BEST FOR ANIMAL LOVERS
Squeals on Wheels, a mobile petting zoo, offers everything from 20 animals to just bunnies. Boys and girls from their first birthday on up will delight in the gentle creatures. Founders John and Jill Phillips set the animals up outdoors but are equipped for inclement weather—they’ve given pony rides in a kitchen, thanks to some brave homeowners. Squeals on Wheels books up about three months in advance. Party prices start at $175.
BEST FOR BUDDING SCIENTISTS
Mad Science entertains kids ages 4 through 11 with hands-on experiments ranging from indoor fireworks to how electricity works. The high-energy parties leave children with an appreciation for how exciting science can be. Kids also get to make something to take home. The most popular choice? Slime. Mad Science can book up four weeks in advance. Packages start at $250.
BEST FUN AND GAMES
Games2U is a 25-foot truck equipped with video and outdoor games that appeal to children ages six and up. Kids can compete in rounds of Wii inside the vehicle; outdoors, thanks to screens built into the truck’s exterior, they can play dance party or laser tag. Other options include rolling around in hamster balls. Games2U books up about ten weeks in advance. Packages start at $199.
BEST THEME PARTIES
Thumbs Up Party Planning has a loyal following thanks to its creative parties for all ages, from preschoolers to teens. The birthday boy or girl can pick from themes such as Girlfriend Glamour Spa, Dino-Mite Adventures, American Girl Doll, and even Team Twilight parties with a Robert Pattinson look-alike. Thumbs Up Party Planners often books up two months in advance. Parties start at $350 for a minimum of eight kids.
BEST FOR LITTLE ONES
The Bear Bus will dazzle toddlers. Children choose from an array of animals, stuff and name them, then select an outfit. The bus also appeals to tweens for slumber parties. The Bear Bus books up about six weeks in advance. Packages start at $19.95 a person for a minimum of ten kids.
This article appears in the July 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.
Subscribe to Washingtonian
Follow Washingtonian on Twitter