Party Places in Philly & the 'Burbs
Local venues that offer parties tailored to your kid’s social circle and dietary needs
Q: My child’s school has a policy that we have to invite the whole class.
A: Pick a spot that can accommodate a large group, with shared activities so nobody feels left out. How about . . .
Bach to Rock, Wayne
The whole gang can belt out a vocal performance during the Karaoke Party, jam with a band during the Rock Party and sample keyboards, drums and guitars during the DJ Birthday Party. Instruments, equipment and take-home CDs are provided.
A fascination for all things creepy-crawly is a trait shared by most kids, making this place a sure bet for entertaining classmates. They’ll go on a custom tour and have their buggiest questions answered as they get up-close with the resident insects. For an extra fee, a balloon artist can stop by to craft flower headbands, butterfly crowns and balloon art (pictured).
Q: My child has one friend and that’s the only person she wants to invite.
A: Pick a place that has one-on-one interaction or only allows a small number of guests anyway. How about . . .
The Painted Tea Cup, Upper Darby
This quaint Victorian-style serves fare in its living and dining areas. The two of them can dress up for the occasion, drink tea or hot chocolate and snack on sandwiches and seasonal desserts.
Sugar and Spice Kiddie Spa, Phila.
Girls relax in luxury with the “Brown Sugar” package. Your daughter and her bestie can enjoy a manicure, pedicure and facial (pictured
Q: My child doesn’t have many friends. Where can we go in case only a couple kids, or maybe none, show up?
A: Pick a venue that offers activities that can be enjoyed by a handful of children or just you and your child. Skip the party room reservation, and be sure it’s a place that’ll be buzzing with families so your kid can still socialize. How about . . .
5 Wits, Plymouth Meeting
Attractions allow up to 12 users at a time, so you can always join another group if there are only two or three of you in your party. Embark on a live-action journey that immerses participants in the adventure. Guests can battle the Pharaoh to escape an Egyptian tomb, break into “enemy headquarters” on a spy mission or invade a medieval castle to catch an unruly dragon (pictured).
Among the largest laser-tag arenas on the East Coast, the multi-level complex is laden with strategically placed obstacles and games, so there will be plenty of others around to add to your crew. Players can fly solo or take on challenges in a team. When you’re ready for a break, head to the arcade.
Q: My party needs to include children of friends and family from a wide age range.
A: Pick a place with broad appeal that’s hands-on enough to grab little ones’ attention and challenging enough for teens. How about . . .
The Mud Room, Ardmore
A paint-your-own pottery party lets guests personalize their experience. With a wide selection — from mugs to princess figurines to piggy banks — there’s a piece for every age and skill set. Plus, each partygoer gets a coupon for a free studio fee to use during their next visit.
Speed Raceway, Horsham
Challenge older and younger children to find out who’s the fastest among their respective age groups, or up the ante with an all-ages race. You’ll get access to both the Mini Grand Prix and Grand Prix go-kart tracks and, for an additional fee, tokens, medals and T-shirts (pictured).
Q: My child has food allergies and/or is a picky eater.
A: Pick a spot where you plan the menu or that allows outside food and drink. How about . . .
La Cucina at the Market, Phila.
Customization is key here. Guests design a palate-pleasing party with hands-on cooking alongside an experienced instructor, followed by a meal of what they’ve just made.
You can bring your own food and drink to this Montessori-style play space, stocked with toys designed to appeal to a range of ages and development via imaginative play. There’s also a separate area for infants and nursing moms (pictured).
Q: My child’s friends are very active. I want to keep them busy, but not out of control.
A: Pick a venue focused on a specific sport; it’ll keep guests’ attention and they won’t be tempted to act out. How about . . .
AmeriKick Martial Arts, Langhorne
This activity requires concentration — a deterrent to unruly behavior — and burns energy. Junior senseis get a little extra training during this party, complete with martial-arts lessons, games, relays and obstacle courses.
iFly Indoor Skydiving, King of Prussia
The party kicks off with a training session that demonstrates how to position your body for flight. After, suit up and step into the wind tunnel, where you’ll float and flip under supervision from an instructor. Kids receive video clips of their airborne adventure and a personalized flight certificate (pictured).
Movements in Motion Dance Studio, Havertown
Mini movers and shakers boogie alongside favorite characters (think Barbie, Tinker Bell, the Frozen crew or Minnie Mouse), play in a moonbounce and enjoy activities led by staff.
Find more party venues in: