Partially edited by J.Kry, 8/22/15
Kids of a certain age means birthday parties! Here's ten places to go. Each venue is noted with seasonal information, approximate cost to rent, and any other details that seem relevant. Most of these are for kids ages 3-7; prices, when marked, should include the year they were verified.
Allmendinger Park (summer and fall). A few picnic tables near the playground with lots of things to do for kids (slides, swings, a merry-go-round, climbing equipment). Shady for those hot days. Avoid it on football Saturdays. Free.
Burns Park (summer and fall). Set up by the playground or by the shelter. Lots and lots of grass to run on, and a big sandbox at the playground. Not much shade at the playground. Free. To reserve the shelter, please call 734.794.6230; there are fees.
Maryfield Wildwood Park (summer and fall) West side neighborhood park with play equipment and picnic tables and shade, which did a great job for a 3 yr old's party. Free.
Indoor play spaces
Liberty Athletic Club - Indoor waterpark, climbing structure and rockwall! www.libertyathletic.net/kids/parties.php
Jungle Java - $13-22 ea, (2013 prices), 10 child mininum on weekends. Depending on the package, the fees may include cake, invitations, utensils, balloons, and party favors. http://www.junglejavaplay.com/annarbor/packages/packages/
My Urban Toddler - Weekdays Monday - Friday $175, Weekends Saturday - Sunday $275. (2013 prices) During your private party at My Urban Toddler, you will have the exclusive use of the multi-purpose room for dining and the entire play space for 2 hours. Each additional hour is $50. Party includes: 20 children, 40 adults (each additional child is $5), Dedicated party hosts to make sure that you enjoy your party and that all of your guests are well cared for during your event, Set up, full service & clean up, Colored dining and catering tablecloths to match any theme, Utensils (spoons, forks, knives and serving), Paper Products, Cups, Ice http://www.myurbantoddler.com/PDF/BROCHURE.pdf
Chelsea Treehouse - $13.50 ea, 6 min (pizza party), $15 ea, 8 min (tea party). Jet's pizza, drinks, tableware, invitations, balloons, no cake, can bring goodie bags w/no nuts. http://thechelseatreehouse.com/parties-pricing.html
Peachy Fitness Looking for a unique, fun and healthy birthday party? Peachy Fitness will get your kids moving! Kids 3-16 love our Zumba, Yoga, Bollywood and Craft parties, and tweens and teens flip for our Mini-Spa, Diva and Minute-to-Win-it parties. All of our party packages include hostesses, decorations, set-up and clean up and we offer extras like henna tattoos and a photo booth to make your child’s special day an event to remember. There’s no fuss for mom and dad - just pick the date, and we’ll plan the rest. Peachy parties are fitness and fun rolled into one! 734-681-0477; [email protected]
GameStart - GameStart teaches computer programming and other STEAM skills to students though gameplay. Birthday parties start at $350 and include a 90 minute lesson from a professional programming instructor (up to 15 kids).
Ann Arbor Art Center - AAAC Art Parties offer a diverse selection of kid-approved projects that balance art education, entertainment, and hands-on fun.
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum (indoors, weekends only, members only, 3 parties/week). Sounds like a fun spot, reviews welcome. $275 for up to 15 kids and 20 adults, includes Family Membership ($75 value).
Great Lakes Zoological Society (closed)Come celebrate your birthday with over 70 species of exotic and indigenous reptiles, amphibians and birds! Get up close and personal with the animals in a private hands-on animal presentation combining education, conservation and fun! Indoor zoo and outdoor nature trail!
Humane Society of Huron Valley: For kids turning 5-12; meet adoptable animals and learn about animals, make and then hand out treats for the animals there on a tour of the facility. Birthday kiddo gets to name an adoptable animal, and all guests get an animal-themed goodie bag. $200 for up to 15 youth and 3 adults; additional youth $10 each, additional adults free; maximum 18 kids.
Leslie Science Center Five programs for kids 4-7 or 7-13 with indoor and outdoor science themes for all weather. $125 ($150 non-resident) for up to 13-15 kids.
Tiny Lions cat cafe: Cats - Cats - Cats! For kids turning 6 and up; games and cat-centric activities among the friendly felines at the cafe. $175 for up to 20 people (1:3 adult/youth ratio).
U-M Exhibit Museum of Natural History. Dinosaurs! Space! Planetarium! Ages 4-10, 15 kids max, $215 ($195 for members).
Royal Princess Parties High quality children's entertainment that comes to you, featuring characters such as the Snow Queen, Mermaid Princess, Rapunzel, and Princess Beauty. Party packages can be customized just for you. Characters are played by a professionally trained vocalist, with excellent quality costumes. 734-707-3083, [email protected]
Chelsea Teddy Bear Factory (indoors). "Birthday parties right on the factory floor", says the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors Bureau; I've never been. $14-$20 per guest.
Scrap Box "Birthday parties or field trips by appointment". Tons and tons of industrial surplus and remnants waiting for your next craft project. $10/child, all children kindergarten and older.
zoey + joey Birthday party themes include: Princess, Tea Party, Mini Spa Day - up to five kids for 1 hr. 45 min. Every child receives crafts, take home goody bag, mini manicure with non-toxic products, and more! Birthday attendant and nail technician are included in price. Just bring cake! $300 (734)975-9400 http://www.zoeyjoeystudio.com
This is not a complete list, prices subject to change (accurate 1/07), reservations may be required in advance, city parks have use fees for reservations for shelters and large groups.
added 3/08 here are some more kid birthday ideas.
Hampton Inn pool party
Meri Lou Murray Rec Center (cannot make reservations....first come first serve) http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/parks_recreation/mlm/ pr_pkcrc.html
Humane Society of Huron Valley: meet adoptable animals and learn about HSHV, make and then hand out treats for the animals there on a tour of the facility
YMCA (does not do b-day parties) http://www.annarborymca.org/