Photo by Len Matthews on FlickrIf you're planning a children's birthday party and have decided not to have the gathering at home, here are a few birthday party venues to consider. When selecting a location, a few things to keep in mind are the number of guests that can be accommodated, weather (if outdoors), services offered, budget, and convenience of location.
- Movie theatre - A movie theatre is a natural fit for a "star-for-a-day" birthday party or event themed around a current movie release. Regal Cinemas is one of the theatre chains that offers kid's birthday party packages.
- Bowling alley - The bowling alley may be a bit retro, but with both food and an absorbing activity available, it's a great spot for a birthday party for slightly older kids.
- Recreation center - If you prefer a DIY style event and just need a space to hold the party, try your local recreation center. Many of them offer room rentals at reasonable rates. Plus, the room can be styled and arranged to fit any party theme.
- Outdoor park - Like recreation centers, outdoor parks are great for DIY parties hosted during good weather. And there's plenty of room for spirited activities.
- Trampoline park - Let the kids jump, fly and flip at your local trampoline park. This venue will be a win with the older kids. Create a party with you own theme or choose a pre-set package. Most trampoline parks offer packaged birthday parties. Sky Zone is one party option with locations around the U.S.
- Museum - If you live near a great kid's museum, aquarium, science museum or zoo, each would make a great venue for a kid's party. Some of these venues offer kid's birthday parties. Others just offer rental space.
- Craft store - What better place for an art party or crafty celebration? Michael's Arts & Craft Store is one national chain that offers pre-packaged birthday parties for kids. Pick a time, pick a craft and celebrate.
- Gym - The gym is a great option for a very active birthday. Gymboree is one option and offers parties that are suitable for the early years — as early as the first birthday. If you live in the D.C. metro area, another option is Sport & Health. The Little Gym has many locations in the U.S. and also works well for the little tikes.
- Cooking school - Some cooking schools offer kid's events and cupcake decorating is one of the most popular themes.
- Ice skating or roller skating rink - Another option for the older kids is a roller or ice skating rink. Like other venues listed here, these places ofter offer party packages.
Other sites with great lists of local birthday party venues
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