Home Business Birthday parties back on the calendar as pandemic restrictions loosen

Birthday parties back on the calendar as pandemic restrictions loosen

by staff

With some kids approaching their second pandemic birthdays and few families eager to spend more time on Zoom, party venues say families are starting to ease their way back into in-person celebrations. Still, venues that used to host crowds of kids each weekend say the scaled-back festivities are taking a toll on business. No one is blowing out candles on shared birthday cakes, and smaller parties can force tough decisions about which friends make the cut.

A group of boys play dodgeball during a birthday party gathering for eight-year-old Frederick Jozwiak, center left, at Ultimate Ninjas on Feb. 19, 2021, in Glenview. It was the first birthday party event held in the obstacles and fitness facility this year since COVID-19 restrictions were loosened. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

General manager Michael Torres prepares to move birthday gifts for eight-year-old Frederick Jozwiak during Frederick's birthday party gathering at Ultimate Ninjas in Glenview.

General manager Michael Torres prepares to move birthday gifts for eight-year-old Frederick Jozwiak during Frederick’s birthday party gathering at Ultimate Ninjas in Glenview. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

Course instructor Sam Ervin sprays disinfectant on apparatus before a birthday party gathering at Ultimate Ninjas in Glenview.

Course instructor Sam Ervin sprays disinfectant on apparatus before a birthday party gathering at Ultimate Ninjas in Glenview. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

Eight-year-old Frederick Jozwiak plays basketball with friends during his birthday party at Ultimate Ninjas on Feb. 19, 2021, in Glenview.

Eight-year-old Frederick Jozwiak plays basketball with friends during his birthday party at Ultimate Ninjas on Feb. 19, 2021, in Glenview. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

General manager Michael Torres, left, and course instructor Sam Ervin, right, watch as a group of boys play during a birthday party gathering at Ultimate Ninjas in Glenview.

General manager Michael Torres, left, and course instructor Sam Ervin, right, watch as a group of boys play during a birthday party gathering at Ultimate Ninjas in Glenview. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

General manager Michael Torres carries birthday gifts for Frederick Jozwiak to a room during Frederick's birthday party gathering at Ultimate Ninja in Glenview.

General manager Michael Torres carries birthday gifts for Frederick Jozwiak to a room during Frederick’s birthday party gathering at Ultimate Ninja in Glenview. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

Eight-year-old Frederick Jozwiak, left, watches his older brother Julian, 10, hang off an apparatus, as their little brother, Vincent, 4, and their dad, Maciek, watch during Frederick's birthday party at Ultimate Ninjas.

Eight-year-old Frederick Jozwiak, left, watches his older brother Julian, 10, hang off an apparatus, as their little brother, Vincent, 4, and their dad, Maciek, watch during Frederick’s birthday party at Ultimate Ninjas. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

General manager Michael Torres gives a group of boys instructions and rules on using apparatus and equipment during a birthday party gathering at Ultimate Ninjas.

General manager Michael Torres gives a group of boys instructions and rules on using apparatus and equipment during a birthday party gathering at Ultimate Ninjas. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

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