Looking for a primo spot for your child’s next birthday party? A few tips, if we may. First: Let them in on the planning. After all, there are so many options – whether your child is a princess wannabe or just a ball of energy needing an outlet. Second: Let Metro Parent be your guide! Here are 10 awesome venue ideas throughout the metro Detroit and Ann Arbor areas.
1. Cupcake shops
Colored sprinkles, gobs of frosting, and a choice of yummy cupcakes – these are the makings for a birthday party for kids with a sweet tooth (or two!). With bakeries sprouting up around the area, these bright, heavenly scented shops often offer kids’ parties. Check out our roundup of bakeries and cupcake shops, too.
- Baked Impressions, 2065 Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield, 248-686-3357
2. Pottery places
Children love to get their hands messy. And if they can make unique creations while doing it, all the better. For a memorable party complete with favors guests create during their time together, pottery shops are a great option.
- Creative Arts Studio (pottery painting, beading, mosaics, glass fusing, wheel throwing, wax hands), 114 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak, 248-544-2234
- Pewabic Pottery (includes a tour and tile-making; ages 4-5 plus, 10-25 kids), 10125 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit, 313-8626-2062 (talk to Mary)
- The Bee’s Knees Studio & Gallery, 149 E. Main St., Northville, 248-347-6718
3. Action arenas
Whether you’re looking for hands-on fun and disco dance parties or sports-geared spots with go-karts, glo golf, arcades and laser tag – these action-packed kid zones are great for kids who want plenty to do at their next party.
- Boogie Babies (disco dance, Wii/gaming stations, tree house play area), 1928 Star-Batt Drive, Rochester Hills, 248-852-6288
- C.J. Barrymore’s (arcade, bowling alley, bumper cars, bowling, more) 21750 Hall Road, Clinton Township, 586-469-2800
- Jungle Java (soft play center), locations in Ann Arbor, Canton, Clinton Township and Farmington Hills
- Kids Gotta Play (swing sets, playhouses, hoops, trampolines), 53535 Grand River, New Hudson, 248-486-5300
- Paradise Park (laser tag, arcade, mini golf, climbing wall, trampoline, go-karts, kiddie track, more), 45799 Grand River, Novi, 248-735-1050
- Zap Zone (laser tag, glo-golf, arcade, go-karts, jump zone, bumper cars, more), locations in Ann Arbor, Canton, Farmington, Taylor, Utica and Waterford
4. Bouncing bonanzas
Does your child always seem to be bouncing around – whether on her bed or on the couch? If so, you might want to schedule some time letting your child venture into an inflatable haven. Don’t forget to have the kids wear their socks!
- AirTime Trampoline & Game Park, locations in Canton, Troy, Sterling Heights
- Bounce House, locations in Detroit, New Baltimore, St. Clair Shores and Sterling Heights
- Bounce U, 1101 Rochester Road, Troy, 248-626-5867
- Bouncing Off the Walls, 3887 Fort St., Wyandotte, 734-246-9977
- Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park, locations in Canton, Shelby Township and Taylor
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5. Splash zones
For parents with water bugs on their hands, don’t miss out on some chlorinated local fun. Little swimmers will love having a party poolside.
- Aqua-Tots, locations in Canton, Detroit, Novi, Sterling Heights and Troy
- Goldfish Swim School, locations in Ann Arbor, Birmingham, Canton, Clarkston, Farmington Hills, Macomb and Rochester
- Liberty Lagoon Indoor Waterpark and Activity Center, 2975 W. Liberty Road, Ann Arbor, 734- 665-3738
6. Science centers
Budding scientist, or maybe just an astronaut wannabe? If so, book your child’s next birthday bash at an area science center.
- Ann Arbor Hands On Museum, 220 E. Ann St., Ann Arbor, 734-995-5439
- Michigan Science Center, 5020 John R St., Detroit, 313-577-8400
- Cranbrook Institute of Science, 39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills, 248-645-3200
7. Private theaters
Everyone likes going to the theater, whether for movies or plays. But how often do you get to have a theater all to yourself or reserved seating? It sure could be arranged for a special birthday boy or girl.
- Goodrich Quality Theaters, locations in Ann Arbor, Canton and Oxford
- Marquis Theatre, 135 E. Main St., Northville, 248-349-8110
8. Princess palaces
For little girls looking for the chance to be a princess for a day, there are several party places to indulge her inner royalty.
- Tea Party Castle, 52261 Van Dyke Ave., Shelby Township, 866-484-4662
- My Girly Party, 30006 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills, 248-298-2220
9. Bowling alleys
If you’ve got kids who love to stay active during the party and down a few pins, a bowling party is the ticket. Remember to ask for the staff to put up kids’ bumpers.
- Thunderbird Lanes, 400 W. Maple Road, Troy, 248-362-1660
- Brighton Bowl, 9871 E. Grand River Ave., Brighton, 810-227-3341
10. Skating rinks
There’s something a little retro special about hanging out a roller rink. Strap some skates on your birthday kids and watch them take a spin around the rink. Be sure they get in a game of hokey-pokey, too.
- Bonaventure Family Skating Center, 24505 Halsted Road, Farmington Hills, 248-476-2200