High school and middle school kids may be too big for Chuck E. Cheese or hired princesses, but we still have plenty of birthday party ideas for teens and tweens. Teens and tweens tend to have more specific interests than little kids, and they're able to do a wider variety of activities. There are plenty of birthday party places near Chicago, and not all of them have to break the bank. We rounded up 18 venues that offer everything from silly sports and games to outdoor adventures to art to baking.
Some big kids may choose to just meet up with their friends at a fun place that matches the season of their birthday like beaches in the summer, ice skating rinks in the winter or at a park to hike in the spring or fall. We've got lists for those, too! You can also check out our favorite bowling centers and mini golf courses for more ideas.
Here are our favorite birthday party places near Chicago for teens and tweens!
Locations in Lincoln Park, Naperville, and Vernon Hills
Each Whirlyball location also has laser tag! Photo courtesy of Whirlyball
A combination of bumper cars, lacrosse, and hockey played with a wiffleball, Whirlyball is a goofy sport that doesn't require specific talents to enjoy. Each Whirlyball location also has laser tag, bowling, and pop up games like giant Jenga and cornhole. Classic party food is available, and you can book a private room for your group.
Choose from dozens of different climbing walls, a high ropes course, laser tag, bumper cars, zip lines, and an arcade at this fun north side venue. There's lots of party packages for 10-20 guests, with optiions to tack on more guests for an extra charge. The unique, themed walls let kids climb up Mount Rushmore or the Statue of Liberty, then enjoy pizza and cake.
Blue Man Theatre Group courtesy of Theatre in Chicago
The Briar Street Theater's Blue Man Group offers special party experiences that include a piece of art for the birthday celebrant, photo opportunities with a Blue Man after the show, party bags, and your name on the LED screen during the show. The pricing on this one might make it a small party, but it will be an unforgettable experience for those who can come.
Located inside Bemis Woods Forest Preserve, this adventure park has aerial adventure courses featuring ziplines and Tarzan swings, a treetop playground, and axe throwing. The guest of honor gets in free, while all other members get a discount for groups of 10 or more. Special teen-themed goodie bags are availble with the party.
Addison and Buffalo Grove
Compete against your friends to see who can race Go Karts the fastest at these suburban indoor speedways. Party packages include a 12-lap qualifying race and 14-lap final with medals for the winners, catered food, and party room rental.
These two imaginative escape rooms can be tailored to visitors of all ages. The Railcar experience in Bucktown's Flatiron Building has teams finding clues throughout a futuristic Blue Line car to stop comic book villains from overtaking the city, while the Time Gallery in Wicker Park let teams ensure that time is maintained in the correct order after the invention of the time machine. Two adults must accompany each party of children under age 18.
Enjoy indoor mini golf and music at this new venue in Oak Brook. Come just to golf, or get a party room with fancy appetizers or dinner to complete the evening. Just plan for an early event—guests entering Puttshack after 8 p.m. must be 21 or over.
Lincoln Park, Rosemont, and Naperville
Birthday parties at these indoor skydiving venues include a flight class, two flights per guest, and party room time. Guest fly through a vertical wind tunnel that simulates the feeling of skydiving.
Roscoe Village and Elmhurst
Photo courtesy of Windy City Ninjas
Party like a ninja with an hour of gym time in the ninja warrior gym and a 30 minutes in the party room with pizza and cake in city or suburban locations. The gym focuses on teaching young people how to do what they didn't think was possible, giving tween and teens confidence to try new things.
West Town, Skokie, and Lombard
Jump into your birthday with trampolines, a trapeze swing, basketball, extreme dodgeball, and wipeout. Parties at these city and suburban trampoline parks clock in at two hourse including jump time, food and cake in a private party room, and goodies for all.
Sporty teens will love the opportunity to get together with friends to play basketball, flag football, capture the flag, dodgeball, and more at this Logan Square gym. Windy City Fieldhouse teams up with D'Agostino's Pizza to bring in food to enjoy in the dining area. Parties can be up to 2.5 hours and host up to 25 kids.
Rent out Chicago's highest viewing point at Willis Tower for a exclusive private photo ops on the Ledge, stepping out on the glass more than 100 stories above the street. Teens can enjoy catered food and a dance floor for their special night.
River North, Northbrook, Oak Brook, and South Barrington
Bowling, bocce, and fun foods are the highlights of a party at Pinstripes. Rent a private room, or just enjoy a few lanes for the evening at city and suburban locations.
Photo courtesy of the Lill Street Arts Center
Looking for an arty party option? Lill Street Arts Center has traditional painting party classes, or they also offer clay project parties for almost all ages and metal studio and screen printing parties for adults and older teens. Parties are unique and customizable.
You don't even have to bring the cake for this one: Kids over age 9 will learn to bake and/or decorate cakes or cupcakes at this Roscoe Village bakery. Hosts can drop off their own food for guests to enjoy during class before they taste their delicious creations.
With more than 550 arcade games on hand, this is the largest working arcade in the United States. And all the games are set to free play, so for just $20 per person, teens can enjoy all the games they can handle. While there's no formal party room, this could make for a great casual get-together for older teens who are past the pizza and cake phase.
SafeHouse caters to all espionage-loving ages! Photo courtesy of the venue.
You need the password to get through the red door at 60 E. Ontario Street, but once you're in, you'll find a spy playground by day and spy bar by night. SafeHouse caters to all espionage-loving ages with spy games, scavenger hunts, and delicious food.
If your teen is a fan of wacky games, this is your place. Rent out the Yorktown Center venue for $30 per person to enjoy bubble soccer, laser tag, NERF wars, gladiator trials, a giant hamster ball, giant boxing, a wrecking ball, darts, or dodgeball. WickedBall can also bring the fun to you for varying prices per event.