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Party plan like a pro

From theme parks and backyard campouts to murder mystery dinners, people of all ages can enjoy a well-planned birthday party.

Here are some theme birthday ideas as well as location birthdays for all ages, suggested by readers.

Lake beach party: There are at least 76 lakes in the area, and summer is a great time for a beach party with friends. Beach volleyball, tubing, building sand castles and more could make great birthday activities. So spend your birthday soaking up the sun near one of the Pacific Northwest’s best lakes.

Pink and gold princess party: Everything elegantly pink and gold from the golden crown fancy dessert to the pink ruffled table covers. Many girls would love to be treated like a princess for the day.

Backyard campout: Do you enjoy camping and ghost stories? Do you enjoy roasting marshmallows around a fire? Are you a little worried about Sasquatch getting you camping out in the wilderness? Pitch the tent in the backyard instead! You can still enjoy a birthday cake and heating if it gets too cold, but backyard camping can yield great stories and horrible pranks.

Tea party: Enjoy a high tea with your closest friends and their dolls or teddy bears. Activities could include decorating a picture frame for a photo of the girls with their dolls and practicing fancy ways to fold napkins.

Murder mystery dinner party: Spend an evening solving clues and misleading your closest friends to figure out who killed Mr. Body. White Elephant and many others have a kit with everything necessary for your memorable party.

Lawn party and barbecue: Heat up the grill and get ready for backyard games like badminton, croquet or wheelbarrow races.

Fancy dinner party: Enjoy a high class birthday dinner dressed in your Sunday best.

Party in the basement: With ping pong, pool, video games and karaoke the classic parties never get old. Spend your birthday enjoying good company, conversation and a little competition.

Luau: With coconut drinks, flowery necklaces and the limbo, a luau-themed party can be fun for all ages.

Destination parties

Pool party: Everyone enjoys a good pool party, but consider safety if young kids are coming. Be sure to provide hydration. Parties at Spokane County pools cost $12.95 a person including tables, umbrellas, facility entry and a combo meal.

Pattison’s North Family Skating Center: Everyone enjoys a family friendly roller skating party. Whether or not it’s disco-themed rolling skating, it’s a great way to spend your birthday with friends. Call to reserve a party Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. $89.95 plus tax for up to eight kids and $9.00 for each additional kid. Friday and Saturday evening 7 to 10 p.m. (recommended for kids 12 and older) $96.95 plus tax for up to eight kids and $12.00 for each additional kid. (509) 466-2832.

Splash Down: Spend your birthday cooling down from the hot summer sun. Some rides have minimum age requirements. Party packages start at $135. (509) 760-4342 or www.splashdown

Silverwood: Enjoy an afternoon riding roller coasters with friends. Prices starting at $270.99 admission for six, guest of honor gets free admission. (208) 683-3400 or www.silverwoodtheme

Triple Play: Lots of options at Triple Play for partiers, including mini golf, laser tag, bowling, climbing the rock wall, bumper boats, go-karts, a wave pool and water slides. Packages start at $80. (208) 762-7529

Sky High: Everyone loves bouncing on a trampoline, how about a room of trampolines? All participants younger than 18 must have a parent sign a waiver first. Party packages start at $150 and include 10 guests, pizza and invitations. (509) 321-5867 or

Mountain Valley View Farm Petting Zoo: Animals are always a hit, and what better way to spend a birthday than a farm petting with more than 80 animals in Greenacres. (509) 928-1800 or www.spokanepetting

Mobius Children’s Museum and Mobius Science Museum: Bring your child and his or her 20 closest friends to a fun filled afternoon at Mobius Kids. Spend an hour and a half in the private party room and “unlimited exploration in the museum.” Pick a fun theme or go traditional for your birthday at Mobius. Packages come with a private party room and optional themes. Prices range from $100 to $250. (509) 321-7121 (Kids) or (509) 321-7133 (Science Museum) or

Polka Dot Pottery: Spend an afternoon with friends painting a masterpiece. Shop has locations in Spokane, Spokane Valley and Coeur d’Alene.

Laser Quest: Team up with and against friends for a few games of laser tag. Party packages start at $128. (509) 624-7700 or

Wonderland Family Fun Center: Enjoy your birthday with indoor and outdoor mini golf, laser tag, bumper boats, go-karts, rock wall and a zip line at Wonderland. The birthday kid and guests can also play arcade games, climb in the play structure or hit a few balls in the batting cages. Packages range from $9.99 per person to $24.99 per person. (509) 468-4386 or

Pinot’s Palette: For the 21 and older crowd, skip the bar and learn to paint while sipping wine with friends. A minimum of 15 painters is required for private parties costing $35-$45 per person for two- or three-hour sessions. (509) 290-5098 or SpokaneSoDo.

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