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Birthday party options for children are many

October 29, 2018 GMT

There was once a time when having a birthday party meant simply having kids come over to your house, where you played pin the tail on the donkey, maybe some musical chairs, and you ate cake with ice cream. Then everyone sang happy birthday and went home with a treat bag.

Nowadays, the array of birthday options available to kids (or their parents, to be precise) is mind-boggling. Here are some choices, from the simple to the sophisticated, from businesses and organizations in our local neighborhoods.

If you don’t want to do anything too fancy, most restaurants will provide a slice of cake or some type of dessert/dish of ice cream and gather the servers around your table to sing to the guest of honor.

Benihana in Scott Township has an exclusive Kabuki Kids program in which members 12 and younger receive a special postcard for their birthday that entitles them to a free souvenir mug of their choice with the purchase of a meal. Children particularly love seeing the chefs “perform” while cooking their meal tableside.

Also in Scott Township is the outdoor playground at McDonald’s.

Rolling Hills Ranch in Bridge­ville offers horseback riding parties for children 8 and older during the late spring, summer and early fall months; note that various releases and helmet waivers must be signed when booking the event.

Forsythe Miniature Golf in Carnegie has an outdoor picnic spot next to its 18-hole course and offers homemade ice cream sandwiches, candy and various snacks.

If the kids like the water, South Fayette Township School District rents out its middle school pool for private parties from 2 to 4 p.m. or 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays (except June through August). The Jewish Community Center in Scott Township also offers two-hour parties for up to 20 children with themes like games, sports or crafts.

EToys2Try, James Street, Bridgeville, can set up parties utilizing its toy store and indoor-outdoor playground, adding in special touches, if desired, like a magic show, glitter tattoos, crafts, balloons or party favors.

Chuck E. Cheese’s, Chartiers Valley Shopping Center, Bridgeville, is one of the busiest and most popular birthday spots, offering packages to fit all ages, party sizes and budgets. Any party may be upgraded to include all-you-can-play games. In the same complex are Flight Trampoline Park and Phoenix Theatres Stadium 18 for additional party options.

DanceTime in Crafton offers a gymnastic or princess party package that includes pizza, tiaras, magic wands, studio space, games and a present for the birthday child. Gymsport Athletic Center, Scott Township, has gymnastic options while Legacy of Dance and Thomas Dance Studio, both in Bridgeville, offer dance routines and party games.

PRO Martial Arts as well as Steel City ATA Black Belt Academy in Bridgeville offer a unique alternative by teaching all the guests safe karate techniques while providing food and games. Paintball party packages can be arranged at Pittsburgh Paintball in Crafton or Urban Assault on Cecil-Sturgeon Road in South Fayette Township.

Snapology on Old Pond Road, Bridgeville, offers Lego-themed, preschooler, crazy science, robotics or sensory-friendly parties, while Caruso Hair & Esthetics, Vanadium Road, Bridgeville, has Little Ladies, Diva, and Celebrity packages that can include fingers and/or toes polished, light makeup applications, and hairstyling. All profits from birthday parties at Caruso Hair are donated to Beverly’s Birthdays, which has, as its mission, that every child, regardless of personal or financial circumstances, is deserving of a celebration.

Paint the Burgh in Scott Township offers painting parties in its store while Wine a Little, Paint a Lot in Carnegie will bring a qualified instructor and all the supplies to your home or party site.

Bowling parties at Noble Manor Lanes or Crafton-Ingram Lanes, Crafton, or Sports Haven Bowling, Bridge­ville, offer great indoor options when the weather turns fierce.

Wherever you go, you’ll be creating memories for the birthday child that will last a lifetime -- or, at least until the next birthday comes around.