25 birthday party ideas
Whether you're on a shoestring budget or the sky's the limit, we've got 25 birthday party ideas for budding Batalis, Beckhams, Beyoncés and every kid in between.
Creative Celebrations your venue, 847-537-9170
Leave the party planning to this husband-and-wife team, who bring one of more than 40 theme parties to you. There’s the Adventure Fear Party, a Survivor-esque challenge of “worm”-eating and “blood”-drinking (gummy worms and punch, of course). And the messy-fun Edible Art Party. Or how ’bout the Shop ’til You Drop Party with a mini mall and plenty of spending “money” for guests? Prices vary based on theme. Shopping party is $500 for 90 minutes with 25 guests, $10 for each additional child. Cost-saving tip Scout dollar stores for your own tchotchkes and skip the company’s $6.50-per-kid goody bags.
Key Lime Cove 1700 Nations Dr, Gurnee; 224-656-8124
Your kids will forever thank you for a birthday trip to this tropical indoor water park (the temp’s a constant 82 degrees) with two body slides and a hurricane vortex whirlpool tube ride, so suck it up, shave your legs and brave baring that day-glo skin for a day. Overnight accommodations in two four-person rooms , plus eight Lost Paradise Waterpark admission wristbands will set you back $320. Cost-saving tip Skip pricey snack bar options and bring your own pizza and cake.
Historic Wagner Farm 1510 Wagner Rd, Glenview; 847-657-1506
Experience a real “living farm” (read: not a petting zoo) with a party at this Glenview Park District spot. The Lil Piggies package (for ages 3–6), offers crafts like birdhouse painting and games such as Pin the Spots on the Cow, plus face time with sheep, draft horses and cows. $265 for 90-minute parties for 10–25 kids, $290 package for older kids includes craft supplies, games and two staff helpers. Worthwhile add-on Splurge on a horse-drawn wagon ride, $125 per 30 minutes.
The Ladd Arboretum and Evanston Ecology Center 2024 McCormick Blvd, Evanston; 847-448-8256
Save some green at this budget-friendly space where kids ages four and up can choose from themed parties including dinosaurs and reptiles, bugs and compass course where staff-led crafts and games are followed by party-room revelry. $210 for 90 minutes for a maximum of 15 guests (Evanston residents $180). Book at least two weeks in advance; available only through Memorial Day. Worthwhile add-on Get an Evanston Environmental Association family membership for $50 to cut the cost of your party down to $160, then save on classes, camps and bookstore items.
Haunted Trails 7759 S Harlem Ave, Burbank; 708-598-8580
This well-kept indoor/outdoor amusement park has something for the thrill seeker in every kid: go-karts, batting cages, mini-golf and rides, plus an arcade, karaoke and a seasonal haunted house. $11 per person for a minimum of six partygoers includes 20 game tokens each (40 for the guest of honor), pizza, soda and 90 minutes at a reserved party table. Worthwhile add-on An extra $4 per guest gets you double the tokens, goody bags (with treats such as coloring books) and ice-cream sundaes.