For parents of winter babies, an indoor birthday party is really the only option when it's time to celebrate. While parents of summer babies have both indoor and outdoor birthday party options and can throw a birthday party at parks and playgrounds or the local swimming pool, those of us with children born in colder months need to find a space where kids can run off all that pizza-and-cake energy. Enter: the mega play space.
The popular Chelsea Piers offers plenty of room to go wild for all ages. The toddler gym works for the preschool crowd, while kids ages 5 and older can go nuts on the soccer fields, basketball courts, rock walls, and 23,000-square-foot gymnastic area. There are plenty of birthday party themes and activities to choose from, including gymnastics to ninja warrior.
Tap into your children's inner ninja with a 90-minute birthday party training session on a very cool ninja obstacle course, with its swinging rings and the warped wall. While the New York Ninja Academy doesn't offer cake or pizza, the kids do have the entire facility to themselves and a dedicated instructor showing them the ropes. There's also a Brooklyn Ninja Academy in Park Slope.
Older kids can get their adventure on in this huge warehouse-like space in Williamsburg, which has a ropes course, climbing wall, roller rink, a ninja warrior course, laser maze, battle beam, skeeball, pool, foosball, air hockey, and slides. There's also a small area for toddlers, with swings and big blue blocks. A separate Dumbo location offers laser tag. A variety of party packages are offered.
At this popular local gym, children can tumble, flip, slide, jump, and climb under the supervision of professional instructors. A party room is included in the price, and parents decide how much they want to contribute from a complete DIY to a personalized experience planned and executed by the staff.
The activities offered at this acrobatic dance school's parties (for kids ages 3 and up) differ from your usual running, jumping, and climbing. At Streb, kids bounce off trampolines, fly on the trapeze, and learn patented Pop Action moves developed by choreographer Elizabeth Streb. Parents provide all the food, cake, beverages, and favors.
This popular Williamsburg play spot is perfect for preschoolers. The basic birthday party package includes exclusive use of the play space. Upgrade to a themed party (Think: magical unicorns, princesses and knights, and more) and you also get lavish decorations and paper goods, as well as food and drink options for adults.
In addition to trampolines, Urban Air offers a climbing hill, basketball, a ropes course, bowling, bumper cars, dodgeball, and more. Choose from four birthday packages—basic, deluxe, ultimate, and platinum. Party packages are available seven days a week and include necessities like a tablecloth, plates, forks, napkins, balloons, and bottles of water. You just need to bring the kids and the cake.
This indoor play space features a bounce house and bouncy slides along with more traditional attractions like a jungle gym and toys. There are five different party packages for children ages 1-13, from basic to supreme and all party packages include private playtime. More expensive parties include themed decorations, cotton candy, goodie bags, character visits, and more.
At this neighborhood, family-owned fun zone, parties begin with a disco dance party. Guests nosh on pizza then hit the arcade. A top-tier package includes laser tag, too. All parties require guests to bring their own cake and candles.
This huge indoor hotspot intended for kids ages 1-11 includes a multi-level indoor playground, a merry-go-round, inflatable bouncy attractions, plastic ball pools, and a dedicated toddler play area. Five different birthday party package levels include a dedicated party room, three menu options, and a staff helper.
This family-owned spot, which has another location in Queens, offers your standard bouncy houses, but also other active-play favorites like a zip line, obstacle course, basketball/soccer court, ball and foam pits, and more. Sit-down time includes pizza, drinks, balloons, ice cream cake, and more (all included in the price). Party hosts lead activities such as parachute games, relay races, jumping contests, dodgeball, whiffle ball, and kickball.
This fun zone opened in 2015 and has been a hot spot ever since. With huge colorful tunnels and climbing structures, wild slides that even big kids enjoy, a mini sports court, a dedicated toddler area, and more, you can't go wrong for year-round entertainment. Party packages include all-day access to the play spaces, a private party room, pizza, beverages, cupcakes, party room decor, and digital invitations.
This party space features three massive rooms for entertaining. Preset party packages are available and include a bounce house, video game kiosks, pizza, board games, and more. Plus, for toddlers: basketball hoops, soccer sets, and a soft play area.
This national chain of play spaces has a handful of locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. The preschool set can pick from a variety of themes, like superheroes, princesses, trains, rock and roll, or a gym party. Regardless of which one you choose, all options are active and engaging. Packages are all-inclusive.
The local Y is always a great place to consider for a party. Most have a variety of facilities, including gigantic gyms with loads of gear, playrooms, and pools, so you can get more than just a plain old space. Most will rent to the public for a party, so there is no need to become a member.
Originally published in 2019. Unless noted, photos courtesy of the venues