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If you have a child who loves nature — and we have a couple in our house — than Anita Purves Nature Center in Urbana might be a great option for your child’s next birthday party.
Its standard party for children ages 4 and up is a great combination of doing crafts, a live animal demonstration, and lots of interactive time with the animated party leader who just happens to be a wildlife educator.
The educator spent part of the party teaching the children about different types of owls. She discussed what kind of food they eat and how they hunt (owls eat other owls – who knew? – among other things). And we learned about how owls have certain features that make them unique, such as the range of motion of their necks; how big their eyes are relative to other animals; and how little noise their feathers make. The kids hung on every word, and frankly so did the parents present. It was darn interesting stuff.
The finale was having one of the real owls that resides at Anita Purves come out and visit with us. Owly was very well behaved and not scared of the crowd we had. As if on cue, he pooped on the floor, much to the delight of my children.
The Hoo’s Having a Party setup was great for our party, because it held the attention of kids from such a wide range in ages — in this case, 3 to 9 years old. The craft we did was easy enough for the little kids, but the older kids were able to add their perfect touch to it.
The Nature Center is also very generous with the time allowed in the party room, a nice perk. We were able to spend up to two hours (the first hour being the program) in the room, so we had plenty of time to eat cake, explore the nature center on our own, and open presents before heading home.
At $125 for 12 children, we felt it was a good value. The party package includes a 45 – 60 minute program, use of the party room for another additional hour, and the birthday child gets a small gift certificate to spend in the Nature Center’s gift shop. Most of all, I was very impressed by the excellent customer service from the point of reservation over the phone to the actual event itself. (One thing to be aware of is that the Urbana Park District requires a $75 deposit to reserve the party, and then you have to pay the full $125, and then they refund the deposit later.)
If you want to read about another Anita Purves party, we have also reviewed the dinosaur party.
Need ideas for where to have your child’s birthday party? Check out the Chambanamoms.com Guide to Birthday Parties in Champaign-Urbana.