 people with that.
Contact: 07919 164561
I really hope your kids have the best parties, but all the glitter aside, never forget: it’s about people. If you have great people around, you will have fun playing with two sticks in the middle of the desert. Happy Birthday!