The picture showed a little girl, standing next to a white horse with painted hands all over it. A new breed of painted pony? Not quite. More like an original idea for a birthday party.
I thought I had pretty much done just about every kind of birthday party at my house: pool party, sleep-over, rock party, pin-the-tail-on-the-blank, cooking event, mall hopping, cave exploring. But we’ve never painted a pony.
So where can you go for an out-of-the-box birthday party where all you have to do is send out the invitations and show up on the right day? Something that hasn’t been done before? Where somebody else does the cleanup. We’ve got a few ideas.
The My Little Pony fan
That pony can be found at In the Irons Equestrian Center. Located in Boerne, In the Irons offers “Horsey Birthday Parties” for that special horse-enthusiast. Each party is filled with horse-related activities, giving the children an opportunity to feed, groom, and ride the ‘party-experienced’ horses. At least two trained staff members manage all the hands-on horse fun. Plus, the parties usually include another horse activity like a horse decorating contest or a scavenger hunt. It’s up to you to provide the food, cake, and decorations, but you have early access to the club room to set up which comes complete with a kitchen and deck. Rates for this horse-travaganza run about $175 an hour, and the average party lasts about 2 hours.
The wiggle worm
This past weekend, we headed up just past New Braunfels to visit Springloaded trampoline park. This indoor trampoline facility has wall to wall trampolines – just trampolines – just waiting to liven up a party. Parties include a private room for 1 hour and 45 minutes, two-hour jump pass for the kids, t-shirt for the birthday child and downloadable invitations. You can bring in your own cake to top off the celebration. Other food can be purchased at Wahoo’s restaurant (located as part of the compound) or the snack bar, with discounts on pre-purchased birthday food items like hot dogs, chips, and candy. Located at Texas Ski Ranch, a Springloaded party costs $159 for 8 jumpers, $199 for 12, or $229 for 16. And you can add additional jumpers for $10 each.
So let’s say your child is more into his head than his feet. How about a party at Dinosaur-Quest? Get up close and personal with the dwellers of the distant past. Dinosaur-Quest is like a museum with 18 life-sized dinosaur skeletons and more than 65 prehistoric skulls. Birthday parties include your very own dino-expert, survival guides for all the kids and even a scavenger hunt with prizes. Parties start at $100 for two hours plus $6 per child (up to 15 adults are included in the package) for the bare bones. Or include food, party favors, decorations and more for $150 plus $7 per child.
The sports enthusiast
If you’ve got a group full of energetic kids, consider taking them to Alamo TotSport-. Pick one of their locations or have them bring the party to you. Their trained hosts lead fun, energetic activities that get the kids playing and sharing, encouraging group interaction and play. You can customize your party package to include the activities the birthday child loves, like soccer, basketball, or baseball. All parties last two hours, one hour spent on activities and the next spent on festivities. The party packages range from $150 – $295 (priced for 15 children) and do not include facility rental rates, those come separately. A two hour slot at their Training Ground facility is an additional $75. Aimed for kids between ages 2 and 10.
Mini-golf isn’t a new idea for a party, but how about mini-golf in black light? Monster Mini-Golf opened last year or so. Yes, there are animated monsters; no, they are not particularly scary. There is great music and lots of glowing in the dark. The whiter your clothes – the more you glow. Parties include a private party room for one and a half hours and 18 holes of Monster Mini-Golf. Packages start at $250 for 12 children with add-ons that can take you all the way up to $650.
How about a little cave exploring and mining for gold for the child who loves science? Fill the van and head out to Natural Bridge Caverns where you’ll get a private tour of the Discovery Passages, a small bag of mining rough, a souvenir photo, starting at $249 for up to 15 people. They’ll throw in the pizza, drinks and cake for an additional $100. The tour is an easy walk – but wear tennis shoes because it can get slippery.
We’ve got more party places listed here.
Do you have a favorite birthday party spot? Share with us in the comments below.