Boston Parents Paper Best of the Best 2011
Our Family Favorite Award Winners
Favorite Birthday Party Destination
Jump On In
470 Wildwood Ave., Woburn, 781-939-5867
100 Phoenix Ave., Lowell, 978-453-9700
40 Rogers Road, Haverhill, 978-372-3220
No need to worry about birthday guests with boundless energy invading your home. At Jump On In, kids can safely run, jump and scream with abandon on the assortment of inflatable slides and trampolines. The staff is friendly but firm about the rules, so parents don’t have to nag about safety. In fact, adult guests can lounge on the couch and chat while kids run around, but they may want to try out some rides themselves, especially the Jumpshot basketball game. Parents are invited to bring in cakes and drinks, or they can order pizza through the staff. Feel free to bring in your own music to be played over the stereo system. There’s a certain Van Halen song that might make for a good addition to the iPod playlist.
Favorite Birthday Cake
32 Wood Road, Braintree
The cakes are, in a word, gorgeous. But words don’t do this well-known, European-inspired cake and fine pastry company justice. Think fondant, bountiful ribbons of frosting, whimsical children’s themes ranging from Hello Kitty to Spiderman, and abstract confections from polka dots and flowers to a sophisticated multi-tiered Sweet 16 cake adorned with dark and white chocolate lace. Cake types include gold, chocolate, marble or carrot with frosting and mousse flavors like lemon, mascarpone and white chocolate. German-born Günther Mösinger owns Konditor Meister (which translates to “skilled pastry chef”) and has been baking and decorating special occasion cakes for more than 40 years. His company now employs 75 people in a huge Braintree facility. Prices here start at $28 for an 8-inch round, but the cakes are delectable and well worth the cost.
1356 Beacon St., Brookline
What is it about a Party Favors cake that makes it a Family Favorite year after year? Connoisseurs would point to the rich buttercream frosting (a hands-down favorite of kids and adults alike) and the extraordinarily moist cake itself. Cake flavors range from gold, white or chocolate to lemon, orange or spice. And frostings and fillings run the gamut as well. Decorations include popular children’s characters, a profusion of frosting flowers, pretty fondant ribbons and custom requests. Party Favors also takes orders for cupcakes in mini and regular sizes, floral to custom-decorated. An 8-inch round, double-layer cake will cost about $29. Keep in mind, you can do your party supply shopping here, too!
Favorite Party-Supply Store
1356 Beacon St., Brookline
What exactly are you looking for? Streamers, balloons, confetti and banners? Check. Giftwrap, cards, invitations? Check. Dinnerware? Check. How about some funky themed decorations for anything from birthdays to holiday parties? OK, what about the cake? It’s all here. Party Favors is a perennial winner in this Family Favorite Award category and for good reason. It’s one-stop shopping for all of your party supply needs; and it never disappoints.
600 411 Waverly Oaks Road (Route 60), Waltham
Party Needs, a Waltham staple, joined the ItzaParty chain of five southern Massachusetts party supply stores in 2006, but kept its original name. This shop lives up to its trademarked moniker, “Everything. And Then Some.” You’ll find a wide variety of party decorations and dinner ware, as well as a huge assortment of costumes (for infants through adults) and gift items from such respected brands as Yankee Candle, Caspari, Jody Coyote (jewelry), Taggies, Klutz (craft kits for kids), Lolita and Webkinz. Sign up for the Savings Club online and receive special offers and coupons from the ItzaParty chain.