Monday, September 23, 2013

Kids Friendly Restaurant: Stuttgart Blackforest - Boutique S-Cafe

What is Stuttgart? Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, in the southwest Germany.

One uniqueness of S-Cafe is the showcase of art, culture & innovation of Stuttgart and the Black Forest. Slow down your foot steps to take some time to experience the cuckoo clock wall, art gallery and wine vault. 

Other than the ground floor, S-Cafe also provides event space for rental, including Mezzanine and Private Room.

Thinking that S-Cafe is only suitable for adults but not kids? Wrong! S-Cafe is also an ideal venue to hold your kids party. The cafe is spacious and have different parts that caters to different party sizes. When I first stepped into the Cafe, it gives me a mystic garden kind of feeling. It even comes with a 'flowing river'. So if you are having a Alice in Wonderland, Robin Hood or forest theme party, I think the venue will be ideal! (Add some balloon animals and microfoils for the forest theme.)

Your guests will definitely enjoy the authentic German food on the buffet spread, which is very uniquefor a birthday party! 

Book some children entertainment and the adults can have their own relaxing time; drinking S-Cafe's signature beers! 

Smacked right in the city, with Bugis and Bencoolen MRT just a stone's throw away, it is convenient for guests who don't drive. Ample parking lots are also available at the HDB carpark at Queens Street.

I guess the only con is that you do have to pay a separate charge for the use of the venue space on top of food. If S-cafe can do away with that, then I am sure that it will be a very popular place for birthday parties! 

In summary, S-cafe is definitely a great place for birthday parties and families. Drop by and have a meal, they even provide tablemat with kids activities to occupy your children while waiting for the food to come!

Here's some details.

Stuttgart Blackforest Boutique S-Café

141 Middle Road #01-01, Singapore 188976
Telephone:6336 8675
Fax:633 68713

Monday, September 16, 2013

How to Host a Birthday Cake Cutting Ceremony

by Kien
Although most party companies usually provides this service free of charge, I decided to put this out online so everyone can do the cake cutting ceremony themselves without sweat. 

But first, I think we have to discuss the objective! It's a must for every birthday party! Cake cutting ceremony is a great time to take photos with your guests and naturally, you want to freeze this special moment with your cameras, especially with your family.
1. Schedule – Most of the cake cutting is done towards the end of the parties but I have seen a few parties doing it at the beginning. There is no right or wrong but I guess you have a find a suitable schedule, when the most important guests are here or right after the magic show when you have most of the guests attention.

2. Preparing the cake
  • Find a place to take the photo. It can be a nice backdrop that you already decorated. (Not against the light if you have glass walls)
  • Take the cake out of the box first (duh!)
  • Put the candles on the cake
  • Some cakes will have this plastic transparent thing covering the side of the cake. Remove that.
  • Have the lighter ready with you. (But do not light the candles yet.)
  • Put the knife on the table beside the cake. Remove it from the plastic cover first. (Most cake shops will provide a safe plastic knife.)
  • For 2D cakes, prop the cake plate up with a plate or small bowl underneath. Face the cake in such a way that it shows the words the right up way when the photo is taken.
  • Have the plates and forks ready
Want everyone to see your 2D cake? Prop it up with a small bowl or plate so your guests can see it!

3. Birthday Kid – Get the birthday kid to stand behind the cake. Take a few photos of the cake with the kid alone. (if there is a chance!)

4. Guests – Some may want the family to be in the photos, and some may prefer to have the kid guests to be in the photo since it’s the child’s birthday. Getting all the kids to stand properly for the photo taking is an art. Kids usually crowd in the front or side where they have the best view of the cake. If you use a long table, it is easier to line them up at the table; behind the cake.
5. Getting the kids to smile – I usually like a few photos before I light up the candles. Because once the candles are lit, the time to take photos is short especially with certain fancy candles. You can get them to shout the birthday child’s name or simply ‘cheese’ at the count of 3. (So everyone says it at the same time!) Remember to ask them to look at the camera. You can ask them to do certain actions like hooray, yay, funny faces, etc. 

6. Light the candles – I recently found some wind-free lighters which is great for birthday candle lighting! If you use a normal lighter, it tends to get too hot after a while. Using a spare candle to light the others may get wax all over the cake. After the candles are lit, I get them to pose for a few more photos.
7. Singing the Song – I count to three so everyone starts the song at the same time. In school, kids are usually taught different versions (Eg. Mandarin) I may let the kids take control of the different versions they want to see. 

8. Blowing the candles – I may remind the kids that ‘it’s ______ birthday today, so let ______ blow the candle. Ask him to make a wish first. (Great photo opportunity when the kid shuts his eyes for this.) Blow the candle. Your camera should snap non-stop during this step.
9. Cut the cake – Get the kid to cut the cake while smiling at the camera. 

10. More photos? – There may be guests who want to take photos with the birthday child and family at this point of time too.

11. Serve the cake – That’s it! Ask the kids to queue up while you serve them the cake. I think it will be great to ask the birthday kid to serve the cake too and thank the guests at the same time.

Kien is a psychologist by training and decided to put what he has learnt to good use by performing magic, since graduating from NUS and NTU about 10 years ago. He changes into Mr Bottle when he is with kids and has been specialising in children magic for the past 14 years. He has since helped host about 2138 cake cutting ceremonies since he started his trade. (He think he should advance to start doing weddings ROM too.) He can find out more about his magic shows at or email him for a chat at

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Preparing your 3-year-old (or younger) for a birthday party

by Kien

Recently, we have been receiving a quite a few enquiries and bookings for 3-year-olds so I thought I should discuss a little on this subject: Preparing your 3-year-olds (and younger) for a birthday party. Before I continue, I must say that every child is different so the following advice applies to most kids but you do have to use your own discretion to do what is best for your kid! 

Plan early – Nothing is worse than a stressed out mummy. You should how your own emotions can affect your children. Get professionals to do up your décor, food and entertainment so you have more time to take care of guests and kids.
Spiderman theme decor - Source around for different decorations packages suitable for your parties!
Think of who you should invite – Sometimes, your young kid can be overwhelmed with the sudden increase number of people talking to him or her.  Keep the party manageable for the birthday child and yourself. You can even also stagger the arriving time of different groups of people to keep the crowd manageable for him.

Do In a school – This is after all in his familiar environment so he will generally be more comfortable with his friends, teachers and parents.

Teachers and kids enjoying the magic show together in school.
Avoid their naptimes – For obvious reasons.

Do something suitable for them – Can a 3-year-old understand a magic show? Yes! But not all magic shows are suitable so choose one that you think three-year-olds can enjoy. Children of this age may not understand magic fully yet, so Mr Bottle focuses a lot on comedy and fun bits which is more important for this age group.
Lots of comedy for younger kids! That's what matters most to them!
Because of their short attention span, you can also choose fringe activities like balloon sculpting and facepainting. Mr Bottle’s Kids Party’s mascot service also includes games, sing-a-longs so if your crowd consists mostly of 2-4 years old, this can be an option too. Some 2-year-olds do get scared of mascot but some love them. We have many interesting stories of our mascots with 2-year-olds, maybe we will tell you next time about it in our future blogs!
Mascot are great for younger kids from 2 to 4 years old!
Facepainting is great kids of all ages!
Magic Show? – If you have a magic show with kids of various age groups, the older kids will ‘teach’ the younger kids how to react. For a 3-year-old, this is probably the first time he or she is watching a magic show so he is not sure what to do. Should he go up on stage when the magician asks for volunteer? Is it all right to laugh? With older children, the younger kids simply imitate what is appropriate.
Do you see the kids imitating what Mr Bottle is doing?
I would also recommend the parents sit with their 3-year-old kids during a magic show, especially if the crowd consists of ONLY 3-year-olds. The parents can laugh and participate in the show together! Mr Bottle’s magic shows are just like Disney movies; fun for kids and great for adults too!

Magic show is probably not the best for 2-year-old because their attention span is too short. I have discussions with magicians around the world on this, and MOST says that they would only do a show for children 3 years old and above. (Some even restrict their shows to an older age group.) Although we have several instances in which 2-year-olds sat down and even participate in Mr Bottle’s show without any problems, in 95% of cases, they would probably stand up and walk around. So again, if you want magic show for your 2-year-old, sit down and watch the show with them.

Warm Up – The younger kids tend to need a little time to warm up to what is happening around him or her. If you are booking a show, you probably don’t want it too early in the party.
Mr Bottle warming the kids up before starting the magic show!
Practise makes perfect – Bring him or her to a friend’s birthday party first so he knows what to expect at a party. Most, if not all, children love birthday parties so if your kid is uncomfortable at a party, the reason is not they do not like it, but they are just unfamiliar with it. You can explain to them what happens at the party like they get presents, cut the cake, play with their friends, etc.
It's okay to laugh out loud at parties!
Do not over-excite them – A lot of parents tend to get the kids overly excited for their big day, by repeatedly asking them about their party. But do not over do that especially for the younger kids. You can to treat it like a ‘normal’ fun day with friends.   Even for the older kids, I have seen quite a few cases of kids losing sleep and even getting sick because they are too excited over their party.
In schools, sometimes the teachers will get 2 year old kids to join in. This is not a problem as long as the magician knows how to arrange them to enjoy the show the best!
Do not put too much pressure on them – Let them be. If they do not want to greet strangers, do not force them. If the magic show needs volunteers, but your child is not comfortable participating then, let other kids have the chance.
Most of the kid magic shows have lot of participation!

Involve them – I think it’s meaningful to let them to write their own invitation and thank you cards for their friends or do up their own drawings to paste on the wall. Treat this like another craft cum family bonding activity that everyone in the family can take part.
Let kids get involve in their parties!

Kien is a psychologist by training and decided to put what he has learnt to good use by performing magic, since graduating from NUS and NTU about 10 years ago.  He changes into Mr Bottle when he is with kids and has been specialising in children magic for the past 14 years.  Other than making sweets and presents appear in his show, he has also made 2 kids of his own appear in his life (and of course a wife). He can find out more about his magic shows at or email him for a chat at