1. Happily Ever After Parties
Happily Ever After Parties started as a princess events company and has since expanded to offer so much more! If your child wants a visit from a royal friend, you can choose from seven birthday party packages, starting at $105 for a 30-minute visit with a princess of her choice to $440 for an option where almost everything—from entertainment and decor to cupcakes and a cotton candy machine—is taken care of. If your little one loves to be pampered, try one of their spa parties, which include manicures, pedicures and glitter tattoos for kids ages four to 16. There are also superhero, Star Wars and Monster High parties, plus bouncy castles to rent.
2. Prairie Exotics
The teeniest animal lovers will be thrilled by a Prairie Exotics party, which you can book for 30, 45 or 60 minutes. Geckos, snakes, a tortoise and a tarantula can visit your home, where a staff member will do a presentation filled with fun facts and information about where each critter comes from. Guests get a chance to get up close and personal with the creatures. If reptiles aren’t your child’s favourite, you can also book a 30- or 45-minute party with fuzzy friends like chinchillas, hedgehogs, sugar gliders and rabbits. No matter what type of animal you choose, the cost ranges from $150 to $190, depending on the length of the party.
3. Yoga Pilates & More
Little ones will love learning animal yoga poses, hearing stories and listening to music (including your child’s favourite song) at this yoga-themed party. The older set will have a blast trying out partner poses, which are a bit more challenging. Once kids practise their snake and cat poses, the instructor leads everyone on a short meditation that keeps things chill just in time for cake and presents—hello, sugar high! The cost for an in-home party is $60. Yoga mats are provided.
4. Mad Science
Curious kids will have so much fun at this Mad Science party, which features an interactive show where guests learn things like how fireworks work. They also get to try their hands at a science experiment, such as making putty, slime or a bouncy ball. Parents don’t have to worry about cleanup—the staff takes care of that (phew!). Parties are suited to kids ages five to 12, last about one hour and cost $170. Goody bags with science gear, such as Soak ’N Grow creatures, are also available for $7 per bag, while lab coats are available for $11 each.
6. Curbside Game Box
Host a serious gaming party right outside your front door! This mobile gaming theatre can accommodate up to 20 players and features stadium-style seating, digital surround sound and neon lighting. The Game Box is climate controlled, so guests stay toasty even in the harshest Winnipeg winter. Your little gamer and her buddies can play Minecraft, Super Mario, Lego games, sports games and more. A game coach comes with all packages, which are available in one- or two-hour increments. The cost varies depending on whether you book on a weekday or weekend and starts at $199 for one hour of play.
7. Abracadebra Body Art
Face painting artist Debbie Selch will transform your kid and his birthday party guests into fantastical creatures, funny animals or almost anything they desire, including a vegetable—yes, she once painted a radish on a child. She has more than 15 years of experience and charges $150 for a two-hour session of face painting, glitter tattoos or henna.
8. Scheme A Dream
Scheme A Dream offers tons of options for birthday parties, including princess or superhero parties, face painters, caricaturists and clowns. But the birthday force is particularly strong with Star Wars parties. For $99, Darth Vader will come to your home, greet guests and, using a voice changer, sing a birthday song to the Jedi of honour. For $139, Darth will do everything listed in the first option, plus answer some questions from little Padawans, pose for photos and encourage the kids to embrace the “light side.” The Star Wars Ultimate Challenge, which is $169, includes all of these items, plus kids get to participate in a Jedi training session and guests get a small keepsake.