The cake and decorations are the easy part of planning a kid’s birthday party. It’s figuring out how to keep all of the little partygoers—who are probably hopped up on sugar—entertained that can be the bigger challenge. If your balloon animal-making skills aren’t up to snuff and you can barely shuffle a deck of cards (let alone put on a full-fledge magic show) it might be time to outsource the fun. Check out our favorite birthday entertainers that can help make your shindig a huge hit.

249179_497097320345389_1654748865_n

Superhero Surprise
We love superhero themed parties (a kid in a cape is the cutest thing, right?), but why not take it up a notch by inviting a real-life Batman, Flash, or Captain America over for some cake and ice cream? In return Mr. Incredible (courtesy of Superhero Entertainment for Kids) will tell stories, lead games like tug of war and parachutes, and train your mini Power Ranger in some of the most crucial superhero moves. They can even do magic tricks! They’re superheros; they can do anything.

Cost: Packages from $185
Ages: 3 and up

Superhero Entertainment for Kids
703-595-4925
Online: superheroforkidsdc.com

face-painting-dc

Party Picasso
Arla Albers has over two decades of face painting experience (and 20 years before that as “Go-Go the Clown.”) When she’s not party hopping around the District, she’s traveling across the country to teach other budding face painters the craft. Needless to say, Arla and her team can quickly paint an awesome butterfly (or tiger or Spider Man or ANYTHING) on your cutie’s face. Warning: You’ll have to get crafty at bath time because kiddo won’t want to wash the design off.

Cost: Packages from $175
Ages: All

Faces by Arla & Company
703-901-2752
Online: facesbyarla.com

1524745_10151916639714426_185586798_n

The Science Guys
A birthday party with Mad Science is like chemistry class without homework and tests…only the fun stuff. During the hour-long fete, kids could do everything from launching rockets and making cotton candy to marveling at a laser light show and riding a hovercraft. Of course, partygoers don’t leave empty handed. Party favors include slippery slime, silly putty, super bouncy balls, and color changing key chains.

Cost: Packages from $200
Ages: 5-12

Mad Science
301-593-4777
Online: dc.madscience.org

DSC_0328

Modern Day Magician
The Great Zucchini (he doesn’t reveal his real name) taught preschool for 14 years before becoming a fulltime magician, so he knows a thing or two about keeping tots attention. For starters, he performs his hands on, interactive shows in regular clothes (jeans and a T-shirt) instead of the stuffy costume suit that magicians are known for. Sure, he’s performed at the White House in front of dignitaries, but it’s the under-5 set that really connect with the gentle nature and silly facial expressions that he displays during his 40-minute action-packed shows.

Cost: Packages from $350
Ages: 3 and up

The Great Zucchini
202-271-3108
Online: thegreatzucchini.com

princess-party-dc

Princess for a Day
If your little one wants nothing more than to rock her Cinderella costume—Every. Single. Day.—indulge her with a princess party.  Rebecca Russell, owner of Princess Parties Virginia (which also travels to D.C. and Maryland), has played the party of Cinderella for over 500 birthday parties! She’s performed at so many fetes that she’s had to add a few extra actors to her royal roster, including a Rapunzel, Belle and Arielle.  The party will be nothing short of regal with a grand surprise singing entrance, magic fairy dust wish, a royal anointment ceremony, handmade magic wand, and as many photos with the princess as your princess can stand.

Cost:  Packages from $175
Ages: 2 and up

Princess Parties Virginia
703-973-4422
Online: princesspartiesva.com

Have you ever hired an awesome party entertainer for your kid’s party? Dish in the comments section below. 

—Ayren Jackson-Cannady

Photos courtesy of The Great Zucchini, Mad Science via Facebook, Faces by Arla & Company, Princess Parties Virginia via Facebook, Superhero for Kids Entertainment via Facebook