Does the prospect of planning your child’s birthday party make you nervous? If you’re like many of us, party planning seems overwhelming. You feel so much pressure to please your little one.
When my daughter was one month away from her 8th birthday, she announced that she was going to have a birthday party somewhere fun instead of at home. Back then, my idea of a great kids party consisted of inviting a few friends over for a few party games, cake, and ice cream.
But, my little girl’s nickname is Doo. Her older brother started calling her that when it became apparent to us that determination is one of her strongest character traits. So, even though I’d managed to make it through 13 years of birthday parties without venturing outside of my house, I knew that I needed to step it up and plan a party.
After I took a deep breath, I started researching possible birthday party places near me. I pestered friends by phone and Facebook. My search even included loading the kids into the car to scope out potential sites. Eventually, my daughter celebrated her birthday at a local gymnastics center.
It turns out that Twin Cities has an unbelievable variety of birthday party places. Here is a selection of 10 favorite places in our area to host your child’s next party.
American Girl – Bloomington
Is there anything more precious than little girls and their dolls? Doll lovers ages 3 and up enjoy delicious fare from the American Girl Bistro, a scrumptious birthday cake, doll tiaras, and goody bags. American Girl presents a special gift for the birthday girl. Girls ages 6 to 14 make a craft as part of their party experience. Deluxe packages offer special touches, such as a private dining room and table activities. American Girl celebration rates are $30 – $45 per child. Adults are $20 – $35. Packages are geared for ages three to fourteen.
ArtStart – Saint Paul
ArtStart’s ArtScraps birthday parties are ideal for children who enjoy crafts. Possible craft projects include seed mosaics, animal shakers, treasure boxes, creature masks, bookmaking, and inventors workshop. Participants enjoy two hours of craft making and can take home their project and a party favor bag. A bonus for the parents: the party cost includes clean-up. The cost is $185 for ten children with an additional cost of $15 per extra guest. Due to the nature of the party, the maximum number of kids is twelve.
Flaherty’s Arden Bowl – Arden Hills
Strike! Bowling parties are always a hit with kids. Flaherty’s Arden Bowl hosts fun birthday parties for kids under the age of 10. There are several party packages available that include bowling, bowling shoe rentals, party room with party supplies, party favor bags, and invitations. Pizza, a pitcher of pop, and appetizers round out the fun. Prices range from $11.99 per child to $14.99 per child.
Great River Waterpark – Saint Paul
This terrific indoor aquatic center is inside the Oxford Community Center. The facility includes a lap pool, diving board, water slides, floats, and children’s activity pool. Kids of all ages are welcome to celebrate during regular open swim hours. Packages include a swim and cake option for $12 per child, and aquatics, cake, and meal option for $16 per guest. All ages.
Leonardo’s Basement – Minneapolis
Do you have a budding inventor on your hands? Leonardo’s Basement captivates kids who like to tinker and build things. One of the best parts of Leonardo’s Basement is that they meet in advance with your child to plan a project that fits your little one’s interests. The staff plans a project to match almost any theme, from Harry Potter to electricity. Parties start at $200, at the cost of $25 per child. Ages 6 – Adult.
The Minnesota Zoo – Apple Valley
The Minnesota Zoo earns its reputation as a favorite birthday party destination. In addition to visiting the animals, you can choose from the following themes: Premium Australia, Premium Horse, and Premium Overnight birthday parties. Costs range from $300 – $800, depending on membership and party option.
Nickelodeon Universe – Bloomington
Conveniently located inside the Mall of America, there is plenty to love about having a birthday party at this amusement park. The Adventure Packages include 3 and 5-hour ride wristbands. The birthday child gets into Nickelodeon Universe free of charge. In addition to unlimited rides, each participant receives an ICEE souvenir cup. Nickelodeon Universe requires a minimum of seven children to purchase the birthday party package.
THAT Cooking School – Lilydale
THAT Cooking School mixes up fun and education in the kitchen. Junior chefs feast on a selection of yummy party options. Possible themes include cupcake wars, pizza party, paint, and cook, and culinary challenge. THAT Cooking School happily plans custom experiences for kids who dream of a specific type of culinary party. A tasty benefit of a cooking gathering is that the kids get to eat their creations and you don’t have to wash the dishes. Cost ranges from $30 – $40 per child. Ages 5+.
Twin Cities Trapeze Center – Saint Paul
Mini daredevils adore the thrills and challenges of a Circus Peanut Party at the Twin Cities Trapeze Center. Children ages 6 to 9 undergo a workout with a static trapeze, juggling, rope climbing, mini trampoline, stilts, and a circus bike. A party room is also available for one-hour rentals. Prices depend on the number of children and the package selected, and range from $150 – $400. Ages 6-9.
Zero Gravity Trampoline Park – Mounds View
This massive facility includes 11,000 square feet of jumping fun, a climbing wall, and an aerial challenge course. There are arcade games and a thrilling laser tag area. All parties at Zero Gravity provide pizza, drinks, cupcakes, jump socks, and paper products. The birthday child receives a Zero Gravity t-shirt as a present. Rates vary from $119 – $500 depending on jump time, the day of the week, and the number of guests.
Now that I’ve told you about all these great places give them a call, and happy Brithday planning!