For DC kids celebrating birthdays in the winter, chances are they'll be having their birthday party indoors. But Washingtonians know the weather in DC can be unpredictable in any season. Luckily, the area is chock full of indoor birthday party places perfect for kids of all ages.
From indoor water parks to fun museums, there's no shortage of spots in and around DC to have some indoor birthday fun. Several of these places also made our list of the best indoor play spaces for DC kids, meaning you don't need to wait for a special occasion to enjoy them.
Read on for 15 fun indoor birthday party places in DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland. For even more inspiration, check out our Kids' Birthday Party Places Guide for DC.
Fun Indoor Birthday Party Places in DC
The National Children's Museum offers two types of birthday parties on Saturdays and Sundays. The Dream Factory party includes a two-hour rental of a semi-private lounge area near the top of the Dream Machine, the museum's three-story climbing structure. The Tinkerers Treat party includes a two-hour rental of the Tinkerers Studio. Both parties include a dedicated party facilitator, but the Tinkerers Treat party also includes a hands-on activity with a take-home craft for each child and a special shirt for the birthday kid. You can bring your own snacks and birthday treat.
For the under-3 set, it doesn't get much better than Gymboree Play & Music. A 90-minute birthday party includes guided music and movement activities (including Gymboree's famous parachute time) with a party host, as well as free-play time in the gym. You can bring your own food, cake, and non-alcoholic drinks, but free paper goods are provided.
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Enjoy a private party room or semi-private area at The Lane. Photo courtesy of The Lane Social Club
Ivy City's massive two-story indoor play space, The Lane, includes multiple play areas for babies and young children with slides, climbing walls, and nets, lots of toys and games, and more. For birthday parties, you can choose from a private party room or a semi-private party in the upstairs bar area. Both parties include two hours of play and use of the party space. Bring your own food or order a pizza package from the on-site cafe. You can also add on themed decorations and goody bags. Adults can even order alcoholic beverages from The Lane's bar!
For an upscale twist on the classic bowling birthday party, check out Pinstripes in Georgetown, which also has a location in North Bethesda. Birthday parties include two hours of bowling or bocce and a kid-friendly menu with dessert in a private party room. For teen parties, Pinstripes offers an upgraded menu for more sophisticated palates.
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All Fired Up is a great birthday party venue for creative kids. Photo courtesy of All Fired Up
Host a 1.5-hour pottery-painting party for your budding artist and up to 17 additional friends at All Fired Up in Cleveland Park. Each party guest gets to paint a piece of pottery of their choice to be fired after the party and picked up one to two weeks later. Parties also include a tour of the kiln room, where guests will learn about the firing process. Two-hour private studio rentals are also available.
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Scramble features a soft-play area for infants and toddlers. Photo courtesy of Yelp
Fun Indoor Birthday Party Places in Northern Virginia
6. Scramble — Alexandria and Falls Church
Scramble’s large European-style indoor play space is designed for kids ranging from 5 months to 10 years old with a dedicated soft infant/toddler play area, imaginative role-play areas, and a large play structure with a giant slide for bigger kids. Birthday party packages include play time and a private party room for two hours, personal pizzas with a drink and chips, cookies, apple slices, and an Usborne book party favor for each child. You can provide your own decorations for the party room, but no outside food is allowed except for the birthday cake. The Falls Church location can hold more people for larger parties.
This indoor rock-climbing center offers two-hour parties that include 75 minutes of climbing time and 45 minutes for birthday cake, presents, and food in a private party room. A party host, 1:5 climber-to-staff ratio, and the ability to bring in your own food and drink, make this an easy choice.8.
Got a little train lover? The Fairfax Station Railroad Museum might be just the place for some indoor birthday fun. With a large capacity of 50 to 70 people, the entire extended family can join in, too. Rent the party room and bring in your own food, drink, music, and decorations to jazz up this unique space.
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Dolls are invited to parties at the American Girl Cafe. Photo courtesy of the American Girl Store and Mattel Inc.
For doll lovers of all ages, a birthday party at the American Girl Store and Café in Tyson’s Corner is a dream come true. Party packages include cake and ice cream, a meal from the café, decorations, a craft or activity, goody bags, and doll tiaras for each guest, plus a special gift for the birthday girl. Various party themes are available for groups of two to 14, including a baking-themed Sweet Sprinkles party, a WellieWishers party, a rainbow-themed party, and more.
This indoor play space offers four different party options. All packages include one hour of playtime in the ocean-themed play space followed by 45 minutes in a private party room, pizza and juice for the kids, and your choice of solid-colored decorations. A Jolly Yolly party host helps ensure everything goes smoothly. You can provide your own cake, but no other outside food is allowed. If you opt for the private package, you'll get the whole place to yourself.
The St. James offers all kinds of birthday parties to suit any interest. At the Super, Awesome & Amazing play center, kids can challenge their friends in the Nerf Battle Zone, test their skills on the ninja warrior and aerial obstacle courses, or bounce around on the trampoline court. They can have an eSports and virtual-reality party in the Active Entertainment Center. They can make a splash at an indoor water park party, or hit the ice for an ice skating party And for sports lovers, the St. James offers indoor golf, football, basketball, or soccer parties with a dedicated host. Catering and dessert, including custom cakes and cupcakes, are available for any of the parties.
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Bounce, climb, jump, run, and more at ZavaZone. Photo courtesy of the venue
Fun Indoor Birthday Party Places in Maryland
ZavaZone offers a variety of active indoor adventures. From zip lines and ropes courses to rock climbing and trampolines, this is one cool indoor party spot for active kids. There are a variety of party packages available for up to 30 guests, some of which include pizza and soft drinks. No outside food is permitted other than cake or cupcakes. There is also a location in Sterling, Virginia.
13. Hyper Kidz! — Columbia and Baltimore
This ocean-themed indoor playground, which also has a location in Ashburn, Virginia, offers five different birthday party packages for up to 30 kids. The two-hour parties include 75 minutes of open play time followed by 45 minutes in a private party room for pizza and cake. Packages include two slices of pizza and a juice box or bottle of water for each child, paper or electronic invitations, and party supplies. You can also opt for a private party, during which the entire facility will be closed to the public.
Who says it has to be summer to have a pool party? This aquatic center offers indoor pool parties complete with water slides and diving boards, followed by one hour in a party room. Bring your own food and table decorations.
The Wiggle Room offers four birthday party packages for ages 1-5. Each includes 105 minutes of playtime in a 3,800-square-foot play space filled with interactive toys and play structures, plus time for food in the party area. You can add on pizza and juice boxes, paper plates, balloons, and additional activities such as a bounce house, temporary tattoos, face painting, and a photo booth.