by Amanda de Souza, with Onica King
One of the enduring memories I have of childhood are birthday parties, the ones my mother held for my brother and I. She was a born extrovert and revelled in entertaining children. She would come to life during those parties, jettisoning daily cares for a few hours and casting everyone in her magical spell.
Lasting birthday memories
Like most parents, mine were busy with the day-to- day challenges of raising us, feeding us and clothing us while maintaining a semblance of normality amidst the chaos. But birthdays were special – a time when both working parents could put some time aside to be with us and our friends.
My mother did everything from scratch for those parties and while that is an admirable endeavour, there are now numerous other options to help parents along. I don’t have the personality or inclination to imitate my mother – indeed my rudimentary Dutch precludes me from major festivity orchestration. With that in mind, I’ve colluded with Onica to identify some ideas for birthdays (including some for having parties at home).
Please keep in mind that most of these activities are best suited for school age children who have the ability to focus on activities, take simple instructions, or play in groups. And yes, we’ve focused on indoor activities given the unpredictable Dutch weather.
Your starting point in Delft
From pony parties at Buyten Delft to scientific experiments at the Delft Science Center, or climbing fun at the Bouldercentrum to making mosaics at Atelier Zeven, the DMM Get Out! post from earlier this year provides a great point of departure for birthday party options. Most of the resources identified offer children party packages that include time learning or practicing the given activity along with snacks or a meal and drinks for each child. Some have minimum (4 – 6) or maximum (12 – 20) participant requirements, while pricing typically ranges between €10 – €15 per child. Though for some activities like skiing or go-karting, you can expect to pay upwards of €20 per child.
A few other options here in Delft that did not make the Get Out! list include:
- Alpine fun at Alpinefeest (though strictly speaking, it is in Den Hoorn)
- Archery, Bubble Ball and more at Bubblebal
- Fun baking at De Suikerbuik
- Kids bowling at Gasterij Karrewiel
Beyond Delft city limits
If you’re willing to venture a little further afield to entertain your little and their friends, here are a few notable options that may be worth the trip.
- Any number of festive party package options at Plaswijck park or Duinrell
- Pottery parties at Hoeber Keramiek
- Puppet shows at Koopman theatre(there is also a small park nearby)
- Wild encounters at Blijdorpo Zoo
The wonders of Museums
Let’s not overlook some of the great museums in the area. They provide fantastic options for birthday celebrations. Here are a few to consider for younger and older children alike.
- Kinderboek museum(near Den Haag Centraal station)
- Maritime museum in Rotterdam
- Natural History Museum also in Rotterdam
The comfort of home
Not inclined to stray from home and you’re up for the challenge of having 4 – 12 little munchkins barrelling around your house (along with the inevitable clean-up associated with that). There are quite a few options to help you organize fun filled festivities at home.
Right here in Delft you’ll find Funny’s, Flying Tiger, HEMA, SoLow, and Xenos for most of your party supply needs. Alternatively, head online to Baker Ross, Party City, or Pipoos if you still can’t find what you need.
Looking to bring the entertainment to you?
- Consider a Henna workshop via the Hand of Fatima
- Get their faces painted from Inge at Kinderfeest En Zo
- Invite a few reptiles to the party with Exotus Serpenti
- Jump onto a bouncy castle from MTR, or simply do a search for “springkussen verhuur” to choose from the many options.
- Organize your own survival games with gear rental from 123FUN
- Rent a party box filled with toys from an old Delft favorite, Poppedijn
- Twist and turn a balloon figure or two with Miko the Clown
Intrigued by these “home” options, but daunted by that aforementioned associated clean-up? Then consider holding the event at one of the local sport halls or school gyms around town. The Delft municipality rents out these facilities when not in use for nominal fees. Have a look for yourself at Sportfondsen.
Let’s get this party started
Whatever your approach or the interest of your little, there are lots of resources at your fingertips right here in Delft – including your fellow Delftians (or is that Delftinars?). Take advantage and reach out. Check websites for up to date details and call or email for confirmation.
Now go forth, have fun, and party on!