Parties in Suffolk
Most parents make a concerted effort to ensure that their child’s birthday party is as special as
possible; some revel in the excitement whilst others can feel overwhelmed by the scale of the occasion. There are, seemingly, never ending lists to contend with, possible trepidation over the entertainment and the additional responsibility of looking after a room full of children! For some, having a party at home is just not an option, so what are the alternatives?
Renting a hall doesn’t have to be cripplingly expensive, shop around and see what is on offer. There are far more venues available now to host a child’s party than ever before. A lot of businesses cater specifically to children’s parties so be sure to check out your neighbourhood to see what’s available. Soft play centres are a great place to host an event as the many activities provide the entertainment and generally tire the little darlings out.
Many swimming pools and training pools do catered children’s parties with staff on hand to provide both safety and water games. Football parties can be held indoors if the venue is big enough. Painting parties, where children get to decorate mugs and plates, are so popular that there are plenty of high street shops to choose from. The added bonus of a painting party is that all the guests get to have a personal souvenir of the day.
Local cinemas, and indeed larger chains, can be a great place to hold a slightly alternative party. If you give them plenty of advance notice they will be able to set aside part of their café/entrance area for the children to congregate for cake once they’ve finished viewing the film. Some cinemas will lay on cake and refreshments, while others are good enough to let you bring your own. The latter kind of cinema party is the perfect way to keep costs down. Most cinemas have a Saturday morning kids club where individual tickets are a fraction of the normal cost.
The best way of keeping down expenditure is to share it with another parent or parents. Apart from the financial benefits joint parties between children who’s birthdays are close mean that the guests won’t have to turn down one party to go to another. Themed parties are very popular for the under 11s – there are the old favourites, Pirates, Princesses, the Wild West, superheroes – especially Batman and Spiderman and then the latest crazes. At the moment the Disney film Frozen is still holding sway in the playground. Most supermarkets and dedicated party shops have a range of paper plates, napkins, table clothes and bunting that cover all but the most obscure themes.
But what should be put on the paper plates? Many of us obsess about child nutrition and making party food ‘balanced’. Instead keep things simple with old-fashioned ‘party food’. You can’t go wrong with sandwiches, cocktail sausages, crisps and, of course, cake. Home baking has been undergoing a major revival recently but don’t worry if you don’t have the time, or the inclination, to make the cake yourself – there are a huge variety of reasonably priced cakes available from bakeries, the local supermarket and even specialist cake makers.
As for games - the most popular are as old as time - Musical Chairs, Pass The Parcel and Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Don’t worry about using fancy wrapping paper for Pass the Parcel – old newspapers will do. If games aren’t enough entertainment for your little guests then you need to think about hiring a professional whose job it is to keep kids happy! The entertainer doesn’t have to necessarily be a clown or a magician – face painting is always a popular option.
Whatever route you decide to take be sure to take a look through this party guide or get a recommendation from other parents...
Tel: 01692 633033
Birthday parties at BeWILDerwood are a truly magical experience where children can run wild for the day with a group of friends and enjoy a traditional party food feast in one of the Yummy Yurts. BeWILDerwood will provide birthday party invitations and the birthday child will receive a BeWILDerwood book as a little gift from the Twiggles. Party bags and a Twigglish birthday cake can all be added into the package as extras.
Mr Bean Entertainments
Tel: 01473 737173 or 07954 116969
New for 2015, Mr Bean Entertainments presents brand new themed bouncy castles including Frozen, Minions, Jungle, Pirates and Star Wars from only £45. In addition, for £115, there is an hour long, award winning children's magic show, voted best in East Anglia, which features balloon models for everyone to take home! Plus, fully themed Premium Party Packages start from only £249. Themes include Circus, Frozen, The Gruffalo, Jungle, Pirates and more, and include decorations, the cake, party bags and up to two hours of entertainment. Add one of Mr Bean Entertainments’ fully equipped venues for an extra £45. Mr Bean Entertainments also has new party packages for children aged 0-5, 5-8, 8-12 and 12 years+.
All Fired Up Ceramics
Tel: 0770 6040441
All Fired Up offers a mobile ceramics painting birthday parties in the Ipswich area after school, at weekends or during the school holidays. All Fired Up takes the paints and ceramics to your home or a venue of your choice. There’s no mess to worry about, all the setting up and clearing away is done for you and the paints are completely washable.
It’s a fun birthday party that appeals to children of all ages and is sure to be remembered for many years. The children get to choose from a range of ceramics and a friendly and experienced member of staff supervises the painting. The ceramics are then glazed, fired, gift wrapped and delivered back to you two weeks later. Prices start from £10 per painter and the minimum number is 10 painters.
www.acleisure.com for Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill
www.angcomleisure.com for Newmarket, Mildenhall and Brandon
Looking for a party that you don’t have to organise? Abbeycroft Leisure and Anglia Community Leisure can help. It offers custom made parties for your little ones aged 1 year+ so you won’t have to lift a finger! From swimming parties with races, disco parties for your princess, even laser tag and Nerf tag, there is something that suits every child – even soft play and bouncy castles for the little ones.
If you’re feeling really adventurous, there are Explore Outdoor parties and outdoor adventure days for the explorers in your family. They also offer climbing wall hire.
The Leisure Centres at Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Newmarket, Mildenhall and Brandon can help you plan a day to remember. Abbeycroft Leisure can provide food, party bags, invitations and more.
Little Kingfishers Play Centre
Tel: 01787 375656
Make your child’s next birthday the most memorable yet! Let them enjoy 90 minutes playing in the fabulous four tiered play frame at the Little Kingfishers Play Centre before tucking into a tasty birthday tea in one of the party rooms. Party packages, from £8.99pp, include unlimited squash, a free balloon for every child, an appearance from the mascot Swoop and a party host to meet, greet and ensure the party runs smoothly. Ultimate party add-ons are available for a little extra, such as glitter tattoos or a themed table display, or enjoy exclusive private hire of the centre from £175 for two hours hire. Other party options include splash parties and private hire pool parties for great splashing fun - visitwww.ssleisure.co.uk or call 01787 375656 for more details.
Places for People Leisure
Tel: Visit the website for individual telephone numbers
Let Places for People Leisure take the stress out of your child’s birthday party and turn it into an exciting day to remember. There’s no mess, no fuss and the friendly staff entertain your children and their friends to ensure that a fun party is had by all. Parties are available at Felixstowe Leisure Centre, Brackenbury Sports Centre, Deben Pool and Leiston Leisure Centre. Each venue offers a varied array of parties. Options at Felixstowe Leisure Centre include a Bouncy Castle and Swim party, a public Swim Party or Super Splash, a Funtasia Soft Play party and also, there is a chance to hire the main hall. Brackenbury Sports Centre offers five different types of party namely, Cheeky Monkeys and Bouncy Castle, Mix and Match, Sports Crazy, Bouncing Bash and Fit and Fun. Deben Pool has private pool parties whilst Leiston Leisure Centre’s four party options include a Pool Party, a Main Hall Party, an Activity Room Party and a Piglets Soft Play Party.
Tel: 01376 501313
Looking for a different party idea? At a unique Soundmagic Studios Recording Party, the budding pop stars arrive at a professional recording studio to create their own CD. Soundmagic Studios provide the backing tracks of the child's favourite pop songs and the children sing along creating their very own recording. Party food and drink is provided and all guests receive a copy of the CD in their party bag. The host’s CD is specially packaged and includes photos of the group taken in the studio. Incidentally, the studio is where Jessie J started her recording career! For availability and more details of the various packages call Steve or Victoria on the number above.
Tel: 01449 675395
Does your child love to sing, dance and act? Would your child love to have a superhero or a Frozen party or are they nutty for One Direction? A Bravo entertainer can provide party guests with themed games, choreography and singing. There can even be a small performance at the end of the day for family and friends. Don’t forget to take the camera!
Fancy Dress Hut
Tel: 01473 255933
Local mum Susie Patten, recently opened the Fancy Dress Hut in St Stephen’s Lane, not far from the bus station in Ipswich. Inspired by the popularity of fancy dress over the pond in America, Susie’s range of costumes is vast and expanding. She stocks all the authorised costumes for Disney and Marvel and DC Comics – perfect for birthday parties, plus seasonal items for Easter, Halloween and Christmas. Find the Fancy Dress Hut at 17 St Stephen’s Lane in Ipswich, IP1 1DP