Parents want their children to feel special and important, and
that is especially true on a child's birthday. A birthday girl or
birthday boy is the figurative star of the day, and many birthday
parties take it a step further and make the guest of honor the
literal star of the show.
One option is to make your child royalty. At Medieval
Times in Schaumburg, a birthday celebration includes a
personalized announcement during the show.
"You are truly royalty on that day," says Sandy
Maldonado-Martinez, marketing and sales manager. "It's unique, and
not your typical birthday outing. Kids are going to remember being
put front and center."
The King or Princess at the tournament announces who is there
celebrating a birthday, and everyone starts cheering.
Maldonado-Martinez says that as the entire crowd joins in, the
birthday guests get a great look on their face when they realize,
"They're all cheering for me."
Medieval Times celebrates birthdays of all ages and has become a
popular birthday destination for teens. Maldonado-Martinez says
teen fans of Game of Thrones are especially enthusiastic.
The regal theme also is found at My Party
Princess, where owner Melissa Raitano explains,
"Everything we do is catered around the birthday girl - special
throne, special dress. Everything is catered to make that girl feel
Package options available to make a birthday girl feel like
Hollywood's most popular starlet include a limousine, a walk down
the pink carpet, a cake that looks like her, special photo shoots
and sometimes even some bling to take home.
Sometimes, putting the birthday child in the spotlight means a
little alone time first. They offer different party packages that
can give a birthday child extra time in the facility to be party
ready when guests arrive or have one-on-one time with a
Raitano says that My Party Princess is rolling out a pen pal
package with the birthday girl receiving a letter from a princess
four times a year.
"We want to make girls feel special all year round, not just on
A royal theme is not the only way to shine a spotlight on the
The Deerfield Park District offers many
different kinds of theme parties and each one has a different way
of putting the birthday child front and center.
"Who doesn't want to be the star of the show on their birthday?"
asks Mari Krasney, Deerfield Park District's birthday party
coordinator. Its dance party puts the birthday kid literally on
stage and the beauty birthday party means the birthday girl leads
the walk down the runway, but the possibilities are endless,
including a magic-themed party with the birthday child serving as
the magician's assistant.
Other examples include a science party at which the guest of
honor dons a lab coat and helps perform the experiments in front of
guests, or even a cooking theme party where kids choose the menu
and leave feeling like the next Food Network star. Even the art
party features the birthday child (or teen) at the front of the
room, explaining his/her choice of project to guests.
"We make sure that the birthday child is the most important
person at that party," says Darla Kuhs, communications and
foundation manager for the Deerfield Park District.
The birthday kids are not the only ones who enjoy the extra
"Parents absolutely enjoy seeing the kids front and center as
much as the kids enjoy being front and center."
Conversely, some parents worry about how their child will handle
the spotlight on what can be an already overwhelming day, but
Krasney says she has never hosted a party where a child reacted
poorly to the attention.
"I have had parents tell me before a party, 'They're so shy,
they're so shy' but when the birthday child arrives and the party
gets going, it's like they're in the theater department. They're
Raitano agrees. "If a birthday girl is super shy, it's our job
to bring them out of their shell and make sure they have a good
time and feel very special."
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