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parties ● vendors ● gifts

brought to you by the creative team at (cool) progeny

COver photo BY Laura Black, Laura Black Photography styling BY Bridget Stickline, Wee Chic Boutique location The Best of Luck, Power Plant

What YOU’LL FIND inside our guide!

party ideas simply charmed Party Ideas with lots of Baltimore flavor! Foodies Thoughts and themes for pint-sized foodies, including our Kid in the Candy Store party. Get ARtsy Perfect party options for your pintsized Picasso -- plus goodie bag ideas.

planes, trains and things that go Celebration ideas for the kid on the move. LET THEM ENTERTAIN YOU All the world’s a stage with these ideas...

party tips Out-of-the-PIZZA Box Catering Ideas Wow guests with these fun catering ideas!

SCIENCE FUN Beakers and goo, these parties are guaranteed to whip up the fun! Includes ideas for a DIY robot party.

Who Takes the Cake? Who makes the best cake? We’ve got thoughts...

GO GREEN Host a party that’s all about earth-friendly fun & learning

Dressing for Party Success Our resident style maven shares tips for making sure your birthday boy or girl is stylish -- but party practical.

MOVING AND GROOVING Score BIG with these ‘get ‘em moving’ party ideas. GIRLY GIRL Twirly whirly girly fun. ADVENTURING These ideas will charm your pintsized pirate -- or explorer.

planning with pinterest It might give you party envy, but if you keep your “keeping up with the marthas” in check, it’s a great party planning tool! ONE Client, 9 Charm City Cakes Charm City Cakes has been making this kiddo’s birthday cake for the last nine years... We’ve got photos!

Best Playgrounds and parks Sometimes all you need is a cake, some friends and some swings. A round up of the areas best playgrounds. tip sheet: Nab the perfect photo Why you should forget matchy matchy and how to ditch the squints. Tips for Making Your Party Green Ideas for making your party ecofriendly. Face Painters We Adore Not all face painters are created equal. Here are our picks! (Cool) Approved Photographers These photographers are kid-friendly. And we just love them. Entertainers We {HEART} Book one of these acts for guaranteed party success!

gift guide Perfect gifts for everyone -- from your own kid to the one you’ve never met (but you know his mom). Yeah, you know what we mean.

everythiNg birthday. according to us. editor’s note Ever feel like there is just way too much information out there? And when you get past the “overwhelming” phase, you realize it’s not even helpful information? Yeah. Me, too. That’s why we started (cool) progeny two years ago. A web-based platform to provide the best of the best for raising fun, fashionable, active little thinkers around Baltimore. It’s the exact same philosophy we used when putting together our first annual birthday guide. We didn’t want an “everything” guide. We wanted a curated guide. Every piece of information -- from the theme ideas to the recommended vendors -- came from a mom or dad we know. And trust. Did we miss something uber (cool)? Let me know at We want to be sure to include it next year! We had a blast putting this together. Hope you enjoy it just as much!

Heather Heather Walsh, editor-in-chief

PS: Everything in this guide is hyperlinked to make it easy to connect you with area resources. Just hover over the name or website to link to it!

Contributor Whether they have a byline or not, these creative ladies all contributed to the content of this guide. We are so thankful they are part of the (cool) team!

Jennifer Cooper, Classic Play

Bridget Stickline, Wee Chic

Madeline Comoglio, MLC Designs

Chrissa Carlson, Urban Farmhouse

Claudia Towles, aMuse Toys

Angela Mirra, Root & Bloom

Laura Beynon, Cupcakes & Lemonade Laura Black, Laura Black Photography

Mary Alice Yeskey, Charm City Cakes

Janelle Diamond, Baltimore Bride

Heather Sand, Style House Realty

Katie Robinson, BW Kids Consulting


charmed Party ideas with lots of Baltimore Flavor.


Score big with the blast


sondheim fountain splash


duckpin bowling fun

Got a soccer lover at home? They’d kick for a party at a Baltimore Blast game! Their birthday packages include tickets for eight people plus the birthday child gets a pre-game locker room tour. And they get to run on the field through the Blast sign with the player of their choice.

New in 2 0 1 2 , Water front Partnership of Baltimore now offers splash birthday packages at West Shore Park. Packages include playground toys, a semi-private party space, splashing in the fountain, and even a grill {if you’d like it}. Double bonus? They provide goodie bags.

Everyone loves duckpin bowling! Smaller balls and pins make it perfect for pint-sizers. Throw in some bobby socks and 50s music, and you’ve got yourself a cool retro celebration! Baltimore has two options for knockin’ down pins: Patterson Bowling Center and Stoneleigh Lanes.

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party at the Orioles game

The Orioles do offer party suites at Camden Yards, but if that’s a budget buster for a birthday party you’re not out of luck. The good news? You can take your kiddo to an O’s game for FREE during their birthday month. So grab their closest 5 friends, buy a few tickets and go! Bring hot dog and ice cream money, too.


a little hoop love

You’ve seen Baltimore Hoop Love at all the festivals or under the JFX at the Baltimore Farmer’s Market on Sundays. Now invite them to entertain at your kiddo’s next birthday party. Hula hooping is a sure-to-wear-themout activity -- and the hoops themselves double as favors. More info: find them on facebook

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Test your engineering skills at the Baltimore Museum of Industry! Working together, partygoers invent, experiment, and observe their work in action. Using the museum’s special collection of building materials, create and test unique roller coasters while exploring Baltimore’s Industrial Age. More iNFo:

sleepover at the national aquarium The National Aquarium in Baltimore doesn’t have a birthday party package per se, but you can buy group rate admission OR book one of their Dolphin or Shark Sleepover packages. {They also have “encounter” packages that don’t require you to pack a sleeping bag!} More iNF0:


by Jennifer Cooper, Classic Play Planning a Charmed party? Send guests home with a little taste of Baltimore with Goetze's caramels or M&Ms in Oriole or Raven's colors. Other items (based on where you're throwing your bash) can include: a personalized baseball, Cracker Jacks, candy bracelets, hula hoops, or go all out and transform plain tee shirts into team bowling shirts with a transfer or stencil and fabric paint.

“ChARM”Ing Snack options Baltimore is really delicious, don’t you think? Food ideas straight from Charm City. BERGER COOKIES Who needs cake with the quadruple layer of chocolate frosting on these?

Taharka brothers ice cream Delicious. Made locally. AND they give back through their work with at-risk-youth. Definitely worth supporting.

utz potato chips You can only get these little numbers around here. So go ahead -- serve ‘em up!

RHEB’S BUTTERCREAMS Head over to their Wilkens Avenue shop for some of their ah-mazing chocolate. Perfect for parents, right?

HARIBO GUMMY CANDIES Although the candies are made in Europe, Haribo America was incorporated right here in Baltimore in the 1980s.

SNOWBALLS Believe it. Snowballs can be traced back to Baltimore origins. Want to really give them charm? Add marshmallow.


party ideas that are “Lick the icing First” good. {Yeah. Go ahead. We won’t tell.} Photo by Laura Black



Cookie baking at little hands

make pizza At charm city kids

Head to Little Hands Cookie Company for cookie baking fun -where they clean up the mess! Budding pastry chefs will spend an hour in the kitchen whipping up and decorating their favorite cookies. And the guest of honor? He or she gets to take home an apron or jar!

Little chefs will decorate aprons or chef hats and then prepare their own personal pizzas at Charm City Kids Club during this party! Kiddos will work up an appetite while playing in CCKC play town while the pizzas cook and then enjoy a pizza extravaganza.

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cupcake wars with flavor

KIDS in {your} kitchen

Flavor Cupcaker y, winner of Season 4 of Cupcake Wars, wants to bring the decorating fun to your party! Nab one of their DIY Cupcake Party Boxes and have all the frosted fun you and the mini chefs can handle. Party box comes with unfrosted cupcakes and buttercream. YUM.

Have a budding Thomas Keller on your hands? Then invite Cannelloni Kids Cooking School to your home for a kids in the kitchen birthday party! Hello, ginger noodle salad and dessert sushi! Guests will decorate aprons, make an entree and dessert. Best part? They clean up, too.

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candy? ChecK Out Our kid in the candy store Party... on the next page!! CHARM CITY

Themed Birthday Parties

Minishakers music class featuring music by Milkshake & other kids’ favorites


Redefining the Childhood Experience Charm City Kids Club is the ultimate destination for parents and children in Baltimore County. Charm City Kids Club provides children, birth through age nine, an educational and enriching experience in a child friendly, safe and clean environment. Sign up for a multitude of unique classes and camps, have a birthday party, role play in a pint sized town or come shop for latest children’s clothes, accessories and gifts not offered locally. Check our website for more details! 1500 Riderwood Avenue, Lutherville MD 21093 Become a fan of us on facebook!

• 410.337.2252



Ages Birth - 9 Special Events For Expectant Moms, Parents and Families

CLEVER FOODIE OPTIONS Surprise guests with one of these delicious out-of-thepizza-box catering options! Stuggy’s hot dogs Serve them franks from Baltimore’s favorite hot dog joint. SOFi’s Crepes Sweet or savory, party goers will love whipping up a crepe creation! Prigel Family Creamery Sundae Bar Summer soireé? Then consider skipping the cake and opting for a full sundae bar. With attendant. {They do rootbeer float bars and mini ice cream sandwich bars, too!} Miguel’s nacho bar What kid doesn’t love fresh guacamole and salsa? wheely good smoothies Eco friendly, healthy, and fun! They bring their bike-powered smoothie makers & ingredients. STONE MILL bakery GELATO Homemade, fresh ingredients, and sold by the liter. YUM.

kid In the

Candy stoRE there is nothing sweeter than a candy-inspired party ... and the perfect place to host it? The Best of Luck Candy Store at Power Plant! This retro-style candy shop has everything you need from the soda pop counter to sugar-coated inspiration. Add a craft, some music, and cupcakes and you’ve got yourself a sweet soireÊ. Table Design: Everything Candy! Designed by Laura Beynon, Cupcakes & Lemonade. Shop Cupcakes & Lemonade online for the downloadable printables!

Kid in the Candy Store Photos by Laura Black

make candy necklaces

what you need string or ribbon • fruit loops • peach rings • life savers • gummy fruit rings • really, any candy with a hole in the center!

Cupcakes from Flavor Cupcakery in Cockeysville

WHO TAKES {er - makes}

THE CAKE? You’ve planned the party. Now where do you get the cake (or cupcakes)? These six bakeries topped our lists.


Charm city cakes


Flavor cupcakery

Baltimore City, Remington

Definitely a splurge... But the designs are amazing.

dressing for party success by Bridget Stickline, Wee Chic Boutique Today is your child's special day, you have carefully matched the decorations to the invites and hand punched confetti crowns until you thought your hands might bleed. The last step is to pick a party outfit that is deserving of all of your preparation. No matter what kind of birthday party you are hosting, your little birthday bean needs to look their best. There are a few easy steps you can take so the birthday outfit marries the fabulous and the practical.

Cockeysville and Bel Air

Don’t miss their cupcake push pops! We like the rainbow ones...




Iced gems


Hands down made the BEST Angry Birds cake we have ever seen. Or eaten.


They have a mobile cupcake truck. It can come to you. Sweet.


BALTIMORE CAKERY Baltimore City, Fells Point

Love their first birthday ‘smash’ cakes!


whole foods Mt. Washington and Harbor East

Delicious. Whole ingredients. ‘Nuff said.

Photo by Laura Black Milo is wearing Chaser’s “I am the Future” Tee Shirt. Available at Wee Chic.

Photo by Laura Black

Photo by Laura Black

Christopher is sporting a polo and shorts by TOOBYDOO. Finley and Willa are wearing styles by Llum. All available at Wee Chic Boutique.

Elle is wearing a summer dress by TOOBYDOO. Available at Wee Chic Boutique.

PRETTY VS. PRACTICAL Consider the activities the birthday boy/girl will get into throughout the day. If a bouncy house is on the agenda, then you want fabrics that will move when your child does. If a tea party is more the theme, then you can pull a crisp party dress right from the royal family playbook. Laser tag? Be sure to grab good shoes and a change of clothes. *Hint* Give invited families a clue about how best to dress the mini-guests by including a list of party activities on the invite in a fun way. NOT A DAY FOR CLOTHING PEP TALKS {ER - BATTLES} Remember what works well for every day at your child's age. 1st birthdays mean crawling, pulling up, and early walking. Don't inhibit with tight, restrictive clothing even if it does look awesome on the hanger. There are terrific options for boy & girl in soft, stretchy fabrics that don't come up short on style. If your soon-to-be 5 year old son won't wear pants with a button, today is not the day to take on that battle. It's his birthday and if he wants “no button� (you know where we are going with this), seek out dressy pants with a soft elastic waist and get the bang for your buck with a cool top. Everyone will thank you for it. *Hint* Avoid the itch! Stick your arm inside of kids clothes before you buy, if the seams or inner workings feel uncomfortable to you imagine what they will feel like on sensitive kid-skin. NEED MORE THAN ONE OUTFIT? The desire to preserve this special day for all eternity is programmed into your DNA. If you need a perfect photo op, embrace your high maintenance side and bring a photo outfit and a second play outfit so your kiddo can get down and dirty with their guests. Girls can always do a tutu over sensible leggings (= remove tutu for play) and boys could go from starched to rumble ready with a quick wardrobe change.

get ArtsY 1 fired up with baltimore clayworks Head to Baltimore Clayworks Studio for everything you need to get kids’ creativity buzzing, through sculpture. Super hands-on fun for all! MORE INFO:

2 puppet making at the walters There are mythological creatures loose in The Walters! They have the heads of one animal and the tails of another! Count them up, then create your own mixed-up creature puppet. more info:

3 Frame it with the painting workshop The Painting Workshop encourages your child’s inner van Gogh by providing all the materials to paint a 4 by 6 inch wooden frame and artwork to go inside! more info: www.thepainting

have a pint-sized Picasso at home? Then painting the town -- literally -- might be the perfect party activity. Try out one of these area businesses or host your own colorific adventure.

5 4 mobile painted pottery a-glazin’ The party stays at your place! Mobile Painted Pottery A-Glazin brings the pottery action right to your own house. Then they take the items with them to glaze, fire, wrap, and redeliver! more info:


Giant canvas (or multiple canvases) + lots of paint + kids = one amazingly messy, fun time! The idea of making an art wall first caught our attention on the J Abrakadoodle Art Studio will create a and J Home blog. You’ll love it. custom art party just for you! Name your more info: theme (yepp, even Angry Birds) and they’ll create the art activity. No two parties are EVER the same!

monet and MORE at abrakadoodle

more info:

art goodie BAGs

by Jennifer Cooper, Classic Play

Creativity Sparker: Give the kids' creativity a jump start with a few basics to create puppets, mini books, or whatever they can dream up! Include small squares of felt, origami paper, rolls of brightly colored washi tape, colored pencils, and more. You can also add bits of modeling clay or small canvases to the bag.

felt ✸ oragami paper ✸ washi tape ✸ colored pencils ✸ modeling clay ✸ crayons ✸ watercolor paints ✸ brush

party planning with It’s a blessing and a curse. Pinterest, the imagebased social media network can inspire you while making you feel woefully inadequate if your details aren’t magazine cover perfect. That said, it can be a fabulous party planning tool. If you keep your “keeping up with the Marthas” in tact. Here are some easy tips for planning with pins: Create a single board. Create one board specifically for your party. This will make it easy to pin images and visually organize your thoughts. Use the Pinterest Search feature. Search Pinterest by your party theme, colors, or even the age of the child. Chances are someone has already pinned ideas related to these items. Don’t forget Google. Google search your party theme by image only. Pin anything that catches your eye. Be sure to label why it caught your eye. It’s INSPIRATION (not must-dos). Pins don’t have to be exactly related to a particular theme -just inspirational! It might just be a particular color that interests you or an invitation font. DIY vs. ETSY? You’ll find a ton of Etsy-pinned images on Pinterest. That means you have a choice: use that image as a launching board to recreate it yourself or purchase the handmade product from Etsy. If you’re short on time and the price is right, don’t stress yourself out. Buy it. Slaving over a homemade banner project for three hours doesn’t earn you mommy brownie points.

w w w. f u n n y f a c e s w i t h s h a r i k . c o m


SCIENCE Mania with Eric Energy

Eric Energy will make your little scientist’s party smoke -- literally. His action-packed parties are designed for children as young as two. We love his Yo Yo Party theme (ideal for kids over six), which incorporates microscopes, awesome tricks, and even a human yoyo! More iNFO:



Science center exploration

Where can you dig for dinosaur bones, explore the human body, AND watch a hurricane form? At the Maryland Science Center! Their party package includes admission to t h e c e n t e r, a n I M A X m o v i e, refreshments, custom cake, and a goody bag. No hassle. Sweet.

fossil hunting with paleo jim

If the word “Paleozoic” rocks your kid, a fossil hunting party may be in order. Paleo Jim comes with buckets of dirt and fossils to guide party goers through their own dig. Best part? Kids get to keep the fossils they find! {And they’ll find about 100, between 5 and 24 MILLION years old}.


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launch a rocket with mad science

An interactive science show perfect for your pint-sized rocket scientist! Mad Science comes to your door with chemical reactions, firework mysteries, and bolts of electricity. Rocket launching is a party add-on -- but it’s just too cool not to mention. MORE INFO:

science FUN

all the elements for a party with “big bang.”


Geo cracking & gem mining

You may have seen Mobile Mining Experience at various events around town, but they also do birthday parties! Who doesn’t love rock cracking & natural treasure finding? If your budget doesn’t allow for them to come to you, you can order one of their handy DIY kits. iNFO:


No doubt about it. Science is (cool). Double bonus? Science-themed parties incorporate -- gasp -- learning! Rocket launching, fossil digging, yo-yos, bubbling “potions,” and more, these ideas will definitely spark imagination and earn high marks in the ‘fun’ category.

kitchen science party

Want to keep the science fun lowkey? Invite a few friends over and turn your kitchen into a laboratory! You can search for different fun (and easy) experiments online. But our favorite? The Kitchen Pantry Scientist blog. TONS of ideas -- including the jello experiment pictured. iNFO:

DIY Robot party

For half a century, robots have captured kids' imaginations and it's no wonder why—they're cool! Combine the cool factor with visions of a future where robots do all your chores and you've got yourself a party theme favorite. Hosting a robot party for your kid? We put together the nuts and bolts. Robot Design Workshop Get the kids designing their own take home gifts with a robot workshop. Set out spray painted cereal boxes, cardboard tubes, and craft supplies and let the kids' imaginations go wild.

circuit loose. do the robot. by Jennifer Cooper, Classic Play

robot design

kids as young as three love squishy circuit making!

Mad Science Playlist

Play dough Circuitry Robots can’t run without some circuitry! Get kids as young as 3-years-old learning circuitry basics with a hands-on activity using play dough and a mail order kit from squishy circuits. Bristle Bot Races Leroy Jetson may have had a robot toothbrush, but he didn't have a racing robot toothbrush! This mail order set from Maker Shed includes everything kids need to make their own set of bristle bots. Make 'em and let 'em zoooooom! Robot Dance What's more fun than the classic freeze game dance? A robot freeze game dance. Get the kids to bust out their robot moves and get grooving until the music stops. Styx won't be the only ones singing "Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto."

nuts & bolts snack mix move the circuit juices with this easy snack mix! Ingredients


Pretzel Sticks (bolts) Honey Nut Cheerios (nuts) Dried Fruit M&Ms or Yogurt Covered Raisins Rice Chex Cereal

In a large bowl, combine the ingredients. Best part? You’re in charge! Put as much or as little of each as you’d like or add in additional flavors to suit your tastes. You could even have party goers create their own blend. Just give them the ingredients!


Why Does the Sun Shine? They Might Be Giants


drops of jupiter Train


science fair Recess Monkey


elements Tom Lehrer


blinded me with science Thomas Dolby


firework Katy Perry


weird science Oingo Boingo








one client, 9 birthdays, 9 cakes Blair and Gene Giannini ordered their first cake from Charm City Cakes in 2002 to celebrate their son Witt's first birthday. Duff created a whimsical baby blocks themed cake and delivered it to their house in Washington DC. They loved it - so much so that they have asked Charm City Cakes to make Witt's cake every year since then. He'll be 10 this October. The cakes usually tie into the theme of the party. Watching Witt grow up has been an absolute joy for the Cham City Cakes Team and they hope he'll never be too old for a cake from them!

Year One: Blocks

Year two: PUG

Year three: convertible

Year four: donkey

Year five: surfer dude

Year six: dude ranch

Year seven: wittywood

Year eight: casino

Year nine: pokemon

Go Green host a party that’s all about earth-friendly fun & learning

get outside: irvine nature center Think outside parties are just for warmer weather? Think again! Irvine Nature Center offers an outdoor winter exploration adventure. with their Jack Frost and Suzy Snowflake or Scavenger Hunt parties! Bundle up and just add hot cocoa. {They have a ton of outdoor birthday party themes for warmer weather, too!} Don’t miss their nature-inspired playground! MORE INFO:

wildlife Adventures

bit of spice: urban farmhouse Contact Urban Farmhouse for a full sensory birthday party experience! Exploring plants and herbs, Urban Farmhouse will bring fresh culinary, gardening, and craft activities right to your door. Curious about the types of activities? Check out the garden stake spoon tutorial on the next page! MORE INFO:

tips for going green

Bring the "wild" to your party with Wildlife Adventures. Their fast-paced and fun presentation allows time for petting and holding most animals. Animals used are always age appropriate! MORE INFO:

whooos at carrie murray Get up close and personal with owls, snakes, and hissing cockroaches at Carrie Murray Nature Center! Select which five species you’d like to invite to your party and take the fun from there! MORE INFO:

monkey around at the zoo If your kiddo loves monkeying around, why not have their birthday celebration at the Maryland Zoo? Can’t beat the live entertainment. Really. Packages are available for members and non-members. MORE INFO:

minimize trash. Skip the paper goods and go for reusable plastic plates, cups, and silverware. Go digital. Send an evite rather than mailing paper invitations. Guests can RSVP right online. Want a more sophisticated electronic invitation design? Try paperless post. Double Duty. Rather than sending kids home with a bag stuffed full of candy, have a craft or toy that works as a party activity and a favor. {No one -- especially parents -- will mind if you skip the sugary send-off!} Recycle. Need to use drink boxes? Recycle!

chrissa’s fresh herb veggie dip encourage healthy eating with this fun, fresh herb dip from Urban Farmhouse! Ingredients


1 cup (packed) fresh spinach leaves 1 cup low-fat or non-fat plain yogurt 1/4 cup light mayonnaise 2 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped 3 green onions, chopped 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1. Place spinach in a blender with yogurt and all remaining ingredients

and puree until smooth, thinning with more yogurt or water, if desired. 2. Transfer dressing to bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. 3. Serve as a dip for your favorite vegetables.

garden stake spoons

by Chrissa Carlson, Urban Farmhouse

Perfect for elementary/middle school students, this garden stake spoon activity is a fabulous combo of up-cycling/recycling and growing. Send guests home with their spoons and a packet of seeds. STEP ONE: Have each child paint a spoon in a bright color. They may choose to paint it one solid color, or incorporate designs. Have them hold the spoon by the bottom of the handle and leave this part unpainted—it will be hidden in the soil.

STEP two: Place spoons in jars and set aside to dry for at least 20 minutes. Open presents, eat cake, or play a game while you wait!

STEP FOUR: Paint Mod-Podge onto the face of the spoon and place picture on top. Smooth the picture to avoid bubbles or creases. STEP Five: Paint over the entire spoon with ModPodge, including over the applied picture. STEP six: Place the finished spoons back in the jars and set aside to dry for at least 20 minutes. More time for party activities!

STEP THREE: Have each child pick out a fruit, vegetable, flower, or herb picture from the catalogue. Help them cut out the picture. Younger children will need more assistance. Older children may enjoy carefully cutting around the intricate shapes of the vegetables.

Things you’ll need wooden spoons (i per child) shop thrift stores and yard sales for cheap, recycled spoons

Brightly colored, non-toxic paints tempera or acrylic

Seed catalogues with color pictures request catalogues from Seeds of Change or Johhny’s Selected Seeds, allow a few weeks for delivery

mod-podge paint brushes safety scissors cups

for rinsing brushes


for covering tables


to use as palettes; pick up cheap plastic plates at thrift store to avoid using disposable


to support spoons while drying.

Each child can take their garden marker home to mark plants in their garden, or to serve as colorful garden art work!

we urban F a rm hous e check out their classes & parties online!

MovING & groovING 1

sports play at coppermine


Tumbling fun at hoppin tots


get kicking at sports legends

One of the area’s best places to play also has GREAT sports and game-themed birthday parties. From lil’ kickers soccer parties to tumbling fun to summer pool parties to dance fever parties, Coppermine Field House is a go-to for energy burning festivities.

Perfect for young kids! Gymnastics parties at HoppinTots include 30 minutes of instructor-led gym fun -and you have the whole place to yourself! Your pint sizer can jump on the trampoline, swing from the trapeze, balance on the balance beam, and more.

Babe Ruth Birthplace and Sports Legends Museum is probably the only Baltimore Museum where kicking balls inside the exhibits is not only allowed -- it’s encouraged! Party goers can try on famed Ravens’ players gear, score a goal, and walk through baseball history.

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Stretch... with imagination


mobile tumbling on tumblebus


host your own tour de france

Yoga Imaginarium gets your kids moving -- and their creativity flowing with their energetic yoga parties. Using an eclectic mix of stories, music,and yoga poses, this is one party your kids will be able to get down with. Down dog, that is. With a side of pirates and snake slithering.

Don’t want to have the kiddos tumble at the gym? Have the Tumblebus come to you! Rain or shine -- hot or cold -- the Tumblebus is climate controlled and lets your kiddos zipline, balance on the beam, tackle uneven bars, slide, and more! Everyone gets olympic medals, too.

Have every kid bring their wheels and set-up your neighborhood --- or local park -- as a bike track. Have the kids make their own musettes with fabric markers and fill them with snacks (just like the real Tour). Then, let ‘em ride! Don’t forget to cheer. Thanks to Classic Play for the idea!

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outdoor playgrounds We A few slides, some friends and a cake? Well, that’s a party! Here are our fav playgrounds: mt. vernon children’s park Mt. Vernon

thames street park Fells Point

Annie’s playground Fallston, MD

stadium place playground Waverly

Federal hill park Federal Hill

linkwood playground Roland Park

meadowood regional park Lutherville, MD

Patterson Park Patterson Park

irvine nature center Owings Mills, MD


DIY Classic Carnival games

Good old-fashioned carnival games are a great way to get the kids moving and grooving in your back yard or a local park. A little imagination can make this a walletfriendly alternative to a packaged party, too. Here are some game ideas, courtesy of Jennifer Cooper at Classic Play: Spray Away: Get out those water guns and try to knock lightweight balls off of golf tees. Ball Toss: A mason jar take on the classic goldfish game. Parents might appreciate giving out Swedish Fish as a prize rather than the live fish.... Fishing: Kids ‘cast a line’ over a sheet. An adult on the other side pins a prize to it. Kids then pull the line in to see what they ‘caught!” Tin Can Knockdown: A few tennis balls and tin pails are all you need! Carnival Game Photos by Dave K. Cooper

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girLy girL

sparkly party fun for twirly whirly girls. Photo by Laura Black


pink door spa treatment

The ultimate girly-girl party can be found at SparTea! Pint-sizer mani/pedi, yoga, zumba, and bracelet beading parties complete with strawberr y lemonade and palette-per fect cupcakes. Fancy Nancy meets Eloise right on Falls Road. Too cute. More iNFO:


Get Charmed with my pretty princess

Girls just wanna have fun Cyndi Lauper

My Pretty Princess Mobile Parties will come to your home for a combination spa plus “charm shopping” party. Or choose one of their other adorable mobile spa packages like a Hollywood Glamour Tea Party or American Doll Party. A fun add on? Ribbon flip flops!




woodland fairy tea party

What’s better than a tea party? A fairy tea party with Irvine Nature Center! Your pixies will build fairy shelters, toast with tiny tea cups and meet woodland animals. You can gather in the fairy-filled trees at Irvine or they can bring the party to you. Just add some pixie dust. More iNFo:


A Gaggle of Giggles and more

Make your own spa lotion with Gaggles N’ Giggles as part of their posh spa package -- or pick one of their other glitzy girl birthday party themes. We’re kind of partial to the Project Runway theme or Rock Star ideas... And we just LOVE the tropical smoothie bar add-on option. More iNFo:

twirly songs

PUT YOUR RECORDS ON Corrine Bailey Rae Bottle of Sunshine Milkshake PARTY IN THE USA Miley Cyrus BORN THIS WAY Lady Gaga HEY SOUL SISTER Train Just like a rockstar The Fresh Beat Band Almost there Disney’s The Princess & the Frog Let’s Dance Vanessa Hudgens


Just {heart} this invitation design from MLC Invitation Design Studio!

TIP SHEET: Nab the perfect photo by Bridget Stickline, Wee Chic Boutique

Dress for Success: Avoid small prints, pencil stripes, and plaids. bring on the color: A white outfit looks great on the beach but this is a party. Bring the color!

Hello, SUNShine: Take your shots outside in natural light, but stay in the shade to avoid the squints.

forget matchy matchy: If a family picture is on your agenda avoid matching the whole group. Need some help pairing up killer colors? Check out pro tool to photograph like an art director! {Yes, this means ditch the uniform white shirt and khakis look}

timing is everything: The day of the party can be Photo by Laura Black

hectic for you and your wee one. Think about snapping that perfect pic the day before or before the party starts to avoid the over stimulated meltdown.

face painters we simply adore. you will, too.

Funny Faces Face Painting by SHARI k. Located in Harford County. Travels Baltimore Metro area.

Shari is absolutely amazing with kids and parents. Her designs are just as fabulous -- plus she’s lightning fast. A MUST for parties.

no mess cupcake Push pops

find them at Flavor Cupcakery Photo by Laura Black

monsters and mermaids face painting Baltimore

Simply stunning designs. That pretty much sums it up. Faces by Design Located in Harford County. Travels Baltimore Metro area.

Alison offers several different face painting packages -- from princess packages to wacky tacky makeover. FUN.

Stunning! Funny Faces Face Painting by Shari K. Photo by Laura Black


Photo by Laura Black

arrrggghhhh, matey! these parties will charm your pint-sized adventurer.


AHOY, MATEY! urban pirates




Super hero parties at CCKC

Sailing, rousing pirate songs, entertainment, pirate eye patches, and a treasure chest: all the makings of a swashbuckling good time! Sail around the harbor with Urban Pirates on Fearless -- privately or semi-privately. They even have an add-on option for cake on the boat.

You don’t have to go to the mountains for a climbing adventure just head to Earth Treks in Timonium! Their birthday party packages include access to a private climbing area with enthusiastic instructors. Two of our team members said this was ‘the best party ever!’

Run, jump, and fly like your favorite superhero at Charm City Kids Club! Bring your own cape, or choose one from CCKC ’s extensive masked crusader collection. Party goers can choose to make masks or capes, all materials provided. Then soar into play town for extra fun!

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ZIPLINe At terrapin adventures


laser tag: red zone Adventures


Bounce and more at kiddie Crusoe

Great for older kids! {Kids must be eight years old and weigh at least 60 lbs.}. Schedule some high flying fun at Terrapin Adventures! Each member of your party will scream with delight on the 330 foot Zip Line and then experience 2Gs of force on the Giant Swing.

State-of-the-art laser tag system in a 6,000 square-foot multi-level futuristic fog-filled industrial cityscape? Sounds perfect for elementary and middle school age adventure seekers. Don’t miss the glow in the dark urban golf or Lightspace play floor at Red Zone Adventures!

Monkey around on Kiddie Crusoe’s HUGE indoor playset that includes rock climbs and castle forts! Your mini adventurer will love their pirate bounce house and tube slides, too. Kiddie Crusoe Party packages include a private party room and they offer several add-on options.

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Photo by Laura Black

Photo by Laura Black

PIRATE PLAY : Have your little pirate tackle ‘bad’ guy balloons with pool noodles. We found that adding a little water to the balloons helped in the battling (and doubled the fun!). Haba Pirate Hats available at aMuse Toys.

adventure goodie BAGs

by Jennifer Cooper, Classic Play

Goodies that scream adventure are perfect for active kids. Send party goers home with: comic books (Tiny Titans are perfect for the younger crowd), tubes of glow in the dark bracelets (only $1.00 each), gold coins, carabiners, jute bracelets, or blank books to write down their adventures.

comic books ✸ gold coins ✸ carabiners ✸ jute bracelets ✸ adventure notebooks ✸ pens ✸ compasses

West Shore Park

birthdays are a great

(cool) approved photographers Whether you want a pro to capture your party or you want an amazing portrait of the birthday boy or girl, these area photographers are fantastic with kids of all ages! laura black photography

cara walen photography


Splash! fountain fun, goodie bags, games & more contact to schedule your party!

Get them a present they’ll love.

B. Chase Photography

The WaireHouse

Modern life portraits www.mar

lil blu dragonfly

... we’ve got the cards, cake and ice cream, too. Local Boutique Shopping with gifts for all ages! 10749 Falls Road, Lutherville

PLaNes, Tandrthings a ithat N Sgo party ideas for the kid on the move.

B&O Railroad Museum


How cool would it be to have your birthday party inside a historic rail car? Wander along the big locomotives at The B&O Railroad Museum and even take a train ride (if your party happens between April and December). Add Carousel or Choo Choo Blue rides for a bit more.

Head to the Fire Museum of Maryland for a party that includes fireman’s gear, fire engine rides, and even a visit from a real fireman (additional fee). Parties may be scheduled all days of the week (a great option for a weekday play group birthday party, no?)

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Head to the College Park Aviation Museum for high flying birthday fun! Their party packages include dres sing up l ike an av iator, controlling a World War I era “Jenny,” flight simulators, and more. Sure to get your kid zooming. A fun add-on? Lego Airplane kit activity!

Head to the Baltimore Museum of Industry for floating fun! Using a compass and map, explore the museum’s historic waterfront then make a replica of the BMI’s 1906 tugboat to take home. All parties include museum admission and you can even rent out the theater for a private film screening.

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Modern transportation. This two-sided invitation from MLC Invitation Design Studio moves!

r u o y e ! t e a n r i b v e Cel with Ir y a d h Birt


Just 20 minutes from Baltimore City! 11201 Garrison Forest Road Owings Mills MD 21117 tXXX&YQMPSF/BUVSFPSH

Contact Courtney Sagal at or 443-738-9224 to reserve your date today.

let them


{your guests} 1

Sign language : stories by hand


pretend fun at port discovery


perfect for pinball wizards

Bring a little sign language -complete with stories and songs -- to your next party. Kathy MacMillan from Stories by Hand has several different signing based birthday themes available. Don’t see yours? Just ask! She’ll come up with something.

One of the country’s best Children’s Museums offers lots of different options for let’s pretend -- and just as many birthday party packages. We’re partial to their rock star package, which includes karaoke style performances and designing your own microphone.

The National Pinball Museum does birthday parties! Enjoy private access to their party room and 45 minutes to 1 hour of pinball playing fun in their pay to play area. You can book an off-hours event and have exclusive access to all of their exhibits, too. Includes pizza!

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outdoor movie night


see a show! pumpkin theatre


party at the joke house

All you need is a movie on DVD, standard electricity and guests! FunFlicks will bring a 2-Story inflatable screen, projection, and state-of-theart sound system to your backyard (or area park with permit). Add one of their popcorn machines and viola! Private outdoor movie showing.

Check out Baltimore’s best children’s theatre for your next birthday! Pumpkin Theatre offers discounted ticket pricing and your party will have it’s own section at the show. Your kiddo will also ‘star’ on stage as the theatre sings happy birthday! Party room available for rent, too.

A fun party idea for the comedian in your family! Head to Magooby’s Joke House for one of their Kids Comedy Sunday shows. Many of their kids’ shows also feature free face painting -- double bonus. Check the schedule call for party package options.

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entertainers we Sometimes, all you need for a party is a little entertainment. These folks score high on our fun meter. Silly goose and val Magical puppets and contagious dancing. Need we say more?

Photo by Jen Dalton Limoges

DIY CIRCUS DuBurns Arena is the perfect blank canvas to create your own circus, just like the Diamond Family did for their Three Ring Circus birthday party last winter. Catch all the details on (cool) progeny. More iNFO:


ellis woodward Lots of high energy music, laughing and dancing with Ellis! Entertains the parents, too. it’s groovy baby One of Baltimore’s favorite mini music classes does birthday parties. Includes a toddler-sized jam session. MAGIC JOE Joe brings everything (including a sound system) for a magical balloon show. Great for kids between 4 and 12!

Photo by Kory Chase

wild west hoe down : claddaugh Manor Any of time year, head to Claddaugh Manor for the perfect hoe down! Their indoor arena works beautifully in winter or summer. Check out this party styled by Laura of Cupcakes and Lemonade! More iNFO:

milkshake private concert Lisa and Mikel from grammynominated kids’ band Milkshake perform acoustic house parties! They also have a relationship with Charm City Kids Club if you’re throwing your shindig there.

Coming November 2012:

(cool) approved:

HOLIDAY GIFTS 2012 wanna be included? email

gift gu i d e

make birthday magic with these gift ideas!

smart gifts for

active little thinkers

EARTH BALL by Earth Ball aMuse Toys

SPANISH/ENGLISH FLASH CARDS by Mudpuppy, ages 4+ Urban Baby Runway

Matchy matchy game by Jonathan Adler, 18m+ The Pleasure of Your Company

Pride & Prejudice Board Book by Little Masters BabyLit, birth+ The Children’s Bookstore

zolo Creativity Sets by Kushies, ages 5+ The Pleasure of Your Company

brain noodles by Brain Noodles, ages 3+ Marbles, The Brain Store

MAGNETIC ACTION FIGURES by MudPuppy, ages 3+ Greetings and Readings

TOBBLES by Fat Brain Toys, ages 2+ aMuse Toys

eco greenhouse by Hape, ages 3+ online

what to do about

all of those classmates? BRICK STIX by BrickStix, ages 4+ aMuse Toys

COLOR YOUR OWN PLUSH by mightMIGHT, ages 3+ Etsy

candy Scented ipod touch cover by Dylan’s Candybar The Lily Pad of Towson

rory’s story cubes by Gamewright, ages 7+ Barstons Child’s Play

TEGU POCKET POUCH byTegu, Ages 3+ aMuse Toys

MINI Q-MAN MAGNETS by NUOP ages 5+ Shananigans Toy Shop

MAGNETIC TANGRAMS by Mighty Minds, ages 3+ aMuse Toys

JIBIBUTS by Noferin, Ages 3+ Atomic Books

perfect gifts for

artists and architects

Constructibles by Mudpuppy, ages 4+ Urban Baby Runway

hand stitched onesie by Amy Tangerine, ages 3-24m Etsy

Villa julia cardboard house by Magis Me Too ages 3+ Online

ZOOB BUILDING SETS by Infinitoy, ages 4+ Barstons Child’s Play

my giant busy box by Alex Toys, ages 3+ aMuse Toys

Tie Dyed Dress by Splendid, ages 18m-6y Wee Chic Boutique

make art mistakes by MoMA, all ages Urban Baby Runway

STACKABLE crayons by Playon, ages 3-6y Trohv

MAGFORMERS by Magformers aMuse Toys

wooden MARBLE RUN by Quadrilla aMuse Toys

what to buy for the

minnie foodie

farmers’ market activity kit by Molly Smith Shananigans Toy Shop

AIR FORK ONE by Fred, 9m+ The Pleasure of Your Company

Cookware & Dining set by Green Toys, all ages aMuse Toys

Monogrammed chef set ages 2+ The Monogram Shop

GRAPHIC EVERYDAY TRAYS by French Bull, all ages The Pleasure of Your Company

Burger & DOG GRILL PLAY SET by Hape, ages 3+ aMuse Toys

coloring placemats by DuoPress, ages 2y+ DuoPress Online

Pretend gardening kit by Melissa & Doug, ages 18m+ Greetings and Readings

A BEARY BALANCED BELLY by Beary Balanced Belly, ages 3+ online

Silver spoon for children by Phaidon, ages 5+ online

Baltimore’s boutique for the

naturally loved baby! Specializing in Cloth Diapers, Baby Carriers, Breastfeeding and Maternity Supplies. We rent breast pumps! Strollers coming soon!

Take $5 off

any purchase of $50 or more. Use code “coolprogeny” online or mention code in store. expires 8/31/2012

Visit us in our new location!

915 West 36th Street Right on the Avenue in Hampden • (410) 446-4525

for the kid who is

always moving

the spooner $49.99 by Spooner, Inc, all ages Barstons Child’s Play

Mini kick Scooter by MiniKick, ages 3+ aMuse Toys

Appaman aviators $22 by Appaman, 2-6yr Wee Chic Boutique

SK8TER TEE by Appaman, 12m-8yrs Wee Chic Boutique

CROSS BOULE by Zoch Verlag, ages 3+ aMuse Toys

POGO STICKS by SBI, ages 5+ Barstons Child’s Play

Billibo by Kid O, 2-8yr Shananigans Toy Shop

Personalized Superhero set $48 by Copus Hagen Designs, 3-6y Etsy

Baltimore’s Neighborhood

Toy Store s Fells Point 1623 Thames Street 410.342.5000

Quarry Lake 2576 Quarry Lake Drive 410.415.0000

Store Hours 10am - 7pm 10am - 5pm

Mon - Sat Sunday

PINK PONY by Haba aMuse Toys

what she really wants

the girly girl

TAKE ME ALONG PRINCESS FANTASY CHEST by Playmobil, ages 4+ Barstons Child’s Play

MODAL PAJAMAS $58 by Esme, ages 2-12 Wee Chic Boutique

Rainbow tutu Custom Made Charm City Tutus and Accessories

UGG FLIP FLOPS by UGG, sizes 8T-6 Petit Feet Footwear MAGNETIC DOLL PLAY SETS by Melissa and Doug The Lily Pad of Towson personalized princess tee By Red Envelope, Sz 2-16 Online

SAFETY PIN BRACELETS By Klutz, Ages 8+ Online

many thanks to ALL of our advertisers!

what he really wants

he’s all boy

Beastie Boys Chaser T by Chaser, ages 2-8y Wee Chic Boutique

ZErG LITTLE MONSTER by Cotton Monster, ages 12m+

automoblox truck and trailer combo by Manhattan Toy, ages 3+ Shananigans Toy Shop

THe nutty squirrel by Kid O, ages 18m+ Urban Baby Runway

REMOTE CONTROL MACHINES by Thames & Kosmos, ages 8+ Online

FIRE TRUCK by Green Toys, ages 18+ aMuse Toys

hexbugs by Innovation FIrst Labs, ages 3-6 Barstons Child’s Play OGO DISK RAQ by OgoSport, ages 3+ aMuse Toys

show them some and buy local.

birthdays are Nature’s way of telling us to eat more cake. cheers to that.

(cool) approved: birthday guide 2012  

Guide to everything kids' birthday in Baltimore. Party themes, planning tips, approved vendors, gift ideas and more!

(cool) approved: birthday guide 2012  

Guide to everything kids' birthday in Baltimore. Party themes, planning tips, approved vendors, gift ideas and more!