Food & Drink

How to Throw Cool Kids’ Birthday Parties

Help for planning a kid's party with less stress, plus two local gift ideas.

By Seattle Mag September 8, 2011


This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Seattle magazine.

Birthdays for wee ones should not be associated with nervous breakdowns. Here’s a trifecta of local talent that can assist you with planning a great celebration.

Make it simple by hiring a personal concierge service, such as Honey Do ( Eastsiders Anne Brucker (Kirkland) and Jenna Davis (Bellevue) will create a plan and put on your party for $30 per hour (two-hour minimum).

Skip Party City; your cute, candy-free, eco-friendly goody bags can be outsourced! Log onto, the creation of Bellevue mother of three Crystal McGowan, and pick from 25 themed bags (Fairy Tale, Pirate Adventure, Volcanoes and Dinosaurs, Fun with Trains) or create a custom order. Each bag comes with quality items—McGowan promises no easily broken fillers—and the price is right at $3.50–$7.50 per bag.

Avoid the chaos wreaked by in-home party guests; check out the new party room at Trophy Cupcakes ( in Wallingford. The space can hold as many as 40 seated guests (but if you invite that many kids, you might go c-r-a-z-y!). Cost is $125/hour (two-hour minimum), which includes place settings. Kids love the “Decorate Your Own Cupcake” party. You’ll love not having to clean up the mess.

Two LOCAL Gift Ideas

1. Neighborhood pride rules in Little Orange Room’s ( line of charming screen-printed tees. Created by Ballard mom Anne-Lise Hurn, a former stylist for Nordstrom and Anthropologie, the shirts feature hand-drawn designs of 25 different Seattle ’hoods. Tykes can represent Wallingford (which depicts a silhouette of Gas Works Park and a seaplane), Mount Baker (a hydroplane), or Ballard (a whimsical Viking). The all-cotton tees are $22. Available online, and at Clover (Ballard, 5335 Ballard Ave. NW) and Trophy Cupcake’s Wallingford location (1815 N 45th St., Suite 209).

2. The best baby shower gifts are ridiculously adorable, even if they’re useless (what else do infants do but look cute?). First Cleats ( fill that bill: infant cleats meant for prewalkers ages newborn–6 months. These little kicks are the brainchild of Diana Lynn Ultican of Kirkland and Karrie Nesbitt of Yarrow Point, a mother-daughter duo who have put in numerous hours watching Karrie’s kids play soccer. The soft-soled shoes ($29.95; available online and at Nordstrom) come in black/silver or pink/white and actually have small rubber cleats on their soles. They even come packaged on turf.



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