Today is part 3 of my Kids’ Party Planning 101 series (check out part 1 and part 2) AKA I’m Too Afraid Of 20 Children Destroying My Home. Perhaps you are like me and have children with social lives that rival those of the Hilton sisters. Their party guest list is just as long. Don’t be trapped in the idea that you have to host a party at any party locale that rhyme with Buck E. Sneezes.
Trust me, there are oodles of places that you can have your party at, for just about any budget. Yes, the bowling alley, and bounce house locations spring to mind, but think outside the box. There are even places that do all the work for you! Just be warned, always check with your party place about their fine details like outside food, etc.
Don’t forget the places you have memberships to, they always have member discounts. And please note, this is not an all-inclusive list of vendors; it’s just to get your party motor started! Oh, and the starred ones? We’ve done this as a party and I shared a few pictures of our parties.
Arts and crafts studios – Big box stores like Michael’s and Jo-Ann’s offer party packages, but check out your local store, I’m sure they have their own packages. The Creation Station in Lynnwood and Planet Happy Toys in Seattle let guests create unique projects using recyclable and sustainable materials.
Ballet/dance studios – Have a budding ballerina or tap phenom? Host a party at the studio, they are sure to have member discounts.
*Children’s museums – Local faves like Seattle’s The Children’s Museum and Everett’s Imagine Children’s Museum have member discounts.
Climbing arenas – Vertical World (various locations) and Stone Gardens in Bellevue.
*Community centers – Check out your local YMCA, Boys And Girls Club, etc. for facility use and member discounts.
Farms – Younger kids will have a blast touring a local farm. From animal to fruit farms, check out this listing for spots to host at. Make sure and call ahead for details.
*Firehouses – Tour a firehouse! Be warned if the alarm sounds, the tour is over.
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*Gymnastics Studio – Check out your local studio or bigwigs like The Little Gym and Gymboree.
Ice/Skating Rink – Everett’s Comcast Community Ice Rink; Highland Ice Areana in Shoreline; Kirkland’s Kingsgate Ice Arena.
Ice cream/cupcake parlors – Check out Seattle’s Cocoa & Cream or Tacoma’s Hello, Cupcake .
*Martial arts studio – Have a kid in karate or Tae Kwon Do? Host a party at the studio.
Miniature golf courses
Movie theatres – Many have packages that can include film booth tours and kids’ meals.
Play centers – Family Fun Center in Edmonds and Tukwila; Jungle Playland in Mount Vernon
*Sports Center – Safeco Field has birthday tours that includes a group suite overlooking the ballpark for presents and cake. There are great indoor soccer fields at Snohomish Indoor Soccer Dome and Arlington’s Soccer First Indoor Sports where you can even add on a coach to direct games and activities.
*Video gaming – Gameworks is the ultimate spot, but there are many local game spots that can be rented out.
Tune in next week for the finale of our series, To Gift Bag Or Not To Gift Bag, That Is The Question. I’ll share some creative ways to thank your guests for coming that will not cause their parents to resent you when they are cleaning out their cars.