While talking about birthdays in the '90s is a sure-fire way to make us all feel old, here's the thing: Birthdays during this decade were the best birthdays in any decade, especially if you were able to convince your 'rents to go in on one of most coveted birthday party locations of the '90s. If the neon sticky stars happened to align and you scored one of these popular birthday party locales, you could pretty much coast through the rest of the year on your coolest kid in school cred.
Growing up, my mom always made a big deal about birthdays — not in an embarrassing, "BUT MOOOOOOM" kind of way, either. Rather, she always made us a chocolate cake covered in our favorite chocolate candy (Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, represent!) and made sure we got one heck of a birthday party. That didn't always equate to one of hot birthday spots, but we had rockin' birthdays nonetheless. Basically, it's the thought that counts. If you never had a '90s birthday party at any of these locations, it doesn't mean you weren't cool.
Having said that, you and I both know that if you were lucky enough to land one of these locales, you felt like da bomb.
If I had a dollar for every McDonald's birthday party I attended growing up in the '90s, I'd be able to build a house using Big Macs for bricks and Special Sauce for mortar.
2Chuck E. Cheese
Who cared if a giant rodent was the mascot? Chuck E. Cheese was super cool in our books, especially when he gave the birthday kid extra tokens to play games. Plus, the ball pit was aces.
3The Local Pool
Cannonballlllllllll! Even though the chlorine burned your eyes and turned every blonde hair in sight green, pool parties still provided some of the funnest times you ever had.
These weren't so much organized parties as they were just excuses to get a group of your besties together and flirt with the cute pretzel stand vendor.
5The Roller Rink
If you could skate, there was no cooler place to have your party than the local roller rink. You could show off your mad maneuvering abilities and glide around holding hands with your crush beneath the glow of a disco ball. Swoon.
To be let loose among all the flashing lights and drop roughly $50 in quarters so you could win an impractically gigantic teddy bear was the best birthday present a kid could get.
7The Amusement Park
As a parent myself now, I shudder at the logistics of taking a bunch of 12-year-olds to an amusement park. But back in the day, all I wanted to do was ride roller coasters with my BFFs until we felt like we might puke.
Having a party on your home turf pretty much guaranteed you were the center of attention. Plus, you knew your parental units would go all out and give you the TMNT theme '90s dreams were made of.