Star of the party

Adoring Fans. Attention from the crowd. Lots of doting and spoiling. For most kids, birthdays provide that once-a-year opportunity to grab the spotlight, take the proverbial stage and truly become the star of the party. Parents and lots of local businesses realize that ‘the star’ is indeed what kids want to be and they’re catering plans and offerings to make sure children get the experience they desire. If you’re looking for ways to make sure your child feels amply pampered with the star treatment, read on.


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What could be better than celebrating a birthday with the King’s Court at Medieval Times in Schaumburg? The birthday celebrant is surely the star of the party here, where celebrations include admission to the thrilling two-hour show, a medieval four-course feast, a slice of cake and a group photo. Take things to the next level by planning a knighting ceremony for your child during the party. Lord Chancellor performs the knighting in the Hall of Arms. A wench or surf will sing and all in attendance will focus on the birthday child and his or her new knighthood. For Sunday parties, the first 100 kids in line are welcomed into the actual arena sand to learn how to properly swing a sword and participate in a community knighting ceremony. Celebrate the medieval way and your youngster will definitely feel like a star.

Video games are all the rage with kids of any age these days. Just imagine how it would feel to have all your favorites up and running simultaneously so that your friends could play together. That’s where The Game Dudes come in, with their state-of-the-art mobile gaming theater in tow. Equipped with the latest technology from floor-to-roof inside and out, this unique gaming experience offers packages ranging from two to three hours and can accommodate 16 to 20 kids. Don’t worry much about the weather; The Game Dudes will take care of your star with their climate-controlled vehicle and outdoor awnings. The star of the party will feel truly in charge when they select their favorite games to play, including those just released and most anticipated. Laser tag can be added as well. “We recently had a brother-sister party where the boys set up their games inside and the girls did Wii Rock Band, Just Dance and karaoke outside,” says Kevin Brock, director of franchise operations. “It worked out great and everyone had a blast.” The serious entertainment provided by The Game Dudes means parents save on extra food or activity costs; kids will be so busy that they won’t need anything else. Sit back and watch your gamer run the show.

Your child will feel like a star while under the stars at the Adler Planetarium. The newest birthday party package includes Deep Space Adventure, an immersive space experience like no other. Kids will board the observation deck of a starship where they’ll be surrounded by the larger-than-life phenomena of the dynamic universe in which we live. Parents can personalize a planetarium party to include specific shows, like Journey to the Stars and One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure, depending on ages and interest. Decorations and cake may be brought in and catering and goody bags are included at an additional cost. Kids aged 3 to 10 will love a planetarium party, but for those 6 and up, consider another new offering: an Astro-overnight. Youngsters visit exhibits late night, participate in exciting activities and telescope viewing. The planetarium includes a late-night snack for this adventure, and parents can select from an evening after-hours party or a true planetarium sleepover.

There’s nothing like being the center of attention at birthday party given by The Bus of Fun. Kids ages 12 and under will love planning the line-up of classic style party games, like Bozo buckets, tug-of-war and balloon tosses, all which take place on the fully birthday-decorated party bus. “Parents can sit back, take photographs and just enjoy the party,” says Jamie Molina, party coordinator. “We’re all about making sure the birthday child is the star of the party.” The biggest draw of all just might be the money machine, a destination only the birthday child gets to experience. They’ll load up on cash and prizes meant just for them. Birthday cake, piñata, treat bags, a prize for every child and lots of candy are included for up to 25 kids that attend each The Bus of Fun celebration.

If an at-home gathering is on your mind this year, consider a spa party for the girly birthday girl. There’s no better way to feel pampered than with facials and spa treatments for her and her BFFs. Serve cucumber water and loads of healthy fruit to your spa-goers, but don’t forget to top it all off with cake! Girls will love personalized dollar store bath towels as a party favor and will go home raving about their day of relaxation.

If it’s a young man’s birthday that you’re celebrating at home, make him the star by having a Wii Rock Band extravaganza. Create teams ahead of time so that the fun begins as soon as guests arrive. Rent a black light and set the mood to “cool” for your rockers. Consider sending them home with a burned CD of their favorite party tunes. No matter how you choose to celebrate your birthday star, they’re sure to feel like they’re truly in the spotlight with parties like these.

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