Inspiration for Planning a Unique Birthday Party During the Cold Months
Updated: Feb 14
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Have you ever struggled to come up with ideas for your child’s birthday party? I know I have. As a kid, my birthday fell in the summer, so most of the time we had a pool party. My son though, his birthday is at the end of January and swimming is not an option for outdoors. Figuring out what to do and have fun presented a challenging task.
When I first started planning his birthday for this year, I turned to Google to start my search. I wanted to do something local. I enjoy supporting local businesses, especially small businesses and that was something I kept in mind as I scrolled through pages on Google.
The year before, for his fourth birthday, we did an indoor swim party which was okay. It was more stressful than we thought it would be. The kids got chilled outside the pool despite the heaters and it made them cranky. The year before that we did an indoor playground with a room designated for the party. Kids were able to play until cake time but gathering them up to do cake and presents was a challenge, especially considering we had a time limit. Ugh.
So, this year I kept the past issues in mind as I looked for something that would work. I wanted to do something that wouldn’t overwhelm but not cost me an arm and a leg. I was worried that renting an entire facility to prevent that would be pricey, it normally is. Let’s face it, you must spend some money when it comes to planning parties.
In my search I stumbled across a listing for an art studio that offered birthday parties for kids of all ages. With him turning five and having younger friends I wasn’t sure how it would work but I continued to research them.
HeartLocke Studio’s website was easy to navigate, and I was able to find information about party options. They offer a variety of crafts and painting for the party goers. Each option is listed out with a picture of said project for easy browsing. They even list what is included in the birthday package. It all seemed simple, so I sent them an inquiry. They called me within the hour to chat and let me know that they decorate with basic un-themed party décor, provide set up/clean up, and so much more. As party booker’s we would also have the entire studio to ourselves and have access to the virtual play area. I was impressed but still nervous.
After setting up the day and time, I paid the first invoice, and the planning really began. Now I don’t know how most parents are with there kiddos when it comes to picking cakes, themes, etc., but I let my son choose. We started with the theme, and of course it was something brand new that didn’t have any decorations out yet. He chose Disney Junior’s, at the time new show, Super Kitties. He was dead set on this idea, and I knew that finding the appropriate cake would be a challenge.
He and I went to a local bakery, Cookies & Cupcakes by Design, to chat with the baker there. I found an image on their website of cookies decorated as cats and they said they could add masks to them. I sent the image of the cartoon kitties and their original design to them for reference, and they delivered. Not only did the cookies come out just like the cartoon kitties but they tasted fabulous. They were a huge hit with the kids.
We then proceeded to order cupcakes with them while placing the cookie order. These were not decorated to look like Super Kitties but instead I let my son choose the color of icing, toppings, and flavor. I was a bit worried when he asked for blue icing, sprinkles, with a chocolate syrup, and chocolate flavored cake, but the bakers did a fantastic job on them. The cupcakes turned out delicious.
As we got closer to the party, I made sure to reach out to friends and family to get an idea of how many kids would attend. The studio needed the exact number to purchase craft supplies. I utilized the event option through Facebook to send out e-invites for the party. It made it easy to share information and location for the party. This also let me know if I needed to pay more for extra craft materials. I didn’t have to but I understand the necessity behind it. I paid the final invoice and we moved even closer to party day.
The day before the party we picked up the cupcakes and cookies. They were packaged well and easy to keep overnight. The day of the party, we aired up some balloons and headed out. When we arrived, we were a bit early, but the staff soon showed up. In a flurry of activity, they began decorating the rooms and prepping the craft. They even put up a happy birthday sign in front of the building.
Now I waited until now to mention the craft my son chose because I wanted to increase the curiosity. Don’t hate me. He picked from their project list to build a robot with his friends. I tried to talk him into something else, since it seemed like a challenge for younger kids, but he was dead set on it. He didn’t want to do a painting or make squishy toys, he wanted robots. So, we created them, with some help.
While some of the staff were decorating, two others came out with wooden blocks and drills. I watched as they created the body of the robots using upcycled wood for the kids to paint. They also had trays of random buttons, springs, wooden gears, ribbon, and other crafty pieces to decorate the robots with. They laid everything out on one table for each kid and put the decorations on another table so the kids would focus on painting first. I loved that they were utilizing pieces that could have been tossed. Upcycling material is one way to decrease waste and is eco-friendly.
When everyone started to arrive, I sent my father to pick up pizzas, and we took the kids to the play area. I had no idea how we were going to start the party but thankfully the employees at HeartLockeStudio came to the rescue. They had a plan and we started with eating the pizza while it was warm then moved to the crafting.
The kids listened well to directions from the staff. I was amazed at how well they did honestly and how easily they organized the kids. They walked them through the painting process and had the parents help with gluing the decorations on after the paint dried. Arms were attached to each of their creations and the robots were sat down for a little photo shoot while the kids moved on to play in the virtual room. This gave everyone time to finish their project before cupcakes and presents. The staff helped me with this as well and together we passed out cupcakes before moving on to presents.
At the end of the party, it was easy to pack our stuff up and take what cookies and pizza was left. The staff there were kind and began the clean process as soon as the guest began to leave. The decision to have his party at this art studio has led to one of the best parties we’ve had for him yet and I hope that it will inspire other families to give it a try. There are art studios all over that offer similar packages but if you’re in the central part of Oklahoma, I highly recommend giving this business a chance to throw a party for you. They even gifted my son with a small gift that we’ll be using later. It was a small wooden car to paint from the Melissa and Doug brand.
Also, I would love to hear other ideas for cold weather birthdays. I’m always looking for new and fun ideas for him and doing something active like this or even giving him a way to experience something new will forever be my preference.
Check out HeartLocke Studio mentioned above here: https://www.heartlockestudio.com/
Check out Cookies & Cupcakes by Design here: https://www.cookiesbydesign.com/locations/oklahoma/midwest_city/73130_278.aspx