So, your child’s birthday is just around the corner, but you don’t have time to plan and prepare the perfect party? Don’t despair. There are plenty of fun places to hold kids’ parties that’ll save you time in planning, preparation, and cleanup. Most importantly, your birthday child and guests will have a blast.
Try some of these party places for kids of all different ages. When you call, ask what amenities are available and included. Many sites provide invitations, food and cake, balloons and decorations, a private party area, a gift for the birthday child, and other special birthday services. Also, ask questions to make sure it will be a safe environment for your guests during the pandemic. In particular, what are the mask and social distancing requirements for both employees and guests.
When sending out invitations, be sure to mention that everyone will be required to wear masks. You could even offer to provide a fun dinosaur or butterfly disposable mask for each child.
- Skates & Blades – Roller skating rinks are again gaining popularity, and most offer a choice of inline or roller skate rentals for today’s kids. Also, consider ice-skating and ice or a roller hockey party as a fun alternative.
- Strike it Big – Bowling parties are a fun form of recreation for kids of all ages. Preschoolers can score every time with bumper bowling, while teens can go cosmic for glow in the dark fun. Add to the amusement by offering small prizes for low and high scores and the most and fewest gutters.
- Pizza and Play – Preschool and early elementary children thrill at invitations to these parties. They can play kiddie arcade-style games, win tickets for prizes, hop on coin-operated rides, and romp in soft play areas.
- Water, Water Everywhere – Head to a wave pool or water park where big kids can ride the waves, swish down water slides, take a plunge, and go on tubing adventures. What better way cool off and party on a hot summer day? Indoor water parks a fun alternative for the colder months.
- Old MacDonald Had a Farm – Check with your nearby farm, ranch, or apple orchard to find out what activities are offered. Many include hayrides, petting zoos, corn mazes, apple picking, and more. These are perfect for fall birthdays.
- Recreational Romp – Recreation and fitness centers offer a wide variety of activities for birthdays, including gymnastics, swimming, basketball, and arts and crafts.
- You Should be Dancin’ – Check with your local dance studio for birthday party packages. Some offer professional dance instruction and allow food and party treats to be brought in, so the whole shebang is done right there.
- Music Marvel – Big kids will be in awe to see one of their favorite performers in concert. For young children, look for a kiddie musical adventure offered by an area musician or music center.
- Craft Magic – Young kids love to create. So schedule a craft party at a fabric shop, craft store, or scrap-recycling center where kids’ activities are offered.
- Cops and Robbers – Kids will thrill at testing their skills and cunningness in a game of laser tag. These centers often offer on-site party areas and birthday packages.
- Fast Food Fun – For a simple and inexpensive toddler or preschool party, McDonald’s, Burger King, and other fast-food joints are an excellent choice. Children can crawl through a playscape and dive into a pool of balls while enjoying their favorites: hamburgers and French fries. Call ahead to make your reservation.
- Putt-Putt & More – Family fun centers offer a variety of entertainment, including batting cages, miniature golf, video games, bumper boats, and go-carts.
- Hands-on Science – Kids of all ages will be thoroughly engrossed and entertained at one of the many hands-on science museums. The party-goers can try out gadgets, watch or participate in experiments, play instruments, construct, and much more.
- Rock Climbing Adventures – Daredevils won’t want to miss one of these exciting quests. Look for a rock climbing gym in your area where party guests can do rock climbing with a professional instructor.
- Beach Party – Give your teen some fun in the sun with a beach bash. Contact the park for information on volleyball equipment and to make a reservation for a covered picnic area. Look for a spot with horseshoes and plenty of sand, and don’t forget the beach balls, pizza, and cooler of pop.
- Amusement Mini-Party – Theme parks make for big-time fun for older kids who are content to take only one or two guests. When planning the guest list, don’t forget to budget meals, snacks, and drinks, which add up quickly in theme parks.
- Monkeyin’ Around – Parties away from home don’t have to be costly. Reserve a shelter at a nearby park with a large, fenced-in, frontier-style playscape. Little ones can run, climb, and play to their heart’s content. Bring along your party supplies and set up under a pavilion. To keep things simple, call ahead for pizza delivery.
- Row, Row, Row Your Boat – An afternoon canoe excursion for teens is the ultimate in outdoor fun. Contact canoe rental facilities for details. Bring along pop and a picnic lunch, and make sure the food stays in the chaperone’s canoe where it’ll be safe from tips. Don’t forget balloons for water balloon fights during rest stops.
- Z is for Zoo –Zoos are an excellent source for birthday entertainment. Many offer party packages that include meals, cake, invitations, live animal presentations, and more.
By Kimberly Blaker
Party Advice From the Pros
From friendly competition and entertainment to exceptional food and drink, WhirlyBall Naperville provides the perfect venue for all ages and occasions. The two-story “eatertainment” complex features a variety of activities including WhirlyBall, LaserTag, HyperBowling and bowling plus private event spaces for groups of any size. Round out your event with customized menus featuring The Pivot Room’s selection of elevated American fare and craft beverages. Book your event today! WHIRLYBALL NAPERVILLE, 3103 ODYSSEY CT, 630-932-4800. www.whirlyball.com
Sno Daze Tropical Sno
Sno Daze Tropical Sno is the leader in the Hawaiian Shave Ice for BEST flavors and people worldwide recognize the Tropical Sno name. We specialize in private parties, Girl Scout badge workshops and corporate events. Book us for your next awesome event or visit our Caribbean themed shops for your next sweet summer treat! Our customers are at the heart of everything we do! 7667 S. Harlem Ave. Bridgeview, IL 60455 or 12230 S. Harlem Ave. Palos Heights, IL 60463. 708-458-2216. www.tropicalsnodaze.com
Fleetwood Roller Rink
Fleetwood Roller Rink Fleetwood Roller Rink is a family-owned business. Our venue hosts public skating, birthday parties (our specialty) private parties and fundraisers. We promote family fun for all ages. For “health sake, roller skate.” Come visit us and join in our fun. Skating lessons available every Saturday at 1 p.m. Located at 7231 W Archer Ave, Summit, IL 60501. Call 708-458-0300. Check for our ongoing specials and public skating times at www.fleetwoodrollerrink.com Like us at facebook.com/FleetwoodRollerRink
SAFARI LAND – Villa Park
Safari Land is the ultimate, INDOOR entertainment center, plus home of the largest year-round indoor roller coaster in Illinois. Open seven days a week, offering eight amusement rides, over 100 arcade games and 12 lanes of bowling. Ride wristband includes: Tilt-A-Whirl, Bumper Cars, Merry-Go-Round, Monkey Jump, Soft Play Area, Max Flight Simulator, Roller Coaster & Kiddie Go-Karts. Free parking and a perfect spot for birthday parties! For more information visit www.safarilandfun.com or call 630-530-4649.
Mon Ami Gabi – Oak Brook
From bridal showers to rehearsal dinners to business gatherings, Mon Ami Gabi’s Parties & Special Events Team is available to help you create your own personalized private dining experience, paying attention to every detail from menu selection and design to wine pairings and floral arrangements. Mon Ami Gabi offers two private rooms and semi-private spaces affording multiple table configurations, as well as a/v capabilities. Treat your guests to our signature Steak Frites, boutique French wine pairings and decadent dessert. Inquire at monamigabi.com or call our team at 630-472-1900. Mon Ami Gabi is located at the Oakbrook Center mall, near Neiman Marcus at 260 Oakbrook Center Oak Brook, IL 60523. www.monamigabi.com
MISH MASH Adventures
MISH MASH Adventures is an indoor urban adventure where teams of 2-6 players work together to complete the challenges that are behind every door. Each challenge and room is different, taking 3-5 minutes to successfully complete. Some are physical, like the floor is lava – and some are logic, but you won’t know until you open the door! Private bookings for parties and team building available. MISH MASH is located in Fox Valley Mall, Aurora, IL and is open 7 days a week. Book online at www.mishmashadventures.com or call 630-907-7263.