In my opinion, somewhere between these two extremes lies the kid birthday party sweet spot — a venue that will take care of all of the details while still offering your kid a customized birthday party experience. I want someone to help with all of the planning and party execution and also make my kid feel like he is the only person in the world to ever have a birthday party as awesome as this one. Luckily for us, lots of local Chicago businesses can deliver exactly that type of party experience. Here are some of my very favorite spots to fete that special birthday boy or girl.
1846 W. Belmont
Owner (and former teacher) Jen Toomey really knows how to throw a party. Although this popular spot offers great classes and camps for kiddos, Smarty Party has developed a reputation for its excellent customized theme birthday parties. No two pirate or princess parties are exactly the same. Kids go wild for the creative activities and crafts, involved staff, and tasty munchies. Parents love the reasonable prices and start-to-finish party planning and execution that won’t break the bank. Prices start at $400 for a one-and-a-half hour bash. Check out the website for all of the details.
2313 Roscoe Street
The ladies behind this whimsical Roscoe Village business want to make your crafty kid’s birthday party dreams come true. Parents pick the theme and customized crafts and show up with their food at the appointed day and time and owner Candice Cummings and her team will take care of the rest. Everything for each birthday bash is customized — from the beautiful invites to the craft project. Wishcraft prides themselves on their “green” parties (featuring non-toxic and recycled products whenever possible) and they are careful to take into account any special needs or requests. Prices begin at $325 for up to 10 guests.
The Nature Museum
2430 N. Cannon Drive
This impressive and popular venue is ideal for a big crowd. The party packages include museum admission for your guests before and after the event so families can make a day of it. Prices start at $450 for non-members ($400 for members) — but that price includes up to 75 guests. The highlight of the party is definitely the Amazing Animals Program led by museum staff where kids can get up close and personal with some pretty fascinating wildlife. Parents must bring in their own food and drink (the website provides a list of high-quality preferred caterers).
The Kids’ Table
2337 West North Avenue
This kid-centric cooking venue has something to offer every aspiring foodie out there. Party guests will mix and measure the ingredients for their very own cakes. While their concoctions bake, the kiddos make their own lemonade and fresh fruit kebobs. Each guest then decorate (and devours) their creation. The staff will work with you to customize everything from the invites to the menus. A one-and-a-half hour party experience starts at $345 for 10 kids. Check out the website for details on more elaborate party packages.