Growing up, I always got to have elaborate themed birthday parties. I thought this was standard at the time, but in retrospect I can see that I had a grandmother on hand who was particularly enthusiastic about sewing costumes, building large-scale props out of cardboard and making unlikely things out of hollowed-out watermelons.
Whether it was pirates or fairies or book characters or time travel or some other (increasingly complex) theme, the thing that I remember enjoying the most was inhabiting an imaginative world. I love playing imaginative games that were inspired – but not limited – by the decorative concept. Like, a pirate treasure hunt might organically transform into a trading game that ended in the detailed playing out of a shopping mall for dolphins.
I was thinking about this because my niece has a seventh birthday coming up. When I asked her about a party theme, she seemed confused – perhaps it’s not as much of a thing at the moment. She said she’d like to have it in a magic forest, although she realises that that’s probably not doable.
Well, let me tell you something about hosting kids birthday parties, Bentleigh East mums and dads. With a bit of creativity, can be anything the birthday kid wants them to be. She wants to party in a magic forest? Let the gang dress up as their favourite animals and take them to one of those indoor adventure playground. Bentleigh East definitely has one. You know the kind of place I mean – giant slides, bouncy castles, big climbing frames, ball pits – all manner of exciting stuff that you don’t see every day, and which therefore hold massive appeal for kids.
Come to think of it, these play centres are an ideal backdrop for a themed birthday party, because they can essentially be adapted to anything. Maybe that’s part of what makes them so exciting for youngsters – they’re the ideal backdrop for all kinds of imaginative games.