The weather and the season often determine what sort of party you throw for your child on his or her big day. Here are some ideas from Cool Kids' Parties guest experts Lorna Hennington and Kim Salisbury of The Ultimate Planners in Los Angeles, and Kim Hein of The Perfect Setting in Newport Beach, Calif.:
- Got snow? Build your child's birthday party around sledding, ice-skating or a snowman-building contest.
- If you're looking to stay cozy inside, throw a cookie-baking party in your kitchen, rent a roller rink for the day or take over an indoor hotel swimming pool.
- Truck in some snow. If it's warm where you live but there's snow in nearby mountains, consider borrowing or renting a pickup truck (or using your own) to transport a big load of the white stuff to your backyard.
- The best spring ideas involve getting outside, so go ahead with that barnyard-themed petting zoo before temperatures get too hot.
- Spring is prom season, and younger kids like to dance too. Pitch the party's theme to the '60s, '70s or some other fun decade, or plan a Dancing With the Stars, Hawaiian luau or Latin dance motif.
- If you're worried that spring showers could put a damper on things, consider party ideas that can easily be moved inside if the weather turns bad. Scavenger hunts are a good solution because they can be done inside or out.
- Create a mini carnival in your yard by renting clowns, magicians, ponies, jumpers, and old-fashioned carts serving hot dogs and cotton candy.
- Host a backyard camp-out with telescopes and a late-night astronomy lesson. For kids who love creepy-crawlies, plan a bug- or reptile-themed party; make the party even more interesting and educational by hiring an expert to bring a collection.
- Summer parties should be all about water and sand. Have a pool party, reserve part of a water park, or go to the beach. Run sack races, wage water balloon fights or stage a volleyball tournament.
- Turn your child's party into a harvest festival by having them bob for apples and decorate gourds.
- Dress-up parties that aren't based on Halloween are also popular for this time of year. Throw a New Orleans-type masquerade, with everyone wearing masks they made. Or pick a theme like "cowboys" or "pirates" and have kids come dressed accordingly.
Learn more about Kim Hein at www.theperfectsettingevents.com.