We've profiled cool NYC party places in the past, but there are so many awesome birthday spots in good old Queens alone that it deserves a post of its own.
These Queens birthday party places cater to all kinds of kids, from active to artsy to animal lovers. As a Queens mom with two children, I've been to many of these spots personally. You can find additional birthday inspiration in our party guide.
Alley Pond Environmental Center – Little Neck
228-06 Northern Boulevard
At this awesome nature center, kids go on an educator-led walk around Alley Pond Park, enjoy a live animal encounter and themed games or crafts. Parents provide decorations, paper goods, food, drinks, and cake. Special "tween" themes include a spa party or owl pellet dissection.
Bakers and Shakers - Boroughwide
Working out of the Queens area, Bakers and Shakers comes to you. It can arrange a party at a venue, your home or even your classroom. Themed cooking parties have included ravioli making, donuts, and, of course, pizza.
Bounce 'N Play – Astoria
20-21 Steinway Street
Opened by a local mom in 2014, this play space has bounce houses and giant inflatable slides in addition to the standard play-space attractions—play sets, a jungle gym with tubes, rock climbing wall, toys, and arcade games. A variety of private birthday party packages are available, including some super deals on weekdays.
BounceU – College Point
132-25 14th Avenue
We consistently rave about this chain of indoor bounce gyms. And why not? BounceU offers fun for kids and grown-ups, with two rooms filled with inflatable toys and games. Three different party packages are available, and prices are less expensive than at its Brooklyn location. Food, cake, and goodie bags are available, depending on package choice. Bonus: It's located in the Whitepoint Shopping Center, making parking a breeze.
Bowl 360 – Ozone Park
98-18 Rockaway Boulevard
I have a special spot in my heart for bowling parties—always wanted one, never had one until I was an adult. Bowl360 is an updated, modern alley with a disco vibe, but also family friendly. There's an inviting menu that goes beyond the cold soft-pretzel, from chicken tenders for kids to salads for adults.
Brickhouse Ceramic Art Center – Long Island City
10-34 44th Drive
This LIC ceramics center holds custom parties centered around pottery making. Partygoers construct from wet clay bowls, cups, plates, and more that can be enjoyed for a long time. Minimum age is 7.
RELATED: Best Drop-In Play Spaces and Kiddie Gyms in Queens
School-age kids and tweens will love a Circus Warehouse party!
Circus Warehouse – Long Island City
53-21 Vernon Boulevard
A flying trapeze party? What kid can resist spiraling in the air? And at what better place to do so than a safe environment with professionals? This venue is the perfect, unique party option for the acrobat enthusiast in your family.
The Complex – Astoria
34-38 38th Street
Formerly known as The Astoria Sports Complex, this facility is the perfect location for kids with tons of energy. It offers swim, soccer, basketball, or bouncing slide/castle parties, all with nonstop action.
Fantasy Forest – Flushing
Isn't an amusement park party every kid's dream? Head to Queens' very own kiddie park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park for a shindig with unlimited rides for all partygoers. Add-on options include magician and clown performances, face painting, and balloon artists. Seasonal only.
Movie theater parties are great for all ages at Kew Gardens Cinemas.
Kew Gardens Cinemas – Kew Gardens
81-05 Lefferts Boulevard
There are plenty of multiplex theaters in the city that host birthday parties in small rooms. But there are only a few theaters that let you rent out an entire space for just your party. At 10am, your family can have a showing of whatever film the theater has available or even watch a DVD of your own. Popcorn is included; you can bring in pre-show snacks, and packages start for 25 audience members.
Kids Fun House – Ridgewood
62-73 Fresh Pond Road
With a triple slide, maze obstacle course, gated toddler area, and video games galore, Kids Fun House keeps kids busy for hours. Parties begin with pizza, snacks, and tokens with plenty of add-ons such as cotton candy and make-your-own-sundaes.
LIC Kids Gymnastics – Long Island City
5-02 50th Avenue
A neighborhood favorite, this facility has a trampoline for which kids go crazy. There is a separate room with a table for food and cake, and two party packages are available. My daughter went to a party here and can't stop talking about how fabulous it was.
Lollipop Spa – Maspeth
Got a little princess or prince in need of some pampering? Head to this kids spa for a party full of indulgent treats, including manicures, mini facials, princess tattoos, glitter, and more.
RELATED: Best of Queens for Preschoolers and Tots
Kids making a flip-book at Museum of the Moving Image.
Museum of the Moving Image – Astoria
36-01 35th Avenue
At the Museum of the Moving Image your child can be a star of his or her very own film-inspired party. Museum educators take guests on a tour of the museum, invite them to special screenings of family-friendly films, and help little ones make their own flip-books. For children 8 and older.
New York Hall of Science – Corona
47-01 111th Street
NYC's premier science spot offers plenty of party themes for different age groups, including bubble making for preschoolers, magic and space for young elementary-schoolers, and chemistry and "gross science" for tweens. All packages include museum admission, science activity, an age-appropriate toy, free pass for another visit, paper products, personalized cake, food and beverages, and complimentary parking.
Let crafty kids enjoy artist-led activities at Oliloli Studio.
Oliloli Studio – Forest Hills
103-23 Metropolitan Avenue
My daughter loves this beautiful art studio, which offers drop-in sessions and party packages for children 4 and older. Choose from a variety of artist-led projects, from simple activities such as paint-your-own pottery or button collages on canvas. All packages include a gift for the birthday child and personalized decorations. Parents provide the food and cake. Fired pottery projects are available for pick up 10 days after the party.
Queens County Farm Museum – Floral Park
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
NYC's only working historic farm is an ideal party spot for kids who want to learn about animals and the farm-to-table movement. From April through October, children 1 to 12 can enjoy a tractor-drawn hayride and help feed the animals. Everything you need is included, including invitations, paper goods, pizza and beverages, a personalized cake, goodie bags, and a special gift for the birthday child.
Queens Zoo – Corona
53-51 111th Street
At Queens Zoo parties, children enjoy animal encounters, zoo admission, and plenty of crafts and play. Guests are responsible for the cake and juice and there is a standard-sized refrigerator available.
The tot-friendly Raising Astoria keeps little ones moving during its parties.
Raising Astoria – Astoria
26-11 23rd Avenue
This community staple reopened in 2015 with more space to party and play. Birthday bookings include use of both party rooms, one of which features a bounce castle, as well as tables, chairs, limited decorations, and a speaker system with a personalized playlist for the birthday child. Parents supply refreshments and cake, and there is a variety of add-ons available.
World Ice Arena – Flushing
131-35 Avery Avenue
This location takes cool parties literally, taking them on ice. Add-ons and options are available. The private party room has its own bathroom.
Young Chefs Academy – Forest Hills
108-10 72nd Avenue, second floor
Budding culinary minds will love the food-centric parties at Young Chefs Academy. Kids make anything from pizza to scones. You can even request a special party room for the accompanying parents. For children 4 and older.
A version of this article first published in March 2013.
Top photo: Raising Astoria. All photos courtesy of the venues.