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Best places for kids' birthday parties

Birthday parties have come a long way since kids played Pin the Tail on the Donkey in the basement and blew out their candles after an off-key rendition of "Happy Birthday."

Today, children want to acknowledge their special day in a big way, whether that means inviting friends to a bowling party, glamorous tea party, or an hour of go-kart riding. And, if you look at the range of places offering birthday parties -- from ballet studios to ice cream stores -- it's obvious that most parents seem more than happy to oblige.

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-- Compiled by Beth Whitehouse, Debbe Geiger and Pat Brandt