My son’s birthday is in a few months. I’m trying to be proactive and get it planned now. Instead of two weeks before. Not that I’ve ever done that. Stop looking at me.
Since I was being super organized and putting together a list of possibilities, I thought, “Hey, other people might like this too!” So, here you go!
Below is a list of Austin birthday party locations that mainly focuses on South and Central Austin. For your enjoyment, I’ve added short reviews to the places where I have hosted a party or have attended a party. Otherwise I’ve just included links to their website.
If you think I am missing anything please let me know!
Bounce and Jump
Hoppin’ House We have attended a few birthday parties here ranging in ages 3-6. The kids always seem to have a really good time and you can rent out the entire location. The older woman who runs the place is sharp. I’ve never seen someone herd a bunch of five year olds so efficiently (without being mean and taking away from the fun of course). Added bonus, you get to bring in alcohol for the adults. As the lady said to me when I exclaimed, “What there are mimosas?!” “Of course, this is Hoppin’ House!”
Altitude This is relatively new so we’ve only been here for one sixth birthday party. Kids love this place! They get to run (jump?) around. What’s not to love? They even provide pizza and water for your party. The only thing you need to bring is the cake (or cupcakes or cookies or flan or whatever). The party even had its own private dodge ball game. It is wide open (unlike the one we visited in San Antonio) so you can watch from the sidelines chatting with the other parents. Or you can jump. Totally up to you.
Locomotion This is a brand new location! I went to a party at the old location on Westgate that was fun, but I’ll save my review once I’ve been to a party at the newest location.
Gym and Gymnastics
National Elite Gymnastics We’ve been to a couple of birthday parties here ages 5 & 6. Both were for girls, but the boys really enjoyed themselves as well. They get free time in the gym with trampolines, balance beams, a trampoline that goes into a foam pit (who wouldn’t like this!?), uneven bars, and space to run and play. They provide a place for food and cake, but I believe you bring it in yourself. One of the parties we attended also included a face painter and a princess. They were an added bonus, but not necessary.
My Gym We have attended several parties here ranging in age from 3-5. I’ve been impressed with the games and structure. That isn’t always easy to do with kids in that age range. They also give them time for free play. If several of the other kids in my son’s preschool had not already had parties here we definitely would have picked My Gym for a birthday party. It’s a great place.
Little Gym Little Gym is very similar to My Gym. We went to one birthday party here. Maybe for age three? I thought the party went fine, but the mom of the birthday boy not very impressed.
Lifetime Fitness We are members here. I’ve only been to one party, age six, but I’ve observed a few of the swim parties as well. The party we went to was in the gym and had a sports theme. The two teenagers/early twenties who were supposed to be in charge had NO control of the kids. They ran around, threw balls at each other, played on some skateboard type rolling boards, and made up their own games. They had fun, but I don’t think it was what the birthday boy’s parents had in mind. They probably could have done the same thing at a park. At least the kids were contained. Lifetime has a great pool, but I wouldn’t have a swimming party unless: 1) the kids are older, 2) all good swimmers, or 3) the parents are planning on getting in the pool. Parents have to be close to any kid that can’t pass the swim test. I’ve seen plenty of parents show up in regular non-swimming clothes and their kids end up missing out on a lot of the fun because they have to stay close to the edge.
Wee Warhols I’ve been following Wee Warhols on Facebook for a while and their children’s art classes look amazing. I looked into having a birthday party here last year and the prices were a little steep for me, but I am sure it would be a fabulous and fun party.
Austin Zoo We had my son’s third birthday party here. When we were there you rented a space and paid a discounted rate for your guests’ entrance. Keep in mind that you have to pay for all guests including parents and siblings. That was all that was included. We had to bring in food, drinks, decorations, plates, napkins, cups, utensils, favors, etc. It is up to you how difficult you want to make it 🙂 You also have to carry it all in from the front gate. Then you have to carry everything back plus the presents. Make sure you bring a cart of some sort. Drinks are heavy! I believe they have different packages now that include some of these items. (It might be worth it.) Another thing to consider, the kids aren’t necessarily all together or confined. We gave them an hour to go and explore the zoo and then came back together for food and cake. EDIT: I just reread it and I made the zoo party sound horrible! We had a lot of fun!
A Park We had my son’s firth birthday party at a City of Austin Park. (Dick Nichols if you were wondering) And it was free! Many of the parks have an area you can reserve and pay a fee, but per my opening statement I didn’t plan that far in advance and it was all booked up. I also didn’t know that people get to the park EARLY and sit at tables to reserve them. So in the end we had to bring in our own tables and chairs. Again we had to carry everything a bit of distance because we chose a location under the trees away from the parking lot. Negatives aside, we had a great time. We could stay as long as we wanted. There was a playground. Plenty of open area for games (if it wasn’t a party of babies). Very laid back.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center The Wildflower Center does not have any party packages or private areas to rent, but you are welcome to host one on your own in one of the public areas.
Dinosaur Park This is on Highway 71 almost to Bastrop, but totally worth it if you have a kid who loves dinos. We went to a fifth birthday party here. There is a playground and picnic tables, but the main event is the dinosaur trail. There was a scavenger hunt associated with it, but most of the kids just enjoyed running around and spotting the dinosaurs. Again I think you have to bring in everything yourself.
Other Good Ones That Don’t Quite Fit In The Other Categories
Chuck E Cheese I will admit that I had “nonpositive” feelings about Chuck E Cheese, but I am a total convert. We had both of my son’s fourth and fifth birthday parties here. They do pretty much everything. I opted to bring in the cake and favors, but they have packages that include those as well. The kids have a lot of fun playing the games, the birthday kid gets a special turn in the ticket blaster, Chuck himself comes out and sings and dances with each individual party, the kids get pizza, drinks, and tokens, and the place is SO MUCH CLEANER than I remember it growing up. (No ball pit :() For added safety they put a matching stamp on the hands’ of kids and parents and check that the stamps match when you leave. No need to worry about your child leaving the building without you or with someone else.
Are there any other places your recommend? Comment below!