Party like a Rock Climber: Children's Celebrations Include Pirates, Pixies and Chefs for a Day

Article excerpt

When Stacey Montgomery's son Isaiah turned 8, she decided to throw him a rock-climbing party.

The event, which was held at a local fitness club outside Chicago, offered party guests a challenge and some athletic fun as well. It gave Montgomery, who started a customized invitation business in 1994, the opportunity to create invitations with the party's theme. "When you go to the party and invitation store, very few images are out there that reflect us," says Montgomery.

Want a cocoa-skinned princess on your party invitation, resembling your own little princess? No problem. How about an African-American race car driver to illustrate your son's Cars-themed party? Montgomery's birthday invitations and thank you cards can be found in stores around the country and can also be ordered online at www.staceymdesign.com. There are several African-American entrepreneurs who can provide an environment to reflect the birthday party's theme or even the birthday child.

When planning your child's next birthday party, you should consider a theme that reflects his or her personality. Here are some suggestions from party-theme creators:

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Rock City

Anaheim Hills, Calif.

www.rockcityclimbing.com/parties.html

Are your kids climbing the walls? Let them. "Rock climbing is very safe," says Stacey Montgomery, who lives outside of Chicago. "We go rock climbing twice a month. It's a great form of exercise, and kids love it." Two hours of rock climbing at Rock City is plenty of time to tire out the most sugar-hyped group of kids. Beginners are given instructions by the staff. Party rooms can also be rented. Check with the local fitness club and YMCA, which may offer rock climbing party packages. Prices are about $15 per child.

Pint-Sized Parties

Atlanta

www.pintsizedparties.com

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Take one tired, overworked, overextended parent and add another factor--a child's birthday party coming up--what to do? In the Atlanta area, call Kent Jackson, who runs Pint-Sized Parties. "Our motto is, we can make it work," says Jackson, who will transform your home into a celebration wonderland. She will do everything for the stressed party moms and dads, including providing crafts, games, decorations, cake and photography. She'll also work with parents who want to be hands-on. Jackson knows the importance of customizing a party to fit the child's personality. Her own daughter, 4-year-old Grayson, was not into the typical princess characters. "She's a tomboy. She's into fire trucks and pirates," says her mother. "She's a Johnny Depp fan," who starred in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Jackson created a party theme of pirates and pixies so that the girls and boys invited to the party would feel included. Among the festivities were customized goody bags with eye patches and bubble swords for the pirates, and fairy bears and pearls for the pixies.

A Kid's Kitchen

Naperville, III.

www.akidskitchen.com

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Take your little chef and his partying pals to A Kid's Kitchen, where they can learn how to toss pizza dough like the pros under the guidance of a trained chef. In fact, the Pizza Party Package is one of the most popular offered at A Kid's Kitchen, according to owner Michelle O'Malley. …