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7 action-packed ideas for a fun birthday party


If you a want to throw a birthday bash a healthy twist, you don't have to ditch the cake and ice cream. Just plan activities that will keep your crew moving, celebrating and burning those birthday calories.

Kids need to be active for at least 60 minutes every day. And most adults need at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise a week. So for fun times that will make their hearts happy—and healthy—check out these seven high-energy party ideas.

Active party ideas for teens, tots—and grown-ups too!

1. Make your own mini golf course. Set up a backyard course using things you already have around the house. For instance, make numbered flags from construction paper and garden stakes. Add a kiddie pool water hazard or a sandbox sandtrap. Duct tape paper towel rolls together for clubs. And tee off with pingpong balls. Give prizes for Best Hole in One, Quickest Through the Course or Most Creative Shot.

2. Step up to the challenge. Walk or run a 5K race together—silly costumes encouraged! You can join in an organized event or map your own course that ends at a party potluck.

3. Have a forest adventure. Hike to a swimming hole. Go mountain biking, canoeing or kayaking. Or take little ones on a nature walk to hunt for leaves, seeds, pods and pine cones they can turn into crafty critters later.

4. Host an old-fashioned fair. Play timeless games like sack races, tug-of-war, egg tosses and lawn bowling. Stand old stuffed toys on a card table, and let kids knock them down with plastic balls for prizes. And set up a beanbag toss with plastic bowls or rope circles.

5. Belly up to the barre. How about a group ballet class? Or maybe your family would love surfing lessons, batting practice or an intro to rock-climbing. Check with fitness centers in your area for party packages.

6. Throw a backyard beach party. Turn on some sunny summer tunes—and play beach volleyball. Cool off with squirt-gun tag. And round out the day with a Frisbee match. Add leis and luau limbo for a Hawaiian twist.

7. Set up a scooter scavenger hunt. Keep kids wheeling (or walking) with clues hidden around a safe neighborhood or park. Go as a group—or pick up the pace and make it a race to the finish. You might fit the theme to the season—like an October hunt for hidden mini-pumpkins. Or create clues that hint at the birthday boy's or girl's favorite hotspots.

Have a healthy, happy birthday—and beyond!

New beginnings aren't just for New Year's. If your birthday wish is for a healthier, happier you, why not set yourself up for success with a yearlong fitness plan like this one?