It's time to party, New Jersey! We've rounded up 15 of our favorite places to celebrate in the Garden State. Whether your birthday kid is into cooking, laser tagging, bouncing, or crafting, there's a place that's perfect for hosting your next bash. And if you're looking for more specific ideas—for a first birthday, perhaps, or the best spots for preschoolers' parties—be sure to check out our NJ Kids' Birthday Party Ideas Guide.
Alstede Farms – Chester
Have a birthday hoedown at Alstede, where party guests can enjoy a moon bounce, giant corn maze, and hayrides, as well as visits with the farm's resident animals. Special themed packages include a pick-your-own fruit party and an Easter/baby animals party.
Bambino Chef – Jersey City
You choose the theme and the cooking activity (anything from lasagna rolls to risotto, cupcakes to scones), and Bambino Chef does the rest. Packages range from basic to VIP, and you can celebrate at the facility or host your party at home.
Branchburg Sports Complex – Branchburg
The popular sports facility offers six different party themes, including field sports, laser tag, PlayMaze, and bubble soccer—in which the participants play soccer while encased in giant, inflatable bubbles. Each package includes pizza, cake, drinks, a $5 arcade card for each guest, and more.
Cape May County Park & Zoo – Cape May
Cape May Zoo offers two options for your animal lover's birthday party: a basic meet-and-greet with three animals from the petting zoo, or a more elaborate event based on a menu of themes like Miles and Miles of Reptiles and Creatures of the Night. All parties include a t-shirt and plush animal for the birthday kid. You can have your party at the zoo, at home, or at another location.
Chocolate Etc. – Wyckoff
Have a mini-chocoholic? Host your party at Chocolate Etc., where kids 5 and up can make a variety of confections, from chocolate lollipops and bite-size nibbles to chocolate pizzas and even chocolate sushi. Guests leave with their chocolate in a special candy box along with a diploma and a special treat. The birthday kid also gets a personalized plaque with his or her name written in chocolate.
The Funplex – Mt. Laurel and East Hanover
You know we love The Funplex, so if your child leans toward insane, non-stop action, then a Funplex birthday party is what you want. At both locations, you can choose from a variety of packages that include access to indoor attractions like bumper cars, laser tag, and go-karts, and kids with warm-weather birthdays can opt to take the fun outdoors at the Splashplex.
Giggles – Cranford
This sweet playspace hosts excellent parties for the 6-and-under set. It offers four packages that range from a basic, 90-minute party with pizza and drinks to a two-hour, themed affair that includes character appearances, cake, and more. Special add-ons include an ice cream bar and an unlimited coffee bar for the grown-ups.
Glassworks Birthday Parties – Morristown
If your child is crazy about crafting, Glassworks Studio is your birthday party place. The studio specializes in fused (kiln-formed) glass, and you can choose projects that include a nameplate, frame, mirror, or dish. You’ll have a dedicated party host in a private room to supervise projects from start to finish. All you have to do is supply the food and drinks.
ISC – Mt. Laurel, Cherry Hill, Deptford
Partygoers can have a blast in the 12,000-square-foot indoor wooden roller rink, the FunZone jungle gym, Adventure Alley inflatables, or the indoor turf field, depending on which package you choose. Options include a Little Tykes package for kids 6 and under; an all-inclusive package with admission to all three attractions (not including the field); and sports packages featuring kickball, flag football, soccer, dodgeball, and wiffleball.
Just 4 Kids Hair Salon Spa – Hoboken
Just 4 Kids has custom parties that will appeal to both girls and boys alike. We had a great haircut experience at this sweet little salon, and the 14 different birthday party options are very tempting. From Frozen and Alice in Wonderland to the more boy-friendly Munster Madness, Just 4 Kids has options for all your kid-spa needs.
Liberty Science Center – Jersey City
A vast array of ever-changing exhibits makes Liberty Science Center an exciting party place for budding scientists. The Mad Scientist party includes science activities and demonstrations, plus cake and special touches. Your child and guests can enjoy LSC all day, and the birthday child’s admission is free. The highlight of the day is party time in a room decked out like a mad scientist’s laboratory.
Pump It Up – Freehold, Hamilton, Marlton, Piscataway, Randolph, Roselle Park, 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 fills the room—slides, obstacles courses, bounce houses, and more. All parties enjoy private use of the facility.
Randolph Gymnastics – Randolph
Gymnastics birthday parties are a blast for tumblers and non-tumblers alike. A party at Randolph Gymnastics includes an array of instructor-guided activities incorporating the foam pit, obstacle course, in-ground trampoline, tumble track, 27-foot inflatable slide, air track, and moon walk. When the kids have worked up an appetite, they’re off to the private party room for pizza and cake (provided in the deluxe package).
Sahara Sam’s – Berlin Township
If your child longs for a water park party but has a 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 two hours in the water park for 10 kids and 10 adults (not including the birthday child and parents), plus 45 minutes in a private party room. There are quite a few other options available as well.
Skylands Ice World – Stockholm
Have an aspiring New Jersey Devil or Sasha Cohen? Bring them to Skylands Ice World for a skating party they won’t forget! Have an ice skating party or hockey party, and choose from a variety of packages that all include food, soda, balloons, and invitations.
Top image: A Bob the Builder party at Giggles in Cranford. Courtesy of Giggles.
Original article published February 2012; updated for 2017.