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Issue Date: August 2006 Issue


Table for 10

Bugs on a cake and alligators on your birthday - these days, kids' parties are wild 'n' out every which way.


Jessica Schickel

Kooky Cakes

A dazzling cake is a joy to eat, a wonder to behold. The team at Wild Flour Bakery in Rocky River does more than whip up a birthday cake; it bakes art. How about a cake with bugs for your budding entomologist, so real it looks like it might crawl off the plate, or a concoction coated with wild animals for your riotous ringmaster? www.wildflourbakery.com, (440) 331-2950; 20111 Lake Road, Rocky River


Make it Personal

“Tired of having your parties where you need a token to play every game, where pizza’s consumed in unsupervised rooms and each child is treated the same?” So asks Elizabeth Porcelli of Oogles ’n’ Googles, the franchise planner for kid-themed parties. Try a detective party and encourage your young guests to solve a mystery, or the fairy-tale princess party, where the birthday girl is delivered a prince through storytelling and interactive play. Packages include everything from paper products to cake, so you can relax and enjoy the fun. $325 all inclusive; www.ooglesngoogles.com, (330) 468-2453



A Party that Pops

Jacqueline Sopko, president of the Balloon Crew, is one of just 2,200 “certified balloon artists” in the world. Her knowledge translates into the awsomest decorations in town for your child’s bar or bat mitzvah or fancy-schmancy birthday party. Clowns? Magicians? A lollipop buffet? Oh yeah, she can do that. Prices range from $150-$2,500; www.ballooncrewinc.com, (216) 341-5100; 8805 Garfield Blvd., Cleveland


Super Safari

Take your kid’s party to Africa for the night. Rising Waters Safari Camp at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo offers participants the opportunity to explore the zoo’s African Savanna at night. Campers sleep in walk-in safari tents and hike the grounds using night-vision binoculars and global positioning systems. They enjoy snacks around a campfire while learning about African culture through music and storytelling. 7 p.m.-11 a.m., $35 per person includes counselors, equipment, breakfast and zoo admission for the following day; (216) 635-3391


Animal Alert

Cake, ice cream and a 5-foot alligator crawling toward the birthday girl! Shrieks of delight included. Jungle Terry of the Jungle Hut is the personable animal handler who brings 12 to 15 “wild” animals to your party. His entertainment is a menagerie of the slippery, toothed, quilled and clawed variety. The show is highly interactive with kids able to touch, hold and pass most of the animals and reptiles raised by Jungle Terry and his two children. Approx. 45 minutes, average price is $145 (show can be tailored for duration and content); www.jungleterry.com, (440) 275-1331 or 1-888-5-JUNGLE


Camp in a Caboose

How about the coolest sleepover ever for your birthday kid and a pal or two? Rent this cabin from Lazy Lane cabins: It’s a renovated caboose that sleeps five. Fire pit, DVD player, refrigerator and linens provided. You bring the cake and the imagination, and your little engineer has a party to remember. info@lazylanecabins.com, (740) 385-3475 or 1-877-225-6572; Hocking Hills, $99 per weekend night, $69 during the week for two people, each additional person is $10


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