You can experiment with the location of the party. Kids don't mind going someplace new for a great birthday party especially if there is fun stuff to do and they may have never been there before. Some of the old favorites that seem to never go out of style for great birthday parties are laser tag and amusement parks. For the real little kids you can try the playground at the local fast food restaurant but that gets outgrown pretty quick. The pizza place with the video games and the singing robots is always fun and that seems to make a comeback as a great birthday party spot later in life for some reason. But be aware of when these things change with your child because they do change and the playland at the fast food restaurant is a status symbol one year and then a reason for ridicule the next so make sure you ask your child what they think about the various options before you move the party to a different location.
The little party favors can always change but you need to have them. Kids want to walk away from the party with something and they feel a little cheated if they walk away with nothing after bringing a gift for the guest of honor. Kids don't really understand the concept behind a birthday party until the party is for them. Then they seem to get it. But as soon as their party is over they lose sight again of the idea that the guest of honor is the only one that is supposed to get gifts. The more novel and unique the party favors the better but don't get too crazy. Always remember that it is your kid's reputation on the line here and one wrong move can mean the difference between a happy family the rest of the year or a kid that locks himself in his room because his parents are embarrassing. So think before you buy.
Always have a cake. Kids do not want something special like a fruit salad, or little cupcakes, or anything that you may think is unique and neat to try. For a truly great birthday party you must always remember one rule – it is not a party without a cake. Always make sure it is your child's favorite flavor and ice cream is always a nice touch. If you are going to serve cake and ice cream always serve a chocolate of vanilla choice because inevitably there will always be some kids that like chocolate and some that like vanilla and depending on the age of the children this can be quite a problem. So to always insure some shot at a great birthday party always have a two flavored cake ready to go.