Birthdays come like clockwork—every 365 days, to be exact. Get ahead of planning your next party with this handy guide to some of the top kids’ party venues in the area. Just set a date, send some invites and your next party is in the (gift) bag.
String together a great party for the creative young crafters in your life. The birthday child will pick out a project that fits any idea of a good time—necklace? bracelet?—and each guest will customize an invidual jewelry piece, featuring favorite colors. They’ll each go home with a fun keepsake—and a new skill. Great for ages 5-14; invite up to 9 guests; a typical party is 60-90 minutes long. Cost: $12-$16/guest, includes instructor and supplies ($60 minimum).
Just need a place for everyone to let off some steam—and have a great time—without breaking the bank? Check out the birthday party packages at the Chanhassen Recreation Center, which offer one hour of gym usage (yep, the whole thing!) and a private room rental at a reduced price. From basketball to volleyball, dodgeball to floor hockey, the birthday boy or girl and guests will have a high-energy time that they won’t soon forget. Sports equipment provided. Great for any age or any size group. Cost: $55 residents; $65 non-residents
Live in Chaska? You may need a cup of coffee before browsing all the birthday party options available at the Community Center. Plan a party that involves the pool, gym, ice rink or playroom (with a ball pit and an inflatable castle). Theme birthday parties range from science to Legos to pirates, with crafts and games to help make the birthday kid’s day extra special. Cost: $60-$199, depending on the facility; 10 guests included (extra fee for additional kids); ask for the Community Center member discount.
Have a child you swear is part fish? During an Eden Prairie Aquatic Center party, the whole gang will go home tired out—and maybe a little prune-y! You’ll jump in for open swim and also have 45 minutes in a dedicated party space. Not the swimming type? Other Community Center party options are available; details on the website. Cost: Premiere package is $159 includes 15 kids’ passes and two adult passes (spectators free). $5.50 per additional child. Two hours includes swimming and party/gift-opening time. Classic package is $109 for 90 minutes.
The name of the game at My Gym is “making fitness fun,” and a birthday party there will do the heavy lifting of making sure the kids in your life have a fun, active event. Dedicated birthday party specialists—with the help of a pre-selected lineup of special songs and games—will make the party one-of-a-kind. The event is packed full of age-appropriate, instructor-led games and relays. Cost: Choose from Grand, Deluxe or Premier Party Packages from $250-$399.
Here’s a creative party idea with umpteen options to fit your child’s interests any time of the year. The birthday child arrives early and can decorate a special birthday crown. Trained instructors will lead guests through a project created just for the party. Staff cleans up the mess—birthday cake crumbs and glitter included—and you go home no worse for the wear. Choose from loads of day and time options, and tailor the party to the child/theme. (Psssst: they even do in-home parties.). Intended for ages 3-12, party lasts 90 minutes; printable invites available online. Cost: $275 for up to 10 kids; $325 for 11-15 kids.
Have a little princess? A ballerina? Someone who loves hip-hop—or beaches? Plan a themed birthday for up to 16 guests at Rising Star Dance Academy. Time is set aside for games and dancing—no experience necessary and time for cake and presents. Bust a move! Cost: $125 (4-8 guests) to $175 (9-16 guests) for a 90-minute party.
This place is part fitness center, part community center and part indoor-waterpark-and-magical-play-jungle-next-door. It’s got everything needed for kids to have a fabulous time close to home. For one flat fee, you’ll get a cake and beverages, party bags, use of a decorated room for an hour and admission for 10 kids and five adults to the indoor play area, gym and pool. (Sorry: there are no lions or zebras.) Cost: $200 non-members; $160 members.
Have a little Van Gogh in the family? At an Unearthed Arts Painting Party, each child can create a high-quality, acrylic-on-canvas painting—with professional instruction. The Pottery Painting Party offers children the chance to create a mug, vase, bowl or plate. A few days later, pick up the fired pieces as party mementos. You’ll also have full use of the gallery to serve cake or a meal and open gifts. Cost: Painting party $240 for a party of 8 (add $25 for an extra guest). Pottery party $279 for a party of 12 ($35 per additional guest). Ages 6 and up.
Need a high-energy party venue that won’t disappoint (or deflate)? Pump It Up features a private party space and exclusive use of the different bounce arenas for your party—just pick a day and a time. Your group will also be able to take advantage of the indoor playgrounds and games—and the birthday boy or girl will get to sit on a special birthday throne—an inflatable one, of course. Cost: $159–$459, depending on the day and number of guests.
Way Cool Cooking School
Encourage your child’s inner Julia Child by throwing a gourmet soirée, which will send kids home with practical life skills and lots of yummy memories. Each party group will participate in creating three hands-on recipes with the help of their very own chef. Cake and a birthday apron are included, and it’s guaranteed to be a way cool time. With 23 (and counting) themes—from Legos to flower power to spa day—you’ll be able to tailor the fun to the birthday boy or girl. (Know a kid who could use a birthday pick-me-up from afar? Have a birthday-in-a-box shipped anywhere in the nation.) Cost: $349 for 10 guests; $30 per additional guest.