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Atlanta Parent Magazine’s

BIG BOOK of Parties

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5 Building Blocks for Party Success l

Birthday Themes from A-Z l

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A Celebration Checklist

Party Resources


! s e i t r a P Science

Big Thinkers

o o R y t r a P NOW OPEN!

Interactive Science Parties For ages 3-12 Different themed parties

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PARTY RENTALS NOW AVAILABLE! Bounce houses, sno cone machines, cotton candy machines, popcorn machines.

Bubbling Potions Rockets Electricity Chemical Reactions Glow in the Dark Science Hovercrafts and more ASK ABOUT OUR

Afterschool Pro grams, In-Class Field Trips, Camps, Shows, Corporate Eve nts Scout Program , s and more.

We have FUN down to a science!

678-392-1500 Big-Thinkers.com

e We com r to YOU oe you com to our facility!

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Contents

Theate im Ult arty P ide Gu 13 20

Atlanta Parent’s Big Book of Parties is the No. 1 source for planning your upcoming events. From local resources to party planning tips and checklists, you’ll find everything you need to make your next bash a smashing success.

Simple Celebrations from A to Z

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Be inspired by one of these 26 themes for your child’s next birthday.

Party Countdown Checklist Keep your birthday party planning on track with this helpful checklist.

Birthday Party Basics Planning and hosting a birthday party can be simple if you work with five basic building blocks.

Party Planner Special Advertising Section

10 20 24

Our listings will make planning your next party a breeze.   Entertainers n  Mobile Party Services n  Party Places n  Supplies & Rentals n

Host a Sleepover and Save You can throw a twenty-four hour slumber party for your child’s birthday that won’t break the bank.

Party Themes Kids Love Jazz up the standard ice cream and cake birthday parties with these creative themes.

Atlanta Parent Magazine’s BIG BOOK of Parties

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BIG BOOK of Parties PUBLISHER Liz White

lwhite@atlantaparent.com

ASSOCIATE Laura Powell

PUBLISHER lpowell@atlantaparent.com BUSINESS Amy Smith DEVELOPMENT asmith@atlantaparent.com MANAGER ACCOUNT Julia Sparks EXECUTIVES jsparks@atlantaparent.com

Jennifer Fogel

jfogel@atlantaparent.com SPECIAL EVENTS & Jordan Lisvosky

DIGITAL SALES jlisvosky@atlantaparent.com

COORDINATOR

EDITORIAL Sheri Taylor-Emery

ART DIRECTOR creative@atlantaparent.com EDITORIAL Robin Mintz

PRODUCTION rmintz@atlantaparent.com

ARTIST OPERATIONS Caroline Ward

MANAGER cward@atlantaparent.com

For advertising information, please contact us at 770-454-7599.

OP EVER EN Y DAY

Educational Learning Center

Birthday Parties Pony Rides • Petting • Zoo Hay Rides • Farm Tours 337 Cassville Rd., Cartersville, GA Just minutes off 75 North at Exit 290

770- 386- 86 8 8

www.pettitcreekfarms.com

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BIG BOOK of Parties

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Simple Celebrations from A to Z:

26 Themes for Your Child’s Next Birthday by Heather Lee Leap  

Struggling to come up with a fresh idea for your child’s next party? Bigger isn’t always better, and a party shouldn’t cut into your college savings fund. Get creative, be inspired and make one or more of the following ideas your own.

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BIG BOOK of Parties

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Abracadabra spells magic. Invite guests with a welcome letter to Hogwarts or break out the top hats and card tricks.

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Clowning around. Face paint, juggling and dressing up. Kids can create their own acts and entertain one another.

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Extraterrestrial explorations. Is there life on Mars? Plan a space-themed party for your future astronaut.

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Golf, in miniature. Get outside and laugh as your group makes its way around the mini-golf green.

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Jammies. If you’ve been putting off that much-requested sleepover, now is the time to say yes to pizza, popcorn and late-night giggling.

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Kitchen creations. Seek out local cooking classes for children. Most locations that teach classes also offer party packages.

Bowling, with or without bumpers, means casual fun that keeps everyone moving. On site food allows parents to relax – just bring the cake to celebrate your next big day.

Donation to a cause. In lieu of gifts, request that guests contribute funds to an organization the birthday child is passionate about. Develop a theme around the cause, such as a pet theme for an animal shelter donation.

Fairy Tale Theater. Raid the dress-up bin for costumes, clear a space for a stage and let the kids enact their favorite stories. Simple, familiar tales mean everyone knows the story and can embellish at will without a script.

Hawaiian Luau. Eat pineapple and serve fruit punch in tall glasses with tiny umbrellas. Find leis at your local party store. Ice Cream Truck. Did you know you can arrange to have them come directly to your home? Call them up, set a date and time and let the birthday child have first pick for a treat.

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Local park fun. For a low-budget, relaxed party, bring cake and a picnic to your neighborhood playground.

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Nature Hike. Have a slice of cake at the trailhead and then explore the landscape. Party favors can include bug boxes and small magnifying glasses.

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Obstacle course. Get creative in your back yard with hula hoops, old cardboard boxes, benches and anything else you have lying around. Kids can climb, jump and crawl over, under and around. Time their circuit as part of a friendly competition. Older kids will have as much fun running the course as they will creating and improving it.

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Puppets. Make sock puppets with button eyes or design simple stick puppets. Read a short story or fable for inspiration and kids can work together to create their own puppet show.

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Quidditch anyone? All you need is a wild imagination, hula hoops for goals, a soccer ball for the quaffle, smaller soft balls for bludgers and a speedy runner for the snitch.

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Rock climbing or bouldering. Head to a local rock gym to learn new skills together and get moving.

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Science Experiments. Instead of the usual party crafts, take chances, get messy and explore the laws of physics or the states of matter. Find books of experiments at your local library.

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Tea Party. Fancy cups and fancy food are just the beginning. Dress up, wear hats and invite guests to bring their favorite doll or teddy bear to tea.

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Uniquely you. What does your child’s dream party look like? How can the theme reflect something special about what is important to your child or your family. Make it happen.

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Volunteer for a cause. One child volunteering at the food bank or animal shelter with her family may not feel like she is accomplishing much. Invite a group of her friends to join her for a work party and her gift will grow exponentially.

Music for all. Create shakers or rain sticks from beans, paper tubes and masking tape. Dance to favorite tunes, sing and march around the block with your creations and other rhythm instruments.

W X Y

Water Fun. Rent the party room at your local pool for a splashing good time.

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Zip line. You know your kids have been asking for this. If you have the space, install one in your back yard and let the flying begin.  

X-men and friends. A superheroes theme can include capes, masks and feats of daring do, well-supervised, of course. Yard games. Time to teach your kids and their friends all the old favorites. Croquet, badminton, bocce and horseshoes will keep a crowd entertained and active all afternoon.

Heather Lee Leap is a freelance writer and mom. Her favorite parties involve active kids, ingenuity and ice cream. atlantaparent.com

BIG BOOK of Parties

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Party Countdown Checklist Keep your birthday party planning on track with this helpful checklist. From setting a budget to welcoming your guests, it’s sure to make throwing your bash a cinch. Six Weeks to Go n  Decide on time and money budget n  Begin researching costs of external locations n  Research entertainers for in-home party n  Check out books about kids’ parties from the library for theme and game ideas Four Weeks to Go n  Choose party theme n  Select party location n  Determine maximum number of guests n  Finalize date and time n  Book and send deposit for entertainers or external locations Three Weeks to Go n  Make or buy invitations and send them n  Make transportation arrangements to external location n  Finalize menu n  Order cake and food if not homemade n  Arrange for extra helpers Two Weeks to Go n  Shop for paper goods, theme props, goodie bags and game prizes n  Make favors and/or assemble goodie bags n  Plan games and make any decorations or game props n  Select music as needed n  Buy any craft supplies needed for party crafts 10

BIG BOOK of Parties

One Week to Go n  Confirm final numbers with party location n  Confirm arrangements with entertainer n  Create menu and ingredients shopping list n  Shop for non-perishable foods and ingredients n  Develop a timetable for the party day Three Days to Go n  Confirm that helpers will show up n  Call entertainers and party rentals to confirm your order n  Finalize all props and music needed for games and crafts n  Check camera, video supplies and batteries n  Choose party clothes and get them ready to wear

PARTY DAY Six hours to go n  Pick up last minute items, such as helium balloons n  Clean up clutter and put away any special items not used for the party Four Hours to Go n  Decorate house Three Hours to Go n  Make final food preparations n  Make final game preparations One Hour to Go n  Set table n  Dress yourself and your children

Two Days to Go n  Make food that will keep in refrigerator or freezer n  Check the house for safety hazards n  Put away any special breakables

30 Minutes to Go n  Have helpers arrive n  Run through timetable and basic responsibilities with helpers n  Put out materials for first activity or game

One Day to Go n  Bake or pick up cake n  Rent videos for sleepovers n  Review day of party timetable

Party Time! n  Welcome your guests

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Spotlight on Parties

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BIG BOOK of Parties

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Spotlight on Parties Andretti Indoor Karting & Games

Big Thinkers Science Parties

ut your next party on the fast track to fun! Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is Atlanta’s premier entertainment destination with more exciting activities than you can wave a checkered flag at! Their 100,000 sq ft facility offers high speed Superkart races, rock wall, zip line, racing simulators, mini-bowling, over 120 state- of- the- art video, redemption and prize games and opening in June 2013, SkyMaze, an indoor 12 element ropes course built two stories above the arcade! Andretti Indoor Karting & Games has multiple birthday party packages available for groups of 10 or more. All packages include a meal, cake, invitations, decorations and your own personal party coordinator who will take care of everything from the beginning of the party to the end. Looking for something different for your next event? The facility has over 10,000 sq ft of event space and several customizable group packages perfect for any occasion: Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Quinceaneras, Sports Banquets, Graduation Parties & much more! Start your engines and call (770) 992-5688 to book your party today or visit www. andrettikarting.com for more information!

ooking for a fun birthday idea? Does your child like to tinker around the house? Is your kitchen often turned into a scientific laboratory? Chances are you have a budding scientist on your hands! The Big Thinkers Science Party is a perfect way to celebrate your child’s special day. From slippery slime to sound waves, indoor lightning to roaring rockets, your little scientist will have a blast getting their hands on experience with earth, life and physical sciences. Join the Big Thinkers to discover and explore the fascinating world of science! Big Thinkers Science Exploration introduces students to the awesome world of science in a fun and exciting way! The science parties (for 4-12 year olds) are upbeat and active. Explore cool science phenomena through amazing demonstrations, innovative experiments, and hands-on explorations. Parties can be held indoors or outdoors. Science parties start at $199 (for up to 20 guests). Enjoy great party finales like yummy cotton candy and foggy dry ice experiments (a crowd favorite)! Take advantage of some great savings with cool science invitations, innovative goody bags, and colorful science t-shirts! Find out why Big Thinkers Science was awarded Kudzu. com’s Best of 2012 Award! Big Thinkers Scientists are professional, punctual and polite. Big Thinkers Science Exploration provides exceptional customer service. Learn more at www. Big-Thinkers.com or call us at 678-392-1500.

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Glow Galaxy

Interactive Neighborhood for Kids!

ids tell us all the time that their party at Glow Galaxy was their “best birthday ever” and it’s not because of our Glow in the Dark play area. Sure, the play area looks super cool and is crazy fun to play in, but that’s just the beginning of what makes our parties great.Glow Galaxy knows that what makes a party great is our focus on the birthday kid and keeping them at the center of attention while making sure their friends are having a great time too. The Glow Galaxy party staff will handle all the little details of running the party so that party parents can relax and enjoy the party, allowing them to focus on the birthday kid or mingle with their guests. From organizing games, to serving food and cake, and making a list of gifts, the Glow Galaxy staff will handle it all for you. The Glow Galaxy play area is truly unique with the awesome glow in the dark setting and variety of activities to keep kids interested throughout the party. We feature the world’s only glow in the dark inflatables, an indoor glow sports court with basketball hoops, soccer goals and footballs to toss, glow miniature golf and a lighted interactive game floor. We never do Open Play with parties; your party will have it’s own dedicated section of the play area. Call 770-368-3008 or visit www.glowgalaxy.com for more info or to book your party!

nteractive Neighborhood for Kids is one of the best places in Northeast Georgia for a child’s educational experience or event! There are several different opportunities offered to fit everyone’s needs. Call today for field trip or birthday party needs. What better place to learn & celebrate than at INK where guests can truly become the figments of their imagination. Children can role play and learn through practical experiences about being a banker, grocery store clerk, doctor, pilot and much more. All exhibits are designed to provide a unique hands-on learning environment, to actively engage young minds while having lots of fun. Everyone is a kid at INK as adults are encouraged to join in the fun for intergenerational learning. INK is open to the general public 10am-5pm Monday through Saturday and 1pm-5pm on Sundays. There is also a gift shop, annual family memberships and Paint Your Own Pottery Studio available. Group rates are available with advance reservations. Call 770-536-1900 or visit the website www.inkfun.org to book your next event!

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Special Advertising Section

BIG BOOK of Parties

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Spotlight on Parties

Point, Click, Party! by Sherry V. Crawley

Photo by Jason Crawley

With a crafty spirit and a computer, you can plan parties that will give your birthday child and his guests something to sing about. Spending a little extra time online can make a huge difference when it comes to planning a memorable party. So put on a birthday hat, eat some cake, and start tapping away – and surfing!

The Site List n  Pinterest.com: A social networking site that allows

you to create boards and “pin” items from others or anywhere on the internet to organize ideas. Fair warning: once you get started it can be really hard to stop! n  Etsy.com: A seemingly endless online marketplace

where you will find beautiful invitations, unique gifts and countless ways to customize your party.

n  iStockphoto.com: If you have any graphic design

experience, find artwork galore on this site to create your own special invitations and party items. n  Mpix.com and Shutterfly.com: These are just

two of many sites that offer printing online. Tip: print your invitation as a 4X6 photo, which is much less expensive than actual cards. n  Marthastewart.com: This site has precious party

ideas, detailed decoration how-to’s and lots of recipes for menu inspiration. n  Pbs.org/parents/birthdayparties and

Disney.go.com: Two places to begin when you are looking for ideas for parties themed around specific Special Advertising Section characters. n  YouTube.com: Learn how to make your own

balloon arch, bob for apples or sing Happy Birthday in Chinese. n  Prezi.com: Create fun presentations to show on

your TV or computer screen.

Piccadilly Puppets

Let us entertain you with puppets, music, storytelling and audience participation. Birthday child always gets a puppet! Puppet making workshops available

404-636-0022

www.piccadillypuppets.org piccadillypuppets@earthlink.net

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BIG BOOK of Parties

Our themes include Dream Spa Party, Dream Play Party, Project Runway Fashion Party, American Idol Party, Sweets ‘n Dreams Movie-Time Party and much more! 5500 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd., Suite 5A • Dunwoody 770.674.8477 • SweetnDreams.com • info@sweetsndreams.com

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Spotlight on Parties Pink Pastry Parlor at Phipps Plaza

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tlanta’s Premier Party and Cupcake Destination Opens New Location in Buckhead The Pink Pastry Parlor, an experiential cupcakery and party venue, has recently opened a second location at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead! Offering baking and craft classes, mouthwatering sweets, hourly visit options and legendary parties, Pink Pastry Parlor is the ultimate destination for pastry dining and entertainment. Pink Pastry has perfected the recipe not just for mouthwatering cupcakes, but also for its legendary parties for girls of all ages. These customizable parties allow parents to make their child’s party unique and fun, while leaving all of the planning and details to the experienced staff. Parties involve a circuit rotation between different rooms filled with fun, pampering and sass. The circuit begins in the Pink Pillow Fight Room, where girls get to jump on the beds and wage an all-out pillow war; it then moves on to the Spa Room, where each child receives a manicure, pedicure and hair and makeup session; next the party heads to the Runway Room, filled with costumes, a catwalk and pumping

Little Red Barn Mobile Petting Farm

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ot another birthday party! How about the best party ever. Everyone has a great time when Little Red Barn pulls into your driveway and the cutest miniature farm animals make their debut. A Scottish Highland cow has people guessing...a Bison? Baby buffalo? Yak? No. They ain’t from around these here parts. They sure are cute and loved to be brushed. Add a donkey, a horse, a goat, a sheep and don’t forget the alpaca. No they don’t spit. That is unless you eat their food or REALLY get on their nerves. They just get a bad rap from llamas who live to spit. And of course you have to have a rooster, a rabbit, a pot-bellied pig and the icing on the cake...a pony to ride. Seriously. All in your backyard. Everyone has fun. Petting farms aren’t just for babies you know. Little girls love the Enchanted Pony Party. Maybe you just need ponies for your event. There are 4, 5, 6 and 7 pony carousels, horse drawn wagons and carriages. Why take a bus ride for a field trip? Little Red Barn comes to your school, daycare, church, synagogue, assisted living and will set up there for fun and education. Visit http:// www.littleredbarn.us/ or call to book at 678-493-5860 or littleredbarnmobilepettingfarm@yahoo.com atlantaparent.com

music; and it culminates in the Test Kitchen, where the girls make homemade frosting and decorate cupcakes! Next up is the Tea Room, where the girls partake in etiquette lessons and an elegant tea party. Keeping in line with Pink Pastry Parlor’s mission of fostering female empowerment, many employees are high school-aged girls – the Parlettes – who serve as role models for the younger party-goers. “We are thrilled to welcome girls, their friends and families at our new Buckhead location at Phipps Plaza,” says Pink Pastry Parlor Owner and Founder Tiffany Young. “Pink Pastry Parlor strives not only to empower these young women to be all they can be, but also to give them the chance to just have fun! We believe in going above and beyond to make every guest feel special, whether they are stopping by for a cupcake, spending a few hours at our Stay N Play or celebrating with a full-blown themed party!” For more information on Pink Pastry Parlor, visit www. pinkpastryphipps.com.

Malibu Grand Prix & Mountasia Family Fun Center

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ive your child the most exciting birthday ever at Malibu Grand Prix or Mountasia! Your child will love racing their friends on hi-speed go-karts through banked curves, hairpin turns and wide open straight-aways. They can climb aboard bumper boats and blast away with dueling water cannons for laugh out loud mayhem! And they can test their skill on 18-hole miniature golf courses. Or unleash their imaginations in state-of-the-art game rooms with interactive games so fun, it’s hard to stop playing! If you book a party at Malibu Grand Prix, remember swimsuits! Kids can’t stay away from new Buccaneer Cove water play area. It’s five levels high and splashing with water slides, wet tunnels, spray loops and a huge splash bucket. Plus, there are the batting cages with speeds for every skill level! For even more fun, there are amazing quarter-scale, custom built Indy cars! Party packages start at just $12.99 per person plus tax, so there’s something for every budget! Book your family and group outings here too! Malibu Grand Prix 770-416-7630. I-85 at Indian Trail in Norcross. Mountasia 770-422-7227, I-575 at Barrett Parkway in Marietta.

Special Advertising Section

BIG BOOK of Parties

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Spotlight on Parties

TAME PERFORMING PARROTS Cuddle • Touch • Learn

Perfect educational educational entertainment entertainment Perfect  Children Children all all ages ages   Special Special needs needs   Birthday Birthday Parties Parties 

Kid’s Party

Entertainment • Great Costumes • Cartoon Characters • Princesses • Superheroes • Face Painting • Balloon Tying • Clowns • Magic

Parrot Productions

Brenda Bean supported by husband Jack

parrotpro@gmail.com • 770-715-5337 parrotproshows.com

(770)

424-2287

WWW.COPYCATSFORKIDS.COM

Southeastern Railway Museum Special Advertising Section

Georgia’s “Official” Transportation Museum It’s PARTY Time!

Celebrate your special occasion: Birthday Parties, Anniversaries, Family Reunions Weddings & Corporate Events

3595 Buford Hwy | Duluth, GA 30096 770-476-2013 16

BIG BOOK of Parties

Kid’s Day Out!

Train Rides | Gift Shop Pre-School Thursday

(every 2nd Thursday of the month)

www.southeasternrailwaymuseum.org atlantaparent.com


Spotlight on Parties

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Robotic Explorers Birthday Parties

ho doesn’t like robots? Knock down those everyday children’s events and build a better birthday party for your little inventor! Robotic Explorers in Roswell is the perfect place to host your child’s next birthday celebration, complete with cake, gifts and robotic adventures. We provide a designated party area, lab space in our 5,000 sq. ft. engineering facility, a mind-blowing LEGO® birthday party activity, experienced and energetic party coaches, a souvenir photo of all of your friends, two hours of fun filled celebration, snacks and beverages, a cake and ice cream, and gifts for the guest of honor and all of your birthday buddies. The cost of a Robotic Explorers birthday celebration is $30.00 per child, and parties can accommodate up to 12 children. Additional meal options are available for as little as $6.00 per person, including cheese or pepperoni pizza, mac and cheese, or hot dog platters. Ages 4 to 8 experience a custom LEGO® Master Builder Party which includes story and imagination development, and LEGO® and mechanical builds guided by our in house LEGO® experts.

Children ages 6 to 12 take part in our custom LEGO® Robotics Party, complete with LEGO® and mechanical builds, robotic programming experiments, strength test robot competitions, and other robotics experiences with our staff of helpful party specialists. Robotic Explorers is an engineering and robotics lab for children ages 5 to 18. In addition to birthday parties, Robotic Explorers conducts after school, summer camp and competition programs. Our competitive teams are known throughout the region for their advanced robotic designs, winning numerous awards. We encourage young minds to explore the world of science with forward thinking and constructive problem solving while being challenged and having fun in a motivating environment. This year for your child’s birthday party pick a place that feeds your little explorer’s imagination. Robotic Explorers is located at 715 Hembree Place, in Roswell, Georgia, across from North Fulton Hospital. Visit www.ryre.org for more information, or call 770-772-6622 and start planning your child’s next birthday adventure!

Red Hot Fire Truck Events!

Sandy Springs Funhouse

ids love fire trucks!! Remember driving in the car and passing a Fire Truck and hearing kids shout… “FIRE TRUCK!!” ? That’s the whole idea with Red Hot Fire Trucks. Only they take it one step further and let the children actually BE the Fire Fighters. Kids can take a ride, blow the horn, sound the siren, and see the lights flashing above. Red Hot Fire Trucks actually allows the kids to dress up in the gear, play with the hoses, shoot the water, and really see what it’s like to be a real Fire Fighter!  Red Hot Fire Trucks are RED and very noticeable from all around. What better way to get the attention of all the kids than when the fire truck arrives in front of the house, school, child-care center or event scene with sirens blaring and lights flashing! Everyone knows Red Hot Fire Trucks is on the way! A child friendly event is guaranteed to impress children, parents and guests of ALL ages.  Bring the party to your home, child care center, school or event! For more information, go to www.redhotfiretruck. com or email info@RHFTE.com.

he Sandy Springs Funhouse is a family fun center for all ages. Kids enjoy the Ginormous Play Center which contains over 22,000 cubic feet of fun. Its open design allows parents to see their children at all times. The toddler zone incorporated into the structure provides a separate space for toddlers while still enabling parents to watch and play with the older kids. And while the kids are busy, big brothers and sisters (and adults) can play laser tag, an exciting combination of tag and capture the flag using very safe, low emitting laser beams and radio waves. You’ll experience the thrill of a submarine adventure when you enter the 5,000 square foot, 2-level arena. The Funhouse also has a large arcade with a “candy free” redemption center. It’s the only place in town where you’ll find Lazer FrenzyTM, an interactive arcade game where you go inside the game to dodge laser beams. The Funhouse customizes parties to maximize fun no matter what age. We also specialize in youth groups and special needs. For more information, visit their website at www.ssfunhouse.com or call them at 404-843-1121 and set sail for family fun!

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Special Advertising Section

BIG BOOK of Parties

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Event & Party Planning Custom Balloon Decor Theme Parties Inflatables & Fun Foods Party Rentals Costumed Characters Artistic Facepainting Creative Balloon Artists Puppets, Magic & more! Birthday Parties, Corporate Events, School Functions, Private Parties, Baby Showers, Fairs, Festivals and more....

Call us today to schedule your next fun filled event!

770-572-1737

or

678-643-6317


Spotlight on Parties Sweets ’n Dreams Party Place + Bakery

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weets ’n Dreams’ aim is simple: To capture your daughter’s heart. Be it the delicious pastries, the euphoria of parties or the feeling she’ll get just walking in the door, it’ll be an experience she never forgets. They’ve got the treats; All that’s needed is you to make dreams come true. Specialty flavors include: Banana Pudding, Oreo Cheesecake, Strawberry, Sweet Potato, Lemon Squares, plus all your daily favorites. Anything on the menu is available by advance order as well for any special occasion! Not to be outdone, the party facility features a spa room, baking classroom, game room & dining room with packages ranging from pajama parties to project runway. Parties are all inclusive meaning cupcakes, invitations and party bags are all covered with your package! In addition, Sweets ’n Dreams offers drop-in scheduling for play dates, daycares, schools and camps plus monthly movie nights! Check out the website to see upcoming events. For more information on Sweets ’n Dreams, visit www.sweetsndreams. com or call at 770-674-8477.

Young Chefs Academy

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OOK UP SOME BIRTHDAY FUN!  Come celebrate and be the chef of the day at Young Chefs Academy. All of their birthday parties are filled with interactive, hands-on cooking and delicious fun!! Birthday parties are all-inclusive events with personalized invitations, decorations, recipe ingredients, drinks, paper goods and goodies for the kids. The birthday child even receives a special gift from Young Chefs Academy. Their parties are packed full of amusing activity! They will introduce each guest to the essentials of cooking as they make their “creation” from scratch, all while being entertained by the lively staff and their crazy “antics!!” Birthday parties are great for kids, tweens, & teens – they learn to make pizza, pasta, chicken enchiladas, celebrate a theme party such as Pretty in Pink, prepare copycat recipes from favorite restaurants, or maybe even decorate cupcakes! Young Chefs Academy has been recognized as one of the best kids’ birthday parties in Atlanta. You supply the chefs, and they supply the rest! Call today to schedule your special day at YOUNG CHEFS ACADEMY at one of two Metro Atlanta locations. North Druid Hills/Emory: 404-633-2633 www.YoungChefsAcademy.com/ northdruidhills. Sandy Springs/Northside: 404-255-9263 www.YoungChefsAcademy.com/sandysprings

Special Advertising Section

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BIG BOOK of Parties

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Birthday Party Basics

Five Building Blocks for a Successful At-Home Bash by Lara Krupicka

Many parents face their children’s birthdays with a mixture of joy and dread – joy at being able to celebrate with their child and dread over how they’re going to go about that celebration and how much it will cost. The at-home birthday party, once the universal form of celebration has been largely replaced by a variety of venues offering party services. And parents often turn to these places out of a desire to avoid the difficulty of hosting the party themselves. But planning and hosting a birthday party can be simple if you work with five basic building blocks.

Theme 20

BIG BOOK of Parties

The most basic building block and the foundation on which all the others will rest is your party theme. It also will be the easiest since most kids have an idea of what “kind” of party they’d like to have long before their birthday rolls around. You’ll find with a theme in mind, many of the other pieces will fall in place.

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Food Fun party food ideas

n  Apple Smiles Spread peanut butter (or SunButter for those with nut allergies) between two apple slices. Add mini-marshmallow teeth and raisin cavities (from the book, Cool Party, Mom! The Classroom Edition). n  Wormy Burgers The day before the party add chopped, cooked spaghetti noodles to mini-hamburger patties, and grill as usual. Refrigerate overnight and re-heat in the oven. Serve the Wormy Burgers on dollar rolls (from the book, Cool Party, Mom!)

A group of active kids is going to need fuel. You’ll want to consider how much of your party you want to devote to eating when choosing the time of day to hold your bash. Mid-afternoon parties mean serving lunch. Late afternoon parties lend themselves to fun munchies. As you lay out your party plan, be sure to leave time for eating, even if it’s simply designating “cake time”. And if you’re serving a meal, make sure you’ve planned time (at the right time) to get everyone served and fed. Marnie Ann Pacino, author of Cool Party, Mom!, suggests keeping the food simple, particularly since kids can be picky eaters. But simple doesn’t have to be boring. “Make it fun!” says Pacino. “The simplest of snacks can be partied up by serving them in a new way.” Check out the sidebar for two of her fun food ideas. Particularly if you’ve got a crowd of older kids, creating the food can become a bigger portion of your party time. Build-your-own mini pizzas make a great meal kids enjoy both preparing and consuming. Or set up a taco bar and let them get creative.

Silly party games make up the body structure of a successful at-home party. This is your chance to let the crowd wiggle and giggle and run around. To prevent the wildness from getting out of hand, intersperse your games throughout the party. Play one game early on to get things rolling. Then switch to another activity before playing another game. And always plan more games than you think you’ll need. They tend to go much quicker than you realize when played by a group of lively kids. Three to five games usually fit well into a 2 - 2 ½ hour party. And remember to look for ways to customize the games to fit your party theme. A game of “Doggy, Doggy, Where’s Your Bone?” can become “Slipper, Slipper, Who’s Got the Glass Slipper?” for a princess party. You can also capitalize on your party’s theme by planning theme-related activities, such as a treasure hunt for a Pirate party or an “archeological dig” for an Egyptian-themed party. These activities frequently become the highlight of home-based parties and kids will talk about them long after the party. Don’t be afraid to break out the board games, particularly if they fit your theme. Engaging a few guests in a game of “Pretty, Pretty Princess” while the others work on a princess crown craft can make the process smoother and enjoyable for everyone. Be sure to pick one with a short gameplay time to keep the party rolling. atlantaparent.com

Games and special activities

Some good websites for party games are: n  urbanext.illinois. edu/party/games.html (particularly good for older kids and tweens) n  partygameideas.com n  birthdaypartyideas.com

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Birthday Party Basics Crafts

22

Add some dimension to your party by offering a craft activity. Not big on crafts? As Pacino points out, “The best part of crafting with kids is that you do not need to be a craft diva with a glue stick tucked behind your ear”. Giving kids a chance to make something with their hands builds both a quieter activity and a take-home gift into your party plan. For younger children you’ll want to stay away from crafts involving glue or paint. Keep the activity as simple as possible and enlist a few parents to stick around for extra sets of hands during this part of your party. Take care in planning the timing of your craft. If the item involves a drying or setting time to finish, make certain to do it early in your party to allow adequate time.

BIG BOOK of Parties

Gifts Presents cap off the at-home party. While many party sites discourage kids from opening presents with their friends, home parties make the ideal setting for this. Kids love to watch their friend’s reaction to their gift and enjoy seeing what other gifts are given. Planning this activity into your party not only rounds out the schedule, but allows for some fun interaction. Make this an event by providing the birthday child a special place to sit while opening, so all the guests can see him. You can also add a second chair beside the first for the gift giver to watch up close as his present is opened. This helps avoid any complaints about missing out on the action.

With these five building blocks, you’re well on your way to building an amazing party. Simply adjust each element to reflect the particular theme of your child’s party and you’ll have a party you can be proud of.

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Party Planner

Whether you’re planning a birthday bash for 20 kids or a block party for 100, our Party Planner is your ultimate resource for finding entertainers, party places, supplies and everything you need to plan your event. Listings provided by advertisers

Entertainers n  Auntie Renee Storyteller www.AuntieReneeStoryteller.com Party entertainment for boys and girls. Includes storytelling, puppet shows, games, face painting, arts and crafts. 770-402-0564. n  Copy Cat for Kids copycatsforkids.com TV and movie look-a-likes, Princesses. Superheroes, Cartoon characters and Moonwalks. 770-424-2287. n  Dream Friends Entertainment dreamfriends.net Princesses, superheroes, clowns, cartoon characters, impersonators, carnival acts, seasonal characters, dance shows and much more! 678-643-0163. n  Fun-O-Rama Parties funoramaparties.com Balloon artists, face painters, bubbles, games, costumed characters, puppets, magic, inflatables, balloon décor and rental items. Dacula. 770-572-1737. n  Jason’s Music Party jasonsmusicparty.com Everyone loves music! A birthday concert for your child. Live kids’ music for all occasions. 678-708-2321.

n  Kidazzle Parties Kidazzleparties.com Kidazzle Parties has everyone enjoying singing, dancing and playing. Face Painting and Balloon Twisting services also available. 770-318-3652. n  Little Beat Music www.littlebeatmusic.com Let us DJ your next party. Providing professional family entertainment for over 10 years. Children’s music cds, party packages and disc jockeys. 877-545-2328. n  Parrot Productions www.parrotproshow.com Tame, performing parrots. Educational entertainment for children. Cuddle, touch, learn. Accomodates special needs. 770-715-5337. n  Piccadilly Puppets www.piccadillypuppets.org Professional puppet shows with storytelling, music and interaction. Make-a-Puppet activity also available. $175 and up. 404-636-0022.

Mobile Party Services n  Artzy Party www.ArtzyParty.com Artzy Party brings the painting studio to you! All supplies included, starting at $120. 404895-7069.

Olivia’s Dollhouse Tearoom

n  Fruity Ice Treats www.fruityicetreats.com Italian Ice, Gourmet popsicles, Ice Cream Sundae buffets and more. Cool, refreshing and availavable for all events. 404-512-2106. n  High Touch High Tech of Greater Atlanta www.ScienceMadeFunATL.net Hands on Science, Parties Since 1994, Conducted by our Degreed Professionals. 770-667-9443. n  Little Red Barn Mobile Petting Farm http://www.littleredbarn.us/ Cutest Miniature Petting farm comes to you, Pony Parties, Pony Carousels, Horse Drawn Wagons and more. 678-493-5860. n  Ooh La-La Divaz Spa oohlaladivaz.com We bring your dream party to you! Spa, Princess and Glam parties available. 678570-1678. n  Raisin’s Ranch Pony Parties www.raisinsranch.com Experienced party helpers bring adorable mini horses to your party. Fun, unique entertainment for all ages. Add cuddly bunnies for petting and a horseshoe craft for a party everyone will remember. Visit our website or call 770-617-1521 for super cute party ideas and info. From $250 and up.

Parrot Productions

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BIG BOOK of Parties

n  Red Hot Fire Truck Events redhotfiretruckevents.com Take a ride or sound the siren of a real, red fire truck. “5-Alarm Fun” package includes fire truck ride, squirting water from a real fire hose,decorations, kid size firefighter gear and more. 404-925-1221.

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n  Sam’s Path Petting Zoo samspathpettingzoo.com We come to you! Monkey, Kangaroo, Zebra Camel, Lemur, Farm Animals Camel & Pony Rides. 706-717-8837. n  Science Creations Sciencecreations.com Fun hands – on science parties, scientist or horseback riding. Only $150. 678-531-2357. n  Street Games www.streetgamz.biz The Coolest Party on the Planet. 20 Kids. No Hassle, No Cleanup, No Problem. Service All Locations. 770-674-5781.

Party Places n  300 Atlanta www.300atlanta.com Birthday’s at 300 Atlanta come with a twist and include: bowling, a fun table setup, amazing food and a dedicated party attendant. Contact Sales Manager Keesla BlayMiezah to get the ball rolling on your party. 2175 Savoy Dr., Atlanta. 678-987-0529. n  Adrenaline Climbing www.adrenalineclimbing.com Atlanta’s BEST Parties on the Rocks! Parents relax. Kids climb like crazy! 460 Brogdon Road, Suite 100. Suwanee 770-2711390 n  Andretti Indoor Karting & Games www.andrettikarting.com Birthday party packages include coordinator, kids' meals, invitations, decorations and cake, Minimum 10 guests. 11000 Alpharetta Hwy., Roswell. 770-992-5688. n  Art & Soul Pottery Studio Artandsoulpotterystudio.com Pottery parties, tie-dyed shirts, finger painting, jewelry beading and planters. Ages 4 and up. 4920 Roswell Rd., Atlanta. 404-303-9959

300 Atlanta

n  Bean Head Toys beanheadtoysonline.com Not just "a" toy store, we are a destination! Fun parties (Sandy Springs only) designed to challenge your child's imagination & creativity when they least expect it. 3497 Northside Parkway NW, Buckhead. 404-841-0826; 220 Johnson Ferry Rd. NE, Sandy Springs. 404-851-2980. n  Big Thinkers Science Exploration big-thinkers.com Interactive, hands-on birthday parties. Experiment with rockets, bubbling potions and more. Ages 3-12. $199 and up. 678-392-1500. n  Center for Puppetry Arts www.puppet.org Create a birthday to remember. Catch a show, build a puppet, tour the exhibits and more. Members-Only Birthday Party includes unique performance and celebration for your prince or princess! 1404 Spring St., Atlanta. 404-881-5149.

n  Chattahoochee Nature Center www.ChattNatureCenter.org Animal encounter, nature hike, favors, games, and FUN included! Check out our new Discovery Plan! 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. 770-992-2055. ext. 237. n  Farmhouse in the City www.farmhouseinthecity.com Mixes art and animals for a unique party experience! Art and Animal Party (ages 3-6) and Canvas Party (ages 7-11). 1094 Green Street , Roswell. 770-530-1563 n  Funopolis Family Fun Center funopolisfamilyfuncenter.com Located by Tanger Outlets - Play, Shop and Stay. Awesome birthday parties. Group Pricing Available. 40511 Hwy. 441 South, Commerce. 706-255-2868. n  Georgia Aquarium georgiaaquarium.org Themed parties like Deepo Party, Island Party, Pirate Party or Ocean Party. Includes activities, decorations and a themed cake, admission to the aquarium. 225 Baker St. NW, Atlanta. 404-581-4000. n  Glow Galaxy glowgalaxy.com Glow Galaxy provides unique, memorable birthday parties and open play times (not during parties) in our glow-in-the-dark play area with six large glowing inflatables, a sports court with full size basketball hoops, soccer, and football, and glow mini-golf. 6527 Jimmy Carter Blvd., Norcross. 770-368-3008.

Treetop Quest

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BIG BOOK of Parties

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Party Planner n  Great Play www.greatplay.com/johnscreek Fun-filled private parties make your child a star! Three outstanding coaches will lead the event. Your child receives All-Star treatment in our amazing Interactive Arena! Ages 1 to 10. 10955 Jones Bridge Rd. #106, Johns Creek. 770-777-2077.

Sam’s Path

n  Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation gwinnettparks.com Various facilities available to rent for birthday parties, team celebrations, class parties, pools, gymnasiums, pavilions, community rooms. 770-822-8840. n  Interactive Neighborhood for Kids www.inkfun.org Parties include admission to the museum for 16 kids, 90 minutes in the party room and a t-shirt for the birthday child. 999 Chestnut Street, Gainesville. 770-536-1900. n  Jump Jump Premium Kids Indoor Playground www.jump-jump.com Unforgettable parties from $125, free pictures! Obstacles, moonwalks, slides, private parties. Clean, food flexible. 770-558-1525. n  Jump Start Gym www.jumpstartgym.com Our enthusiastic and energetic party staff will make your child’s birthday unforgettable! 1 hour of gymnastics/sports activities & games followed by 30 minutes in the party room. New party packages available September 2013. 5920 Roswell Rd., Sandy Springs. (404) 252 JUMP. 404-252-5867. n  The Kipling House www.TheKiplingHouse.com Children’s creative birthday parties in an arts and crafts cottage. Packages start at $225. 770-973-9150.

Cook Up Some Birthday Fun! Jump into our kitchens for a hands-on culinary adventure!

Summer Camps!

Cooking Classes!

n  LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Atlanta atlanta.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/atlanta Celebrate with a LEGO® Birthday party at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Atlanta, and have a fun-filled adventure to remember! 3500 Peachtree Rd., Suite G-1, Atlanta. 404-848-9252. n  Malibu Grand Prix Malibugrandprix.com/site/norcross Fun birthday parties for everyone. Go-Karts, games and golf. I-85 at Indian Trail, Norcross. 770-416-7630. n  Mountasia Family Fun Center Mountasia.com/site/marietta Games, golf and more will make your party fun for everyone. 175 Barrett Pkwy., NW, Marietta. 770-422-7227. n  Olivia’s Dollhouse Tearoom www.oliviasdollhouseatl.com Our fairytale dollhouse is an exclusive venue, specializing in fabulous private dress-up tea parties. 5075 Abbotts Bridge Rd., Johns Creek. 404-908-9073. n  Pettit Creek Farms pettitcreekfarms.com Have your party here on the farm or in your yard. Call today. 337 Cassville Rd., Cartersville. 770-386-8688. n  Pink Pastry Parlor pinkpastryparlor.com\ Specialize in All-inclusive parties: Diva, Princess-Spa Parties,Cupcake Baking Parties, a party for all ages! Phipps Plaza. Atlanta. 770650-7465. n  Posh Tot Events www.poshtotevents.com Event venue, full-service theme parties baby showers, camp, kids night out, toddler classes. 770-685-2644.

www.raisinsranch.com 770-617-1521

Birth da Parti y es!

North Druid Hills/Emory - 404.633.2633 www.YoungChefsAcademy.com/northdruidhills Sandy Springs/Northside - 404.255.9263 www.YoungChefsAcademy.com/sandysprings

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n  Lake Lanier Canopy Tours www.lakelaniercanopytours.com Call about Birthday Parties!! Experience the most scenic tours along 8500 feet of ziplines over the shores of Lake Lanier. 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford. 678-622-3990.

n  Laser Voyage Cafe www.laservoyage.com Birthday Parties are Ultimate!!! Heartpounding, live-action pirate laser tag! Navigate a maze passageways in a legendary pirate ship! 1866 Buford Hwy NW, Duluth. 678-5143430.

BIG BOOK of Parties

Raisin’s Ranch PONY þartics atlantaparent.com


n  Rome Braves Baseball www.romebraves.com Single-A SAL affiliate minor league affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. State Mutual Stadium, 755 Braves Blvd., Rome, 706-368-9388. n  RY Robotics Explorers www.ryre.org Boys and girls create their own adventure during our LEGO birthday parties. Master Builder and Robotics packages available. 715 Hembree Place, Suite A, Roswell. 770-772-6622. n  Sandy Springs Fun House ssfunhouse.com Best Parties happen at the Funhouse! Kids have a Blast and you won’t have to lift a finger! 6650B Roswell Rd., Sandy Springs. 404-843-1121. n  SkyZone www.skyzone.com SkyZone is an indoor trampoline park and family recreation facility with three locations in north metro-Atlanta. Enjoy Birthday Parties, 3-D Dodgeball, Open Jump & the Foam Zone. 560 Old Peachtree Rd Suwanee. 678-745-9900; 1425 Market Blvd., Suite 100-A, Roswell. 678-745-9900; 1650 Airport Rd, Ste 105 Kennesaw. 678426-4400.

atlantaparent.com

SkyZone

n  Southeastern Railway Museum southeasternrailwaymuseum.org Party in our vintage railroad car, gazebo or exhibit hall! Packages include museum admission; most include train ride or park train ride for all partygoers. 3595 Buford Hwy., Duluth. 770-476-2013.

n Starlite Family Fun Centers starlitefamilyfuncenters.com Birthday Parties, Laser Tag, Roller Skating Playground, Fundraisers, Group Discounts, All Ages Welcome. 770-252-9500.

BIG BOOK of Parties

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Party Planner n Sweets ’n Dreams www.info@SweetsnDreams.com ALL INCLUSIVE parties and FULL bakery: Pajama, Movie, Project Runway, American Idol, Spa parties and more! 5500 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd., Suite 5A, Dunwoody. 770-674-8477. n Treetop Quest www.treetopquest.com. Treetop Obstacle Course. Eight Ziplines in Buford. Birthday Kid Free. 4 years old and up. Six levels! 2020 Clean Water Drive, Buford. 770-904-3500.

Bean Head Toys

n  Stars and Strikes www.starsandstrikes.com Bowling, Arcade and Extreme Party Packages for kids & teens. Party Host, pizza/soda, invitations included. All birthday kids get entry into FUN MACHINE! 133 Merchant Square, Cumming; 1700 Winder Highway NE, Building 100, Dacula; 2400 Hiram/Acworth Highway, Dallas; 1741 Mountain Industrial Blvd, Stone Mountain. 678-965-5707.

n Tumbletots Preschool and Parties www.funttots.com Private Parties, Indoor Playground, Moonwalk, Theme Birthday Cakes, Crafts, Tattoos, Storytime, Balloons. Kids Ages 1-7 years. 6375 Spalding Drive., Suite D, Norcross. 770-729-9660. n  Young Chefs Academy www.YoungChefsAcademy.com/ northdruidhills www.YoungChefsAcademy.com/ sandysprings Cooking birthday parties for ages 3-18. North Druid Hills/Emory. 404-633-2633; Sandy Springs/Northside. 404-255-9263.

Supplies & Rentals n  Celebration Central LLC www.celebrationcentralatlanta.com Inflatables, concessions, tables, chairs and favors. Celebration Central - We bring the party to you! 1572 Hwy 85 North, Suite 606, Fayetteville, 770 703-8677. n  Crinklebean Creative www.CrinklebeanCreative.com Party planners amd party supplies. We do EVERYTHING for you. 770-443-0927. n  Fun-Fare fun-fare.com Atlanta’s premier event company with over 50 inflatables, quad jump, 24 ft. rock wall and trackless train. 770-425-3033. n  O’Brien Productions www.obrienproductions.com Whether you need table linens, inflatables, trackless train, rock walls or Dj’s they have it all. 770-422-7200, n  Suburban Rental suburbanrental.net Those guys rent everything! 30+ years serving Atlanta. Check out our wide variety of equipment. 678-569-1271.

Party Planning starts with

atlantaparent.com Places, Games, Supplies Clowns, Magicians & More Your BEST Online Source for Party Planning!

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BIG BOOK of Parties

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BIG BOOK of Parties

29


Save Time, Money & Even Sanity:

Host a Sleepover Party by Christina Katz  

Birthday parties can be expensive, if you don’t watch your bottom line. And parties at home can quickly add up to the same amount you’d pay to throw a party elsewhere. But, surprise! You can throw a twenty-four hour slumber party for your child’s birthday that won’t break the bank or cause mom and dad to have a nervous breakdown. Here’s how:

n  Use Evite. Save on follow-up calls, postage and invitations by using Evite.com for your party invitations. The site offers a wide variety of digital designs and costs nothing to use. All you need to do to round up e-mail addresses for your party guests. After everyone has RSVP’d, you can easily follow up about party details such as what to bring, allergy or medication needs and pick-up times.  n  Don’t decorate. Think home protection rather than party decorations and invest instead in plastic tablecloths, eco-friendly plates, napkins, straws and silverware. If you want to make the sleeping room a bit more magical, why not pull out a couple strings of Christmas lights and twinkle up the windows? If you want a birthday banner for your guest of honor, make the creation of one with whatever craft items you have on hand, the first order of business. Just spread the craft supplies out on the table and have the kids jump in.

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BIG BOOK of Parties

 n  Pizza is perfect. It’s not really a slumber party without pizza, and this is good news for mom and dad. Pizza in bulk is cheap and satisfying but if you prefer to cook yourself, make everything the morning of the party and simply reheat at dinnertime.

 n  Give goods, not goodies.

Gather small gifts for your guests that go with your sleepover theme and avoid the usual sugar-overload and tiny trinkets that go home in a traditional goodie-bag. Check out local dollar store or dollar aisle at your local department store for ideas. Manicure or pedicure kits might be perfect for a nail art party. A pair of mini-binoculars would work for a spy-themed party. An eye mask makes a good choice for a spa party. And rock star sunglasses are a fun touch for a Karaoke party. Give the gifts to guests as they arrive to put a smile on their face and get them engaged in the fun.

 n  Make the cake (or go with fondue). Bakery cakes can be costly and superstore cakes are often inexpensive but low quality. So why not bake your child’s favorite cake at home instead? Since you won’t have to transport the cake you can make it as little (cupcakes), wide (sheet cake), or tall (layer cake) as you like. And you can also make it as heavy (pound or Bundt cake) or light (sponge or angel food) as your guest of honor prefers. Or skip the cake and go with chocolate fondue instead!

atlantaparent.com


Dunk pieces of pound cake, strawberries and bananas into 8 oz of chocolate chips melted with 1/3 cup of half and half.

Ask your sleepover guests to bring:

 n  Give progressive gifts. Instead of spending on the party separately from your child’s gifts, combine the two. Make some of you party purchases tie-in with the party theme. This way your party is not a one-shot expense with nothing left to show for it afterwards. For example, your nail art, spy, spa, or Karaoke items can be opened as gifts. Group games, like Twister, also work well. Or wrap a new DVD to watch around 9 p.m. to help everyone decompress before bed. An assortment of Mad-Libs can offer something silly to do once everyone is in their sleeping bags.

n  Pillow

 n  Fill tummies for better sleep. Offer a midnight snack with a glass of milk. Ice cream sandwiches make a nice midnight snack when contrasted with homemade hot chocolate. Or get a roll of slice-and-bake cookies or scoopable cookie dough, and fill the house with fresh-from-the-oven before-bed bliss. For the uber-ambitious, make the dough the morning of the party and refrigerate until bedtime.

atlantaparent.com

n  Sleeping bag n  Stuffed animal n  Slippers n  Bathrobe n  Toothbrush n  Hairbrush

 n  Breakfast on the cheap. Pancakes from scratch are inexpensive. Cook up some bacon or sausage for protein and put everything in the oven to stay warm while you work on cranking out pancakes with a choice of bananas, blueberries, or strawberries cooked in.

n  Indoor clothes/shoes that can get dirty

 n  Kick ‘em out of the house. You need a chance to tidy up before parent pick-ups begin. So have everyone get ready to go and then send everyone out for a game of tag or dodge ball while you clean up.

n  Spy kit

And there you have it. A perfectly fun, budget-friendly, and only slightly exhausting slumber party that everyone will fondly remember for years to come.

n  Magic tricks

n  Outdoor clothes/shoes that can get dirty n  Pajamas

  Slumber party themes: n  Nail art n  Spa night n  Karaoke n  Fashion show n  Kite-making

BIG BOOK of Parties

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Party Themes Kids Love! by Maria Mayo

A little elbow grease and a lot of imagination is all it takes to create a special birthday celebration. Jazz up the standard ice-cream and cake birthday parties with these creative themes. It is sure to be a day your little one won’t forget. n  Gone Fishin’ Party Ages: 3-8 years Start off with a brightly colored invitation shaped like a fish. Kids can help cut the invitations out of construction paper and decorate with tropical designs. At the party, set up a curtain or lay a card table on its side so kids can’t see what’s behind it. Give each child a fishing pole (wooden dowel or paper towel tube with string tied to the end) and have them practice casting off and reeling in. Have an adult hide behind the table and attach a prize to each child’s line, giving a firm yank to let the child know he’s caught something. For a bit more adventure, head to your favorite fishing hole or contact a local stocked pond or lake that provides bait, tackle and poles. Be sure to have plenty of adults on hand for adequate supervision. n  Campfire Party Ages: 8-14 years For this birthday campout, send invitations on cards shaped like tents or accompanied by a small bag of marshmallows. Remind guests to bring sleeping bags and flashlights. Prepare a feast of hot dogs, marshmallows and s’mores for the campers to roast over your backyard campfire or grill. Pitch your tent in a flat area and leave room for guests to sit in a circle to eat and tell ghost stories. Flashlight tag or a spooky backyard hike make for fun after-dark activities. For experienced campers, pack up the whole crew and head for the woods for an overnight birthday celebration.

n  Treasure Island Ages: 6-12 years Send out map invitations for this treasure hunt party on a map (“X” marks the spot of the party). Hide special items and prizes, inside or outside, and make a treasure hunt guide for each guest that leads him on a roundabout route to his hidden treasure. Since most pirates are headed for buried treasures, “bury” a few in a sandbox or under a pile of leaves. Award a prize for the first guest to find his treasure and the last person to dig up his prize. For party favors, give out fake jewels, tiaras, pirate hats and eye patches. n  How Does Your Garden Grow? Ages: 5-12 years For this party, create a construction paper flower invitation. Give each guest a pair of gardening gloves and, as a craft, let them plant a few seeds in individual clay flowerpots they can take home. For an unusual dessert, fill a small flowerpot with ice cream (if there is a hole in the bottom, line with foil or use a saucer to catch drips) and add Oreo cookies you’ve crushed in a blender on top to simulate soil. Finish by sticking a plastic daisy in the middle. As a party favor, send home each guest with a plastic watering can.

Make their Birthday Party

UNFORGETABLE

Premium Kids Indoor Playground • Birthday Parties • Award Ceremonies • Play day • Home school

• Fund Raising • Private Birthday Parties • Holiday Parties and more!

770-558-1525

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We’re flexible about bringing your own food.

32

Jump Jump

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BIG BOOK of Parties

sonalized onwalks For a per nce, call on * mo ssions ie er p ce ex * con & chairs party TRAL TION CEN les CELEBRA RTY * tab party A P G THE * WE BRINO YOU! s r o T v fa *A

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sk ab our indiv out day car idual, e, school a after nd ca specials mp .

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n  Elementary, My Dear Watson Ages: 10-16 years To achieve a fantastic mystery party from start to finish, start with coded invitations. Send party guest invitations that require a magnifying glass or decoding skills (try using smaller font on your computer or having kids create a special code of letters). Make sure to include magnifying glass or code key in the envelope. When guests arrive, have every child chose a role from a bag: victim, suspect, investigator, witness and criminal. Have an adult read a synopsis of the events surrounding the crime and give each witness of statement of what he saw. Investigators must compare clues and question witnesses in order to solve the crime. Hide additional clues around the house for investigators to discover. After the crime is solved, each guest receives a nose-andglasses disguise as a party favor. For older children, try the more complicated packaged murder mystery parties. n  I Dig Dinosaurs Ages: 5-10 years Turn your backyard into a dinosaur dig for budding archaeologists. Send out dinosaur-shaped invitations, asking each guest to bring his or her own shovel. Use a sandbox or flowerbed and fill with loose soil or sand on top of plastic bones. Let kids gather around the site and take turns extracting the fossils from the hole. After all the bones have been recovered, have the kids participate in a dinosaur trivia contest (Which dinosaur has a bad driving record? Tyrannosaurus Wrecks). Each guest receives a candy-filled plastic dinosaur egg as a party favor.

n  This Old House Party Ages: 8-14 years With plenty of adult supervision, let kids enjoy a carpentry party. Deliver invitations written on thin pieces of balsa wood to this B.Y.O.H. (Bring Your Own Hammer) party. Give each guest instructions, supplies and pre-cut wood to make a simple project like napkin holders or bookends. Or provide guests with scraps of wood and paint and let them create their own original work of art. Each child gets to keep his project, along with a small tool belt equipped with a tape measure, screwdriver and carpenter’s pencil. n  Surfin’ USA Party Ages: 4-12 years With a couple of wading pools, sprinklers and toys, turn your backyard into a mini water park. Tell guests to wear bathing suits and to bring a beach towel. If you have a backyard pool, have kids play traditional water games like Marco Polo and Sharks and Minnows. Award prizes for swim races and Hula-Hoop contests. Create ice sculptures by filling plastic cups with water and food coloring and freezing them. Have guests create their own structures with the blocks and award prizes for the most original ones. Throw in an ice cream cake to cool things off, and send kids home with colorful sunglasses and beach buckets.

N ENR OW OLL ING

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New Birthday Party Packages

AGES 3-13

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Go to www.jumpstartgym.com for more party info and to see our full offering of gymnastics and more!

WE COME TO YOU!!!

678-531-2357 www.ScienceCreations.com BIG BOOK of Parties

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Atlanta’s Newest & Coolest Laser Tag Arena Party Packages Available for All

Youth & Church Group Discounts

Enjoy 2 stories of Submarine Adventure! Arcades, inflatables, obstacle course & the

ONLY place in Georgia with LAZER FRENZYTM 2 Level State of-the-Art Laser Tag Arena

PARTIES INCLUDE: Unlimited Kids Play • 2 games of laser tag or both

404-843-1121 www.SSFunHouse.com

Those Guys Rent Everything!

4710 Lower Roswell Road Marietta, GA 30068

678-569-1271

Professional and interactive Kidazzle Parties hosts a fun-filled, action-packed experience. Popular and original party music, action singing, line dancing and group games make a n positive, physical participatio lts adu s, teen n, dre chil for show and seniors. Corporate, School, Book Birthday Parties, nity Events at mu Com & y rar Lib ail.com gm n@ fi grif aishaR

es.com

30+ years of serving Atlanta Party Rentals • Tool Rentals • Equipment for Sale

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BIG BOOK of Parties

www.kidazzleparti 770-318-3652

EVERYBODY has a birthday! Make your next family celebration extra special by hiring one of our Big Book of Parties Advertisers!

And be sure to let them know you saw their ad in the Big Book of Parties! atlantaparent.com


Ooh La-La Divaz Spa Ooh La-La Divaz Spa specializes in hosting birthday theme parties in the comfort of your own home.

Throw a party your daughter will never forget!

We bring the party to you! Spa Parties Glam Parties

We make dreams come true.

Princess Parties

If you’re looking for a marvelous way to celebrate your daughter’s special day, Give us a call today. 678-570-1671  Oohlaladivaz.com

We come to you! Miniature farm animals & a pony to ride.

• Birthdays • Field Trips • Church Productions • Pony Carousels

678-493-5860 www.littleredbarn.us CALL TO SCHEDULE YOUR PARTY! atlantaparent.com

BIG BOOK of Parties

35


BIG BOOK of Parties Advertiser Index 300 Atlanta................................................................ 27

Little Red Barn Mobile Petting Farm.......................... 35

Andretti Indoor Karting & Games.............................. 12

Malibu Grand Prix...................................................... 28

Art & Soul Pottery Studio........................................... 37

Mountasia Family Fun Center.................................... 28

Auntie Renee Storyteller............................................ 29

Olivia’s Dollhouse Tearoom....................................... 11

Bean Head Toys........................................................ 34 Big Thinkers Science Exploration................................. 3 Celebration Central................................................... 32 Center for Puppetry Arts............................................ 20 Chattahoochee Nature Center................................... 14 Copy Cats for Kids.................................................... 16

Ooh La-La Divaz Spa................................................ 35 Parrot Productions..................................................... 16 Pettit Creek Farms...................................................... 6 Piccadilly Puppets..................................................... 14 Pink Pastry Parlor........................................................ 4

Crinklebean Creative................................................. 39

Posh Tot Events......................................................... 37

Dream Friends Entertainment................................... 21

RYRE Robotics Explorers.............................. back cover

Farmhouse in the City............................................... 39

Raisin’s Ranch Pony Parties...................................... 26

Fun-Fare.................................................................... 19

Red Hot Fire Trucks Events.......................................... 6

Fun-O-Rama Parties................................................. 18

Rome Braves............................................................. 22

Funopolis Family Fun Center..................................... 23

Sandy Springs Funhouse........................................... 34

Georgia Aquarium..................................................... 12

Sam’s Path <obile Petting Zoo.................................. 26

Glow Galaxy.............................................................. 29

Science Creations..................................................... 33

Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation........................... 6 Interactive Neighborhood for Kids............................. 31 Jason’s Music Party................................................... 32 Jump Jump Premium Kids Indoor Playground........... 32 Jump Start Gym........................................................ 33 Kidazzle Parties......................................................... 34

SkyZone.................................................................... 39 Southeastern Railway Museum................................. 16 Starlite Family Fun Centers........................................ 28 Stars and Strikes......................................................... 7 Street Games Mobile Entertainment......................... 38

Laser Voyage Cafe.................................................... 37

Suburban Rental........................................................ 34

Lake Lanier Canopy Tours......................................... 37

Sweets ‘n Dreams Party Place + Bakery................... 14

Legoland Discovery Center......................................... 2

Treetop Quest........................................................... 21

Little Beat Music....................................................... 35

Young Chefs Academy.............................................. 26

36

BIG BOOK of Parties

atlantaparent.com


BEST Art ! s e i t r a P

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ArtandSoulPotteryStudio.com

Event Venue in Historic Roswell Birthday Parties ~ Baby Showers Camps ~ Kids Night Out Parents Morning Out ~ Toddler Classes Specialty Rentals & Sales 38 Sloan Street Roswell, GA 30075 770.685.2644 poshtotevents.com

Call about Birthday Parties!

678-622-3990 www.lakelaniercanopytours.com 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway Buford, GA 30518


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Big Book of Parties 2013