Saturday, October 4, 2014
Party Picks *Updated 1/13/16*
I think it's time for an updated list of places that do kids birthday parties. I did it a long time ago but since then, places have opened and closed. I see a post a week, or more, asking for birthday party venues. Sure, you can have a party in your house. More power to you if you want twenty OPC's (Other People's Children) running around your house like Lord of the Flies. I do not. I'm birthday-party-broken. I don't get excited about paper goods. I don't want to come up with a theme. I will not bake a cake. I love my kid, as of course, I have to somehow validate that in the same paragraph that I'm writing that I'm pretty much bah-humbug about birthday party hoopla. Maybe it's because I'm a summer baby. I had birthdays in my backyard. Pool and pizza. Carvel ice cream cake. But my kid's birthday is in January. Enough said.
I've had a party outside the house for him since he turned two. I've been to almost all outside-the-home parties. It feels like I've been to like a hundred of them. So I'm going to compile a list, complete with links, so you can just take my research and run with it. Anything with an asterisk is a place I've had a party. Anything with two, I either had a party or been to a party there.
The Little Gym (Waldwick)*
We had E's 2nd birthday here. He was already taking classes there so it was easy. Party was fun. They included most everything, including the cake. I have no complaints.
Naturally Yoga (Glen Rock)
Haven't been there for a party but E did take class there. It's clean, friendly, and I'd guess they do a good job for a party.
Gary Stevens Taekwondo (Glen Rock)
E took classes here. Never been to a party there but they visit schools and do programs, and they have kid-centric groups (girl/boy scouts, etc) do events there and everyone's been happy.
My Gym (Glen Rock)**
Been to many parties here. They do a really good job. It's a no-brainer for ease. It's just on the more expensive side. It's clean and the staff has already been really good with the kids.
Kidville (Ridgewood) (various other locations)
Jellybean Junction (Waldwick)*
I did the dance party for E's 3rd. It was a little chaotic but it's a big room. I wrote an entry on this separately right after the party. You can do a search on my blog and it will come up.
Been to a party there. It was a good party. Kids thoroughly enjoyed it. All participated and it was co-ed 5 year olds and younger. I've been told it's expensive though and all party add-ons are a la carte. Not much included.
Bounce Safari (Waldwick)*
Had E's 5th birthday party here. It's great, especially if you have a range of ages, a lot of them being on the younger side. They have other stuff besides bounce stuff, like big blocks, ride-ons, hula hoops, etc. It's definitely small child and parent friendly. Big comfy sectional for the parents. They are a pain about food- you have to buy everything through them, and I feel like they nickel and dime in that respect, but you can't beat the actual space, the party staff, and the fun.
Kids Rule (Hackensack)
Ice House (Hackensack)
Jump On In (Hasbrouck Heights)
Elite Gymnastics (Hawthorne)**
Been to a party here once. It's definitely more economical, but you're pretty much on your own, especially in the party room- for set up, clean up, etc.
JW Tumbles (Hillsdale)
Dance Etc (Fair Lawn)
My son takes dance here. It's a great place who will really work with you to make a cute party. I've seen many pictures and videos from parties there and everyone looks like they've had a great time.
The Big Playhouse (Westwood)
Drawing Room LLC (Midland Park)
Bounce U (Paramus)**
Been to numerous parties here. I'd stick to ages 4+ for this one. It's not really designed for little ones but the bigger kids LOVE it.
Kids U (Paramus)**
Been to numerous parties here. I'd choose this over Bounce U if I had more kids under 5 years old than over. It's a good space if you're having a party for 20-25 kids.
Gravity Vault (more than one location)
Monster Golf (Paramus)
Powerhouse Studios (Paramus, East Hanover)
Screamin' Parties (Paramus)**
Been here. The kids like it. I'm not a huge fan. I don't find them incredibly accommodating, but if the kids like it, that's all that really matters.
Funtime Junction (Fairfield)**
Ridgewood Culinary Institute (Ridgewood)
Color Me Mine (Ridgewood)
Kidville (Ridgewood and other towns)
Making Chocolate (Dumont)
Chocolate Etc, (Wyckoff)
Ramsey Theater (Ramsey)
Sky Zone (Allendale)
World Class Sports Academy (Westwood)
I had a party here. I like it a lot. The cafe area in the front for the parents is really nice and convenient. It just needs to be a smaller party. Optimally, you'd have between 10-15 kids. They can accommodate 20, but I think 10-15 is more realistic, especially if they're 6-7 year old boys.
Wyckoff School Of Dance (Wyckoff)
Wyckoff YMCA (Wyckoff)*
I've had a party here. There were 40 kids there so it was chaotic. But they do a good job. I was just at a Lego party there the other day. All the kids were very happy there. I would totally do a party there again.
Abma's Farm (Wyckoff)**
It's a cute farm place. Best in spring/summer/fall. I've been to winter parties there and I don't love it. It's also really dependent on the weather obviously. My friend had it in her mind she HAD to do a pumkin/fall themed party there for her four year old. It rained and it was freezing. Enough said.
Planet Swirl (Multiple locations)
Billy Beez (West Nyack, NY)
Rockin Gaming/Rockin Glamour (MOBILE parties)
Chef It Up & Chef It Up 2 Go
Fun Bus (mobile)
Little Shanti Yoga (Mobile)