My children have two favourite restaurants for their birthday parties, Chuck E Cheese's and McDonald's. Both of my children's birthdays are within a month of each other, so I go with what is most cost effective. Usually I have one child's party at the restaurant of their choice, and the other one will have a home party. I alternate this way every year to make it fair to the children.

The Chuck E Cheese on
Sheppard Avenue
here in Toronto is great. They have play equipment, and an arcade. Two big pluses in my book! If you can't locate the restaurant, birthday party Toronto has some great ideas and offers everything you need to plan your child's special day. The birthday child gets a special birthday star medallion, all the children get tokens to play in the arcade. My daughter loves the play equipment and my son could spend hours in the arcade.

My favourite part of Chuck E Cheese is when their band plays on the stage. I also get a kick out of watching the children get excited when Chuck himself comes out to say "hi." And when they bring out the cake singing happy birthday, it is just so fun to see the excitement. It brings back good memories of my own birthdays as a child.

McDonald's is also great. It is cheap, and once I pay, all I have to do is sit back and watch the good times begin! The McDonald's with the Play Places are best I've found. It gives the children a chance to run off some of that energy.

What I like best about having the parties there, is how McDonald's now offers food choices with the happy meals, like apples instead of fries, or milk instead of soda. My son feels very grown up being able to choose his own menu. Sometimes Ronald the clown shows up and then everyone gets very excited! And the noise level certainly seems to rise!

They are cheaper than some of the more fancy restaurants and willing to work with me if something isn't to my liking. I also book the party a few weeks in advance with either of them so there isn't as much of a hassle. It eases my mind to know there will be enough room for my children and all their friends as well!

I know there are a lot of good fun restaurants out there to take children for birthday parties, but I really think these two are the best because they are popular with children and they have food and fun atmospheres that even adults can enjoy.