Hudson Valley Parent

November 2013

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Happy Brrr-thday! Cold-weather parties on a budget By LAURA LICATA SULLIVAN I f you're like me, you have children with birthdays that fall during the winter months. Growing up, I was unaware this could be such an issue. My brother and I celebrated our birthdays in the summer, and my parents gave us fun-filled, simple outdoor birthday parties complete with ice cream and time in the pool with our friends. Times have surely changed. My son recently attended a birthday party at an indoor fun park, complete with 30 classmates, pizza, video games, and go-carts. Thinking I would consider such a venue for my own child, I dared to ask my new mom friend what was the cost breakdown per kid. I didn't have to do the math to calculate that $30 per child was more than my husband and I could afford. So I got creative — and you can, too. Once you create a realistic budget, you can decide if your child's party will take place at your home or an outside destination. And with a little thought and preparation, a wonderful time can be had by all — for under $150. Hosting a party at home? Here are some do-it-yourself ideas to get you started: Bring the movies home Why not make some popcorn and host a movie night? Great films like "The Muppet Movie" or "Free Willie" would appeal to kids of all ages. Set up chairs and have cake and beverages on hand. This is sure to be a hit! Sleepovers Are your children school-aged? Let them invite over their best buddies for a memorable night of movies and snacks. Have them decorate paper bags and serve popcorn, pizza and cake. Ask friends to bring their pajamas and sleeping bags and with a little music and supervision, everyone will have a ball. Michelle Castro, a mother of two from Newburgh, said, "Our Nicole Jurain of Nicole Jurain Pottery will come to your boys have really enjoyed home for a jewelry making party, ceramics painting and sleepovers. We move furmore. She will also host pottery-making parties at the niture and put up tents Art Centro studio in Poughkeepsie. in the family room and 26 Hudson Valley Parent n November 2013 "Our boys have really enjoyed sleepovers. We move furniture and put up tents in the family room and the kids really feel like they are camping outdoors." — Michelle Castro, Newburgh the kids really feel like they are camping outdoors. They tell ghost stories and watch movies. I give them apples and popcorn." Pottery party For a one-of-a-kind craft party at your home, look to Nicole Jurain Pottery. A party for up to 10 children ranges from $50 to $100, depending on your location, plus the cost for craft supplies. You can choose from jewelry making with polymer clay, ceramics painting, or even origami. "I can design a unique birthday party for your child, depending on their level of skill and interests. There is so much to choose from, and I look forward to each time," Jurain says. Contact Jurain at 845-4193830. Snow much fun! Baby, it's cold outside! But, who said we can't play in it? With a little planning and a hill in your yard (or a friend's yard), you can enjoy the winter landscape, even if the weather does not call for snow! Snow-making machines range anywhere from $75 to $125! Ask your guests to dress warmly and bring sleds and let them play in the brisk air for an hour. Let them warm up after-

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