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Birthday Party Venues for Kids

From unique to tried-and-true, consider these birthday places for kids' parties


Children (4-8) playing in inflatable castle bouncer.
Holly Harris/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Wondering where to hold your kid’s next birthday party? Many families opt to host parties at outside facilities either because they don’t have enough space at home or they like the ease of putting the party entertainment in the hands of a professional.

Most communities have at least a few basic birthday party venues for kids, whether your child wants to go bowling, eat pizza, bounce in an inflatable castle or compete with friends in a game of laser tag.

Below, you’ll find ideas for those tried-and-true birthday places, as well as some party locations you might not have ever considered. You might even build your kid’s birthday theme around the venue, if you find a spot that sparks the imagination.

FYI: Some venues below are repeated if they fit more than one category.

Tried-and-True Birthday Party Venues

Almost every community has at least a few of these party places available for kids’ birthdays.

  • Inflatable play facilities (also known as bounce houses)
  • Pizza parlors
  • Bowling alleys
  • Ice-skating rinks
  • Roller-skating rinks
  • Miniature golf courses, also known as putt-putt golf
  • Video game arcades
  • Laser-tag facilities
  • Paint-ball facilities
  • Amusement parks
  • Zoos
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Build-A-Bear or similar establishments
  • Gymboree, My Gym or similar soft play gyms
  • Paint-your-own pottery facilities
  • Fire stations
  • Airports (or restaurants adjacent to airports where the kids can watch planes take off and land)

Budget Birthday Venues

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money--or any money at all--to book a space, consider these frugal birthday party venues.

  • Public parks
  • Beaches
  • Forests (perfect for a Robin Hood, fairy or woodland theme)
  • Campgrounds
  • Public gardens (host a garden, bug or fairy party)
  • School gyms or classrooms (throw a sports- or school-themed party)
  • School tracks
  • Community centers
  • Church recreation halls

Back to Nature

Get in touch with Mother Earth with a party that celebrates the outdoors. These party places make it easy for kids to connect with nature.

  • Parks
  • Forests
  • Campgrounds
  • Zoos
  • Farms
  • Horse ranches that offer riding lessons
  • Public gardens

For Creative Minds

Some birthday parties offer kids an opportunity to try a new skill or learn about the world around them. These are great venues for families that like to think outside the box.

  • Children’s museums
  • Science centers
  • Art galleries or museums
  • Nature and history museums
  • Aquariums
  • Art schools
  • Bakeries or restaurants
  • Kids’ cooking class venues
  • Candy or chocolate shops
  • Ballet studios
  • Music studio or classroom
  • Tea houses that host tea parties
  • Bead or jewelry-making stores
  • Civic theaters
  • Paint-your-own pottery facilities
  • Educational farms (also called farm schools)

For Active Kids

Have a kid who wants to get everyone moving on his or her birthday? Choose a venue that encourages physical fitness.

  • Ballet studios
  • Other dance studios
  • Gymnastics centers
  • Karate facilities
  • Taekwondo facilities
  • Tennis courts
  • Indoor soccer fields
  • Swimming pools
  • Ice-skating rinks
  • Roller-skating rinks
  • Public-school gym, perhaps where teenage cheerleaders, football players or other athletes could teach them some skills to younger kids
  • Yoga studios
  • Go-kart facilities
  • Fun buses or other transportable gyms
  • Golf courses
  • Skateboarding parks
  • Batting cages
  • Rock-climbing gyms

Seasonal Party Venues

Depending on the time of year when your child’s birthday falls, you might consider a birthday party venue that celebrates the season.

  • Beaches
  • Swimming pools
  • Water slide parks
  • Parks
  • Lakes
  • Gardens
  • Amusement parks
  • Ice-skating rinks
  • Sledding hills
  • Ski resorts or lodges

Party Places for Older Kids

Bounce houses are a blast when you’re young, but teens and tweens might be looking for something more sophisticated. Oftentimes, they opt for an outing with a few close friends rather than a full-blown birthday party.

Whether your older kid wants a small affair or a big bash, consider these ideas.

  • Day spas/beauty salons
  • Restaurants
  • Movie theaters
  • Malls
  • Professional or semi-pro sporting events
  • Coffee houses
  • Karaoke facilities
  • All-ages dance clubs
  • Paint-your-own pottery facilities
  • Cooking-class facilities

Over-the-Top Fun

If money’s no object, host a party at one of these upscale or far-flung locations.

  • Mansions
  • Historic homes
  • Destination cities or attractions, such as Disneyland or New York City
  • Boats that offer day cruises
  • Hotels
  • Dance clubs

Your community might have entrepreneurs who have developed their own clever ideas for throwing birthday parties. One of the fans on the About.com Kids’ Parties Facebook page said there’s a pet store in her city that throws puppy parties, where kids can pet and care for dogs, for example.

You might also find professionals who don’t normally host parties but are willing to organize something for you on the side, such as school art teachers, crafters, ballet instructors or college athletes.

Start by talking with your birthday boy or girl about their interests, and brainstorm the party-place possibilities from there.

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