It’s a question many of us with children have asked ourselves: Where are some good places to have a birthday party? If hosting a bunch of children in your home is not the optimal option, we’ve put together a list of seven Twin Cities businesses that put on a great birthday party.
Firefighters Hall and Museum – 664 22nd Ave, NE. Minneapolis
This place is great for younger kids and anyone obsessed with becoming a firefighter. On any Saturday, you get their enormous meeting hall for 2 1/2 hours (either at 10:00 am or 1:00 pm), where your guests will initially gather. Then, after a 10 minute fire safety demonstration, the kids get a tour of the museum, which includes participating in a bucket brigade, sliding down a fire pole, pulling an alarm and more. In the warmer months (April through October) kids also get a ride around the neighborhood in one of the fire trucks.
You bring the food – pizza, cake, whatever. They provide plastic fire helmets and a place for the kids to play after the tour. The cost is $75 for the first 10 guests (please note: parents who stay with their kids are counted as a guest). Additional people are $3 each, and kids ages 3 and under are free. For more information, visit their website.
Choo Choo Bobs – 2050 Marshall Ave., St. Paul
If your kid loves trains, or even if he or she kind of likes them, you must check out this train store. And their birthday parties are just as great as the store is. They have six Thomas train tables to play with, as well as all the other trains in the store to see and explore. You get their private party room for two hours, a personalized birthday cake from La Patisserie of St. Paul, gift bags for 8 guests ($5 per additional child), water and apple juice for everyone, and plates, napkins, silverware, cups and candles. You are welcome to bring in additional food and non-alcoholic beverages as well.
The cost for this is $150, and you are welcome to book your party at any time during store hours. For more information, visit the Choo Choo Bob’s website.
Edinborough Park – 7700 York Ave S., Edina
This huge indoor playground is a favorite birthday party destination. Their birthday party packages include admission to the play park for 10 guests and the use of two eight-foot tables for up to two hours. For parties taking place on Friday through Sunday, you also get invitations, paper products and a t-shirt for the birthday boy or girl for $140. For parties taking place Monday through Thursday, the rate is $90 but you don’t get the invitations, paper products or t-shirt. Additional guests for either package is $9 per child.
You can bring in outside food – pizza and cake are popular – and this place can get pretty busy on a wintery weekend day. Still, the kids don’t seem to mind, and they always leave happy…and tired. To learn more, visit the Edinborough Park website.
Simply Jane – 5411 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis
For your little painter, you can’t go wrong with this south Minneapolis painting studio. They provide the paints, the professionals, and the canvas; the kids provide the creativity. They have a couple of different packages, but each includes time to paint and time to play. You bring in the food – they have deals with Toppers pizza and Pizza Luce – and they clean up the mess.
Parties start with a base price of $100 plus the cost of whatever it is the kids are going to paint. To see which party package is right for your child, check out the Simply Jane website.
Izzy’s Ice Cream – 2034 Marshall Ave., St. Paul
Izzy’s makes great ice cream, and they host a great party for kids between the ages of 6 and 12. First, the kids don an apron and hairnet and then it’s off to the kitchen. Here, they learn some of the secret’s of Izzy’s, and then take that knowledge and make their own batch of ice cream. They also decorate their own brownie, and get a tour of the retail shop, which ends at the counter where they order their own scoop.
The kids leave with a balloon, the brownie they decorated and a wooden token good for a free sugar or cake cone. The price is $155 for 8 kids, plus $17 for each additional child. The party space is small, so they like to limit it to 10 guests and 2 chaperones. You can also opt to get the birthday kid an Izzy’s t-shirt for an additional cost. Check out the Izzy’s website for more information.
Articulture – 2613 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis
Articulture’s mission is to educate, enrich and nurture through the visual arts, and they do this by offering classes and workshops for children ages 1 through adults. If you are looking for a fun birthday party where the kids create, Articulture will help design an age-appropriate art activity that the kids can do that will not only help the celebrate, but also learn.
Some examples of activities include making masks, fairy houses, wands or treasure boxes, printmaking, and bookmaking. And, any of these projects can be geared towards the specific interests of your child. You get the space for two hours (90 minutes for art, 30 minutes for cake and presents), the instructor and all the materials for whatever it is the kids are going to create. The cost for 10 kids is $155 for non-members or $135 for members, and each additional child is $10. To learn more, visit the Articulture wesbsite.
Memory Lanes – 2520 26th Ave. S., Minneapolis
Who doesn’t love bowling? And Memory Lanes is a great, independent neighborhood bowling alley. It’s also a great place for a birthday party. You get a two-hour party which includes an hour of bowling , shoe rental, lightweight bowling balls, bumpers if you want them, a party table in the bowlers’ area, pizza, soda, paper products, gift bag and free bowling coupon. If your party has 12 or more kids, you can use their party room for free.
The cost of all of that is $13.99 + tax per child. The only outside food you may bring in is a cake, and the party must have a minimum of 6 guests. For more information, click here to get to the Memory Lanes website.
So, there are seven birthday party options for you. Let us know what you think; do you have a favorite place that should be added to our list? We love hearing from our readers.