If you have children and live in the 'burbs of Boston, specifically in our neck of the woods — Weston, Wellesley, Wayland, Needham, Dover and the surrounding towns — then what to do and where to have your child's birthday party is most likely a question that you have pondered at least once a year. Of course, you can always have a fun shindig at your home.... But through the years, I have learned that there is something fabulous to be said for having a kids birthday party at a location outside of your home. Basically, you show up and then leave (of course after paying them for the experience), without having to set up and clean up the party and with the assistance of a party organizer to deal with any issues or problems. It's extremely low maintenance, stress-free and fun for all — even the parents!
Here are a few of the 'burb locations where we've had parties for our children or been to parties for their friends:
- AMC Cinemas, Framingham, MA - The kids gather to see a fun movie, share popcorn and eat cake. How much fun is that?!
- Boston Sports Club, Waltham, MA - This is a great place to have a party, especially for the younger ones. The kids can play on an amazing structure (at least at the BSC in Waltham) and in the gym. Party providers organize games and songs for the kids too.
- Build-A-Bear, Natick, MA (see second photo) - My kids have loved having parties here over the years. It's especially great for the little ones, but my older daughters (nine and 12) still love attending parties here. You can't bring in cake so what we typically do is venture down to the Food Court at the Natick Mall after the party and enjoy cake there.
- The Clayroom, Brookline, MA - The kids choose from a variety of pottery options (piggy banks, ice cream cones, jewelry holders, plates, vases and more) and then paint and decorate the items, which then go into the kiln and are picked up a few days later. You can bring in a cake and drinks or ask the Clayroom to provide pizza and cake. This party idea is geared for older children as the little ones will be done decorating in less than 10 minutes.
- Creative Movements and Arts Center, Needham, MA - Like the classes that Creative Movement offers, parties consist of fun activities and games for kids of all ages.
- Exxcel Gymnastics & Climbing, Newton, MA - The kids get to indulge in exciting games and obstacle courses, rock climbing, rides on the zipline as well as trampoline and foam pit fun. There is even a free t-shirt for the birthday child.
- Fun and Games, Framingham, MA - Parties here are truly so much fun. The kids use tokens for the games and machines, and then the 'piece de resistance' is that they get to choose their prizes based on the number of tickets they have won. Fun and Games also has Laser Tag. This is a great place to go even if it's not a child's birthday.
- King's Bowling, Dedham, MA (see top photo) - We just had a birthday party here, and it was fabulous. Pizza, drinks and cake were provided as was a bowling trophy for the birthday child. There is another location in Boston.
- Lazer Zone, Marlborough, MA - The web page says it all, "Party like an alien. LazerZone throws out-of-this-world birthday celebrations." There's LazerTag, 2xLazerTag, Thrill Zone, Karaoke and more. Most of the party packages include pizza, unlimited popcorn and drinks. This will be more enjoyed by the older kids and not the wee little ones.
- Planet Gymnastics, Natick, MA - Another locale for kids of all ages. The supervised gym activities include obstacle courses, games, playing with a parachute and more. After the gym fun, it's on to cake and balloon fun.
- Plaster Fun Time, Framingham, MA - We've had numerous birthday parties here. Bring in your own cake, while the kids choose their plaster piece to decorate and then choose which spray to use. This is for kids of all ages, and there are locations in Dedham, Newton and Waltham too.
- Sky Zone Sports, Boston, MA - The kids will be setting their sights high as they bounce up and down and across the all-trampoline, walled playing courts. There are even three-dimensional versions of sports favorites, such as dodgeball. If you want cake, you need to include that as part of a reserved birthday/group package complete with private room rental.
- Snip-Its, Framingham, MA - This is catered more for the girls. We haven't had parties here but my girls have gone to parties at Snip-its. The kids have a chance to explore fun hair styles, party outfits, make-up and more. Snip-its provides cupcakes, cakes, beverages, party favors and a gift for the birthday girl.
- Sweet Beads of Lexington, Lexington, MA - This locale also caters more toward girls, and it is for children ages 6 and up. Kids make their own custom necklaces and then partake in pizza and cake fun if you choose this option.
Of course, this is just a mere sampling of party locales in the area — there are many, many more. That being said, is your favorite kids birthday party location listed above? If so, which is it? If not, please share your thoughts on where you like to have your kids birthday party fun. I can't wait to hear....