Both of my boys’ birthdays are in late October. I’m embarrassed to admit but I’ve never organized 2 parties for them. I go big with one party and call it a day. But the reality is my kids – and our family – have friends spanning a fairly wide age gap. Coming up with a birthday celebration that accommodates the unpredictable weather of October and works for kids raging from 3 – 9 years isn’t the easiest. This year I discovered the Mad Science Birthday Party and it was a HIT!
Professor Proton arrived on our doorstep carting bins stuffed with scientific mystery. The kids could barely contain their enthusiasm while she set up. They literally found seats and just watched her place one curiosity after another on the table. As soon as she was ready to begin Professor Proton captivated the kids. She had an engaging personality, and peppered the kids with oodles of questions. I think my favourite part of the party was how she took the scientific experiment she was demonstrating and related it to everyday life. The fluorescence experiment was dramatic on its own but when Professor Proton explained that the reaction the kids had just witnessed was how glow-in-the-dark sticks worked, you could hear all of them say “ohhhh”!
Without a doubt, the highlight of the hour-long presentation was the dry ice. Professor Proton put dry ice and boiling water into a tube. Our living room was soon filled with kids squealing while being showered in dry ice steam. They loved it! But it was when the dry ice was combined with bubbles that the kids nearly lost their minds. They couldn’t get over the beaker of bubbles that constantly overflowed and disappeared in their hands. There were bubbles being blown all over the house, cupped in hands, and smeared on each others heads. The kids were positively brimming with excitement about science!
Tips for a Successful Mad Science Birthday Party:
- manage the kids’ expectations by letting them know the birthday party will be a combination of demonstrations and interactive activities. In order to dazzle the kids with science some chemicals are used that really aren’t safe for kids to touch. The kids get to participate in some of the experiments but some just have to be adults-only.
- find a space in your home that can get a little messy. The Mad Science folks bring a thick, plastic table cover that will definitely protect whatever flat surface you provide. But some of the experiments are a bit interactive so you want to make sure the party is hosted in a semi-mess-friendly space.
- ensure kids can move around easily. During the demonstrations, Professor Proton wanted the kids to be seated around the table but with a healthy space between her and them (don’t want chemicals spilling on the kids). However, when it came time for the kids to participate, they needed easy access to the table.
Mad Science Birthday Party Options:
- Mad Science parties are intended for kids aged 5 – 12 years of age (without a doubt the kids at our party aged 6+ were the most engaged)
- in addition to the experiments in the party, each child gets to make a take-home item. We elected to make bouncy balls. Other options include: slippery slime and silly putty
- parties range from 45 – 60 minutes in length
- Mad Science comes to you. You pick the location and they entertain your guests!
- the birthday child receives both a Mad Science lab coat and a chart showing the periodic table of elements. Our 9 year old has put the table of elements right beside his bed and is determined to memorize it by Christmas (I’m NOT discouraging that goal!)
- there are a number of “add-ons” available to customize your Mad Science party: Rocket Launch ($50); Make Your Own Soda Pop (starting at $40); Laser Light Show (starting at $40); Cotton Candy (starting at $40); Hovercraft Ride (starting at $50); and Wonders of Dry Ice ($50)
- Mad Science also provides science-themed goody bags ($7 each) should you wish to have that task taken off your hands
- there are 4 levels of birthday parties (basic, bronze, silver & gold) and each level has a different price point based on the number of kids attending the party (up to 10 children; 11 – 15 children; 16 – 20 children; 21 – 25 children; and 26 – 30 children).