Kids grow up so fast – it seems as though their birthdays approach at an alarming rate. As a parent, you want to make your child’s birthday a special day that won’t soon be forgotten. Luckily, there are a great number of places throughout Michigan that can help make your child’s party a great success.
Jump around! Voted one of Parents magazine’s 10 best birthday party chains, Pump it Up locations are indoor arenas filled with giant inflatable slides, bounce houses, obstacle courses and more. You will customize your own private party that Pump It Up’s party coordinators will set up and clean up for you. Optional add-ons include pizza, balloons and goodie bags.
Locations: Auburn Hills, Canton, Shelby Township, Taylor, Wixom
Rates: $129 – $269
Craig’s Cruisers is a family fun center with outdoor go-karts, miniature golf, bumper boats and batting cages, as well as a video arcade. You can customize birthday parties with the activities of your choice from those offered. They serve pizza and soft drinks, and do not allow outside items into the facility.
Locations: Muskegon, Holland, Grand Rapids, Silver Lake
Rates: $7.99-$15.99 per guest, depending on activity
Paint your own pottery studios like HOTplate are a fun way to unleash children’s creativity at a birthday party. Each guest will receive a ceramic item to decorate any way they choose using the studio’s paints, brushes, stamps and stencils. Parties last for 1.5 hours and have a six guest minimum. Food can be ordered from nearby merchants and served in the studio.
Location: 153 W. Washington St., Marquette, Michigan 49855
Rates: $8-60 per guest, depending on piece selected
You’ll score a strike with a bowling party at Community Bowling Centers. Choose from regular lighting, or special “glow” bowling, available on weekends. Your party includes an hour of bowling, hot dogs, soft drinks and all paper goods. Bumper bowling is available for younger bowlers, and another option to add to your party is character bowling.
Locations: 11 locations in the Metro-Detroit area
Rates: Specials vary by day, check website for details
Children’s love for stuffed animals is taken a step further at Build-A-Bear Workshop, where party guests have the chance to make a stuffed friend of their very own. You set the price, and the party guests will select stuffed animals, clothing and accessories to fit your budget. Food is not allowed in the store, so if you plan on having food, you will need to arrange to use the mall’s food court.
Locations: Ann Arbor, Grandville, Novi, Portage, Troy
Rates: Starting at $10 per guest
Ideal for parties for first through fifth birthdays, Gymboree offers music and play in a safe environment. You can choose a theme for the party, or opt to let the little ones run, climb, jump and roll without a theme. A party package allows you to invite up to 20 guests, and includes party favors, but you must bring your own food.
Locations: Birmingham, Clinton Township, Grand Rapids, Portage, Riverview, Rochester
Rates: Varies by location, 10% discount for members
Glittery Spa Parties and Sweet Little Tea Parties
As sister companies, Glittery Spa Parties and Sweet Little Tea Parties travel throughout south Michigan bringing ultra-girly parties to birthday girls. Pick a these that tickles your fancy, from Diva Glam to Princess to Glittery Spa, and enjoy the 2 hour party hostess, personalized party invitations, theme craft, dress-up costumes, elegant table setting, party photos of guests, exclusive celebration cupcakes and spectacular lighted punch fountain.
Locations: Based in Lansing, traveling throughout the Detroit Metropolitan area and many Western Michigan counties
Rates: $200 and up
Website: glitteryspaparties.com | sweetlittletea.com