No longer a little kid, not yet a teen, your tween needs a seriously cool spot as unique as they are to celebrate their birthday. Luckily, Philadelphia offers some perfect places to host a birthday party for this in-between age. Read on for our top picks.
1. Bach to Rock - Wayne, PA
Give your kid the ultimate dance party at Bach to Rock, where kids work with a pro to become DJ Superstars. Kids get to create their own mashups and learn how to remix songs. And they get their own live-recorded CD. Call for special pricing and booking information.
2. Dave and Busters - Penn's Landing, King of Prussia, and Northeast Philly
Give your kid the ultimate arcade experience with a Dave and Buster's party. Book an event space and pay per person, with prices depending on food options and what level power card the kids receive. Gamers will think this is a seriously awesome place to celebrate their big day.
Mini golf is always a good time. Photo from Linvilla Orchards
3. Linvilla Orchards - Media, PA
Cold weather actually makes Linvilla an excellent place to host a tweener birthday party. From December 26-March 31 only, rent a private room to use for its indoor mini golf space. With a pizza and a side of lemonade or apple cider, kids also get access to playland, which has some pretty advanced jungle gym activities. Prices vary by party size.
4. Penn Ice Rink of 1923 - West Philly/University City
Remember when we were kids and the roller skating rink was the place to be? This place totally reminds us of that, only on ice! Packages can accommodate groups of 10-50. Pricing includes admission, skates, and three hours of your own party room. Parties can be held during any public skating session. Non-skaters are free and not included in the fee.
5. Philly InMovement - Queen Village
For gymnasts, Philly InMovement offers a unique spot for kids to learn new tricks and test their skills. The staff can incorporate elements of slack lining, rock climbing, dance, or whatever acrobatic feat the party person desires.
6. Philly Karate - Center City
How cool is this mixed martial arts party? Get special instruction from a black belt, have a cake cut by a samurai, and get 30-day free passes for all guests to expand on their skills. Plus, there's no mess to clean up, and invites are sent from the studio. Prices vary, so call for a custom quote.
7. Sweet and Sassy - Exton and Collegeville, PA; Cherry Hill, NJ
For little girls who love dress up and makeup, this is the ultimate makeover party. With themes like Fashion Runway, Spa-tacular, or a custom VIP party with pink limo ride, tweeners and their closest 7 girlfriends can get some major pampering and learn new makeup skills. All parties include a group photo as well as gifts and paper products. Party costs may vary by location, but expect the total cost to be around $350, give or take. Or check out the mini parties for groups of four at a reduced cost, with specials varying by month.
8. Urban Air - East Norriton, Springfield, Willow Grove
Your American Ninja Warrior fans will appreciate this party hot spot. Zip lines, rock walls, trampolines, obstacle course, and more await your tween and their friends. Invite a small group or purchase a package complete with party room, drinks, and pizza.
9. Sahara Sam's - West Berlin, NJ
A paradise any water babe would enjoy, this indoor tropical oasis, always warm and open year-round is a great location to swim, slide, and surf, even when summer's in the rearview. Birthday party packages are available and include admission, a party space, arcade cards, food (pizza or ice cream), and drinks. Pricing ranges from $268-$379 for up to 10 children plus the birthday child. Additional children can be added for a per person fee.
10. Painting with a Twist - Center City, Northeast, Rittenhouse
With locations throughout Philly and the suburbs, you're sure to find a convenient location where you can host your budding artist's soiree. Plan a private event, or take a group to a painting session especially designed for kids. Visit the website and choose your location, where you'll be able to view dates and times for child-friendly sessions as well as the painting designated for each time slot.
11. Movie Tavern - Collegeville, Exton
Consider renting a theater for a private screening. Kids will enjoy sitting back in leather recliners while watching a new (or favorite) flick and being catered to by theater staff. Kids birthday party packages are also available.
12. Bowlero - Feasterville-Trevose
Bowling, laser tag, corn hole, and arcades are all under one roof here. Various packages are available and pricing starts at $21 per child, which includes 2 hours of bowling with shoe rental and arcade games. You'll also get to select food from the in-house menu and receive unlimited soft drinks.
13. Philly Rock Gyms - East Falls, Fishtown, Wyncote, Oaks
Adventurous spirits might enjoy this indoor entertainment venue. Packages include instruction, equipment, pizza, drinks, and a private party space and can accommodate 10-20 children. Plus the birthday child gets a free Philly Rock Gym shirt!
Have a tip or a favorite? Let us know!
Originally published 2016