My youngest child recently celebrated her 6th birthday. As most of you know, this is a prime birthday celebration age. You can’t get away with a small cake, some balloons, and an intimate family gathering like you can when they are only one or two. Nor can you order a couple of pizzas, stock up on soda, and give the birthday child and his or her friends control over the basement for a few hours like you can with your teenager.
Those golden birthday years spanning from the 3rd birthday through the 9th birthday, require a REAL party. At a minimum you need to provide food, fun, cake, and party favors. However, before you start planning this birthday extravaganza, you need to make a very important decision. Are you willing to invest several hours into putting on the perfect party? Or are you willing to pay someone else to do it?
While at-home parties give you an opportunity to let your creative juices flow, sometimes it is nice to let someone else take care of all the details (e.g. cleaning, setting up, entertainment, keeping the party on schedule, etc.).
I searched high and low to come up with all the different places I could book for my daughter’s party, only to have her decide on Chuck E. Cheese before I’d even presented her options. So, I’m sharing this comprehensive list of all the different places where you can book a child’s birthday party so that all that research doesn’t go to waste. And because prices and packages vary widely from one location to the next, I intentionally left out those details. I have included links to some national chains though to give you an idea of what is out there.
- Children’s Theater
- Indoor Bouncy Facility (e.g. Pump It Up Party)
- Gymnastics Facility
- Craft Stores (e.g. Michael’s)
- Paint Your Own Pottery Store (e.g. Color Me Mine)
- Make Your Own Stuffed Animal Store (e.g. Build-A-Bear)
- Cupcake Bakery
- Pizza Parlor (e.g. California Pizza Kitchen)
- Chuck E. Cheese
- Fast Food Restaurant (e.g. McDonald’s)
- Ice Cream Shop
- Cooking School (e.g Young Chef’s Academy)
- Tea Room
- Photo Studio (e.g. Clix Covergirl)
- Farms (e.g. petting zoo, pumpkin batch, berry picking)
- Factory Tour
- Educational Center (e.g. Mad Science)
- Movie Theater (e.g. AMC Theaters)
- Bowling Alley (e.g. AMF Bowling Alleys)
- Roller Skating Rink
- Swimming Pool
- Miniature Golf
- Public Park (with this option, you’d still have to do all the party work, but you wouldn’t have to clean your house for the party)
- Indoor Sports Facility
- Local Sporting Event
- Laser Tag
- Amusement Park
- Water Park
If you have other suggestions, please feel free to share them in the comments.