Out-Of-The-Box Birthday Guide

Every kid gets their own special day once a year, and today there are more ways to celebrate than ever before. If you find the options on Pinterest overwhelming but want a little more than the trusty cake and ice-cream get-together, fear not. There are lots of cool options these days for an out-of-the-box birthday party to create great memories for years to come.

For Animal Lovers

The Toledo Zoo offers all-inclusive party packages with zoo admission and parking for all guests, pizza, beverages, cake, and a party room behind the carousel. You get your own private live animal demonstration, time to pet the goats, and a handful of tickets for the train or carousel. Starting at $375 for 20 guests.

Tumbling Toddlers

The YMCA of Greater Toledo Gymnastics Center in Perrysburg offers parties for the bounciest kids — little ones love tumbling on the trampoline, leaping into the foam pit, and flying high on gymnastics equipment. Instructors will put together a program or free play, tailored to the age level and interest of guests. Basic packages allow an hour of gymnastics and an hour for cake afterward. Parties start at $125 for ten tumblers.

For The Birthday Bookworm

Gathering Volumes Bookstore, in Perrysburg, has done book-themed parties for kids from 3-12. Whether the birthday kid loves Dr. Seuss or Harry Potter, a staff member helps plan your party, which includes an hour in the store and an hour next door at Nedley’s for cake and ice cream. The standard package comes with a party host who leads storytime or book discussion, activities, balloons, and goodie bags. They even offer slumber parties for older kids, with pizza, movies, games, and morning donuts. Simple parties start at $50.

For the Mini Film Buff

Renting a historic theatre to screen a favorite film is a cool way to celebrate. The Maumee Indoor Theatre and the Eastwood Theater both have party packages, including a private showing of your own film. Tables and chairs are provided by the theaters, and of course popcorn and drinks are great additions. These spaces are ideal for bigger guest lists. $225 at the Maumee Indoor, $150-200, depending on number of guests, at the Eastwood.


For Your MasterChef Junior

Young foodies can party at Foodology, on Laskey, where the birthday boy or girl can choose whether everyone will bake and decorate cupcakes or make personal pizzas from scratch. Coose whether guests will design their own aprons or chef hats as favors. Parties run for two hours and include beverages for kids and adults. $200 for eight cooks.


A Celebrity Appearance

Is your birthday princess a fan of Frozen? Or batty for Batman? Laurel’s Princess Parties, based in Sylvania, will send your favorite characters out to perform and schmooze with partygoers. Options include storytelling, crafts, games, balloon art, face painting, and all packages include photo ops and autographs. Trademarks on certain characters mean you’ll get the “Mermaid Princess” instead of Ariel or “Spider Hero” instead of Spiderman, but the kids will never know the difference. In-person appearances start at $150 for ten children.