Your Guide to the Ultimate Kid’s Birthday Party

What’s better for kids to look forward to, besides Friday afternoons, the weekend, and Christmas?  Well, their birthday of course?  It’s such an important time for them, and as parents its really important to take time to think about how you can help them celebrate it.

Of course, we shouldn’t spoil kids (not too badly), we’ll save that for grandkids.  Nonetheless for a parent that enjoys planning and design (like me), it’s a great time to show off your skills and get some really cool ideas laid out.

So in this guide we’ll look at what I think the ultimate guide for a birthday part would be.  Some of these ideas might be outside your price range (bounce houses and a dunk tank, for example), but some don’t really cost much at all (water balloon toss, for example).  In any case, you can pick and choose which ones you want to include that fit within your budget.

Let’s go!

Bounce Houses – Turn Your Backyard into an Amusement Park

SpongeBob Squarepants Bounce House
A SpongeBob Squarepants Bounce House can be a great centerpiece of your kids party.

Did you know that in many states a bounce house rental company is a registered amusement ride provider?  They go through many of the same certifications and inspections as amusement parks!  (As they should, considering your kids will be jumping around on these things.)

But what this also means is that renting a big ol’ bounce castle in your backyard is like turning the house into an amusement park.  Neat, right?

Taking into account the fact that these things are booming in popularity with the kiddos these days, I think it makes sense to make it the centerpiece of your party.

Here’s a couple of tips:

  • Pick one that will comfortably fit the kiddies at your party.  Otherwise, you’ll need to be sure to that an adult is always watching to make sure its not over populated.
  • Many bounce houses come with character themes, such as SpongeBob SquarePants, or Dora the Explorer.  This is where you can really get relevant to the interests of your kid in particular.

One last shout out, we are in New Jersey and used Bounce Houses New Jersey for our party.  They were really amazing to work with, so highly recommended if you are in the area.

Dunk Tank – Now we are getting crazy

Dunk Tank Rental

The same companies that rent bounce houses can also rent lots of other party goodies, including a big option, the dunk tank.

Now one immediate caveat, this is kind of crazy.  This is for big parties with lots of kids AND adults.  You’ll be wanting to dunk a willing adult (usually this is Dad or a likeable Uncle), and you’ll need lots of people to participate in order to make it worth it.

There is a reason why these are usually saved for corporate events, however, since this is the “Ultimate Guide”, why hold back?

A few tips if you decide to go this route:

  • Have a yard that big enough to house the dunk tank and have space for people to throw the ball (at least 20-30 feet to make it challenging).
  • It’s filled with hundreds of gallons of water so you’ll want to be near some good drainage.
  • Make the most of it by scheduling at least 3 dunk sessions.
  • Careful with dunking kids, they might get mad and upset.  Might want to stick with adults.

A last shoutout, we used Above All Party Rentals, and they were great to work with.  Recommended if you are in the area!

Popcorn and Cotton Candy – Your Own Concession Stands!

Taking the amusement park concept to the next level, we have to add in some goodies from the concession stands.  Party rental companies with usually always have food machines such as popcorn machines and cotton candy machines.  Additionally you could always fire up a grill with hot dogs, hamburgers/etc.

Obviously food and treats are always a necessity for kids at parties.  Kids are easy to please, generally, so you could always go with a pizza party, however if you want to stick with carnival theme, you could consider going to extra mile and get yourself a cotton candy machine (making the cotton candy is really fun and cool looking too!)

UPDATE: Apparently Amazon has Cotton Candy Machines for less than 60 bucks, so if you want to pick that up, it could work really well.  Of course, who knows if you’ll ever use it again, so make room in the garage or basement!