When my husband and I moved to Wichita Falls just over a year ago, we discovered that the area has a wealth of things to do. If you’re bored, take a look at this city and the towns around it and you’re sure to find fun activities to keep you occupied during all seasons of the year.

The area also has a lot of activities for kids. Children are sometimes very particular about what they do and where they go, which means that planning a birthday party can feel like a chore. I’ve come up with a few ideas that may help you plan that next get-together, while keeping your finicky nipper happy. In no particular order, here are my top 5:

If you’re looking for something outdoors, Lucy Park is a great place to start. This 178 acre park is home to playgrounds, picnic tables, a swimming pool, hiking and biking trails, ducks and geese, as well as numerous species of plant life to check out. Plus, the Falls are a short walk away, which serve as a great backdrop for a family photo. The park also has a log cabin which can be reserved for parties up to 55 people, and you can find a slew of additional activities while you’re there.

The great thing about a birthday party at Lucy Park is that there’s something there for everyone. You don’t have to spend a lot of cash since you’re the one deciding what to bring, and you can have a great afternoon with friends, making memories that will last a lifetime. The two things I suggest while you’re there: bring a couple of slices of bread for the ducks and geese. They’ll love you for it. Secondly, make sure you clean up after yourselves. It’s a joint effort to keep this park beautiful.

The Wichita Falls City website has more information about Lucy Park.

If I had lived in Wichita Falls as a kid, I would have asked for a birthday party at River Bend Nature Center. Some of the features of this location include the Ruby N. Priddy Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, The Bryant Edwards Learning Center, The United Children’s Garden, and fantastic nature trails. While going to visit is a treat itself, having a birthday party here lends several possibilities to excite kids of any age.

In addition to an hour with an experienced field guide, kids can pick from several theme parties. These themes include: Bug Hunt, Dino Dig, Leaf Me, Leaping Frogs, Nature Detective, Critter Connection, and more! To make the experience even better, RBNC also provides gift bags with your party. It’s sure to be a hit with your kid and those invited.

On a personal note, I really enjoyed checking out everything they had to offer. Even if you’re not planning a party, it’s worth going in to have a look around to learn more about River Bend Nature Center.

While Castaway Cove is a seasonal park, it’s a hit with all who step into it. As Ed Michel, Marketing Manager for the park stated,

“Where else can you have a birthday party in your swimsuit?”

I’ve had birthday parties in my back yard with the Slip n’ Slide, but they weren’t as much fun as this.

A ‘Splash Bash Birthday Party’ includes unlimited use of the attractions, a birthday cake with the Castaway Cove design on it, pizza or hot dogs, use of the party pavilion, a waterproof camera for the birthday person, a party host, a park-wide birthday announcement, and free admission for the birthday guy or gal. I don’t know about you, but even as an adult I think I’d like my next birthday here!

Just be sure to bring plenty of sun block, then have fun on those water slides!

Visit Castaway Cove’s website for more party details and how to book a party.

When I spoke to Paula Maloney about her business, you can tell she loves doing what she does. And what exactly is that, you ask? Paula brings the farm right to you!

Children love animals, especially ponies. Paula brings kid-friendly ponies to your back yard and gives kids an experience they won’t be forgetting. They get to take a pony ride, snap photos, and learn a bit about these fantastic creatures. To make the deal even sweeter, for just a few dollars more she’ll bring out additional animals like goats, rabbits, ducks, and geese! As expected, the handlers are experienced and create a unique, one-on-one adventure for kids.

I asked if there was an issue bringing the animals into town because I wasn’t sure about city ordinances. As it turns out, there’s nothing to worry about. Since the animals aren’t staying there, you can have this party right in your own back yard. If you ask me, this is truly a party worth looking in to.

For more information on Ponies 2 You, call Paula at 940-257-7515 or email her at farminadell@peoplepc.com.

I’m not going to lie to you. When my son was younger, after a rowdy birthday party, I was always happy when he would go to bed without argument and sleep like an angel. After a party at Jump For Joy, I would imagine that could very well be the scenario.

As the Jump For Joy website states: “Jump for Joy Party Play Center is the ultimate place for kids to have fun; jumping, playing, climbing, and sliding! It’s created just for kids ages 1-18, and our giant inflatable play structures are available for birthday parties, special events, or fun anytime!”

Fun indeed! They have three different party packages to choose from, plus they include color invitations, a t-shirt for the party person, plates, napkins, plastic ware, juice drinks, a hand print on the wall for the guest of honor, a party assistant, and party set-up and clean-up. Additionally, they have a number of different bounce structures that will prove to be fun for all.

Now my task for you, dear reader, is to go out and plan a party! Be creative! Be fun! Chances are, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime.