We have a tradition of a restaurant meal at the restaurant of their choosing with family on the day of our kids' birthdays, and then a friend party on the nearest weekend. Here are some photos...
[the gift we gave was a hit]
The friend party was a big hit also [after a 'discussion' regarding his attitude and how hard mommy works to make birthdays special, and that cranky attitudes on said special days make her mad]~it was a pirate themed birthday party and all attendees were asked to dress up as pirates (girls had the option of dressing as princesses instead), we had a treasure hunt, and I made a homemade treasure chest birthday cake. It wasn't the prettiest cake you ever saw, but it was fun to make and delicious. The kids all recognized what it was supposed to be, so that's good!
Fun times had by all! We had sidewalk chalk, bubbles, a treasure hunt, a pinata, the Veggie Tales movie 'The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything,' fruit and popcorn, cake, gifts, and general all around fun. I must say that it is more work to have a birthday party at home in your own backyard, but it is my favourite kind. Tons of kids have their birthdays at kid centres like Go Bananas or Crash Crawleys, and those are fun too--we had Matthew's birthday last year at Captain Kids' Fun Centre and had a blast! But backyard birthdays are best, I think. I find kid centres to be overwhelming and noisy. Rec centre or community pool birthdays tend to be better because only the kids who were invited to the party are in the room for the eating and party part. At home is fun because your kids can share their home, backyard, toys, and activities with their friends, and the parents have everything they need close by as far as the fridge and food and sidewalk chalk are concerned. I think it costs about the same to do all 3 types of birthdays. Anyways, we had tons of fun. I can't believe my baby is six!