By Karen Stysley
If your child has a birthday in a warm time of the year, consider having a party in one of the Annapolis area parks.
On Jackson Bondurant’s fifth birthday, the woods in Quite Waters Park became a jungle filled with dinosaurs to hunt.
He and his friends donned safari hats and binoculars and set out in the forest to hunt their quarry: dinosaurs eggs, which had been carefully made out of paper-mache, filled with surprises, and placed there by mom, Maureen Bondurant, of Arnold.
“They thought there were real dinosaurs in the woods…they acted like they were on a real safari,” says Bondurant.
Not only was a park pavilion perfect for Bondurant’s special dinosaur party, area parks can make the perfect setting for just about any warm weather birthday party.
“It’s just wonderful, it’s outdoors, there’s no schedule, you can control everything yourself,” Bondurant explains.
The more casual aspect of hanging out together outside at the pavilion is also a plus.
“You have an area where the kids can play, the adults can talk, the parents can barbeque,” says Bondurant.
For Shipley’s Choice mom Laura McDowell, it was the simplicity of a park that drove her to hold her son’s 3rd birthday at one. Kinder Farm Park offered her the opportunity to hold a fun event that delighted her son while the family was in the midst of a move.
“It was really relaxed, super casual,” says McDowell, who kept the number of guests (kids and adults) under 20 so as to avoid renting a pavilion. Instead she got some of the covered tables that are available on a first-come first-served basis.
For entertainment Kinder Farm offers not only nature trails but also antique tractors, a playground, and a variety of farm animals to admire. McDowell’s son particularly loved the bunnies.
She also brought her own a food and a few cheap kites for the kids, which made for party favors to use right away. That freedom is one big advantage of a park party, she says.
“The kids can run around and you don’t have to worry about being quiet,” says McDowell.
If you are planning a park party it’s best to start planning early because pavilions book quickly, Boundurant cautions. When planning also consider how close a pavilion is to amenities like playgrounds and restrooms, as well as the policy on decorations. Some parks, like Downs Park, do not allow balloons, for instance.
And as with any outdoor event, a rain date is always a good idea.