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Celebrating birthdays with your young kids

Birthday candles
Birthday candles
photo by ed g2s, 2005,

Birthdays are often a big deal for kids (and even adults).  Elaborate parties can add stress to your life and to your budget.  Here are some celebration options to consider for your child's next birthday:

Give your child a choice - 24 hours with one friend or a two hour party with a group of friends (you might be surprised by your child's choice).

The 24 hours can work like this... the friend comes for dinner on Friday night, they get to stay up late and watch a movie with popcorn and candy (Twizzlers is a fun treat and goes great with salty popcorn).  They sleep in sleeping bags or in a tent.  If you don't know the friend or their family very well, you can invite the whole family for dinner.  The next morning, the birthday kid gets to choose a special breakfast - waffles with crazy toppings (peanut butter with chocolate chips, or banana slices with chocolate syrup and whipped cream), chocolate chip pancakes, french toast casserole...  Then the birthday boy or girl gets to choose a special activity and where to have lunch.  A few hours to play at home and then the friend leaves before dinner on Saturday.  Some kids will choose this option every year.

The special activity, in Cincinnati, could be: a morning at Parky's Farm, a trip to the Newport Aquarium (look for deals at Kroger, with AAA, or wintertime savings ), bumper bowling, a movie in the theater (Newport AMC has special morning prices), a few hours at the Cincinnati Zoo, or splashing at the YMCA indoor waterpark.

Most of those locations offer party deals for larger groups of kids.  If your child chooses the party option you should also consider these alternatives: a tea party at a local coffee house or the BonBonerie (or have La Tea La come to you), a theme party at the Blue Manatee, a toy making session at Happen's Toy Lab, or a picnic at a favorite playground.