Back in Ye Olden Days - you know, when *I* was a kid - we didn't have all these grand productions for kids' birthday parties. There were no decorated dessert tables, color-coordinated drinking straws, painstakingly themed activities, OR complimentary gift bags:
(By Cake Over Heels)
Nossir, we got a backyard with a splintery picnic table, and we LIKED IT.
Or, if you were lucky, you might get to have your birthday at McDonalds:
(By Tami Utley Sugar Art)
(For the record, I never did. And I'm still jealous.)
If you were both lucky AND rich, you got to go to Chuck E. Cheese:
(By Legend Cakes)
I vividly remember my Chuck E. Cheese doll - but I can't remember ever actually going to Chuck E. Cheese. I can only assume I attended a friend's party, and the experience was so completely mind-blowing it wiped my memory.
(Hey, look! I found my old doll! Meeeeemorrieees...)
In the sixth grade I went to the local roller rink for my birthday:
I never did figure out how to use those giant rubber toe stops, but luckily slamming full-speed into the carpeted walls surrounding the rink always did the trick.
(Also, that color palette up there comprised my entire wardrobe at age 12. I can't decide if I'm more horrified or delighted that fluorescents are coming back in style - but I'm leaning towards horrified.)
Even back then roller rinks felt like old-sneaker-scented time machines. Sometimes the little snack bar even had one of those glowy juke boxes:
(By Mike's Amazing Cakes)
And remember the line of gumball machines against the wall?
(By Leonie's Creations)
Still, the best birthday parties were the ones in someone's backyard. You know, where first you'd don a paper hat and chow down on take-out pizza:
(By The Sugared Bear)
And then the parents would corral you into playing Pin The Tail on the Donkey:
(By Keller Confectionery)
Or if it was warm enough, they'd turn on the sprinklers and set up the Slip n' Slide:
(By Cakes to Remember)
Later you'd open your presents:
(Sub'd by Jenny G. and made by Jones' Food Center in Vermillion, SD*)
(Sub'd by Chris H. and made by Berliosca)
And then, for a finale, the most amazing thing would happen: the adults would hand out big sticks so you could beat the living tar out of some cute paper mache'd animal:
(By Bubble and Sweet)
The attack was over when you ran screaming to collect all the candy innards off the ground.
It was glorious, I tell you. GLORIOUS.
Hope you enjoyed that trip down memory lane, peeps! As always, be sure to check our Sunday Sweets Directory to see which bakers in your area have been featured here on Sweets!
* The first supermarket bakery we've ever featured on Sunday Sweets.