How to Plan the BEST Birthday Party in the Northwest Suburbs

Now that I’m a mom, it seems as though most weekends include at least one birthday party. And it’s great. I mean, who doesn’t love adding a sprinkled cupcake to their weekend agenda? But here’s the thing. Once it comes time to plan your child’s birthday, it can become a challenge to think of a unique and creative way to celebrate your child on his or her special day. I mean, you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a party (have you seen the price of college tuition lately? Ouch!) but you don’t want to have a lame celebration, either. That’s why I’ve rounded up the some amazing local resources so you will know exactly how to plan the best birthday party in the Northwest suburbs.


Step One: Book a Venue

I have learned that if you want to plan an awesome event, you need to collaborate with a great partner. And if that partner is a neighbor, EVEN BETTER! Not only are you collaborating with someone who might attend the same PTA meetings as you, but you also are keeping your money in your community so it can continue to thrive. There are tons of great local party venues in the Northwest Suburbs, but these are my tried and true favorites:


Orbit Skate Center—It doesn’t matter if you are confident skating, it is a guaranteed fun time. And the tunes they play are a wonderfully epic blast from the past for all parents…and maybe get you reminiscing about your old roller skating parties!


Firezone—Meet real life, fire fighting heroes and pretend to be one yourself? It doesn’t get any better than this!


Paragon Theatres—See a movie or play video games on the big screen? YES PLEASE! The newly remodeled theatre is so comfortable with plush seats and yummy refreshments, too!


Beverly Lanes—Have a striking good time at this local bowling alley. Bumpers and ramps are available so bowlers of all ages and abilities will have a blast!


Kids’ Kustom Parties—Parties truly are custom designed at this unique play space. You can choose from one of the many themes, such as pirates, spa day fun, characters from popular books and movies or even create your own party idea.


Cook, Cork, and Fork—Calling all itty bitty foodies! This cooking studio can plan the perfect party for your child and his or her sous chefs, including a decadent cake!


Dads Slot Cars—Car racing and ice cream? Does it get any better?



Step Two: Get a Cake

Or cupcakes. Even cookies. Maybe some brownies, too. It might be hard to narrow your decision on what to serve but you shouldn’t wonder which bakery to visit because it is a no-brainer: Sweet T’s Bakery and Cake Studio.

Sweet T’s Bakery and Cake Studio never ceases to amaze me with their beautiful creations, especially when the only idea I have is “a chocolate cake with sprinkles.” Everything they create is simply a work of art and tastes just as delicious as it looks. Don’t believe me? Stop by the bakery for a cake pop or mini cupcake. You will definitely be coming back for a larger order once it is time for your party. Guaranteed.


Step Three: Pick out Gifts

So, let’s get real for a minute. I love going to and throwing birthday parties, but the gift aspect is my least favorite part. Why? Well, if we are going to a friend’s party, I always have such a hard time trying to find a great gift. Is it age appropriate? Do they already have it? Does it have a million pieces that will get all over the floor making the parents hate me? These are serious questions. Even worse is that I typically have to ponder all of these questions while one of my children is having a meltdown because I won’t get HIM a present as well. Ugh. That’s why I’m so excited to share my birthday party secret weapon with you: Beat Street West.


This independently owned toy store has it all…and then some. There are so many great gifts for kids of all ages and abilities…and for all different types of budgets as well. But what really sets Beat Street apart is that they truly cater to busy parents like me. How? Through these unique services:


*The Birthday Box: Create a box of “wishes” for your birthday child. Beat Street can provide you with digital or printed copies of your child’s “wish list” to make shopping easy and straightforward.

*Call ahead ordering. Or as I like to call it, “Call Beat Street and tell them the child’s age, gender, and budget and they pick out the perfect gift while you sit at home on your couch.” Good luck getting that type of concierge service at big box stores!

*Free gift wrapping. Each gift that is wrapped is also topped with a trinket to add a little extra pizzazz.

*Beat Street Birthday Kids: Parents submit their child’s birthday and the family receives 20% off one item in the store during their child’s birthday month.

Beat Street stocks hard to find and unique toys that you won’t find at big box stores. Some current favorite toys and gifts:


Jellycat Soft Toys

Pusheen Stuffed Animals

Thinking Putty

Fairy Doors

Rubix Cubes

Blaster Ball

Chunkees Paint Sticks

Shrinky Dinks

Poster Paint Pods

Tire Toss (not pictured)

Blaster Ball (not pictured)


Step Four: Relax.

Open a bottle of your favorite libation, get your nails done, read a book, binge watch a favorite show…do whatever makes you happy because your party planning is DONE. You’re welcome.



For more tips and tricks on surviving party planning, check out this page.

Happy Birthday!
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  1. Doria says

    Such great ideas! We have a bunch of birthdays in spring (actually everyone in our family except me) and while we don’t live in the Northwest I’m definitely taking some inspo from your list!

  2. Megan Williams says

    Love these! Add Midwest Shotokan Karate. Just had a ninja party there this weekend. Super easy and just fun for all the kids!

  3. lisa says

    These are all great ideas! I find that it gets harder to plan birthday parties the older my kids get. They don’t know what they want to do and I don’t know what is age appropriate half the time!

  4. Joely Smith says

    Wow they have cooking courses for kids bday parties? That is SO COOL!
    Skating is still a win if you ask me.
    I would love to have a Firezone party. Hey I am a kid at heart lol
    Great suggestions! Thanks!

  5. Heather says

    These are some great ideas! I think my best ever planned birthday party was Lego themed. I impressed people with my marshmallow Lego heads on sticks dipped in yellow chocolate where I used a Wilton’s food marker to make the faces. Parents were like “WOAH!”. But since with where my kids birthdays fall within the calendar year we do birthday parties every other year and just do something special for the kids on opposite years. They still get cake and presents but it’s more about family and experiences, like going to the zoo.

  6. Pam says

    These are all great ideas for planning the perfect kids birthday party. You picked some really neat venues for people to check out.

  7. Claudia Krusch says

    These are all great birthday party ideas. We have a few great places we like to go to have our parties. Bowling is always a favorite.

  8. David Elliott says

    These are such great ideas when it comes to planning a birthday party. Obviously the places I would be looking into are a bit different but this does give me some great ideas.

  9. Rebecca Swenor says

    These are all great places to have the best birthday parties. I know when I was younger we used to love the Roller Rink. The Orbit Skate Center would indeed be a place I would love to have a birthday party at. Thanks for sharing the information.

  10. Kiwi says

    I love the ideas and resources for planning a birthday party. My goal when I have kids is to have lots of themed bday parties for my kids in the suburbs!

  11. Tiffany Hathorn says

    Wow you guys have so many options for birthday parties out there! I’m a bit jealous. My son’s parties usually end up just being at the park or at our house. I imagine that as he gets older, he will want to branch out a bit.

  12. Jenny says

    These sound like great places to have a party. I’m a lame mom and do them at home, but my daughter is only turning 2 so she camt do too much.

  13. Sandra Levin says

    Thank so much for including Orbit Skate Center in your list of party venues! It was a nice surprise. We love having birthday parties for kids and adults and making memories that last a lifetime. Hope to see you rolling in again soon.

  14. Lynndee says

    We celebrated my son’s birthday in an arcade before then in a mini golf course. A bowling alley would be a nice venue too. Thanks for all these ideas!

  15. Cat says

    What an adorable way to throw a birthday party! We recently threw a party for my nephew and it was a blast–we all met up for mini golf, laser tag, and bowling all in one place! Loved reading your resource too–gave me lots of ideas for upcoming parties. Thanks!

  16. E H says

    This is a great list of ideas! We have done birthdays practically in every venue around where we live, and are running out of ideas. I am also always stunned as to what toys to prepare for special goody bags for kids – you have got some solid advice, I am definitely going to be using, our next party is coming up!

  17. Echo says

    This is a great guide! Booking the venue is key, if you aren’t having it at home. We have a summer and a winter birthday, so I know it’s important!

  18. Shannon Gurnee says

    We’ve had our kids birthday parties at a bowling alley, a campsite and Boomer’s and they were so much easier. It’s so nice to be able to relax (somewhat). These are great ideas!

  19. Louise Smith says

    You have some fantastic ideas here, Amanda. I once took my daughter and her friends tobogganing for her birthday and 6 years later everyone still talks about that day. It was fantastic 🙂

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