Parents are always searching for new and innovative birthday party ideas — and the best ones are held outside of the house. Books and Books has just introduced a birthday party package for kids who love books.
The party concept was developed by Becky Quiroga Curtis, who is both the children’s book buyer and the children and young adult events coordinator at Books and Books.
“We haven’t officially had a birthday party,” Quiroga Curtis said. “We have one booked for September. We had one before about a year-and-a-half ago.”
That party was for a child’s second birthday and there were a total of 10 children.
“We read a story and did a craft,” Quiroga Curtis said. “I knew the age of the children before hand, so I planned a craft specifically for the age group. It only required the children to peel off a couple of stickers.” Quiroga Curtis said they were approached by the parents wanting the host the party at the store.
“I basically took the idea, and ran with it,” she said.
That party went well, so she decided to expand on the concept. There is a variety of packages available, depending on the age of the child and how much the parent wants to spend.
She thought about some of the things she would like included if she were the parent.
“I tried to make it as inclusive as possible,” she said. “You don’t have to do anything. You pick the theme. We started adding to it, and did the package.”
Each package has everything needed, including lunch and the cake.
“All you have to do is show up,” Quiroga Curtis said.
The packages are set up for 12 children but extra children can attend at an additional cost with a maximum of 18 kids.
The books sparking the party themes for ages 1-6 include Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, The Cat in the Hat, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. For ages 7-11 the books are Magic Tree House, Junie B. Jones, The Phantom Tollbooth and Percy Jackson.
She said they are keeping to those books so they can have reusable decorations including giant plywood cutouts of characters.
A basic party includes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with chips, or individual pizzas; lemonade or juice box for 12 children, cupcakes and candles, all paper goods, use of courtyard space, decorations (balloons, streamers, etc.), a personalized oversized birthday card, Books and Books gift registry, personal bookseller host or hostess, 20 percent off any purchase made the day of the party and one hour of complimentary parking for any vehicle in attendance.
Quiroga Curtis said they have three timeslots available each day and could even have up to 21 a week, but she’s not planning to book the maximum number because of the many other events hosted by Books and Books.
Since word has gone out about the birthday parties, Quiroga Curtis said there have numerous requests for information. Flyers have been printed and Quiroga Curtis said in-store signage is important.
She has long been the children’s book buyer but recently took over the children’s events as well. She has started putting out a newsletter to make sure everyone knows about Books and Books children’s event. “I’m trying to come up with different things to make our place awesome, kids wise,” she said.
Books and Books Coral Gables is located at 265 Aragon Ave.; telephone 305-442- 4408.