By Christina Katz

One simple strategy will minimize birthday party preparation, clean up, and costs—having your birthday party somewhere else besides home.

Any birthday party can get expensive, and you might think having a party away from home would double the cost. But believe it or not, the amount you spend often goes down when you have the party away from home, not up.

Consider the full package deal offered by the venue before you lift a finger to help. Once you factor in all the food, favors and serving items you won’t have to buy, you just might save yourself a bundle of time, energy, and headaches. Get the details on exactly what will be provided in advance, so you don’t duplicate any efforts, in filling in the gaps.

If the venue does not cover every detail, this can work fine. Bring the cake? No problem. Order a few pizzas? Easy. Bring some goody bags? If that’s all you have to do for this party, you are going to love it.

Some of your favorite birthday party memories may end coming from the party where you did the least work. You send the invites, show up, and watch everyone go home with big smiles on their faces. No smile will be as big as the one you have on your face when you return to your nice, clean home.

Here is a full run-down of birthday party venues that often host parties away from home. Before you write off any candidates, be sure to search online and call to double check. Birthday parties are big business, and businesses often add birthday party hosting after opening day, once services are established.

So, go ahead, ask your friends and neighbors for ideas, but remember, nothing beats being the first family on the block to discover a cool new party zone no other family has tried yet.

Ready, set, party! Locations are listed here from youngest appropriate age to oldest:


For Younger Children:

  1. Doll stores
  1. Pet stores
  1. Building blocks stores
  1. Stuffed animal stores
  1. Nature centers
  1. Toddler gyms
  1. Indoor soccer fields
  1. Bouncy house places
  1. Children’s museums
  1. Yoga studios
  1. Karate studios
  1. Aquariums
  1. Farm or petting zoo


For School-age Children:

  1. Dance studios
  1. Tea stores
  1. Pony riding barns
  1. Family fun center
  1. Gymnastics studio
  1. Indoor pools
  1. Zoos
  1. Bakeries
  1. Children’s theaters
  1. Garden centers or greenhouses
  1. Cooking schools
  1. Pottery studios
  1. Ice cream parlors


For Tweens And Teens:

  1. Bowling alleys
  1. Rock climbing places
  1. Ice rinks
  1. Movie theaters
  1. Waterparks
  1. Pizza places with video games
  1. Music studios
  1. Hobby stores
  1. Roller skating rinks
  1. Karaoke spots
  1. Craft stores
  1. Shopping malls
  1. Basketball courts
  1. Nail salons or spas


Author, journalist and writing coach, Christina Katz has thrown birthday parties at the family fun center, the pony barn, the bouncy house place, the bowling alley, and the roller skating rink and has thoroughly enjoyed coming home to a clean home afterwards.




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