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A Different Kind of Birthday Party

a birthday hike

Apparently, when you are turning 11, you might not be interested in having a birthday party like you used to have. You might just want something more low-key. Just a few friends over to hang out. Or maybe go for a hike.

A hike? Okay, I’d never heard of kids going for a hike for a birthday party, but I thought, “why not?”

I had been a little concerned that maybe the guests might not enjoy a hike as much as our birthday girl Stella. But I needn’t have worried. The kids had a fabulous time and were particularly excited to find wildlife. From slugs and bugs, to turtles and frogs.


The complete route was about 5 km. Half-way in, we stopped and had a picnic lunch. The kids were clearly hungry because for the first time since we’d arrived, all was quiet while everyone was munching.


In the end, it actually turned out to be a fabulous way to spend a birthday celebration: The kids had a blast and the only cost was the food for the picnic!

stairway to heaven

Tips for Holding a Birthday Hike:

  • Plan for no longer than a 5 km walk unless you are familiar with the kids and know that they’re used to long hikes.
  • Make it clear on the invite that all the kids need proper walking shoes, a sun hat, sunscreen, and a water bottle.
  • In your own pack, bring extra water, sunscreen, and bug spray.
  • On the way to and from the trail, let the kids play their choice of music in the car and completely embarrass your child by opening the windows and singing really loud.
  • Be prepared that if younger siblings are allowed to join in that they might need a little help to complete the whole trail. By “a little help,” I mean that some poor sucker is going to need to carry him/her on their shoulders. (Thanks Uncle Smitty!)

little brother


  1. Great party! I love the idea. I will keep it in mind for the future.

  2. For my daughter’s 7th birthday she chose to have a bike party – biked about 2K to Britannia Beach, had the kids do some bike races, and other good old fashioned games, did a little bike maintenance session. We then came back and had some cake. It was her idea. We were really proud of her for coming up with such an outdoorsy and active birthday idea. The kids loved it too!!

  3. I love this! Great idea Stella!

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