CELEBRATION CULTURE Children’s birthday parties say a lot – about the adults who host them. A typology by Sarah Mahlberg
Under no circumstances should there be sausages from the supermarket shelf at a child’s birthday party. Meat in general, heck, animal products in general are reserved only for those allergic to soy. So how about a vegan picnic in the countryside? So healthy that even feeding ducks is allowed in this special case.
If your child has a birthday in the summer, the corn maze in Delingsdorf could also be a promising option. A maze inside huge corn plants, the sun shines in your face, there are riddles to solve along the way, and when you least expect it, the corn witch rushes out of the hedge and scares you almost to death. The fun costs €12.70 for a minimum of eight guests.
And the very nature-loving? They celebrate in the forest. The Schutzgemeinschaft deutscher Wald offers a real forest birthday party in the Niendorfer Gehege for a flat fee of 180 euros for a maximum of ten children. On its website, it also provides suggestions for forest games that can be implemented individually. Promotes guaranteed fantasy, activity and concentration. There comes nevertheless joy on.
Hand on heart: You already have a lot of money. There’s nothing wrong with that; after all, you’ve worked hard for it. And you have the space. So a party is held within your own four walls. Just the little guests and their parents. Very frugal, but after all, the child should be brought up down to earth. He can show his friends the garden, go on the trampoline and then jump into the pool for refreshment. Everyone can create their favorite flavor with the ice cream machine. And of course there is also a small program, what else would it be for a birthday? First comes the magician, then the clown and then there is face painting for children. You hired a caterer so that you could enjoy the party and not have to stand in the kitchen all day. It wasn’t expensive at all, with the number of people there’s still a five percent discount on the third course. If parents have a slight buzz afterwards, Sebastian takes care of them. It’s a point of honor.
Someone should explain one thing to you: Why your attempt to combine the pleasant with the useful is so negatively received. What’s wrong with encouraging children to experiment at a children’s birthday party at Universum Bremen (12.50 euros per person), or rather with igniting their enthusiasm for experimentation in the first place?
You just enjoy the enthusiasm with which the little ones storm the hands-on museum and, admittedly, always have the appropriate physical law ready for every phenomenon, but that’s not over-commitment, is it? Last year, for example, you didn’t go to the museum at all. You entertained the crowd at home with a collaborative game of Trivial Pursuit. And the year before? When you organized an exciting and educational rally at Hamburg Airport? It only cost seven euros per child and even you learned things about airplanes that you didn’t know before. But it’s true, the festivities were a bit physics-heavy. Next year, read children’s classics together!
Kids are annoying, and the more kids, the worse it gets. So who could blame you if at least once a year you want a little peace and quiet and don’t want to be scraping ketchup stains off the floorboards late into the night? Why not just outsource the birthday?
At Hamburg’s Europapassage, for example, any child can make their very own stuffed animal at "Build a Bear." Six to fifteen children are taken completely under the wing of an employee for an additional charge of 15 to 30 euros per child and make their own teddy bear within a few hours. Color, shape, filling density – everything can be chosen individually. The new best friend looks especially real thanks to the metal heartbeat, which breathes life into him in a way that is not scary but miraculous. Then he can certainly play Monopoly with the child every day, right?
If that’s too expensive, just go to McDonald’s. Why not, the kids love it. Here, too, the entertainment is provided entirely by the employees and you don’t even have to pay anything for it. Apart from the cost of the fifteen Happy Meals, of course. But you’re happy to do that, after all, it’s your child’s birthday.
A third option is a visit to the cinema. Nothing brings down the volume level like a flickering screen. For five euros admission per child plus popcorn and Coke at your discretion, you’ll probably enjoy the most relaxing 90 minutes of the decade.