I’ll be honest. I R.S.V.P. to almost every birthday party invitation that comes home in my kids’ backpacks. Why? I like giving my kids a chance to be social with their friends outside of school. I like meeting the other mothers. Buying a present seems like a fair trade-off.
While I’ve been to my fair share of parties, some are a cut above the rest because let’s face it: we’ve had all the chaos at the pizza parlors we can stand. If you’re looking for a great place to hold your next party, here are the 5 best birthday party venues in Phoenix:
1. Phoenix Zoo
Best for ages 1-12 years
By far the best birthday party my children have been invited to was at the Phoenix Zoo. Cake, crafts, a carousel ride and fun favors that included a wearable rubber animal nose. All of that and we got to explore the zoo after the party.
You can have an awesome celebration for your child too. A hosted birthday package is $300 for non-members, $250 for members, and includes:
- FREE Admission to the Zoo for up to 10 children and 12 adults (additional guests for $20/$30)
- Reserved party ramada for 1.5 hours
- A personal party host
- Craft activity with the party host
- Party favor bag for each child, plus a T-shirt for the birthday child
- Cake, ice cream, and lemonade for all party guests
- Plates, napkins, spoons and candles
- One carousel ride OR Stingray Bay admission for each child
One of the best things about a birthday party at the Phoenix Zoo is that you can customize it. Choose a venue with a picturesque lake view or select the Windmill House, best for the younger party goers because it’s at Harmony Farm. A carousel ride or admission to Stingray Bay is included in a birthday package, but if you want to do both you can add on the Stingray exhibit for $2 per person. Add a train ride to a party with at least 22 guests for $50. The biggest hit of the zoo party my son attended was the Private Animal Discovery Presentation. Available as a $50 add-on to party packages, this gives guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Arizona’s desert dwellers.
2. Arizona SEA LIFE Aquarium
Best for ages 4-12 years
Learn all about sharks and more at SEA LIFE Aquarium
My son loves SEA LIFE and what’s better than a visit to the aquarium? One that includes a birthday party! SEA LIFE offers two party packages. Their basic package for $275 +tax includes:
- FREE all-day admission for 15 guests (additional guests $10/per person ages 3+)
- Decorated party room for 1.5 hours
- Personal party host for 45 minutes
- Party favor bag for each child
- FREE Annual Pass for the birthday child
The deluxe party package for $400 +tax includes:
- FREE all-day admission for 20 guests (additional guests $10/per person ages 3+)
- Decorated party room for 2 hours
- Personal party host for 1 hour (choose Pirate or Mermaid host)
- Themed craft activity with host + Under the Sea party games
- Party favor bag for each child
- SEA LIFE gift for the birthday child
- FREE Annual Pass for the birthday child and one family member
If you host a birthday party at SEA LIFE, it’s the perfect time to purchase annual passes at a 25% discount. For more information and free downloadable activity packs, visit their website.
3. Girly Girlz
Best for ages 3+
Every little princess who loves pink, feather boas, pampering and getting dolled-up will love a Girly Girlz birthday party. Parties of 6 or more start at $299 and they’re all inclusive. They will even manage R.S.V.P.’s for you! The birthday girl can register for glamorous gifts in the boutique and guests save 10% on party day. Other cool things included in a Girly Girlz birthday party are:
- Choice of over 25 themes
- Custom invitations based on theme
- 3-course party food from dainty tea parties to pizza and chocolate fondue
- Party favors for all the guests
- Games, dancing, karaoke – it’s all included and based on the party theme
Or, give your diva a day of pampering with a Girly Girlz spa party! Priced at $35 per person and offered for six or fewer girls, a spa party includes glittery hair twists, make-up demonstrations, and a super star photoshoot. If your birthday girl prefers tea parties, the enchanted Tea Parlour is available Monday – Thursday for 2 – 16 guests. The price of $12.95 per princess includes dress-up, dessert, and a keepsake photo.
4. Pump It Up
All guests must be a minimum of 34 inches tall to use the equipment. Guests 17 years and younger must complete a waiver signed by a parent/guardian.
Choose from 3 party packages, available for up to 25 guests. Prices vary based on day of the week with weekends being more expensive.
Classic Party Package ($225 weekdays, $275 weekends) includes:
- Party invitations
- Private party room celebration
- Festive paper goods
- Set-up and clean-up
- Lots of fun on the inflatables!
A Deluxe Party Package ($290 weekdays, $340 weekends) includes the classic party plus pizza and drinks for each child. The Ultimate Party Package ($350 weekdays, $400 weekends) includes the deluxe party plus goodie bags, balloons, and more.
That’s not all of the fun! Pump It Up offers a choice of 3 party add-ons for $30 each:
- Go Glow: Have guests wear white or glow-in-the dark clothing to enjoy the special FX lighting a Go Glow party offers.
- Pirate Quest: Your birthday child is the Captain leading their jolly buccaneers in pirate games and a search for lost treasure. Everyone gets to keep some loot and the Captain gets a special gift!
- Superhero Training Camp: Guests complete superhero training exercises and earn their I.D. card and superhero mask. The birthday child gets a superhero cape, certificate, and a special gift!
5. Children’s Museum of Phoenix
Best for ages 1-10 years
A museum designed for children and touching of the exhibits is permitted and encouraged. It doesn’t get any sweeter than that… unless you’re adding a birthday cake!
Left: 11-foot tall rocketship that kids can help paint; Right: Gas Can Squarepants
The Children’s Museum has several party options. The first option is $345 for non-members, $295 for members, and includes:
- Up to 15 children (1 parent required for every 5 children)
- Up to 3 adults free
- Extra children and adults for $15/$9 each
- 15 party invitations
- 1 hour in private party room with Party Pal
- Museum time
- Special gift for the birthday child
The second party option is $445 for non-members, $395 for members, and includes:
- First level party options
- 90 minutes in private party room with Party Pal
- Hands-on children’s activity
- 3 extra-large one-topping pizzas and 15 juice boxes
- Cupcake dessert activity
- Plates and napkins
The Children’s Museum can also accommodate an outdoor party on the lawn or a spectacular, after-hours affair. Contact an Event Coordinator for more information.