Celebrate your little one’s big day with a unique party you’ll both remember for years to come.
Cake and ice cream are birthday party essentials, but is that all you need to make the day memorable? Why stop there when your son or daughter could ring in the next year rock climbing, cruising in a bumper cart, or creating their own Lego cityscape?
If you’re feeling stressed out about how you might be able to contain so many tiny children in such big, open spaces, just remember that you don’t need to go it alone! You can always ask your babysitter or nanny if they’d be willing to lend an extra pair of hands — and eyes. You can also hire people to do any kind of odd jobs that you may need to help set up the event.
Read on for 13 of the best suggestions for making your kiddo’s birthday dreams come true while keeping your stress levels low.
Address: 325 W. Lake St., Ste. A, Elmhurst, IL 60126
Hours: Monday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Tuesday, noon – 8 p.m. | Wednesday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. | Friday, noon – 11 p.m | Saturday, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. | Sunday, noon – 8 p.m.
Your family and friends will reach new heights at Sky Zone in Elmhurst. The indoor trampoline park offers wall-to-wall fun, with your choice of basketball, dodgeball, and volleyball programs. Birthday party packages include a minimum of 60 minutes of jumping for at least 12 kids and start at $299. Other packages include use of the private party room, a party host, food, and soft drinks. Sky Zone vows to take care of everything — from pizza to paper plates.
Address: 7759 S. Harlem Ave., Burbank, IL 60459
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. | Friday, 11 a.m – midnight | Saturday, 10 a.m. – midnight | Sunday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Don’t let the name scare you. This Halloween-themed family amusement park is all about having fun. You can spend an entire day here enjoying everything from go-karts to mini-golf to batting cages to a laser maze. Haunted Trails is open year-round; however, some attractions, like the amusement rides, are seasonal.
Birthday party packages start at $13.95 per guest and are tailored to summer or winter (indoor) months. Parties include a 90-minute table reservation, a party host, pizza, ice cream, and attraction passes. If your son or daughter is lucky enough to have an October birthday (and a good dose of bravery), consider adding to the itinerary a walk through Haunted Trails’ one-month-only Frightmare Haunted House!
Address: 100 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607
Hours: Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 11 p.m | Saturday – Sunday, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. Phone: 312-268-0002
Brooklyn Boulders Chicago, located in the city’s West Loop neighborhood, is one of the best indoor climbing facilities in the area. The 25,000-square-foot space comes complete with locker rooms and showers.
Two-hour birthday party packages can accommodate anywhere from five to 20 climbers — gear included! Private instructors will also be on hand for you and your guests. Unlike other party spaces with kitchens, Brooklyn Boulders welcomes you to bring whatever food and drink the birthday boy or girl desires.
Address: 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173
Hours: Monday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
The Legoland Discovery Center is a Chicagoland legend as far as kids are concerned. Guests can enjoy attractions like a “Star Wars” Miniland display and a 4-D cinema, as well as get interactive in one of the playrooms.
It’s no surprise this is a common destination for kids celebrating their birthday. Party packages require a minimum of 20 guests and include an hour inside a private party room, plus two hours of fun in the Discovery Center.
Address: 2337 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL 60647 | 2864 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago IL 60657
Hours: Vary based on classes and party schedule
Do you have a budding chef on your hands? Let them show off their skills by booking a birthday party at the Kids’ Table. The cooking school’s Wicker Park and Lakeview locations can accommodate children ages 2 and up. Choose from a pizza party, a breakfast bash, a tea party, and other themes. Packages start at $375 for 10 young cooks. Each party includes instruction, cooking utensils, cake, beverages, and more.
Upon arrival, party guests will don paper chef hats and aprons and begin making their own cakes. While the cakes are baking, Kids’ Table instructors will help the guests create a meal on the spot. After they enjoy their culinary creations, it’s time to decorate (and eat) those cakes!
Address: 8400 31st St., Brookfield, IL 60513
Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Forget safari-themed parties. Give your birthday boy or girl the real thing! Brookfield Zoo’s birthday packages include admission, tickets to the Dolphins in Action show, admission to the Hamill Family Play Center, a lunch buffet, and more! Party packages are available for groups of at least 20 guests and start at $775 ($700 for members).
The Brookfield Zoo is home to hundreds of animals and dozens of attractions, including giraffes, penguins, big cats, and more!
Address: 835 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60611
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. | Friday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Saturday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Sunday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
American Girl Place is a classic party palace for birthday girls. The Chicago location (inside Water Tower Place) is a slice of heaven for American Girl collectors. You’ll find specialty clothing shops, salons, private dining, and more for your little girl and her doll.
Various all-inclusive party packages start at $36 per child and include a meal, cake, ice cream, activities, goodie bags, and more for ages 3 and up.
Address: 700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
Hours: Monday – Wednesday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Thursday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. | Friday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Chicago Children’s Museum is one of Navy Pier’s most popular attractions. It’s provided a family-friendly learning and fun zone for over two decades. Permanent exhibits include “Dinosaur Expedition,” where your kids can dig for dinosaurs; “Skyline,” a look at the science behind Chicago’s skyscrapers; and “Play It Safe,” an interactive firehouse. The museum caters to kids of all ages, even pre-walking kiddos.
Special group and birthday visit packages are available for parties of more than 18 guests and include special pricing and all-day admission. Fees start at $13 per person.
Address: 2349 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
Hours: Vary by class and party availability
Is your child a budding scientist? Have you heard of the Laboratory yet? Chicago’s interactive science workspace for kids provides a safe, instructional experience for experimentation and curiosity.
The Wicker Park facility offers themed birthday packages for children ages 5 through 14. Choose between “Making Mini-Bots,” “Magical Potions” (Harry Potter-themed), “Spa Chemistry,” and “Frozen-Themed Science Party.” Each includes a 90-minute space rental and 60 minutes of hands-on science, with instruction provided. Party guests are welcome to bring food and beverages. Parties start at $405 ($364.50 for members) for up to 10 guests.
Address: 3216 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60657
Hours: Monday, 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Tuesday, 8:15 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. | Thursday, 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Friday, 8:15 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. | Saturday – Sunday, 8:15 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Ever heard the expression “party ’til you drop?” The Little Gym of Chicago is a party sure to wear out your son or daughter! In fact, it was named the “Best Gym Party” by “Parents” magazine.
Birthday parties include an hour in the gym with instructor-led games and 30 minutes in the private party room. Packages start at $465 ($425 for members) for up to 16 kids. Setup and cleanup are included.
Address: 821 W. Eastman St., Chicago, IL 60642
Everyone loves a bounce house. What about an entire indoor complex full of bounce houses, slides, mazes, and more? You’ll find just that at Pump It Up — an inflatable party zone!
The bouncy indoor playground in Lincoln Park is a serious hot spot for birthday parties. Two-hour rental packages for 10 to 25 kids, starting at $245, are available with glow-in-the-dark, pirate, and superhero themes. You can also order snacks, pizza, and more for an extra tasty party.
Address: 800 W. Scott St., Chicago, IL 60610
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. | Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. | Saturday, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. | Sunday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
We don’t blame you for not wanting to jump out of an airplane with your adventurous kid. You can still show them a great time on their birthday, though! iFLY in Lincoln Park is a totally unique indoor skydiving facility that provides all of the adrenaline rush your son or daughter craves without having to seek such high altitudes. iFLY can accommodate birthday parties of all sizes for ages 3 and up, with catering options available.
Address: 1825 W. Webster Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – midnight | Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. | Saturday, 11 a.m. – 3 a.m.
Chicago is home to many unique creations: deep-dish pizza, hot dogs without ketchup, green rivers on St. Patrick’s Day, and WhirlyBall. What’s that, you ask? WhirlyBall is a combination of bumper cars, lacrosse, and basketball — and it’s super fun. The Lincoln Park facility also houses a bar, restaurant, and arcade. The WhirlyBall courts are available for party rentals, but you must be at least 4 feet 6 inches tall to safely ride in the cars. If your son or daughter and their friends don’t meet the height requirement, there’s bowling and laser tag to enjoy, too!
Do you have another suggestion of where to celebrate your child’s special day? Let us know in the comments!
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