SEE MY LIST OF 53+ IDEAS FOR KID’S BIRTHDAY PARTIES AROUND HOWARD COUNTY BELOW – UPDATED March 27, 2020.
There are so many great location options for indoor and outdoor birthday parties for kids in Howard County. I have compiled a list of birthday party ideas–some of the party places are popular, but others more unusual, creative, and even a few unique ideas.
Please note that these are not paid listings–this is simply my own list of birthday party places. I have added the birthday venues here because I have used them for my own kids, been to a party there, or have it on authority from other parents.
There are few “negative” recommendations in the list below too–places that might be popular go-tos, but like the bouncy birthday parties mentioned above, they should be avoided.
Again, all of the recommendations are my own, and I am not paid by the venues listed. This post does contain sponsored links to party favors Amazon.com. Hopefully you’ll find the party favor ideas helpful, but they aren’t related to why I chose each location.
(Please also see my post about what to give out as party favors and if you’re looking for some great gift ideas, see my post Gift Ideas for Brainy Kids!)
Since I live in Howard County Maryland, this list of indoor and outdoor places to have children’s birthday parties pertains specifically to this area, but many of the things in the list would apply to anywhere USA–you just have to look around for a similar venue in your area.
Let me know what you think of this party list–since this is one of the busiest posts on my blog, idea contributions are very welcomed!
List of places to have kids birthday parties:
- Nature Centers (Ages 2-10)
Offers some great birthday party options that aren’t overdone. Great for toddlers and older kids alike. Not many people have their parties at a nature center, but they’re really quite nice…and educational.In Howard County, we have two nature centers that offer parties: Robinson Nature Center and Howard County Conservancy.
There are lots of party options to enjoy. For example, a great fall birthday party idea would be a campfire party at the Howard County Conservancy. A naturalist leads the kids through activities and making s’mores.Robinson Nature Center offers several different kinds of parties at different price points mostly for ages 2 and up.
For instance they have a nature puppet theater party, a butterfly party, a nature hike party, or even a full-dome movie party in the planetarium which looks like it would be a blast!
All of this means that these nature centers are a wonderful place for a 5th birthday party all the way up to maybe 10th or 11th birthday. Parties range in price from $325 to $400 at this writing and party rooms are available.
- Farm Birthday Parties (Ages 2-8)
Clark’s Elioak Farm in Ellicott City is very popular. In the fall, you could consider an apple or berry harvest party at Larriland farm (Ages 2-12)–check the harvest calendar to see what is ripe. Educational and fun–plus the pickings are the party favor. Clark’s Elioak Farm is definitely a great standby party venue for toddlers.
Breezy Hill Farm (Ages 2-8) – Breezy Hill’s biggest draw is its alpaca herd, although they also have rabbits, goats, sheep and chickens. Take a tour of this working farm with your group.This will be especially fun for a toddler party, but certainly 8-year-olds and younger will have a great time…really this should be enjoyable for anyone. Alpacas are gentle, graceful animals and you may be able to get one to pose with your party group.
✳Party Favor Ideas: Straw Hats, Tickle Plant Seeds, Succulent Plants
- Zip Lining and Tree Adventures (Ages 8 and older)
Sandy Spring Adventure Park and Terrapin Adventures. Outdoor adventure parties in the trees are very cool. Kids must be at least 8 to be able to participate in a treetop party at Sandy Spring Adventure Park, but if you’re looking for a place that will keep older kids busy, this is for you.
These are great parties for 13 year olds, even sweet sixteens…Sandy Spring Adventure Park is just outside Howard County, while Terrapin Adventures is in Savage, Md near Savage Mill.
Kids will enjoy being challenged at both venues, however I think Sandy Spring Adventure Park has a more extensive course. Definitely recommended. Party packages at Sandy Spring Adventure Park may include party favors.
✳Party Favor Ideas: Carabiners
- Craft and Painting Parties (Ages 4-13)
Michael’s craft store parties (price depends on craft chosen) and Joann Fabrics Parties are relatively popular and their stores all seem to have some sort of party room. There are also several pottery painting businesses around.The parties center on the kids creating and/or painting a piece of pottery. Another great option is the Columbia Art Center. They have preset parties that look like great fun in a nice atmosphere. They have a variety of available party themes (even Minecraft!) and parties can be on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays.
In Ellicott City, there is the Pottery Stop which is a combination coffee shop and ceramics studio–they have a small party room.If you are bringing a small group of kids (maybe 5 or less), you may be able to just “drop in” to the store and make your own party there.
You are allowed to bring in outside food although they do offer a few snacks and a full coffee/hot chocolate menu. There is a Qdoba restaurant next door to the Pottery Stop, so you can get quesadillas or tacos there and bring them into the Pottery Stop.Unless you setup a birthday party package, there are no reservations, so you have to be careful to pick a day and time when they aren’t likely to be so busy that you won’t find a table for your party. You may want to call and ask what the most strategic times to set your party, but probably the safest time is right at opening time.For example, we had a party there the weekend before Valentine’s Day in the mid-afternoon and it was quite busy, we were lucky to get a table for 4. Still, the children had a really good time.
The added bonus is that the item the kids paint is also the party favor. Note that it takes a week for them to fire the kids’ creations in the kiln, so plan to come back and pick up the items and then distribute them back to their owners.
If you’re in Laurel or Maple Lawn, or in the Northern side of Montgomery County, you might find Burning Down the House in Fulton a more convenient place for a pottery party. I’ve driven past it enough on Scaggsville Road, but I have never been there.Yet another option is Pinot’s Pallet in Elliott City. This is a great place to hold a painting party for kids (or adults!).
- Race Car Driving (Ages 5+)
Autobahn Indoor Go Cart Speedway in Jessup Maryland. Looks like a blast with exclusive track time for your party. Kids five and up will love this place.
✳Party Favor Ideas: Balloon Racers
- Indoor Pool Parties (Ages 2+)
Kid’s First Swim School, Columbia Association, Lifetime Fitness, or Goldfish Swim School. About $250 for an hour of swimming and an hour of party room use. There are also other venues that offer kid’s pool parties.
If you’re a member of Lifetime Fitness, they also do a good job (see below) and offer a competitive package. Kids love pools and especially if you have a winter birthday, an indoor pool party is a welcome reminder of summer fun. Party favors might include swim goggles or water toys. One tip would be to have one parent stay dry while the other gets in the pool with the kids–this way you have your bases covered.
The Columbia Association has pool parties and I generally do NOT recommend parties there because of crowding at the Columbia Swim Center indoor pool. Although there are some fun aspects to the splashdown attraction, they do not control the number of kids, which can be no fun. I would only recommend this party for older kids on off hours.
If you’re in Ellicott City, you may want to consider having your pool party at the Roger Carter Center. They offer reasonably priced party packages.
[Need an kid’s allowance and chore reward solution? Check out my review of FamZoo Debit Cards for Kids]
Need unusual gift ideas for the birthday boy or girl? See my list of educational present ideas for kids. (Opens in a new tab)
- Indoor Playground Party (Ages 2-7)
Play Date Junction (Elkridge, Md) and Hyperkids (Snowden River Parkway in Columbia) Play Date Junction is part gym, part indoor playground, part learning kitchen. Hyperkids in Columbia is similar. These are both great places to host a birthday party for younger children.
- Ballet and Dance Parties (Ages 2-10).
This is a no-brainer for young girls, but boys can have fun at dance parties too. Most of the time, the gyms will give you a choice as to the style of dance you’d like the kids to learn as part of the celebration so instead of ballet you might do a jazz or even hip hop birthday. For ballet parties, girls will enjoy dressing up like prima ballerinas. Pricing varies about $130 at Joyful Motion Dance Studio in Savage Mill. Also, check with Turning Point Dance Academy in Elkridge, Md.
✳Ballet Party Favor Ideas: Flashlights, Jump Ropes, Streamer Wands, Lucky Bamboo Plants
- Gymnastics Parties (Ages 2-8)
There are plenty of places to hold gymnastics parties. One of the best experiences I’ve had was at My Gym in Columbia, MD. The staff was attentive and the kids had a great time–unfortunately their prices are kind of high.
You may also want to check out Top Flight Gymnastics on Redland Road in Ellicott City or KidsTime.Live in Laurel. These are great party locations for toddlers and younger kids.
Locations: Columbia, Ellicott City, Laurel, other locations around Howard County
✳Gymnastics Party Favor Ideas: Ribbon Wands, Necklaces, Jump Ropes
- Build-A-Bear (Ages 2-7)
This will cost you about $20/kid and they have a six kid minimum. Very good experience with four and five year olds. There is a build-a-bear location in Columbia Mall. When we had our party there, we had birthday cake first in the food court. We got to the mall early enough to reserve some tables for the party guests…and it worked out fine.
✳Party Favor Ideas: Bubbles, Squishies
- Lifetime Fitness Parties (Ages 4+)
They offer parties with a rock wall, swimming, basketball etc… – Cost is about $275 for 2 hours including pizza and drinks. The fee covers 12 guests. Additional kids are $20/each extra. (Prices can vary by gym location!) Extra pizzas for adults are $10/each. Two party coordinators are included and they do a great job of making sure everything is going well…they even set up your decorations for you (you have to provide decorations, plates, napkins, party favor bags, etc). If you are a Lifetime Fitness member, I would recommend the parties there. (Read my review of lifetime fitness). Here is the information sheet Lifetime Fitness gives you when you want to book a party. The parties here would be appropriate for kids as old as 10-12 years old, even older teenagers.
✳Party Favor Ideas: Glowstick eyeglasses, Sports Scope Games, EOS lip balm.
- Idea Lab Parties (Ages: 4+)
Have a STEM-related birthday party in Columbia at the Idea Lab. This is so nerdy. Lots of possible party themes for kids to have a great time: Jedi training, video production, minecraft, slime, cooking/baking…and much more.
This is the place to have a nerdfest of a party. Located off Red Branch Road/Route 108 (near Shadowland).
✳Party Favor Ideas: Puzzle Cube Set
- Bowling Parties (Ages 5+)
Duck pins are better for younger kids if there is a duck pin alley nearby. Those are rare. Around here I know there are duck pins in Silver Spring and Mt. Airy.
You can always go for the larger pin bowling allies but I think it is less fun with the kids even with the lighter 6 pound balls and gutter bumpers the kids still have alot of trouble.I especially don’t recommend the Normandy bowling alley that’s off of Snowden River in Columbia. Although it is a relatively nice alley, all the above problems apply, but then as part of the package they give the kids tokens for the game room. That leads to huge frustration as there aren’t really any games young kids can even play! New: MainEvent in Columbia mall. The place looks like fun.
✳Party Favor Ideas: LED Rubberband Helicopters or Rocket Copters
- Rock Climbing Age Range (6+)
ClimbZone (301-317-1970) in Laurel or Earth Treks (Ages 5+)
The bookcase climbing wall at
Compared to Earth Treks, the atmosphere at ClimbZone is less serious and more fun. They have done a fantastic job of making it less serious but making the climbing walls into interesting sculptures and objects, rather than the same old walls. For example, they have a wall that looks like Mount Rushmore and another one that’s a replica of a gigantic bookcase. Kids love it.
All of their walls have auto-belay so you don’t have to worry about having someone paying attention and belaying the kids. This is a huge advantage, especially because kids 6 and up will likely be able to hook themselves in to any wall and start climbing! They also have some bouncy houses and slides for younger kids. There are party rooms available in this very new facility.
Earth Treks (Columbia Location – 410-872-0060)
Earth Trek’s rock climbing facility offers kids birthday parties — locations in Rockville, Columbia and Timonium. Pricing as of this writing is $225 for 1-10 participants and $325 for 11-15 participants at the Columbia, MD location. (Lifetime fitness also offers rock climbing parties but you have to be a member) Earth Treks has a few “party rooms” that have their own climbing walls. I’ve been to a party here for five year olds and it worked very well–the kids had a great time. They provided four climbing instructors who put the harnesses on the kids and belayed them. Very nice.
- Build-A-Bear (Ages 2-7)
- Indoor Playground Party (Ages 2-7)
- Roller Skating (Ages 5+)
The Laurel Roller Rink (Laurel on Route 1 in Howard County – 301-725-8070) and the Supreme Sports Club Skating Arena (Columbia off Snowden River- 410-381-5355) both offer great kids birthday parties.Laurel Skating rink offers parties that start at $110 for 11 skaters (additional skaters $11/each). This is a bargain and includes ice cream cups, plates, napkins and spoons. Plus skate rental for all of the party skaters, and a free pass to skate next time for the birthday girl or boy. You can bring cake, but outside food isn’t permitted, so you may need to make arrangements for other food with the rink.
Private parties are available as well, but at a much higher price point. A 2-hour session on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon for up to 50 skaters/2 hours is $450+.
Supreme Sports Club offers private skating parties for $600. Regular parties held during a public session are more like $250 and include pizza and cake for 10 kids. They often have several parties going on at the same time and they don’t have a separate party room–they just spread the parties out over various areas of the roller skating rink.
If you’ve got a girl between the ages of 10-13, they also offer a sleepover party. See below.
Locations: Laurel, Columbia
✳Party Favor Ideas: Fishnet Gloves, Personalized Thank You Stickers, Glow Sticks
- Indoor Obstacle Course (Ages 6+)
NOT RECOMMENDED because of safety concerns. This is a relative newcomer in Columbia. Ninjabe recently opened. It provides an indoor warrior obstacle course (think “American Gladiator”), inflatable obstacle course, small climbing walls, and there’s even a mechanical bull. Kids seem to find this place to be quite a bit of fun.
They provide a welcomed place for parents to watch (or ignore) the goings ons- the “parent zen room.” It’s a party that includes a cardio workout. Party rooms and party hosts are provided. I thought the place was pretty good overall, but I couldn’t escape the “birthday party factory” feel.I don’t recommend NinjaBe because kids get hurt there. I recently requested information from Howard County Fire and Rescue and was told that from 10/10/2018 – 10/11/2019, they were called there 13 times. That’s just the ambulance calls — injuries that were bad enough to require paramedics. I know 2 people who have been hurt here–one required surgery for a broken ankle.
There are definitely many more people who make their way to the emergency room without an ambulance. Just something to keep in mind when you sign the waiver for your child here or invite other people’s children.
Location: Columbia, Maryland
✳Party Favor Ideas: LED Bumpy Ring, Mini LED carabiner Flashlights
- Ice Skating (Ages 5+)
There are ice rinks around the county, but two in particular stand out. The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD and the Columbia Association Ice Rink in Columbia MD both offer a birthday party package.
Locations: Laurel, Columbia
✳Ice Skating Party Favor Ideas: Squirmels, Friendship Bracelets
- Laser Tag (Ages 5+)
Shadowland in Ellicott City (410-740-9100) and LaserXP in Laurel (410) 833-6611). Laser tag parties are always a favorite with kids of any age. Shadowland in Ellicott City/Columbia is located on Red Branch Road just off Route 108. They have four party rooms and do a good job of making the party easy for parents. The parties consist of two laser tag games that take about 20 minutes each, and the rest of the time in the party room for a total of two hours. There’s also a very nice arcade at this location.
At LaserXP, you can actually buyout the whole place for your birthday party–expensive option, but one that isn’t available at Shadowland. They will typically have another birthday party going on a the same time as yours, and you will probably end up battling the other party in a game of tag.
Locations: Laurel, Ellicott City/Columbia
✳Party Favor Ideas: LED Bumpy Ring, Mini LED carabiner Flashlights
- Lush Handmade Cosmetics Party (Ages 7+)
Who knew that Lush offered private parties? They look like loads of fun…lots of options including “Beauty School” and make a bath bomb. I am not actually sure what the minimum age would be, but I think probably seven year olds or older would enjoy this party.
Location: The Mall in Columbia
- Indoor Miniature Golf (Ages 7+)
Monster Mini Golf in Jessup. Pretty loud and kind of scary for a young kid in there, so check it out and see if it is appropriate for your child first.
✳Party Favor Ideas: Frisbees, For older kids: Drink Bags that Look Like IV bags
- Sports Center Parties (Ages 5+)
There are a variety of venues where you could have an indoor or outdoor soccer, lacrosse or basketball party. For example, in Jessup in Howard County, MD there is the Soccerdome which allows you to rent a field and let the kids play soccer for an hour and then has an area for pizza and cake. There is also the Columbia Association SportsPark. If your boy or girl is a baseball fan, they may like to have a baseball party at Professional Baseball Training in Ellicott City, Extra Innings in Elkridge.
For soccer fans looking for something a little different, there’s “bubble ball” at the Soccer Stop in Columbia, Md. What could be more fun for a birthday? The kids get inside giant inflatable balls and roll around the soccer field.
✳Party Favor Ideas: Bouncy Soccer Balls, Soccer Whistles, Soccer Stress Balls, Soccer Birthday Candles, Soccer Key Chains, Soccer Pinata
- Karate Birthday Parties (Ages 6+)
Harraday’s Karate & Fitness offers martial arts instruction birthday parties in Columbia near Home Depot.
- Pirate Party (Ages 7+)
Take a trip on the Urban Pirate boat that sails from Baltimore.
✳Party Favor Ideas: Gold Pirate Coins, Pirate Eye Patches, Bandanas
- Tea Party (Ages 7+)
Tea Parties at home are always fun, but for something more sophisticated, you could try Tea on the Tiber Victorian Tea Room in Ellicott City. (An interesting experience for a regular visit as well–try out high tea one afternoon.)
Locations: Historic Ellicott City
✳Party Favor Ideas: Decorate Your Own Teacups
- Indoor Playground Party (Ages 2-7)
You can book a party at the Play -n- Learn playground equipment show room in Columbia. I have never been to a party there, but it sounds really fun. Weekday parties are $219 for two hours of playtime on the indoor playground. Weekend parties are $269. You can also book a party after hours for $369 on weekends. If you don’t mind traveling, there is a great indoor playspace in Rockville called Badlands.
A SkyZone jump “room”–each child gets their own square of
Trampoline Parties (Ages 5+)
SkyZone and Launch
Indoor trampoline parks in Columbia MD. This venue has some similarities to the overdone JumpZone inflatable parties, but this is a bit different since they have actual trampolines.
SkyZone has created a very slick venue which looks engaging and fun. Cost for a party on weekdays is $21/jumper. On weekends is $24/jumper. There are packages starting at $240/party.
They have party rooms for each birthday party. Be sure and check the reviews as there seem to be a high proportion of unhappy customers. So far I have been to two parties and I thought it was okay overall. My main reservations are safety issues and the fact that in both cases I got the feeling that the party itself was kind of like a production line–by the way, I always got the same feeling at JumpZone! and Pump It Up. They are setup so that each kid basically gets their own trampoline to make things a bit safer, but even so, someone was taken away in an ambulance during the first party I attended there.
✳Party Favor Ideas: Balloon Helicopters
- Escape Room Party at Breakout Games (Ages 10+)
This is an unusual kind of birthday party. Your party must follow clues and solve mysteries to figure out how to “break out” of a specially designed room. Billed as a life-sized game of twists and turns, it’s sure to be a fun time!It’s possible to bring younger kids, but it may not be as enjoyable for them because they may not have the background knowledge needed to solve the puzzles. Contact Breakout Games to discuss possibilities for 9-year olds and younger.We tried the “Museum Heist” game with a group of 10-11 year olds.
Solving the puzzles was definitely difficult and may even prove frustrating for some kids.Luckily, an employee watches over your progress and is able to give the group hints. Our group definitely needed more than a few, but even so we didn’t “break out.”
You only get an hour, so when the time runs out, you’re done no matter how far you’ve progressed. I think if I took the same group back to play a second time (which I think they’d all be up for), they would do better on a different puzzle, now that they have the hang of the mindset needed to solve the riddles. BTW, an employee recommended we try “Kidnapping” next time we play as he felt that it is a solid game and may be more relatable for kids LOL.
There is no party room, and there is a maximum of 8 guests–and one of those guests must be a responsible adult.If you decide to have a party there, keep in mind that other people can purchase tickets for the same game at the same time–so if you don’t want strangers, most likely adults, to join in your kid’s birthday party, you need to buy out the whole game.Ticket prices are about $28/each (There are no discounts for a large group, so a party of 8 will cost around $240 with taxes). You may be able to solve a puzzle to get a coupon code. By the way if you’re looking for food nearby, there is a Bertucci’s Pizza near the Columbia location.
✳Escape Room Party Favor Ideas: Mini Magnetic Board Games, Mini Rubics Cubes, Mini Teaser Puzzles, Snake Twist Cube Toy
- Airsoft Paintball (Ages 11+)
Airsoft indoor paintball course is loads of fun. Located in Rockville, it is a bit of a trek from Howard County, but might be worth the trip. Rumor has it that there is also an airsoft location in Beltsville, but I can’t find any information about it.
✳Paintball Party Favor Ideas: Compasses, Paracord Bracelets
- Museum Parties outside of Howard County (Ages 5+)
Okay, these museum birthday parties aren’t in Howard County but what cool places for a birthday celebration. The Maryland Science Center, Port Discovery Children’s Museum, The B&O Railroad Museum, College Park Aviation Museum–if your child loves airplanes, this is the place to go!
- Movie Theater Birthdays (Ages 3+)
Kids love going to the movies–especially 3D movies that really bring in all the senses. Some area theaters have party packages and even party rooms.
A very good example of a movie theater with a party room is the Arundel Mills Cinemark Egyptian theater. You could even roll an Egyptian theme into the party if you wanted. Even if you decide not to use the group rates or party rooms, you may need to contact the theater when planning so you’ll know what choices will be available on the date of your party. The movie itself can also become the theme of your party (ie-Transformers or Disney Princesses).
✳Party Favor Ideas: Kid’s Card Games, Mini Uno Cards, Puffy Kush Balls
- Whole Foods Cooking Party (Ages 5+)
Some Whole Foods stores such as the one in Annapolis have culinary centers which can be rented out for kids birthday parties. They provide a host who will help the kids through making a pizza and pretzels. Unfortunately, the Columbia, MD Whole Foods is one of the stores that doesn’t have a culinary center, however they do have a private cafe space that can seat 12 kids plus their parents. For a party there you can pre-order party foods and cake. If you have an event there (or anywhere else), take advantage of the healthy options that are available at Whole Foods and also consider alternatives to the standard party favors/gift bags. Chocolate Dessert Class party (Ages ?) I am still getting some details on the possibility of having a party in either Savage Mill or Ellicott City at a place called “Sweet Cascades Chocolatier.” They offer classes for kids and they are about $35/each child. It would definitely be a “sweet” party, especially if your child is into cooking.
- American Girl Doll Party (Ages 4-9)
Okay, not in Maryland and possibly not even very convenient for most Marylanders, but in Tysons Corner Mall in Northern Virginia, they have an American Girl doll store and you can have a birthday party there. I don’t have any suggestions on the logistics of getting classmates and friends to the party, but I have heard good things about parties there.
Location: Tyson’s Corner, VA
- Main Event or Dave and Busters (Ages 4+)
These two places are really busy with lots of things for kids to do. Main Event is very new to Howard County, and has quickly become very popular. Dave and Busters is fun, the Arundel Mills location has bowling and lots of games.
Locations: Columbia, Md or Hanover, Md
✳Party Favor Ideas: Uno Mini Card Game, Frisbees
- Roller Skating (Ages 5+)
- Six Flags America (Ages 8+)
Not in Howard County, but close enough that it might make a great birthday party. Definitely on the pricier side of birthdays, but if the guest list is just two or three close friends, it probably would be a wash.
- Hot Pot Restaurants (Ages 13+)
Possibly a bit expensive, but a great experience for a few friends to get together and cook/eat lunch. You might want to check it out ahead of time to make sure it would appeal to your teen.
There are several options in Howard County, including Urban HotPot which just opened at Columbia Mall, and HotPot and Roll next to Lotte in Ellicott City. This location has a fun conveyor belt with various items you can add to your pot.
- Rent a Pavilion at Centennial Park (Ages 2+) During the warmer months, there is always a great time to be had at Centennial Park. The cost is about $150-180 dollars. Even cheaper: The tire park at the Hilton area of Patapsco State Park. This is a two acre playground made from recycled tires. Loads of fun and the nearby pavilions go relatively cheap (in Baltimore County).
Party Favor Ideas: Sidewalk Chalk, Bubble Wands, Beach Balls
- Have a Lego Birthday Party (Ages 5-10)
Bricks for Kids specializes in mobile lego parties in Howard County. Seems like a very great idea if you’re having a home party or if you’re having a party at some other venue and need something to do (see below for party venue ideas).
✳Party Favor Ideas: Lego Favors
- Fire Station Birthdays (Ages 3-7)
Many people don’t even know that you can host a birthday party at some of the fire stations in Howard County. You can learn how to make an inquiry about it here. I know quite a few kids who love fire trucks and love birthdays…and they get some fire safety tips too! My only caveat would be that an emergency could potentially cut the party short. As an alternative, there is a Fire Museum in Towson that provides a pretty good experience. A great gift to go with this birthday party would be a pair of walkie talkies. Here is one suggestion for a pretty good pair.
- AmuseToys ( In Pikesville (Baltimore County) (Ages 2-6)
Parties in the lab are great fun.
- Music Birthday Parties (Ages 2-7)
There are several music schools in the area that host birthday parties. A great option is Oleynka School of Music in Columbia. They work with several age groups. Parties include high-energy music activities and games including songs, dance, activities using instruments, hula hoops, balls, parachutes, followed by a one hour celebration in their Party Room.
✳Party Favor Ideas: Maracas, Egg Shakers, Echo Microphones
- Drama and Comedy Workshop Parties (Ages 5+)
There are some great opportunities around for drama and comedy related parties. Guest can take part in drama or comedy workshops at places like Drama Learning Center in Columbia or Improv Comedy in Baltimore.
- Live Theater Parties (Ages 3+) There is some great children’s theater in the area. Check with Toby’s Dinner Theater to see if they have appropriate shows. You may also want to consider a party at Medieval Times in Arundel Mills. If you can travel further, you will definitely like Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Any of the above will surely provide a memorable birthday! BTW, see my article on children’s theater in Maryland.
- iFly (Ages 3+)
Okay, this isn’t nearby (in Whitemarsh), but it’s amazing! Possibly the most unusual idea on this list, indoor sky-diving would make for a wonderful birthday party. Your boy or girl will never forget this party!
Party Favor Ideas: Parachute Cord Bracelets, LED Finger Lights
- Bowie Baysox Baseball Party (Ages 6+)
If your daughter or son loves baseball, they’ll love having a birthday party at Baysox Stadium. Another possibility is getting tickets to a Baysox, Nationals or Orioles game and making a party out of that (the Washington Nationals have a birthday party package, I am not sure that the Orioles do, but they do have group ticket rates and party suites)
- Fencing (Ages 8+) – The Baltimore Fencing Center in Columbia on Rumsey Road has a great facility for unusual birthday parties. Guests learn the basics of fencing and can get a little practice in at the party.
- Supreme Sports Club Girls Only Sleepover (Ages 10-13)
This party is for girls only and involves spending the night at the Columbia Association Supreme Sports Club. It seems to include alot of fun, but the cost is about $420 for members and $480 for non members. I can’t find a direct link to information about this party, but if you’re interested, just call.
- Table Tennis (Ages 9-14)
This is would be a great party for older kids. You can rent the facility although there are restrictions on food and drink near the tables.
- Youth Teen Center
Rent the Youth Teen Center for parties for teens at the Barn in Columbia.
- IKEA Ages: Teens 13+ – Yeah, that’s going to sound strange, but it works for older kids. Start with lunch in the cafe, then the kids can go through the store taking photos of themselves in the various demonstration areas. Photo contest anyone?I recently did this with my 13 year-old and 6 of her friends and they had a good time. Party favors were cactus plants on sale for less than $5. They also got $1 soft serve ice cream cones.
- Horse Back Riding
Misty Manor Riding Stables can do trail ride birthday parties.
✳Party Favor Ideas: Horse ears headbands
Suggestions based on age:
Party Place Age 1-4 Age 5-7 Age 8-9 Age 9-10 Age 11-13 Age 14+ Pool Party Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Farms Yes Yes No No No No Craft Parties Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Pottery Stop No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Autobahn Racing No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Baseball Birthdays No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes iFly 3+ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Live Theater Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Firehouse Parties 3+ Yes No No No No Fencing Parties No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Roller Skating Parties No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Home Birthday Party Ideas
If you have room at home (or a relative’s home or decide to rent a party room such as at the North Laurel Community Center, The Meeting Room in Clarksville, Occasions Banquet Hall in North Laurel, or Roger Carter Community Center in Ellicott City) there are lots of great ideas for home-hosted parties. For example hiring a magician, having a princess tea party or having someone bring in farm animals, etc.
- ✳Tip: For any birthday party consider getting a photo booth. These can be great fun and provide lasting memories. Choose your provider carefully. I’ve had great luck with Shelly’s Sweet Photo Booth (410) 961-2983. ✳
Here are some entertainers that I have seen that do a good job with home parties. For more ideas, see my other post about birthday party themes:
- Science Themed Parties- There are a few performers you can get. One great choice is Mad Science–they have several performers that can come to your child’s party. I’ve seen Damu perform, he’s was fantastic. Request him if he’s available. I have also seen several shows by Eric Energy. Eric did a pretty good job with “science-tainment”–he gets the kid’s involved in several science experiments that they are sure to love…a great party favor to go with this would a 10-pack of safety goggles.
- You might also try doing a science party yourself if you’re ambitious–see Bird’s Party blog’s Mad Scientist Party how-to. If you like animals, you could have Reptile Wonders/Nature Center On The Go bring all sorts of interesting animals to your home. Reptile wonders has huge turtles, a Burmese python, bearded dragon and various skinks for your party guests to see and handle.
- D’s Magic – Great magic show complete with rabbit and balloon sculpture. Very entertaining.
- Another idea is to have a Lego robotics birthday party–the crew from The Great Adventure Lab will bring lego robots to your party and spend time teaching the kids how to program them. Sounds like a great experience and an unusual party.
- Have an art-themed party. A colleague and friend of mine bought canvases and paints for the party attendees. She put nails in her fence and attached the canvases so each child would have an easel.
- Petting Zoo party – If it’s in the budget, get Leesburg Animal Park to bring their petting zoo to your home. Kids will get to learn about and pet llamas, turtles, chickens, snakes, goats, and more
- Kids all love a face-painters. Try Pirate Girl.
- Consider a caricature artist. George Edwards charges around $200 for 3 hours of art.
- For a special flair of sophistication, and to perhaps make your job as host a little bit easier, consider hiring on a little bit of light catering. For example, the Omelette Guys provide omelette and Belgian waffle stations as well as pasta stations.
Do you have any ideas to share? Don’t be shy about letting me know. Also, be sure and browse my blog for birthday gift ideas and take a look at my comments about party favors–please choose a healthy option, choose to do something different. Also, here is my list of birthday party places in Anne Arundel County.