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.
A Kid’s Kitchen 1603 N Aurora Rd, Naperville; 630-983-3663
Trained pros help young birthday chefs whip up pizza with homemade dough or make from-scratch pasta and sauce at this peanut- and tree-nut-free facility. $22.50 per kid for a basic package (90-minute party including cooking class, beverages and paper goods) up to $50 per kid for a Celebrity Chef Party, with add-ons of embroidered aprons, personalized cookies and favors such as whisks. Minimum of six guests on weekdays, ten on Saturdays and 15 on Sundays. Cost-saving tip Skip the cake and order “blank” cupcakes for $1 each from A Kid’s Kitchen. They’ll supply you with pastry bags, tips and icing to gussy them up on-site.
iCream Cafe 1537 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-342-2834
Young molecular gastronomists scream over this new-age ice-cream shop that fuses science with sweetness. Guests choose from more than 30 ice-cream flavors (from traditional vanilla and chocolate to burnt sugar and cream soda), tons of mix-ins (gum balls, fresh fruit, Oreos) and color options (kids get a major kick from eating orange-tinted mint ice cream), then go behind the counter to help churn their frozen treats on-the-spot with the help of liquid nitrogen. $150 shuts down iCream for an hour-long private party, plus $5 per guest for the ice cream. Groups larger than 20 should reserve at least 90 minutes. Cost-saving tip Keeping the guest list short saves money and ensures everybody has plenty of time to personalize their treats during the hour-long party.
Eli’s Cheesecake World 6701 W Forest Preserve Ave; 773-308-7000
Indulge in a cheesecake extravaganza with a party package that includes a guided factory tour and hands-on mini-cake decorating for each guest with pastry bags and candy toppings, plus decorations, traditional birthday cake and drinks. $15 per child for a minimum of ten guests and a maximum of 40. Adults can take the tour with cake and drinks for $5 each. Taxes are not included. Worthwhile add-on Buy $5 Eli’s T-shirts for each guest. Or, spring for a $50 visit from Eli’s mascot, the Big Cheese (no joke!), who’ll pose for photos.
Candy Bear Lane 5221 Main St, Downers Grove; 630-515-1077
Partygoers at this bright-colored shop get to choose from some 40 unstuffed bears and other animals and fill them with taffy, gummies and other assorted sweet treats. Parties start at $12.95 per person for an eight-inch animal, candy stuffing, take-home fluff stuffing, a birth certificate, carrier and 90 minutes in the party area. Worthwhile add-on For an extra $7 per guest, get an outfit for the eight-inch stuffed animals. Or, for $10 per guest, upgrade to 15-inch stuffed animals.
Georgia Nut Company 1742 Glenview Rd, Glenview; 847-724-8405
Kids don aprons and chef hats to create two pounds of their own hand-dipped confections such as chocolate lollipops, chocolate-dipped pretzels and chocolate pizza during a 45-minute class. A 90-minute basic candy-making party for up to ten kids is $140 during the week, $150 on the weekend. Additional kids are $12 weekdays, $13 weekends. 25 kids max. Worthwhile add-on Supplement all that candy with a pizza-and-soda-pitcher combo (supplied by Georgia Nut) for $14 each.