Chicago Suburban Family


Party Advice By the Pros

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Whether  it is for a wedding, birthday, or the holiday bash at the office, planning a party is an exciting time. After the initial exuberance wears off and reality sets in, you are left with the responsibility of entertaining your guests and a mountain of tasks necessary to pull it off. To ensure that your party won’t be a flop, be sure to develop a plan ahead of time for your party. Taking a step-by-step approach to the festivities will reduce your inevitably high stress level and ensure that your party goes off without a hitch. Reach out to the advertisers in this seciton who will help you reach your goals.


Sweet Street Candies and Goodies
Sweet Street Candies and Goodies is an old fashion candy store that carries over 500 items. Pick favorites from candy you remember as a kid; gourmet chocolates & fudge, imported licorice, bulk chocolates, gummies and popcorn. We’ll custom design any special occasion gift basket from your candy and gift item selection. We specialize in unique favors, corporate gifts and candy buffets. Call us to order gifts for family, friends and clients. 17 W. St. Charles Rd., Lombard. Visit

Maxson’s Restaurant & Riverboat
Maxson’s Restaurant has been in business in Oregon, Illinois since 1952. It offer’s glass enclosed dining with stunning views of the Rock River. The Pride of Oregon Paddleboat takes guests on a scenic 15 mile round trip lunch and dinner cruises. Maxson’s can host events up to 260 people in the restaurant, 200 on the sprawling deck, and 149 on the Riverboat. Located at 1469 IL Rt. 2, Oregon, Illinois 61061. Perfect setting for a day trip or your next special event. For more information call 1-815-732-6761 or visit

Vision Quest
VisionQuest reaches out to Adults and children with Special Needs and Seniors with Alzheimers or Dementia. Our mission: To spread the Love of Jesus Christ through music and entertainment. Not by preaching, but living by example. “Until The Whole World Hears”, Matthew 24:14; “This Good News of the Kingdom will be proclaimed in the world for a testimony to all the nations, then the end will come”. Proceeds donated to the special needs community. Find us on Facebook @VisionQuestEM. Call us at (630) 909-9041.

Kohl Children’s Museum
Another year older and another year smarter! Make your child’s next birthday party one to remember by having it here with us. We’ll deliver fun in an engaging, safe and unique environment that your kids and guests will love. Packages include full-day admission for your guests before or after your party. Located at 2100 Patriot Blvd, Glenview. For more information, call (847) 832-6923 or visit

Odyssey Fun World
The place for out of this world family fun for all ages!  Plan your next birthday party here. Two fun locations with 150+ arcade and redemption games, a 4-story soft play center, Laser Tag, numerous exciting indoor rides, and great food. All summer long we offer Go Karts, Mini Golf, Bumper Boats, Hydro Racers (like Go-Karts on Water!), a ZIPLINE (30 feet high!), and an Inflatable Kidz Park at our Tinley Park location and Paintball at our Naperville location! Visit for exclusive discounts, or call 708-429-3800. 19111 S. Oak Park Avenue, Tinley Park, and, 3440 Odyssey Ct., Naperville. No photo copied coupons excepted.

Rock ‘n’ Kids
It’s party time! Kid Rock ‘n’ Roll music and dance parties are for children 1-6 years! We take our fun on the road and bring the party to you! A musical parade, parachute games, a freeze dance, a balloon drop, and much more! Wiggle, giggle, dance and play!

Chateau Orleans Banquets
Chateau Orleans Banquets is the elegant banquet hall directly attached to Chuck’s Southern Comforts Cafe in Darien. Not only does it make the perfect destination for weddings, it also can accommodate business meetings, special events, private functions and so much more. The room which can hold up to 300 people can also be divided into different sizes as well to accommodate parties of any size! The room features a spacious dance floor, a stage and a bar. The food is exclusively provided by Chuck’s and the menu offers a wide array of choices for you and your guests. Be sure to take advantage of our newly renovated Gazebo which makes for a perfect picture spot in the spring and summer! For booking and pricing contact James and Jackie our Banquet Managers at 331-431-4000 or visit our website at for more information.

Mon Ami Gabi
Mon Ami Gabi is the perfect place to host your wedding or next special event. From bridal showers to rehearsal dinners to business gatherings, you’ll work side-by-side with our seasoned Catering Manager Jessica to plan your special event. With two private rooms located off the main dining room, both feature glass paneled French doors, deep mahogany wood, rich leather banquettes and a mosaic tile floor. Treat your guests to our signature Steak Frites, boutique French wine pairings and decadent dessert. Contact Jessica today at Mon Ami Gabi is located at the east side of Oakbrook Center mall, near Neiman Marcus at 260 Oakbrook Center Oak Brook, IL 60523.

Safari Land
Let Your Adventure Begin! Safari Land has everything you need for a complete adventure. Whether it’s bowling, video games, rollercoaster, kiddie carts, food or other fun, Safari Land is the place for your party. Come ride the tiger terror…take a spin in our 360 degree, full-motion, 3D flight simulator, play in our soft play area, or throw some strikes during cosmic bowling. Buy one $5 Game care, Get one $5 Game Card FREE (see details on ad). Contact us to book your next adventure of a lifetime. 701 W. North Avenue, Villa Park. 630-530-4649. Visit

Fleetwood Roller Rink
Fleetwood Roller Rink is a family owned business. We are celebrating our 60th anniversary. Our venue hosts public skating, birthday parties (our specialty) private parties and fundraisers. We promote family fun for all ages. For “health sake, roller skate.” Come visit us and join in our fun. Skating lessons available every Saturday at 1 p.m.  Located at 7231 W Archer Ave, Summit, IL 60501. Call 708-458-0300. Check for our ongoing specials and public skating times at Like us at

Historic Wagner Farm
Have an “udderly” amazing birthday party at Historic Wagner Farm! Party packages include on-staff party helpers, age-appropriate crafts and games, tours to meet cows, draft horses, chickens and other farm residents, and private space for gifts and cake. $250-$325 for 5-20 guests. Seasonal add-ons include horse-drawn wagon rides and hand-dipped ice cream from Sweets & Treats, the farm’s ice cream parlor. Contact our party coordinator at 224-521-2204 or visit for info.


9 Low-Key Birthday Party Ideas

By Rhonda Franz

You want to celebrate your child turning a year older. You want to give them gifts and serve good foods and of course, eat cake. You just don’t want to invite the whole world to the party.

Follow along for a few ideas to make the next birthday celebration low-stress and simple.

  1. Make it a neighborly affair. Invite neighbors and let the birthday party be a wonderful way to catch up with those who live close. Even better if your guests are within walking distance.
  2. Outsource what you can. Is the cake stressing you out? A bakery near you would be happy to make it. Don’t want to come up with a tray of appetizers? Check the deli department at your local grocery store.
  3. Invite family and/or close friends only. Small birthday parties can be every bit as fun with relatives and best friends as big parties with lots of people. Your child will have more time with each guest and there will be enough cake for everyone to have a second piece. Win-win.
  4. Do away with treat bags. Cake, ice cream, food, invitations, RSVPs: it’s enough. Host generously and serve good food and let go of the expectation that you must send each guest out the door with party favors.
  5. Use built-in entertainment. If you would prefer not to manage a game among children, reserve a park pavilion next to a playground area. Some city recreation departments allow residents to reserve picnic tables and shelters for free or at a lower cost than party venues.
  6. Plan uncomplicated games. Go with the old standbys. Relays, three-legged races, and gunny sack races are among the best and require only a few supplies. Also, have a couple of balls lying around for those fun pick-up games of football or soccer.
  7. Make adults feel welcome. Parents of other children are your best resource and often happy to help if they are staying. Put them to work supervising the play and serving food.
  8. Serve simple appetizers. Finger foods should do it: a fruit/veggie plate, summer sausage, cheese and crackers. Keeping stomachs filled makes for happy guests of all ages.
  9. Forget the fancy cake. That triple-decker Lego birthday cake you’ve seen on Pinterest? Forget it. The most important thing about birthday cake isn’t how it looks or even how it tastes: it’s that you were able to serve it at the birthday party. Make a simple sheet cake in your child’s favorite flavor, stick candles on top, and call it good. Sprinkles optional.

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