February is a big month for our family, as both LittleMan and SunnyGirl’s birthdays are in February. Every year I give them the option of a big joint party, or separate smaller parties. This year they opted to have a joint Wild Kratts birthday party.
With a Wild Kratts theme, there was only one place that seemed fitting to have our birthday party: Preuss Pets.
Lansing locals should know that Preuss Pets is pretty much the most awesome pet shop ever. They have the standard pets: hamsters, fresh water fish, turtles, rabbits, etc.. but they also have an A-MAZ-ING exotic pet selection including a variety of birds, reptiles, invertebrates, and salt water fish that you wouldn’t typically find at PetSmart or PetCo. For example, I’ve never seen poison dart frog tadpoles anywhere other than Preuss Pets, nor have I seen stingrays at another pet shop before either.
I got my current Madagascar Hissing Cockroach colony started with a few adults from Preuss Pets and I was impressed with the store employees care and consideration for the health of the animals they sold. It is clear that they are passionate about their work.
Besides being a fantastic pet shop, Preuss Pets also has several community out-reach type programs where they teach proper pet care to their clients through in-store aquarium classes, visit local schools upon request, and I’ve been told they even host a children’s story time inside the store. The back room of their store is available to rent for birthday parties and other such events.
The room itself is pretty awesome, the back wall has a large mural of the world and the other walls are lined with the tanks and cages of a variety of fascinating animals, like salamanders and hedgehogs.
There are three main options for renting the party room:
The do-it-yourself option is pretty self-explanatory. Bring your own table cloth, decor, plates, cups, etc..
The ocean theme package comes with blue plates, cups, and napkins. The table will be decorated with coral and possibly betta fish in bowls.
The jungle theme package comes with green plates, cups, and napkins. The table will be decorated with vines and fake plants.
As far as costs go, the do-it-yourself option is cheaper, but I think it is worthwhile to pay the extra bit to have them handle decor for you.
* Fair Warning: the rest of this post is pretty picture-heavy. *
I opted for the jungle theme and I’m so glad that I did. It looked fantastic!
The children thought the table decor was a perfect small world setting for the little plastic animals they received in their party favor boxes and they spent their time in the party room divided between running around looking at all the animals in the party room, and playing with their plastic animals among the silk foliage of the table decor.
The only thing we had to bring was food and cake!
Besides the room, the party fee also covers the costs of your very own personal tour-guide to the store.
This is Nikki and she is worth her weight in gold.
We started off in the aquatics section where we got to touch a sea star and discuss sea jellies, among other aquatic life.
Then we moved on to bridge, where we got to feed the koi in the store’s indoor-pond.
After that we zipped on over to the reptile section where we got to pet a bearded dragon, a Chinese water dragon, and rather large tortoise.
The children saw what they thought was a dead tarantula, however Nikki pulled it down and explained that it was in-fact an exoskeleton from a tarantula’s molt.
On our way back to the party room we said “hi” to cute bird and lingered at the sea horse tank.
Back in the party room we met a python and a bunny rabbit.
The kids didn’t want to leave and I couldn’t blame them, Nikki was just fantastic. She really took the time to explain things to the children so that they understood. She discussed diet, habitat, unusual defense mechanisms, etc.. and she was so *so* patient with our group. No matter how many children she had talking at her at the same time, she kept her enthusiasm and never seemed to stop smiling. Our group ranged in ages from 2 years old to 12 years old, so I was understandably concerned that we might overwhelm her, but that was not the case.
I can not speak highly enough of Nikki and the entire staff at Preuss Pets. Our experiences with Preuss Pets has been 110% positive. I highly recommend them whether you’re looking to add a pet the the family or looking for a fun birthday party option. I’m not being paid to say any of this, I just genuinely value their services and want to tell everyone how wonderful they are.