About Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor is the county seat of Washtenaw County in the southeast quadrant of Michigan. The 2020 census marked the population at nearly 124,000 in less than 50,000 households. Ann Arbor became the county seat of Washtenaw in 1827 and was incorporated as a village in 1833.
There is no one person named “Ann Arbor.” The city was chartered by two land speculators in 1824 named John Allen and Elisha Rumsey. Their wives were both named “Ann.” The “Arbor” described the thick forest of bur oak within the 640 acres the speculators purchased from the federal government for $1.25 per acre. The town plat of “Annarbour” is the first recorded use of this name.
Over recent decades like most other American cities, Ann Arbor grappled with urban sprawl and the rising land values from gentrification. In 2003, the city council approved the greenbelt plan. Today, the city of Ann Arbor owns the development rights on the agricultural lands adjacent to the city limits for perpetual conservation and the prevention of sprawl.
Birthday Party Options in Ann Arbor
The venue options range from specialty commercial to open, free span, and improved shell spaces. Some of these venues may be locked into a pre-packaged arrangement with preferred vendors. No matter what, you will surely be able to find the perfect birthday party venue in Ann Arbor.
- Party Planner
If the party host wants to add a personal, creative touch but does not want to organize the details, then the hiring of a party planner is advised. A party planner is different than an event planner in that they need the experience of planning for any age group of both the guest of honor and the attendees. Ann Arbor has quite a few of these professionals in town.
Like the party planner, the catering company must have the experience and the versatility to work with clients for developing the menu for a birthday party for the age of the honoree and the ages of the attendees. The catering staff also needs to work with the party planner to coordinate set-up, service times, and breakdown.
In general, a birthday party held inside a private venue will not need a permit. However, if 25 or more people will attend, or 25 or more vehicles will be parked on a city street, then a non-competitive special event permit will be required. A complete permit application must be submitted at least 60 working days, or 12 weeks, prior to the party to allow time for processing and vetting the application.
Birthday Party Companies in Ann Arbor
The main economic drivers of Ann Arbor are the University of Michigan and its teaching hospital, high-tech, and R&D companies. A byproduct of these industries is parties for any occasion, and parties need the support services of caterers, planners, and rental companies. You’ll have no trouble finding help from local companies for your birthday party in Ann Arbor.
- Luna Soiree Events
Kaeli Garcia, the owner, and principal event planner established Luna Soiree Events in Ann Arbor over 10 years ago. The professional staff specializes in planning on the personal level with logistics management in the mix. Along with working closely with the client to understand the expectations within the parameters of the budget, the staff makes sure the referred vendors also develop a relationship with the client for open lines of communication.
The staff at Katherine’s will give their all to deliver a well-organized service that meets the expectations of the client to experience and budget. Catering to birthday parties needs the personal touch and reflection upon the guest of honor as opposed to the static corporate persona. The staff at Katherine’s prides itself in working to understand the personality of the honoree, as well as the expectations of the client.
Hosted is a boutique service provider for the rental of serving ware and décor. Based in Ann Arbor, this local business began on the premise of not purchasing items rarely used or the purchase of disposables. The décor items are rented specifically for the party, then returned to be stored a re-used. The business model is sustainable and practical. The rented items can either be scheduled for pick-up or delivery.
Pros and Cons of Birthday Parties in Ann Arbor
All items on the list of pros and cons must be considered and taken in with the perspective of the whole. An informed decision cannot be based upon one advantage or several small disadvantages. Be sure to find out all the facts before finalizing your plans for your Ann Arbor birthday party.
- Venue choices
Given the choice of venues offered in Ann Arbor, the locations will be appropriate for an intimate adult celebration, a children’s party with room for activities, or whatever else you have in mind.
- Lifestyle and venues
Life in Ann Arbor is complemented by many businesses that keep up the local revenue, making the town thrive for all. The venue options and the local companies offering party services make the choice of Ann Arbor as the location for a birthday party an easy one.
The downtown area of Ann Arbor has a walk score of 93 and a bike score of 87. Outside the core and into the neighborhoods, the walk and bike scores fall to the average of 77 and 89, respectively. This makes getting around the city much easier.
- Cold and snowy winter
The winters are long with the effects of the season felt from late October until April. Ann Arbor has an annual snowfall of 58 inches too so pack your snow gear and warm coat if you are going to be there during those months.
While the requirements for a permit are clear and straightforward, the time to process the application is quite long. With a 60-day turnaround, you need to plan far in advance.
Although the population is not huge, neither are the roadways. You will want to pack your patience if you are driving yourself while in town.
Famous Locations in Ann Arbor
- Gallup Park
This 69-acre park along the Huron River is a favorite of Ann Arbor residents. The improved trail forms a loop through the park connecting islands with pedestrian bridges and is popular for walkers, runners, and cyclists. There are three playgrounds and rentals for canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats. The park also serves as a connector along the border-to-border trail through Washtenaw County.
- The Creature Conservancy
Although described as a zoo—it is not. The Creature Conservancy houses up to 80 different species of animals rescued as exotic pets that became unwanted. This up-close experience can be enjoyed throughout the year as all animals are sheltered and protected from weather conditions.
- High Five Pedal Tours
The 14-person pedal trolley is a unique way to get acquainted with Ann Arbor or to have a fun night out with friends. A trolley can be rented for a private party or for a mixed tour to meet new friends. The routes are pre-selected, and the tours are guided. The pedal tours are popular and will sell out fast.