I've always gotten really excited about my kids' birthday parties. I think it might come from my own August birthday and consequent sense that I never had the parties I dreamed of as a kid. Whatever the reason, I really enjoy planning celebrations for my son and daughter, who are 5 and 7 respectively. We've had a lot of parties already, and far and away our favorite location -- one we've already done twice and plan to do again this October -- is Verrill Farm in Concord.
Verrill Farm is a terrific place for a birthday party. For a very reasonable rate, you can rent one of their tents (a small tent holds 25-ish people, a large tent is available for bigger parties). Their kitchen also provides refreshments, and a morning party is a great excuse to enjoy their excellent apple cider donuts. You can also bring your own food (I've always brought my own cakes, for example), and the farm is very accommodating in working with you to set up a menu, including handling allergies.
The gorgeous sweeping fields offer a beautiful setting for play, and the farm is happy to arrange hay rides for parties. We opted for hay rides when my daughter was two and the truck stopped in the fields for every child to pull up a carrot. It was a huge thrill for city kids to pull vegetables from the ground! Verrill Farm also has a relationship with a company that will bring ponies and handlers for a reasonable fee. That was the theme for my daughter's fifth birthday, and her red bandana'ed guests had a ball riding around the perimeter of the big field.
This fall we're planning a Harry Potter themed afternoon at Verrill Farm. Grace is helping me come up with some games for her friends to play and we will send our eight-year-old wizards on another hay ride. I'm less daunted than I might be otherwise by this concept, partly because I know that Verrill Farm will work its magic on the guests. In that gorgeous setting, with happy and friendly proprietors and delicious local food, it's hard to go wrong.
Verrill Farm, 11 Wheeler Road, Concord; Tel: 978-369-4494