From the Publisher – July 2023

AOP front cover

Birthdays have always been a favorite time for me to plan something for my special birthday child that’s creative and remembered all year. From mermaids under the sea and jungle safaris under the trees to sweet sixteen candy themes and laser tags in the dark, party planning for my kids has always been my thing. I love choosing the perfect idea and bringing it to life to honor their turning another year older. Of course, in the planning, there are always some bumps in the road. However, in this month’s edition, we have featured local businesses that cater to birthday and event planning, including places to host your party, rental equipment and bounce houses, cupcakes and catering options, and party decorations.

In the Birthday Party Planning Guide, you will find something to spark a new party idea for your kids this year. Consider a fun fitness party for your energetic bunch at KidStrong Auburn or an evening of old-school arcade gaming at Rock-n-Roll Pinball in Opelika. How about a nature-themed party for your budding horticulturist and nature lover at Kreher Preserve and Nature Center? Choose from one of their many themes, like Radical Reptiles and Art in Nature.\ Need something for your teens? Check out Buff City Soap in Auburn, where your party guests can mix and make their own bath bombs. With so many great party options for all ages, you are sure to plan a perfect birthday party this year!

In our feature article, Hosting a Charitable Birthday Party, the author reminds us that teaching children about giving doesn’t have to only happen around the holiday season. Giving back to our community and those less fortunate can be taught, experienced, and modeled all year. This year, while planning for gatherings and events that celebrate birthdays, take a moment to consider a lesson in gratitude and giving as part of your party plan. For me, the gifts that used to pile up became overwhelming. Of course, our birthday child would love a gift to celebrate turning a year older, but planning to give back might be just as wonderful. The author mentions planning a jungle safari party and including a table for crafting small pet toys to donate to the Lee County Humane Society. Or, if hosting a cooking or baking birthday, ask for canned goods and nonperishable foods instead of toys and then donate to the Food Bank of East Alabama or a local church food pantry. There are so many local, regional, and international organizations to bless; it just takes thinking about a unique party theme that might match a charity and its needs.

Here’s to party planning this year. Think outside the birthday box, get creative while celebrating your special someone, and maybe consider a project to give back.

Auburn - Opelika Parents
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From the Publisher – July 2023

by Kendra Sumner time to read: 2 min