Kids' Party Places and Spaces for All Budgets
How to hosting a kids' birthday party away from home without breaking the family piggy bank.
Finding the space to host a super soiree for a bunch of active kids can be a tough task this time of year. Here are ideas for getting the most bang for your birthday bucks in our three towns.
First stop South Orange:
Sparkhouse - The most terrific toy store in town also offers parties in their new space, The Super Groovy Party Room. Current themes include Egyptian Treasure Hunt Party, Volcano Party, PJ Party, Outer Space Party, 70's Disco Party.
Party packages include themed décor, paper goods, a party coordinator, take home craft, activities and stories. You only have to bring food and drink. Price for a party of 12 children is $250 ($10 each additional child. Recommended ages 5 and up. Sparkhouse can provide goodie bags for an additional charge from their store’s stock).
“Sparkhouse prides itself on unique, quality toys,” says store manager Kara Erhamza. “Our parties are an extension of that spirit; we strive for fun, adventure and creativity.” The space is also available for rent for $50 an hour (two-hour minimum) and a $25 refundable security deposit.
Just down the block at Kaleidoscope, The Messy Artists offers parties for 2-4 year olds and 5-8 year olds. With "no frills" and "full service" options, this party can cost $320 for 15 kids, or $370 for the same number. Projects, entertainment, invitations and fun included.
Music Together, at the same location, offers parties for kids ages 1 - 6. For the "self service" option, you can sing, dance, and celebrate for as little as $225.
Easy food options for Kaleidoscope include The Town Hall Deli, in the same building, or Toro Loco, which has become very popular with those on the birthday party circuit. Cake is handy too, with Cait & Abby's just down the block.
Next, onto Maplewood:
Maplewood Theater - The six screen theater offers a variety of movie choices in a cozy, contained space as well as an affordable approach to keeping kids of all ages entertained. You can book parties during general hours, which include reserved seating, small popcorn and a soda for $12 per child, $14 per adult (3D are $3 more per ticket).
Throw in a stop to one of the nearby pizza parlors before and after and you’ll have a very happy birthday bunch! Call Maplewood Theater at 973-763-3100 for more information.
South Mountain YMCA – This is a great destination location for the sports loving boys or girls of all ages. Kids can break a sweat in the gym under the direction of party facilitators then head to the adjoining party room for treats and sweets you bring along. Gymnastic or sports themed parties run about 90 minutes and include a party facilitators to lead the events.
Prices for Saturday parties are $145 for members, $190 for non-members for a party of 15 ($8 extra for each additional child). Sunday sports parties are available, but at a higher rate ($165 for members, $215 for non-members). For bookings and more information, contact Rosalyn Trewick, director of marketing and membership, at (973) 762-4145 x113.
Final stop, Millburn:
The House Spa - Spa-loving hipster chicks of all ages will find all the glam they could possibly desire at this trendy salon and store catering to all things eye-candy and girlie. Pampering, primping and posing keep gals of all ages attractively entertained and moms can call even call ahead to book services in the upstairs salon during the drop-off event.
“Parties here are truly beautiful in many ways,” says Christine, a sales associate at The House. “Everyone leaves here feeling special and gorgeous whether they’re the birthday girl or not!”
Prices vary, but booking the downstairs salon room runs about $30-$35 per child with a 12 child minimum (gratuity extra). Smaller parties can book ala carte services in the salon. Party hosts can bring in their own food or the salon will arrange delivery from local businesses (at no up-charge). For an additional cost attendees leave with goodie bags sure to keep them in glitz and gloss long after the party ends.