It's time to PARTY, New Jersey. Here is a round-up of some of our favorite place to fest it up in the Garden State. Whether it's cooking, dancing, laser tag-ing, water park-ing, or chocolate-ing, we've got the best of the best for your best girls and boys. And if you're looking for more specifc ideas--a 1st birthday, perhaps, or a tea party for the little ladies, or even a party that's all about the ice cream--check out the Mommy Poppins NJ Party Ideas Guide.
Just 4 Kids Hair Salon Spa (Hoboken, NJ)
You might think a spa might only be for girls, but Just 4 Kids takes great care to state that many of their custom parties will appeal to the small gentlemen as well. We had a great hair cut experience at this sweet little salon, and the 14 different birthday party options are very tempting; from the girlie Frozen or Alice in Wonderland to the more boy-friendly Munster Madness, Just 4 Kids has options for all your kid-spa needs. Call 201-653-KUTS for more information.
Cooking Birthday Parties at The Kid Connection (Lincoln Park)
Lately, being a chef has become one of the most popular occupational aspirations for kids. If your child is into Iron Chef, a kids cooking party is your answer. "Let's Get Cooking" parties begin with a kitchen safety intro, and a recipe and cooking utensils review. The real fun starts when the children create an individual pizza, preparing the dough from scratch! As their dish heats, each child decorates an apron to accompany the chef hat they take home. Children then sample their culinary creations and take a trip to the cupcake sundae station for their dessert. Recommended for kids 2-12. Custom invitations, beverages, paper goods, pizza, cake, favors and candles are included with the party package. For current pricing, click here.
Funplex Birthday Parties (Mt. Laurel or East Hanover)
You know we love The Funplex, so if your child leans more towards insane, non-stop action, then a Funplex birthday party is what you want! The 3-hour Ultimate Party includes unlimited bumper cars, Foam Frenzy (a three level play unit filled with thousands of foam balls, blasters, dump buckets and more), laser tag, go-carts and a motion simulator. Many more birthday party options are available, especially during summer months, but all parties have a 10-child minimum and include invitations, thank you cards, paper products, balloons, set-up/clean-up, a personal party host, pizza or a hot dog, a drink and ice cream cake. Click here for pricing in East Hanover and here for pricing in Mt. Laurel.
Twist-N-Shout Birthday Parties (Manalapan)
American Idol a must in your home? Twist-N-Shout Party Club will suit your singer perfectly. This all-inclusive club can host up to 75 guests, has three video screens showing the latest music videos (and the party in motion!), and holds themed parties such as High School Musical, Hannah Montana, American Idol, Camp Rock and more. Better yet, the luncheonette-style café room can be used for buffet tables and a respite for adults suffering from Hannah Montana overkill, or can be used to serve an a la carte adult menu (from wrap sandwiches to pasta and London broil.) All kids birthday parties include invitations, 1 ½ hours of DJ music and entertainment, a light show, dancing, party games with prizes, tattoos, pizza, beverages, an ice cream sundae, paper goods, table covers, balloon centerpieces, two party hosts, set-up and clean-up.
Glassworks Birthday Parties (Morristown)
If your child is craft project-crazy, Glassworks Studio is your birthday party place. This “make your own”, glass art studio specializes in fused (kiln-formed) glass resulting in super cool mirrors, jewelry boxes, pencil holders and more. You’ll have a dedicated party host in a private room to supervise projects from start to finish. You supply food and beverage (freedom from pizza,) but the price for 12 children includes the projects, invitations, balloons, goody bags, and a t-shirt for your child. You must pick up and distribute glass projects about a week after the event. For current pricing, click here.
Chocolate Etc. Birthday Parties (Wyckoff)
Have a mini-chocoholic? Bring the party to Chocolate Etc., where kids 5 and older paint with different color chocolates in molds, and make bite-size pieces of chocolate, chocolate lollipops and rice crispy clusters. Guests leave with their chocolate in a special candy box along with a mold and a diploma. Your child gets also receives a chocolaty personalized Happy Birthday Disc. (Other party options available.) 12 child minimum, maximum of 23. The party price includes utensils, plates and cups. Parents may provide pizza, cake, drinks, etc. For current pricing, click here.
Sahara Sam’s Birthday Parties (Berlin Township)
If your child longs for a waterpark party, but bemoans their cold-weather birthday, behold the Sam's Mega Splash Party at Sahara Sam’s. Year-round, your child can celebrate with wild abandon in this incredible water-ride and game-filled park. The Perfect Splash includes a three-hour party with admission to the water park for ten kids and ten adults (besides the birthday child and parents), plus many extras. There are quite a few other options available. For current pricing, click here.
International Sports, Skating and Fun Center Birthday Parties (Mt. Laurel, Cherry Hill, Deptford)
Lace up your roller skates and ramp up your birthday party at the International Sports, Skating and Fun Center. At the Mt. Laurel location, in addition to the fun of boogie-ing around the rink to rockin’ music, the kids have their faces painted, receive 12 arcade tokens, get pizza, popcorn and unlimited soda, glow sticks and goody bags, and can play in the Fun Zone/Roo’s Adventure (36' high climbing area with 4 slides and a toddler area.) Additionally, the birthday child skates with mascot “Roller Roo” and receives a balloon bouquet. Price includes party room, host, paper products, invitations, and parents admission/skate rentals. Cherry Hill and Deptford locations offer similar parties, and all locations offer additional options.
Skylands Ice World Parties (Stockholm)
Have an aspiring New Jersey Devil or Sasha Cohen? Bring them to Skylands Ice World for a skating party they won’t forget! The 2 ½ hour Skylands Supreme party starts with ice skating around the rink (safety cones provided for beginners), followed by arcade and play area time, and finishes with pizza, French fries, unlimited soda and a goody bag. Price includes a party hostess, balloons, paper goods, ice cream cake, and 15 tokens/child. Parents of the birthday child skate free. No outside food permitted. Additional party options available. For current pricing, click here.
The New Jersey Children’s Museum Parties (Paramus)
Dress-up and make-believe are the name of the game at the New Jersey Children's Museum–the perfect place for your birthday preschooler or toddler to try their hand at any number of occupations! The great range of interactive, hands-on exhibits entertain boy and girl guests alike, and include a real fire truck, a real helicopter, a fossil/dinosaur cave, play ballet studio, kids' medieval castle, and more. Price includes invitations/envelopes, stickers, party host, one hour in the private party room, pizza for children, cupcakes, juice and paper goods. (Morning parties substitute bagels/muffins for pizza.)
Pump It Up Parties (Freehold, Randolph, Marlton, Hamilton, Secaucus)
If the bouncy house is your child’s favorite part of parties, why not make the birthday entirely inflatable? At Pump It Up, a huge array of gigantic inflatables fill the room–slides, obstacles courses, bounce houses, you name it! The Ultimate Classic party gives you and 25 guests 40 minutes of private bouncing, 40 minutes in the party arena and 40 minutes in the private party room. Price includes a Pump It Up Coloring T-shirt for the birthday child, color invitations, pizza, drinks, goodie bags, 2 dozen balloons, ice cream cake or ice cream cupcakes, paper products, and set-up/clean-up. (Party options and pricing vary by location.)
Liberty Science Center Birthday Parties (Jersey City)
A vast array of ever-changing exhibits make Liberty Science Center an exciting party place for budding scientists and interested adults alike! The Enhanced Birthday Party allows for customizations (at additional cost) to make your child’s day super-special: a visit to the IMAX theater, a 3D film, simulator rides, store gift certificates, lunch, private science and/or art demonstrations, and more. Another option has a minimum of 20 guests, and includes exhibit floor admission, semi-private decorated party room with party representative; birthday crown, sticker and goodie bag for birthday child, cake, paper goods, a pencil for each guest, one parking voucher and downloadable invitations and thank you cards.
Randolph Gymnastics Birthday Parties (Randolph)
Got a gymnast in the house? Gymnastics birthday parties are a blast for tumblers and non-tumblers alike (can you say “trampoline”?) Randolph Gymnastics 1 ½ hour Saturday party includes an array of instructor-guided activities incorporating the foam pit, obstacle course, in-ground trampoline, tumble track, 27-ft inflatable slide, air track and moon walk. When the kids have worked up an appetite, they’re off to the private party room where you supply everything else you’d like to tailor the party to your liking: food, refreshments, decorations, goody bags, etc. Sunday party option also available. Click here for current pricing.
Image: Sahara Sam's Oasis
Original article published February 2012.