Courtesy of Goodies Cakery

Kids

How To Think Outside the Box-Cake Birthday Party

It's time you set your child's birthday party apart from all of their classmates. Here's how.

September is statistically the most common month for birthdays, but your kid’s bash doesn’t have to be.

The usual
Tiaras and princess dresses
The upgrade
A twirl with a “princess” ballerina

A ballerina from the Texas Ballet Theater’s ensemble makes a special appearance after an instructor-led dance lesson. In the end, the birthday kid walks away with an autographed pointe shoe (parties start from $200 for 10 kids). Parents need not lift a finger: Parties by TToybox can provide all the tutus, tulle decor, and pink fondant-covered cakes a snow queen could ever dream of. They also have Disney-inspired setups for kids who can’t let go of Frozen (from $85 for 10).


The usual
Pin the tail on the donkey
The upgrade
Decorate Bird Bakery’s cupcakes

The Highland Park bakery offers wee Nailed It! fans a chance to make art and eat it, too. Take-home packages come with three cupcakes per kid in the buttercream color of your choosing, plus icing, piping bags, and other decorative doodads ($10 per kid, $20 per hour for an instructor). Smaller groups can gather ’round the bakery’s farm table (from $75 per hour) or rent out the whole place after hours ($125 per hour, $400 food and beverage minimum).


The usual
A Spotify playlist
The upgrade
A live kid DJ

Give him shade and an outlet and 14-year-old DJ Rekcut (that’s Tucker spelled backward) will arrive with speakers and a pro-grade mixing board to play from his 200,000-song library of top 40, country, dance, and hip-hop hits ($50 setup fee, $75 per hour with a two-hour minimum). If you need a reference, the Mavs’ DJ Poizon Ivy is his mentor. Contact Rekcut’s momager for booking: [email protected]


The usual
A few helium balloons tied to a mailbox
The upgrade
A streamer installation from The Color Condition

For a not-so-basic backdrop or overhead dancing decor, rent wares from Sunny Sliger and Marianne Newsom, the artistic duo that fashions mesmerizing, multicolored streamer installations around town and beyond (from $900 for self-installation; from $2,500 for pro installation).


The usual
Dirt cups with pudding and gummy worms
The upgrade
Terrariums with colorful sand and succulents

Spinning off the success of its in-house terrarium bar, Deep Ellum boutique Jade & Clover now takes its succulent show on the road. Kids fill globes with plants, colored sands and shells, and miniature figurines based on the party’s theme ($15 to $45 per kid, depending on terrarium size). Imagine: Spider-Man versus a string-of-pearls perennial.


The usual
A Kroger sheet cake
The upgrade
An internet-famous masterpiece from Goodies Cakery

Dani Goodman’s layer cakes are basically made for the internet (and, not surprisingly, have earned nods from BuzzFeed and HelloGiggles), topped with gobs of candy confections, adorned with emojis and unicorns, and sometimes dotted with Drake’s face. Your kid can even draw a dream cake and Goodman will make it happen (from $70 for a 6-inch cake; a month’s notice is recommended).


The usual
Hours of cleanup after a backyard bash
The upgrade
An alfresco soirée at The Tot Playhouse

If the pitter-patter of dozens of little feet on your Turkish rugs doesn’t sound so sweet, consider a celebration behind the Lovers Lane children’s boutique. A concierge manager will plan the entire party to your specifications, bringing in Snider Plaza’s Kid Art for crafts, Mr. Donovan for sporty games, bounce houses, face painting, or characters in full dress ($250 base rental fee, everything else is extra).


The usual
Hoping weather allows for a park pavilion get-together
The upgrade
A sportsfest inside D1 Training

Spare young athletes from the heat with a romp inside a high-energy training facility. Kids can play anything from soccer to dodgeball on the 50-yard turf or complete an agility course led by a trainer ($250 for 90 minutes). Refreshment space is limited, so kids usually just scarf cupcakes standing up.

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