Whether you and your children want to do some old-school roller skating, swing from a trapeze or play some baseball, there are numerous places around the Chicagoland area that provide unique birthday party experiences.
And the host organizations say the best thing about sports-themed parties is there’s minimal set up and clean up — families, and their guests just have to do is show up, relax and have a good time.
At Fleetwood Roller Rink in Summit, manager Kathy VanderBeek says roller skating parties are seeing a resurgence in popularity, as many children now have parents who went to their own roller skating parties in the 1970s and 1980s.
“We do parties for people of all ages, including a lot of adult birthday parties,” she says. “People want to have the parties they couldn’t have when they were kids. They either want to have them for themselves now or have them for their kids.”
Everything is provided, from napkins to pizza, drinks and cake, making hosting a party at Fleetwood an effortless experience.
“Mom doesn’t have to do anything,” she says. “We sing happy birthday in the center of the floor as well as at the party table.”
She says the rink hosts about 15 to 20 parties per weekend. The facility also is available to rent for private parties of 40 people or more, shutting down the facility for non-party guests.
“The parties are great exercise for kids, and they get three hours of skating. There’s no waiting in line to do anything,” she says. “Kids can skate the entire time if they want to.”
Birthday parties with the any little kid feel like a star.
“It doesn’t get much better than a birthday at the ballpark, whether you’re an adult gathering some friends together in a luxury suite or having an entire stadium sing Happy Birthday as your little one stands on the field between innings,” says Ed McCaskey, director of marketing and media for the Schaumburg Boomers.
Boomers baseball is the most reasonably-priced game in town, with proximity to the action and a good family environment.
“The biggest thing that makes parties with the Boomers so special is our affordability, unique environment and winning track record,” he says.
Dolphin Swim Club offers birthday parties at their locations in Crystal Lake and Loves Park, says Kelsey Klaus, activities director for the Crystal Lake swim club.
Parties there offer a year round opportunity to swim and play water games, she says. They offer 75 minutes of in-water swimming time with a certified lifeguard. It also includes a games coordinator who assists swimmers and facilitates games like Sharks and Minnows and diving for rings, as well as 45 minutes of pizza and cupcakes in the party room, she says.
“We do everything from set up to clean up and offer a personalized party for every guest,” she says. “People love having parties here because you can swim year round, which sets us apart.”
At Windy City Fieldhouse, activities are coordinated specifically to the child’s age group, including soccer, pillow polo and wacky relays, says Alexis Kniaz, special events sales manager. Big kids tend to like basketball, dodge ball and kickball, she says.
There are theme parties available, from scavenger hunts to laser tag, ultimate sports to Bounce N’ Play.
“Our parties are designed to be hassle free,” she says. “A quick phone call the week of your party ensures we know all of your party details and specific requests. Parents simply show up 15 minutes prior to their event, where our experienced staff takes charge of everything.”
Parties with CircEsteem are great for kids ages 6-13, with each party tailored to the child’s interests, age and ability.
“Each party includes a short demonstration circus performance, games to get the kids up and moving and feeling connected, followed by four interactive circus skill stations,” says Maribeth Joy, executive director of CircEsteem.
The skills could include trapeze, tight wire walking, gym wheel, juggling, plate spinning, feather balancing, clowning, rolling globe and rolla bolla.
“What sets CircEsteem apart from all the rest is that, with the circus, there is something for everyone,” she says.
“Not all children are physically strong or coordinated. By offering a range of circus skills at a party, each child has the opportunity to find a skill that really speaks to their interests or abilities.”
She says CircEsteem’s mission is to build self-esteem through practice and performance of circus arts, teaching skills while focusing on feeling successful and celebrating tackling difficult challenges.
“We meet kids where they are and challenge them appropriately,” she says. “At the end, participants usually walk away feeling really good about themselves and saying, ‘Wow, look what I can do now!
Part of Celebrations, a special advertising birthday party guide.