Fun Places to Host a Birthday Party for Tweens

Girls hanging out at slumber party

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Below are the best birthday party locations for tween parties. There's no shortage of birthday party locations, but finding the right one can be a challenge for parents of tweens. As children age, their birthday party expectations can become extravagant. It's not just the idea of birthday gifts that get them going, it's the whole affair — activities, games, food, and cake.

Fortunately for tweens, there are a variety of locations that can host a successful party, and many of them are very reasonably priced. If your tween's birthday is approaching, consider the following birthday party locations to host the event.

Places to Host a Tween Birthday Party

Keep in mind that any location will have to meet with your son or daughter's approval. To be safe, share this list with your child and decide on a location together.

Your Home

Before you research any birthday party locations, be sure to ask your child if he'd rather have the party at home. A home party, in the end, is probably your most flexible and economical choice.

Slumber parties are a hit with tweens, but even a two-hour party on a weekend afternoon may be enough to please your child.

Some children don't want a big production on their birthday. Discuss different ideas before you commit to or lay down a deposit on a facility.

Locations for the Wild Child

If your child is an outdoor kid, you're in luck. Nearly every city, municipality or county has a local park or recreation center that can be booked for various events. These locations are typically pretty inexpensive, and if the park offers a playground or a skateboarding park, there's even more bang for your buck. A park with a lovely hiking trail or an easy-going bike trail is also a great extra. Make sure the park offers a sheltered picnic area or an indoor facility you can use in case it rains.

State and local parks also offer programs for birthday parties or any special event. These birthday party locations are also economical choices but book early because they are popular choices for families, as well as scouting and church groups.

But local parks aren't your only option here. Many museums and zoos also host outdoor parties and usually include some sort of activity or program in the price. If your child is a true outdoorsman or woman, check your local Yellow Pages for businesses that offer canoe or kayak tours, archery lessons, or horseback riding tours.

Locations for the Creative Mind

Art museums are a great option for children who appreciate painting, sculpting, or photography. Many museums offer birthday packages that include an activity, free time and enough time for cake and presents. At a paint-your-own pottery studio, children pick a clay item to paint, then break for cake, ice cream, and presents.

Additional party locations for creative tweens include movie theaters, a local playhouse or a dinner theater, to see a performance and enjoy a meal.

Locations for the Tween Foodie

If your child's preferred art form requires food, there are a variety of options available to you. Many parents don't know that many restaurants offer tours of the facility, as well as a special meal for groups. Usually, these programs take place before the establishment opens for the day.

Children can get a glimpse of the restaurant's kitchen and walk-in refrigerators, and ask questions about how the staff performs their duties. Some establishments may even allow the children to try their hand at food preparation, but be sure to ask as local health laws may limit what the children can and can't do.

Another idea for the tween foodie is to take him and one or two of their best friends to a favorite restaurant. If your tween is adventurous with food, try something different such as a Japanese steakhouse, where food is prepared right before your eyes.

Locations for the Sports Fanatic

Children who love sports should be pretty easy to please. Consider booking a bowling alley, roller rink, ice rink, skateboarding park, putt-putt course, or indoor batting cages for the birthday boy or girl.

Other ideas include an indoor rock climbing gym, or an inflatable party and play center. Again, many of these facilities offer a birthday party package that might include food, as well as cake and even goodie bags.

Locations for the Fashion Diva

Daughters who love fashion or jewelry may want to visit a local beading store where the girls can make their own jewelry. Consider taking the girls to a thrift store with a predetermined amount of money to spend. Bring them home where they can take their findings and put on a fashion show for each other.

Or, ask your local department store if a personal shopper will give the girls a short fashion lesson, where she points out current styles, as well as fashion dos and don'ts. Afterward, break for cake and presents at the food court.

By Jennifer O'Donnell
Jennifer O'Donnell holds a BA in English and has training in specific areas regarding tweens, covering parenting for over 8 years.