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CONSUMER NOTES BIRTHDAY BASHES Pin the Bill on Mom

By D Magazine |

FOR A GENERATION weaned on video games and Big Macs, celebrating a birthday at home seems as old-fashioned as Hula-Hoops.

Today’s birthday parties have moved out of the family kitchen and into the fast-food restaurants where children dine on favorites such as burgers or pizza while being entertained by dancing bears and puppet shows.

In many ways, it’s a working mother’s dream and a traditionalist’s nightmare. While the partygoers toast the birthday boy or girl, Mother can lean back and simply relax. When the party is over, there are no dishes to wash or kitchens to clean. The only challenge some mothers face is in finding room for all the presents in the family stationwagon.

Although parties at pizza parlors and burger joints make life easier for Mom, the yearly bashes can drain parents’ pocket-books. To get a better idea of what your dollar buys, we contacted area restaurants and asked about their party packages. And just for the sake of comparison, we priced a do-it-yourself party, complete with all the trimmings. Of course, this comparison is on paper only. The hard work-and perhaps satisfaction-is up to you.

COMPILED BY LISA ELLEN SMITH

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