Updated for 2024
Your child’s birthday - it’s the one day out of the 365 that is extra special to you and your children, so naturally, you want to make it a memorable day!! To help you decide what to do for your child’s party, what party treats to buy, venues to hire or what entertainer to use in Devon we’ve added some top tips for you here...
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So, what are the latest Children's Party Trends?
Science and Slime Parties
Science and Slime parties engage young minds with a combination of thrilling demonstrations, wacky experiments and plenty of hands-on activities. Many science party companies run age-related, interactive games so children can concoct exciting things such as gooey DIY slime, amazing bubbles and colour-changing potions. Enormous fun and educational too. Find slime-making recipes here
LEGO / Plastic Block Construction Block Parties
The ever-popular construction toy provides a perfect birthday party theme for curious and creative children of all ages. If your child has a reasonably sized stash themselves then you may not even need to buy any more blocks. Should you want to purchase more supplies, however, stores such as Wilko have their own LEGO-compatible blocks that can be used. Games and activities can include block vehicle building and racing, scavenger hunts and tower building amongst many other ideas. Check out our LEGO ideas Pinterest board.
Swimming Pool Parties
A number of swimming pools across the region, particularly smaller and private ones will offer the opportunity for small groups to hire the facilities and equipment for the exclusive use of partygoers. These will often come with allocated sanitised changing facilities and depending on the venue, you may be able to hire a room afterwards to continue your child’s celebrations.
Circus & Funfair Parties
Roll up! Roll up! Party hire and prop hire companies often have sets of circus or funfair equipment that can be borrowed for an unforgettable party experience. Sets usually include juggling balls, rings, diablos, spinning plates on the circus side as well as traditional games such as ‘ hook the duck’, tin can alley and target shooting range for a fun fair experience. You can also add your own touches with face painting, a children’s entertainer or whatever you see fit. Find more ideas on Pinterest here.
Many independent and larger chain cinemas can help you to arrange a private screening of a child’s favourite film is available on request by hiring one of their screens. Failing that, you can always take a small group to a traditionally scheduled screening.
Whilst it may be true that you cannot rely on Devon to make things easy to organise a child’s birthday party outside, there are still plenty of options available to you but you may want to keep an indoor backup option available. Forest schools often offer party packages with a vast array of nature-based activities facilitated by their staff which may include bushcraft, den building, campfire cooking and more
Alternatively, if you want to do everything from scratch, you could do activities at a local park, beach or your favourite woodland abiding by any rules and restrictions in place.
Computer Gaming Parties
Video game, console and coding parties bring birthday celebrations well into the 21st century and have become hugely popular party options among boys and girls. The games can be put into an inclusive multiplayer mode enabling youngsters to challenge each other in a fun way. The choice of games is vast – choose from singing and dancing games, or football and Minecraft games, for example.
If your youngster is a music and camping fan, why not curate their own festival for them? Best organised in your own garden or private land, you can have lots of fun making it bespoke to your own needs or interests. There are lots of scopes to be as creative as you like, even making invitations to look like tickets and homemade VIP passes to be given to guests on arrival
For music, why not involve your child in creating their own special party playlist with tunes that they love to dance to and play party games to or use any children’s musical instruments that they may have to make their own band
To create a comfortable outdoor space, use cushions, rugs, throws and any teepees, gazebos or tents that you have lying around or can borrow from friends or hire. Children can create their own bunting or other crafts either before or after the party and enjoy hair braiding, using biodegradable glitter to customise how they look. Find more ideas at the Netmums website
There are lots of local companies that provide sports-themed parties at a venue of your choice to meet most interests as well as the most popular options such as football and multi-sport. These sessions will be geared to your child’s age and contain energetic and fun games and activities themed around the sports of your choosing.
Arts and Craft Parties
Across the region, you will find lots of suppliers and locations that will host craft sessions such as pottery painting as well as art sessions which produce a long-lasting memento of a special birthday party.
Alternatively, you can buy your own supplies from most high street stores such as The Works, Wilko, Hobbycraft, supermarkets, online or via your local Scrapstore. at www.reusefuluk.org/scrapstores-directory
Make sure you don't forget anything important by using this party checklist. Click on the links below for more...
Parties at home >>> Click Here
Parties at a venue >>> Click Here
Party game ideas >>> Click Here
Party food ideas >>> Click Here
An easy-to-make birthday cake >>> Click Here
Party bag ideas >>> Click Here
Invitation, RSVP etiquette >>> Click Here
'Don't Forget Items' >>> Click Here
Five Pound Gift Ideas >>> Click Here
Also, don't forget to check out our Party Ideas Pinterest board
Here are some details about party providers and entertainers in Devon:
Go Kart Party SW
Sporty Stars - Sports-Themed Parties
Cofton Holidays - Swimming Pool Parties
Planet Play - Soft Play
The Waie Inn - Soft Play and Swimming Parties
iBounce - Trampoline Parties
The Bear Trail
Aztec Games at TLH Leisure - Soft Play and Bowling Party
World of Country Life
Quay Climbing Centre / Clip n' Climb - Exeter
Go Kart Party SW
Tel: 07703 719402
www.gokartpartysw.co.uk or www.facebook.com/GoKartPartySW or email@example.com
If you are looking for a party that is really different, great fun and hassle free then Go-Kart Party is it! Nathan and his team offer boys and girls of 4 -10 years an opportunity to drive battery powered go-karts around an inflatable circuit. The parties are fully hosted and fun games such as laser tag, cops and robbers, cone dodging and racing will leave the kids buzzing. Kart speeds and games are tailored to the age and ability of the kids so whatever the age the kids will have an amazing time. 5.0 average review scores on Facebook and Google prove it! Available indoors in numerous locations across Devon Go-Kart Party is accessible all year.
Sporty Stars offer a fantastic selection of sport themed and active birthday parties, suitable at a range of venues across Devon. Options include Multi Sports, Football and Glow in the Dark Sports for ages 4+. As well as action packed alternatives such as Nerf, Bubble Football, Inflatable Foot Darts and Archery tag for older children, or those seeking a bit more adventure! All parties are hosted by enthusiastic sports coaches, who will take complete control of the party and harness every opportunity to make the birthday child child’s day extra special.
Tel: 01626 241513
Cofton Holidays, Starcross, Nr. Dawlish, South Devon. EX6 8RP.
Celebrate a birthday with a bang at Cofton and make it a party to remember.
Your child and their friends can splash around in their indoor pool, refresh with a birthday buffet and then head off to the indoor soft play or amusement and games arcade, including a bowling alley, for a birthday party where the fun never ends.
Their Children’s Birthday party includes:
· 1 Hour swim session
· Buffet and refreshments
· Decorated party area
· Birthday foil balloon
· Indoor soft play area (suitable for ages up to 8 years)
· Amusement arcade (additional charge)
Planet Play - Crediton and Honiton
Tel: 01363 774626
Packages at Planet Play include 90minute play sessions, buffet or cooked meal, exclusive use of the party room, 2 free hot drinks, unlimited squash, 1 free return voucher, party invitations and reserved seating for adults. They can also offer Party invitations, reserved seating for your adult guests, party bags, sweet cones and a huge selection of helium balloons. Prices start from £10.95 per child (minimum of 10 children)
They also offer exclusive use of the whole of Planet Play from 4 pm-6 pm. You would get exclusive use of the whole venue, a buffet meal for the children, unlimited squash, 2 x free hot drinks and 1 free return voucher. The cost for an exclusive use party is £180.00 for the venue and £3.75 per head for each child. (minimum 20 children). Planet Play is also able to offer private parties from 9.15 am - 11.15 am or 1.45 pm - 3.45pm for an additional £70.00 hire fee, and a minimum number of 20 children
The Waie Inn
The Waie Inn, Zeal Monachorum, Crediton, EX17 6DF.
Tel: 01363 82348
Waie2Play Children’s Party packages are £9 per child with unlimited squash throughout the party, a choice of hot food or cold buffet and exclusive use of the party room for 30 minutes whilst eating during the 2 hour session. The Waie Inn also offers a children’s swimming party package which includes one hours swim followed by a meal and the option to hire the pool exclusively.
Crealy Adventure Park and Resort
Tel: 01395 233200
Sidmouth Road, Clyst St Mary, Exeter, EX5 1DR.
Crealy’s Birthday Extravaganza package offers the birthday child and their friends a number of rides and attractions to fill their day. Included in a Crealy birthday are entry to the Theme Park from 10:00am to 17:00pm, free entry for the birthday child, free downloadable Crealy invitations, wristbands for the party group and a birthday card, sticker and £10 gift card for the birthday child. Pricing for each guest over 92cm varies depending on whether the party takes place in peak season or low season. See the website or contact the team at Crealy for more information about the terms and conditions.
Tel: 01392 537333
33 Marsh Green Road West, Marsh Barton, Exeter, EX2 8PN.
Party Packages at iBounce Exeter are BOUNCE-TASTIC! To go with your hour’s bouncing there’s water & grip socks included for all of your guests. The party host also receives a branded water bottle, draw string bag plus a free return visit to the park! Prices start from just £85 (based on 6 bouncers during off peak time). Party area & food options available.
Rather have exclusive use of the Trampoline Park? Try their VIP BOUNCE PARTY - Only £200 for up to 20 Bouncers! Visit their website for more details.
Tel: 07850 889162
Quad World near Exeter offer birthday parties for all ages. Children and teenagers aged 16 or younger can complete a training lap around half of the track followed by an instructor to prepare them for their ride. When the riding technique is mastered, party attendees can then go out on their own using the full track for the ultimate ride! Safety is paramount at Quad World and riders will be assigned a machine suitable to them and their capabilities as well as partial body armour and a helmet and overalls are also available to hire. Quad Bites, the purpose-built restaurant, is the ideal place to cater for your birthday party and an on-site professional photographer is available to cover the event by prior arrangement.
The Bear Trail
Tel: 01392 881780
Westcott, Cullompton, EX15 1RZ
The Bear Trail Child Birthday Party Package* £17.95 per child includes one free accompanying adult. Their party package is for a minimum of 10 children to a maximum of 16. Please note that you book a morning (10:30 am – 1:30 pm) or afternoon session (2 pm – 5 pm) and a 45-minute slot for your party food in the barn, which cannot be changed after booking.
Their party packages include three hours of entry into the trail – please ensure you arrive within the correct time slot, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm or 2 pm – 5 pm. You can arrive anytime during your slot. For morning parties your food will be served at 12 pm or 12:45 pm and for afternoon parties your food will be served at 3:30 pm or 4:15 pm - please make your selection when booking. Party organisers can enjoy a pizza buffet for the children – a selection of pizzas, bowls of chips and crudites, chocolate birthday cake, a 45-minute time slot in the party barn, Jugs of squash, free downloadable party invites, 1 free non-participating supervising adult for each party child (up to 16 adults in total) as well as a free return visit for the party child.
TLH Leisure - Aztec Games
Tel: 01803 400200
Torquay, TQ2 5HL.
With four fantastic venues to choose from and great party plans, there’s something for everyone.
Take a look at their party choices:
• Aztec soft play party • Aztec bowling & soft play party • Aztec 10 pin bowling party
Enjoy 10% off of parties booked for a weekday (Monday to Friday).
Celebrate your birthday in Country Lifestyle with a fantastic day to remember!
Book your party with World of Country Life and you'll have a full day of fun!
• Free entry for the party organiser plus one extra adult
• A full fun-filled day at the park
• Exclusive use of the Pirate Ship Party Deck for food
• A party bag for every child
Come rain or shine, there’s plenty to lift the spirits and lift you off the ground at the Quay Climbing Centre. They guarantee an action-packed birthday adventure in the heart of Exeter whether your celebrating with family or friends. Their fun Clip n Climb experience offers over 26 of the most exciting climbing challenges you can imagine, there’s no chance anyone will be bored! Or why not book one of their Climbing Taster Sessions? Their friendly instructors will show you and your group the ropes and have you scaling the wall in no time.
For bookings and enquiries check out our website www.quayclimbingcentre.co.uk
Preston Down Road, Paignton, TQ3 1RN.
The Occombe Birthday Party - Package contains all-day entry to their Farm Park and Play, a special 45-minute animal encounters session with a Ranger, a private party room for 2 hours, a party picnic, animal feed for goats and sheep, 2 free complimentary tickets for use by parents and you can bring your own birthday cake and decorations too. Alternatively, you can choose a tailor-made animal experience - be a goat ranger, join in with pig's playtime, collect chicken eggs from the pens and meet them along with the ducklings and chicks or meet their small animals with supervised handlings.
Westcott, Cullompton, EX15 1RZ.
Birthday party packages are available for children aged 7 and under. All party packages include entry to Bear Town at your chosen session time as well as exclusive use of your own decorated party room when choosing a Play Den, Disco Cave or Exclusive party package. In addition, children will be given a lunch bag and a birthday cake and balloons will be provided.
• Decide on the timings and date of the party
• Decide how many children you can comfortably accommodate
• Send out the invitations
• Sort out the entertainment if it’s required.
• 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
• 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
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.
• The birthday cake!
• A choice of sandwiches with simple fillings
• Chopped-up vegetables with 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 are made from scooped-out and quartered oranges.
• Drinks: Either orange and blackcurrant squash, fruit water, fruit juice, milkshakes or plain water
Quick and Easy Chocolate Hedgehog Cake
(1) Buy or bake a round sponge cake.
(2) 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.
(3) 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.
(4) Cover the middle piece of cake with thick chocolate icing.
(5) Place the two remaining pieces of cake on top of the iced piece, round side up, for the Hedgehog’s hump.
(6) Liberally cover the entire sponge with thick chocolate icing.
(7) Use chocolate buttons or flakes for the Hedgehog’s spines.
(8) 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.
• Books or small colouring-in books • Glowsticks
• Glitter Tattoos • Small packs of pencils
• Bubbles • Balloons • Stickers • Small bag of sweets
• Finger puppets • A paper glider • Decorate your own paper party bag
• Cake Pops • A piece of birthday cake or a cupcake
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 an 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.
• Candles for the cake
• Cake Knife
• You may wish to include party bags for unexpected siblings
• Printable directions, including the postcode of the party venue
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