Add Pizazz to Your Party
My son once attended a party where Spiderman appeared. The kids were awed. In Character Productions can send one of their 60 life-sized characters to wow your partygoers, too. Popular likenesses include SpongeBob, Buzz Lightyear, Superheroes, and Princesses. MP reader Nicole Bichelman has used them and says, “They’re awesome.”
• Packages range from $125-$170. 268-0494 / incharacterproductions.blogspot.com
If music is more your style, Music for Aardvarks brings instruments for playful sing-alongs that young children love. Their one-hour party includes parachute play, puppets, and bubble machines. Or have your party at their Midtown studio. Blogger Liz Philips (gowithfamily.com) says Aardvarks “always rocks.”
• $150 for one-hour parties for 15 children. 871-0227 / Memphisaardvarks.com
Who doesn’t want to be a princess for a day? Memphis Carriage can bring the Cinderella horse and carriage to your home for a magical ride around your neighborhood. Cinderella is also available for princess parties.
• $250-$500. 482-9496 / memphiscarriagerides.com
If you’re looking for something tailor made for your child, A Posh Party by Latasha Dees might be just the fit. This 28-year-old event designer specializes in children’s parties, especially for 1- and 5-year-olds. She can create a theme or work from your suggestions.
• $100, includes setup and creation of party items based on theme. 494-2724 / Aposhpartybylatasha.com
We’ve got lots of beautiful parks in Memphis, which means no-cost entertainment. For summer parties, the W.C. Johnson Water Spray Park in Collierville is a must. Shelby Farms Discovery Woodlands Playground is buzz-worthy, too. But don’t forget other parks that are equally beautiful and not as busy, like T.O. Fuller Park or Shelby Forest, with its pool, nature center, and boat rides.
Farm visits are always fun. Reader Kristen Gurlen says Maple Grove Farm’s pony rides were a big hit with her young girls’ party. The farm has animals to pet, a moon bounce, a climbing wall, and hayrides. You supply the food and cake.
• $250 for 20 children. 861-7422 / maplegrovefarms.net
Cedar Hill Farm in Hernando, Mississippi, gets a thumbs-up from reader Jana Ortiz. This family farm offers a sizable petting zoo, pony rides, and picnic tables near its playground. You supply food and cake or ask for their catering service.
• $200 for 20 kids. (662) 429-2540 / cedarhfarm.com
Catch the Spirit
Want an action-filled party? Amy Brown held her daughter’s celebration at RiverCity Gymnastics, “and it was the easiest party I’ve ever thrown.” RiverCity provides one hour of play using foam pits, tumble tracks, obstacle courses, and the air track mountain in their gym, followed by 30 minutes in the party room. Saturday parties only.
• $175 for up to 15 kids, $200 for 15-25. 388-3737 / rivercitygymnastics.com.
Gymstars Gymnastics and Cheer Center in Collierville also gets kids moving, notes reader Rachelle Maier. They’ll rev up doing parachute play, an obstacle course, a climb wall, and trampoline, all supervised by staff. The celebration runs one hour, followed by 45-minute refreshment time.
• $155 for up to 15 kids, 861-8468 / gymstarsgymnastics.net
My son is active, so bowling and skating parties were always a hit when he was young. Billy Hardwick’s All Star Lanes, Cordova Bowling, and Bartlett Lanes offer group rates for parties. Packages start at $100 for eight kids and include one hour of bowling, shoes, and use of the party room. East End, Cordova Skating Center, and Funquest offer skate parties starting at $90 for up to 10 skaters, which includes 45 minutes in the party room and unlimited skating.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Girls get to tap their inner diva or pop star with eight different party themes offered at Sweet and Sassy. Hair, nails, and makeup, naturally, but fashionistas get a runway show, and pop star status means singing karaoke. Too fresh!
• Packages start at $269 for 9 girls. 379-9993 / sweetandsassy.com
If your tomboy would rather spend her birthday at the arcade, Incredible Pizza Company is hard to beat. Enjoy a tasty buffet, then let the kids loose in an arcade that dazzles. From games of skill to go-kart rides, it’s non-stop fun.
• Packages start at $8 per guest (game cards are extra). 309-3132 x2 / incrediblepizza.com
Kids can also learn how to cook at Viking Cooking School, where three-hour parties include instruction on pizza, pasta, or cupcake-making.
• $50 per child, 8 minimum. 763-3747 / vikingrange.com
The latest X-Box and Wii games, housed in a tricked out truck and brought right to your door is what Game Truck Party is all about. Interactive games with a ref to help newbies is gaming at its best. (see sidebar for more details)
• $299 for 2 hours, 20 kids. 240-6266 / gametruckparty.com
Be part of a superhero rescue mission at C.R.O.S.S.Fire Commandos, where kids ride a zip line, run an obstacle course, and jump on a trampoline during this action-filled party. You’ll have one hour in the gym, and 30 minutes in party room. Parents bring food and drink.
• $135/up to 10, $160/11-15 kids, 756-1818 / haveastandard.com
Gigi’s Cupcakes 4709 Poplar, Memphis, & 9077 Poplar, Germantown. Dreamy Cupcakes. 866-2253
Muddy’s Bake Shop 5101 Sanderlin Ave #114, Memphis. Fabulous cakes. 683-8844
Oh! Susannah’s 1016 W. Poplar #111, Collierville. Kids decorate their own donuts. 861-4404
Rockinrobinsdjs.com Comprehensive site listing party services, caterers, destinations, and entertainers.