Children's Birthday Party Ideas in Norfolk
A birthday is a momentous time in a child’s year.
After all it’s the day when they are likely to be showered with gifts, attention, cards and a pile of treats.
Unlike Christmas, a birthday is unique to them, when they become centre-stage, which depending on your child’s nature, may overwhelm them or they may absorb all the attention with glee.
Nevertheless, we all want to make our children feel special on their big day, and this heightens the importance of the birthday party.
As a result, many parents adopt a multi-faceted role where they become party planner, supreme cook, lively entertainer, room decorator, present giver and childcare supervisor. That’s quite a list, which, unsurprisingly, can seem a little daunting.
Yet, there are many alternative options that will help to lighten the load.
Outside caterers can be used, charismatic children’s entertainers can engage a room full of children for a couple of hours, and party bags can be supplied by an outside provider.
Local attractions also offer party packages and take care of all the arrangements making it an appealing option for many time-constrained families.
Currently, there are strong trends in pamper and makeover parties; Nerf, Laser Quest and science parties; and action related parties such as trampolining, go karting, outdoor pursuits, dancing, climbing – even assault courses.
Yet, parties are as individual as each child, so to assist you in the decision-making process, we’ve included a mass of ideas and tips on this party page.
Remember to keep returning to this page for when it’s your turn to arrange a party…
Party Check List
Sending invitations - Don’t leave it to the last minute to issue invitations. Send out invites approximately three weeks before the date of your party. The invite should contain all the information the guest’s parents need to know.
A Piñata - A relatively recent addition to the party circuit but these days no party is complete without one. The Piñata is a papier mache shape (often a donkey as they originate in Mexico) containing sweets.
The Piñata is hung up and the children take turns at bashing it while blindfolded. It’s a lot of fun, but be warned, stand back once it splits and the sweets come out. Piñatas are available from many supermarkets. You can also order them online.
Entertainment - If you hire someone, be sure to call them a day or two before the event to confirm they are coming.
Party Bags - The contents of an individual party bag may seem relatively cheap at first but by the time you multiply it by a classroom of children, the sum quickly adds up.
Finding an affordable alternative suddenly becomes a desirable option. Sweet tables, where jars of confectionary are lined up, similar to a candy cart, enable the children to fill their party bag with a small treat before returning home.
Alternatively, sweet cones are a popular option. These are cheap and easy to make, and look like a piping bag filled with sweets.
Sorting Food - Keep it simple and non-fussy. Just make sure there’s plenty of crisps and enough birthday cake for everyone. Provide your guests with plenty of water, you can get individual small water bottles from supermarkets for little expense.
Making a keepsake of the occasion
Make the party extra memorable for your child by making a keepsake that can be etched with the names of the party guests. Get a Teddy Bear, a canvas, or a group photo signed by the children attending the party. In years to come this will be a cherished gift and remind your son or daughter of their childhood friends.
Five Pound Gift Ideas
Does it seem like your child is attending a different birthday party each week? Needing suggestions for generic party gifts that won’t break the bank? If you are super-savvy you will have already stocked up on a number of general items in the Sales, if not, here are some ideas for a fiver:
- Colouring-in sets and basic craft kits
- Travel and Pocket games
- Top Trumps
- Books, jotters or notepads
- Pamper packages filled with hair bands, bobbles and snazzy hairclips
- Nail art kits
- Superhero action figures
Quick and Easy Chocolate Hedgehog Cake
- Buy or bake a round sponge cake.
- Divide the cake into three parts, the middle should be slightly bigger than the two sides, which should be the same size as each other.
- Cut a V-shape at the end of the middle piece of cake (this is the hedgehog’s nose). Discard the two smaller pieces. Or eat them.
- Cover the middle piece of cake with thick chocolate icing.
- Place the two remaining pieces of cake on top of the iced piece, round side up, for the Hedgehog’s hump.
- Liberally cover the entire sponge with thick chocolate icing.
- Use chocolate buttons or flakes for the Hedgehog’s spines.
- The Hedgehog’s eyes and nose can be made using Smarties or similar.
Don’t forget the candles for the cake. They are often overlooked with all the other preparations.
Needing party inspiration?
Search for the Primary Times Pinterest pages for quick and easy inspiration. Find everything from face painting designs to quick party hairstyles for the restless child.
Here are some details about party providers and entertainers close to you:
James D’s Party Time
Tel: 07729 187873
James D's Party Time is a Top Norfolk based entertainment company who can look after all your event needs.
With over 10 years of experience in the entertainment industry you will not be disappointed. James D's Party Time offers DJing, an Adventure Play Trailer, Soft Play, Sumo Suits, Popcorn Machines, Candy Floss Machines, Sweet Carts and much more.
James D's Party Time offers a fresh faced, professional, fun, creative and memorable party experience. Runner-Up in the Favourite Party Provider category in the Primary Times Reader Star Awards 2016.
Twinkle’s Town Soft Play
Tel: 01603 219266
Let Twinkle's Town Soft Play take the stress out of organising your child's next birthday party. There’s a fantastic choice of baby and children's themed birthday party packages available such as Peppa Pig, Igglepiggle and Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
The large party room will sufficiently accommodate the party food, and whilst the children tuck into some scrumptious delights, the parents will be able to enjoy tea or coffee served in vintage china.
Based in Norwich, Twinkle's Town Soft Play is Norwich's only interactive play centre where children can let their imaginations run wild.
Tel: 01603 789954
The FunFort indoor soft play and outdoor adventure play area at Castle Carvery restaurants is the perfect venue to hold a fun filled birthday party. All children’s birthday parties include FunFort birthday party invitations and a play in the FunFort, amongst the ball pond, slides, spinners, rollers and lots more.
The party also includes a children’s choice of party meal and drink, from the special birthday menu, and every child will receive a filled party bag with balloon. There is a dedicated area for toddlers under the age of two, ensuring that they don’t miss out on the fun. To book your child’s fun filled birthday party, call your nearest Castle Carvery.
Looking for a new idea for your child’s birthday? Why not treat them to a cupcake decorating party inspiring them to get creative in the kitchen? At a Lily-Bels Cake party, each child will decorate 4 cupcakes.
Afterwards they can show off their culinary achievements to their friends and family, presented in a display box and a certificate! Lily-Bels Cakes can go to your home, or chosen location, with homemade cupcakes ready for the decorating and fun to start!
Bure Valley Railway
Tel: 01263 733858
Book a birthday party package at the Bure Valley Railway and have a great choo-choo time.
Choose either a charter diesel train for £120 or a steam train for £150 for a 30-minute trip from Aylsham to Brampton and return.
The price allows up to 40 people to travel, so why not invite the parents as well. For party food, the Whistlestop Café at Aylsham Station offers a selection of hot or cold food from as little as £4 per head (minimum 10 children). Take your own decorations and cake to complete this special day.
Sportspark, University of East Anglia
Tel: 01603 592814
Sportspark offers a range of fantastic, active party packages. Choose from a range of party-themes including gymnastics, climbing, archery and much more. Hosted by Sportspark's team of enthusiastic staff, the main aim of the event is to provide your child/children with a stress-free, active, and most of all, fun party. For more information email email@example.com
The Clay Barn
Tel: 01362 667093
The Clay Barn, celebrating over 12 years as a family run craft studio is dedicated to allowing children and adults to try something creative in a welcoming environment. It offers Pottery Painting, Fabric Painting, Glass Fusion, Silver Making, and Candle Casting with Wacky Wax parties.
Also available is ‘Make a Teddy Bear’ at The Teddy Barn which is very popular for all ages. Guests can have sole use of The Clay Barn for up to 2 hours. Helium balloons are provided that can be taken away on the day of the party and there is a gift for the birthday child.
Free tea and coffee is available for staying parents and there is free juice for the children. Share a magical experience at The Clay Barn. Follow The Clay Barn on Facebook.
Tel: 01603 740730
Namco Funscape in Bowthorpe, Norwich is not just a bowling alley, it offers a whole family entertainment package. Full of arcade games, ping pong, air hockey, Costa Coffee and an impressive array of delicious and varied food for all the family, it really is the ideal venue to keep the family active and entertained.
An air conditioned licensed bar offers sanctuary for parents, with Sky Sports providing coverage of all the latest sporting events. Function suites are available to hire for a variety of events, from meetings and conferences to parties and celebrations. Namco Funscape is both adaptable and flexible. Throw in free secure parking and easy access from the A47; it is ideally suited for any occasion.
Tel: 01379 641400
Monsters Ltd. is a special place where ‘little monsters and angelic angels’ can go to play. Cram packed with adventure and surprises, it is a wonderful place to take the children for a birthday party - whatever the weather! Monsters Ltd. is a purpose built indoor play and party area for children aged up to 10 years (there is a height restriction of 4ft 10ins).
A maze of tunnels, slides, ball pools, scramble nets and soft play objects await energised children who will simply love the chance to explore this safe play environment. Party packages include party invitations, 1 ¼ hours of fun time in the play area, ¾ hour in a designated party area, an individual choice of party meal, unlimited squash and party bags. All you have to do is bring the cake!
Jump for Joy
Tel: 01603 721872
At a Jump for Joy party, children will be able to enjoy a fun filled 60 minutes in the wonderful play area and afterwards head to the Banqueting Hall for a 45 minute delicious party feast.
A delicious assortment of fresh sandwiches, sausages, cheese, crisps and healthy snacks are provided, followed by lollies and biscuits.
Party bags are included and a gift for birthday child. Just take a cake and candles. Jump For Joy is not open to the public whilst parties are in progress. For adults, a drink and snack bar is available. Jump for Joy has a junior play frame for ages 4-10 years and toddler play frame for ages 1-4 years.
Tel: 01692 633033
BeWILDerwood is an award winning, huge forest of fun and outdoor adventure and what better way to celebrate a birthday than by whizzing around the woods with some friends and being treated like a true VIP.
The Birthday Boggle will be given a sash so everyone knows it’s their special day and each party will have its very own member of the Twiggle Team as a host for a super-special boat ride, exclusive craft making and the most incredible traditional Boggle banquet in a Yummy Yurt. Everything is included in the party package from the invitations to super cool party bags full of BeWILDerwood goodies.
High Altitude Park
Tel: 01603 567200
Are you ready for a fantastic party where all the guests will be leaping with enthusiasm? Just provide the party goers and let High Altitude Park take care of the rest. Your party group will get to experience the ‘wow’ of jumping, flying and flipping on wall-to-wall trampolines.
Plus, the children will have an opportunity to show off their competitive side during Dodgeball and dunk some trampoline Dunkball hoops. Afterwards, they can be thoroughly entertained by fun filled party games hosted by a High Altitude Party Starter.
Tel: 01263 510741
Have an amazing and unique party at Amazona Zoo in Cromer where children can explore and learn about a varied and fascinating selection of animals native to South America.
Jungle Tumbles provides a large, well-equipped, indoor soft play area with slides, ropes, bridges, tunnels and interactive toys, as well as comfortable seating for parents, plus there is also a 30ft yurt where lunch parties can be held and party bags are supplied. There is also a large outdoor adventure play area with jumping pillows.
Parties cost £11.50 per child which includes entrance to the zoo, a food box for lunch, a party bag containing Amazona Zoo goodies and exclusive use of the yurt for lunch. Parties are for children aged 4-10 years old.
Party Checklist: For parties at home
- Decide on the timings and date of the party
- Decide on how many children you can comfortably accommodate in your house
- Send out the invitations
- Sort out the entertainment if it’s required. Book the entertainer, face painter, bouncy castle
- Plan in the fun factor or create a theme
- Sort out a music playing device
- Select party games for the children to play
- Source decorations, party tableware, balloons and party hats
- Purchase the food and drink
- Get the birthday cake
Party Checklist: For parties at a venue
- Sort out party numbers
- Create a small list of your child’s favourite party venues in preferential order
- Check the availability of the venues and if there are any special deals
- Book a date and time with the venue. Pay the deposit
- Get the name and telephone number of the main party organiser at the venue
- Get the party invitations from the venue and send them out
- Sort out the food with the venue and establish whether a birthday cake is supplied
- Confirm numbers with the venue prior to the day
Party game ideas
Traditional party games always go down a treat. Here’s a list of some of the most classic children’s games:
- Pass the Parcel
- Musical Statues
- Musical Bumps
- Musical Chairs
- Chinese Whispers
- Blind Man’s Donkey
- Animal Charades
- Treasure Hunt
And here are a few new party game ideas –
- The Tray Game
- Dead Ants
- Doughnuts on a String
- Marsh-mallow Bobbing
- Piñata Games
Remember to stock up on prizes to award to the winning children.
Party food ideas
- The birthday cake!
- A choice of sandwiches with simple fillings such as plain ham, cheese and tuna. Mix some salad leaves into some of the sandwiches – if the children don’t like it they can always take out the salad! Think about supplying some healthy options which are visually appealing and tasty.
- Chopped up vegetables such as carrots, mangetout, peppers, cucumber with cream cheese or houmous for dips
- Cheese straws
- Potato wedges
- Pizza slices
- Mini sausages and sausage rolls
- Cheese and pineapple on sticks (or uncooked sticks of spaghetti)
- Crisps and popcorn
- Chopped fruit
- Mini-sponge cakes
- Jelly Boats made from scooped out and quartered oranges. (Halve an orange, scoop out the fruit, fill it with jelly. Once set, cut into quarters)
- Drinks: Either orange and blackcurrant squash, fruit water, fruit juice, milkshakes or plain water
Party bag ideas
- Books or small colouring-in books
- Glitter Tattoos
- Small packs of pencils
- Small bag of sweets
- Finger puppets
- A paper glider
- Decorate your own paper party bag
- Cake Pops
- A piece of birthday cake or a cup cake
Party politics - Invitation RSVP etiquette
For the party hosts
- Hand out the invites in plenty of time, ideally about 3 weeks before the party date.
- Include detailed information on the invitation such as the date, the start and finish times, the venue’s full address and postcode, and the name, email address and number for them to RSVP.
- Include a RSVP date to help you confirm final numbers prior to the day. You may wish to use words to the effect of: ‘As the venue requires final numbers prior to the party we would appreciate confirmation of your child’s attendance by (add RSVP date). If we do not hear from you by this date we will assume that your child is unable to attend’.
- As a second measure, about a week beforehand, you may wish to politely chase up parents who have not as yet RSVP’d.
For the guests
- RSVP as soon as you can, whether your child can make it or not.
- If something happens on the day of the party, and your child can no longer attend, let your hosts know ASAP.
- If you are running late, or need to leave early then let the hosts know in advance.
- If you have not RSVP’d then don’t just turn up uninvited.
Don't Forget Items!
- Candles for the cake
- Candle holders
- Cake knife
- You may wish to include party bags for unexpected additional guests or young siblings
- Printable directions, including the postcode of the party venue