Our nephew Ethan turned 9 years old on January 16. For his birthday, we gave him the choice of a gift or an activity. He chose "activity", and he chose an evening at Grand Slam (a local arcade/entertainment extravaganza center). He particularly had his eye on "laser tag" which he thoroughly enjoyed (he really liked the part where he played one game against Uncle Greg and me, it was two other boys and Ethan against Greg and me, Greg and I didn't win--we weren't even close--Ethan talked about that all night--and Greg and I spent the rest of the night trying to catch our breath).
You can see by some of the pictures above, he had a fun time with the many activities to choose from.
Ethan also spent the night at our house. Ethan knew I had Dragon (voice recognition software) on my computer, and he wanted to learn how to use it (it's my job at work to train physicians how to use the medical version of this software, so I have a home version that I practice on). Ethan and I had a little training session in the morning before we took him back home. I think that was almost as fun for him as the arcade.
It was fun for us to spend time with Ethan alone. I have a feeling he might be choosing "activity" for his birthday again next year......