timestamp icon
category icon Life

It’s party time

Planning a child’s birthday party can be a lot of fun. It can also be exhausting and time consuming.That’s why several local businesses offer children’s birthday packages, ranging from a fairy princess dance party to swimming and games.

At Papa’s Ice Cream in Washougal, owner Ivan Gering allows usage of a room which features a Wii and DVD player with a big screen, so partygoers can play games or kick back and watch a movie.

The cost is $20 for 2.5 hours, with an additional $10 charge if customers want balloons and decorative tablecloths. Organizers may bring store bought cakes, but homemade goodies are not allowed due to health code regulations.

“We already have six parties booked for January,” Gering said. “It goes quickly on the weekends.”

He said the biggest advantage to having a party at Papa’s is no set up or clean up.

“Mom doesn’t have to clean up or worry about the house getting messy,” he said.

Café Sip-n-Play in east Vancouver offers parties catered to children ages 1 to 5.

Parents can either provide their own store bought food, or order at the café. Commercially purchased cake can be brought regardless of which option they choose.

Owner Diana Tolentino said the biggest advantage to having a party at Café Sip-n-Play is “no hassle.”

“Several parents have told us they enjoy being with the guests at the party and being a part of it instead of running around trying to do everything,” Tolentino said. “They get to enjoy it with a good cup of coffee in hand.”

Vancouver Elite Gymnastics Academy in Camas offers both standard and deluxe party options. With the first choice, parents provide the party cake, food and decorations. If they choose the deluxe option, everything is provided.

Party choices range from hip hop and fairy princess dance parties to games and activities in the VEGA gym.

“The thing I hear from parents is that they get to enjoy their kid’s party,” marketing director Karrie Christopher said. “We provide a party host and a coach who takes care of everything. We run the party, and the building is cement so they can’t break anything.”

Lacamas Swim & Sport in Camas offers parties to members and non-members. Options include an hour in the community room or sundeck, followed by an hour in the pool or the gym.

“It’s active, which is nice,” owner Denise Croucher said. “And it keeps the mess out of your house. So many activities are sedentary and this is active. Kids can really move around here and have fun.”

Shane Woodward, owner of Bead Paradise in Camas, offers beading class parties, which include games, for $10 per child.

Parents may provide their own food and cake, or Woodward will provide it at an extra charge.

Face painting or airbrush tattoos are also offered for an additional fee.

“Here, you don’t have to worry about the kids making a mess or cleaning it up,” he said. “We provide a host and take care of all of that.”