For most kids (and some adults), there is no day more special than their birthday! They might not understand what it means to be a year older, nor visualize all the responsibilities that adulthood brings, but they definitely know they will get cake, presents, and tons of special attention on this day! Personally, I think birthday parties are a way of showing my love to my children, and hoping they understand that this day, I am celebrating their uniqueness, and my joy at having them in my life. Every year, I start thinking well in advance of my eldest son and daughter’s birthdays to try to come up with a new and fun way to style their birthday bashes. (I start birthday parties at 3 years, so my 2 year old will have one next year). Today I’m going to share some of the options that Palo Alto has to offer in terms of venues for birthday parties, as well as some activities that could make your kid’s special day more fun!
1. Use a park for your next party
Palo Alto has twenty-eight beautiful neighborhood parks that are easy to access, and provide gorgeous views as well as open space for children to run around in. Most of these parks have BBQ grills, picnic benches and children’s playgrounds that you may use. Kids birthday parties may also be hosted at the Stanford Grounds. While weather is always something to keep an eye on, when planning anything outdoors, there are a number of plus points to such an arrangement: Less chance of children messing up decoration pieces, carpets or sofas, for examples. And you don’t need to worry about the neighbors complaining about the ruckus! Furthermore it is an inexpensive way to celebrate a milestone. Check out Palo Alto Parks
2. Hollywood, Rock Star or Spa party at Snip-its
For little girls who like glamour, one option is hosting a Hollywood, Rockstar or Spa Party at Snip-its! These are just five types of parties that Snip-its offers for birthday celebrations, and all you have to do it cover the bill. They have an in-house party planner who will provide everything, from themed cupcakes and cake to decor and glamorous outfits for the attendees. The maximum capacity is twelve, though, so you will have to plan around that. Sometimes you also have the option of renting the entire space after hours, so you can have more attendees. This past summer, I recently held a spa party for my daughter and it was a wonderful event. It’s definitely a lot of fun for the kids, and no hassle for the parents at all! Check out Snip-its Palo Alto.
3. Ceramics Party at Create it Ceramics
If your child is creative and into crafting, their birthday party might be hosted at Create It Ceramics and Mosaic Studio, at the Town and Country Center. Party packages allow for one piece of art per person, and you can choose either pottery painting or glass fusion. The staff will provide guidance, serve, clean-up and generally manage everything. The food and cake has to be provided by you, though they will provide tablecloths, plates, utensils etc. Most children really enjoy this venue! Check out Create It Ceramics in Palo Alto. This is another one of those great birthday party ideas for kids in Palo Alto.
4. Trampoline Jump party
Do your kids prefer more energetic activities? An awesome option is to hold a trampoline party! There’s the Rockin’ Jump in San Carlos, which offers party packages and amazing indoor trampolines that are fun for all ages. There is also Sky High Sports in Santa Clara. Both places offer customizable birthday party packages to fit your budget. Everyone has to have a signed liability waiver, however, and parents have to watch over kids to make sure they play safely.
5. American Girl Doll party
A favorite among little girls everywhere is American Girl Doll as a venue for their birthday celebration! They offer an all-inclusive package for girls ages 3 and up. They provide everything frilly, including a lovely meal, a pink and white cake, tiaras and goody-bags for every girl, and matching invitations and thank-you notes. They also have a deluxe party package which is for girls 8 and up, and includes activity and craft tables. Doll Hair Salon services may be added on, as well as photography services. All these services are available at the Stanford Shopping Center location.
6. Inflatable castle at Pump it Up
One of the most popular venues for birthday parties in my daughter’s circle has to be Pump It Up in Sunnyvale. Basically, because they have specialized in kids birthday parties! With options like a Glow Party, Superhero Training Camp or a Pirates Quest, and with inflatable castles that children of all ages enjoy, the Jump It Up team provides every service you could require in a party. This allows us parents to customize the party plan to include exactly the services we want, and fit in with our individual budget! Pump it Up is about 25 minutes drive from Palo Alto.
7. Miniature Golf
Golfland USA, also in Sunnyvale, offers Miniature Golf as well as arcade games. They have a per-person flat rate for birthday parties, depending on the number of activities you chose, which includes invitations, pizza, unlimited soda, decorative plates and cups, and the supervision of their party host or hostess. You can add-on goodie bags and more food, since they also offer a wide variety of party platters. Parents are required to bring the cake, but other food from outside is not allowed. Check out Golfland USA Sunnyvale. Golfland USA is about 25 minutes drive from Palo Alto.
8. Skating Party at Winter Lodge
Winter Lodge is a very popular place for children and adults to learn to skate. My kids have taken lessons there, and it is a birthday party hotspot all year round. The parties are held either indoor or outdoor and are an hour and a half or 2 hours depending on your package and schedule. Some of the options include use of BBQ grill and picnic areas. Outside food is allowed, as you are mainly paying for the use of the facility. The facility has been a staple in Palo Alto for many years. With an incredible staff, a laid back and cozy atmosphere and of course the “snow” at closing, Winter Lodge in Palo Alto is a great option. Check out Winter Lodge
9. K1 Speed
If you have an older child and you are looking for something super cool, K1 Speed offers an amazing option. Their electric racing go karts, reach speed of up to 45mph, on professionally designed tracks. There are packages for everyone. If you have a large or a small group, your requests will be accommodated. Packages include podium celebrations for the winners, group photos, and available catering on premises. There are dedicated hosts to attend to your party from beginning to end. Check out K1 Speed. K1 speed is about 25 minute drive from Palo Alto.
10. At home
Finally, you may just decide to host the birthday party at home. To be honest, this is often as expensive as hosting it outside, and is definitely way more time consuming, and with the clean-up phase afterwards. But it also gives you a lot of creative license to style the party as you feel like. There are a huge variety of party planning websites and ideas that you can find to suit any theme you may think of. You can also contact individual vendors to provide additions such as bounce houses, clowns, magicians, face painters etc. You can definitely personalize it more if you plan to set it up yourself. You may also decide to do it at home, but hire a professional event manager to plan the party. Whichever way you decide to plan your child’s birthday party, or whatever venue you choose, do remember that the most important thing is for them to feel special on that day. In our fast-paced lives, we sometimes can’t express all the love we feel for our little ones, and their birthdays can just be an excuse to make sure they know how much they mean to us. For that, you need words, family time and hugs, more than huge birthday parties, though they do seem to enjoy the latter!
Update: Check out another article on Unique Birthday Party Places in Palo Alto