Mom opens Pixie Dust, a party venue exclusively for kids with special needs
Planning a birthday party for your child can be stressful. When that child has special needs, the stress is multiplied, as finding a venue to accommodate them can be difficult. One mom decided it was about time parents had a place to turn to that would make birthday parties for kids with special needs easier to plan. So she opened one herself.
Raquel Noriega wanted to plan a birthday party for her 2-year-old daughter Ava, who is on the autism spectrum. Noriega tells The Mighty that it was tough locating a venue that would work. “In my search, I did not come across venues that suited her needs. Like every other mom, I wanted to be able to go do fun things with my child and have a birthday party for her.”
And what Noriega is referring to when she says “suited her needs” is the fact that most public party venues have more than one party happening at once. Typically, there’s loud music and bright lights along with tons of other activity going on. All of which are overwhelming to many kids, but for kids on the spectrum, prohibitively so.
That’s why Noriega, in a flash of brilliance, decided to create a place for birthday parties specially geared toward kids on the spectrum. In her search for a party place for Ava, she found Pixie Dust, a venue that was willing to host a party suited to her child’s needs. So Noriega made a huge decision.
She bought the place.
That’s right; she bought Pixie Dust and has since turned it into a venue aimed entirely at hosting parties for kids with special needs. And Noriega thought of everything. “Our parties are customizable to each child’s needs and likes. Every detail is thought and talked about with the parent during the planning process to prevent any meltdowns.”
One of the biggest details is food, as many kids on the spectrum have issues with texture and as Noriega points out, most party places only offer pizza. To that end, Pixie Dust delivers options. “We can customize the food menu for those with sensitivities to texture.”
In addition to fun themes like “Pixies & Pirates” and “Buggy Birthday Buzz” and the option for gender neutral themes, Pixie Dust also commits to hosting only one party at a time to avoid the loud environment of party places that have several going on at once. This keeps the party as quiet as possible for the birthday kid, which goes a long way toward ensuring they have fun instead of becoming overwhelmed by noise.
This is an amazing thing for families of kids with special needs and hopefully, the idea catches on and more venues like it open up. Noriega says, “We are definitely not a cookie cutter party venue. We are a judgment-free zone. We get it.”
And that’s exactly with parents of kids with special needs could use when planning their child’s party — someone who “gets it.”
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