It's not always easy deciding where to have a child's birthday party. While some party places serve as convenient, all-inclusive destinations, at-home parties can be just as fun and often a lot more affordable. You do, however, have to plan your own entertainment, and it can be tough to figure out how to keep the kids busy without things getting too chaotic.
That's where in-home entertainers come in! Gone are the days where you can only choose between a magician or a clown, and we've gathered a dozen of our favorite ideas. (If you already know you want to have an at-home laser-tag birthday party, check out our post dedicated solely to this activity.)
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Jill's puppet shows are a blast. She sings, she dances, she makes kids laugh and everything she does is infused with a huge dose of positive energy. She will tailor the show to your child's interests and always includes a lot of fun audience participation.
Making Faces Parties
The folks at Making Faces Parties offer a wide array of services, including face painting, glitter or airbrush tattoos, henna art, crafts and jewelry making. We hear their balloon animal skills are particularly impressive.
JoJo's Party Pals
JoJo the Clown has a reputation for being great with kids and being able to put a smile on just about anyone's face. We love that she offers a "JoJo Lite" option with less makeup for kids who might be spooked by a traditional full-make-up clown face. She will also do balloon twisting and professional face painting.
The Nature of Things
If your kid loves the zoo, let these guys bring the zoo to you! These naturalist educators will bring an assortment of live animals to the location of your choice. The kids will learn about each animal and its habitat, and even pet a few.
No Stone Unturned
Beading is a popular activity (especially among tween girls!) but it can be difficult to put together the needed supplies yourself. No Stone Unturned will bring everything you need for a beading party at your home. The kids will have fun as they work and take home a beautiful piece of jewelry.
Mad Science Westchester
Mad Science's birthday parties can give your child a bubbling brew of creativity, fun and learning. Options include demos, rocket launches and take-home experiment goody bags.They will also help out with food serving and clean-up.
Bring Spidey to your party! Image credit: Blue Balloon Parties.
Blue Balloon Parties
Whether you want puppets or princesses, characters or clowns, Blue Balloons have something for every birthday child. It also provides concession rentals (popcorn makers, cotton candy machines, etc.), face painting, tables and chairs, and decorations. Bounce houses? Yep, has those too.
Marcia the Musical Moose
Geared toward kids ages 1-7, Marcia provides singing, dancing, magic and puppet shows, and more.
Dave’s Cast of Characters
Dave’s is another service that offers just about anything you can think of: characters, jugglers, magicians, balloon artists, DJs, inflatables. You can even rent carnival and arcade games, a trackless train and an airplane ride!
Judy Reda Entertainment Services
In addition to clowns and magicians, you can hire hula dance lessons, a fortune teller and even a ventriloquist. Planning a birthday party around the holidays? Hire Santa!
Amy Rosen Cooking By Design
Bring the Cupcake Wars to your child’s birthday party! Kids are divided into teams, where they will follow a recipe, make frosting and decorate the treats with over 100 types of decorations. You can also have a chocolate-making party or a pizza party.
Bricks 4 Kidz
Have a Lego lover at home? Bricks 4 Kidz will bring a massive tub of bricks and help your guests build a model. The best part? They help with the clean up!
Top image credit: JoJo Party Pals
This originally posted in 2014 and has been updated for 2017.