Birthday Party Planning can be a minefield.
If you are new to the area or new to parenthood, it’s still a minefield of possibilities with birthday places for kids!
There are so many different ways of planning a party and so many varied options.
Let’s start here:
- How old is your child?
- How many guests will you want to invite?
- What is your budget?
- Are you time-poor and need an easy experience, or ready to put some time and work in?
- What interests does your child have?
- Birthday party locations?
- Clowns for birthday parties?
That’s enough of the questions.
Let’s look at the answers you might give and offer our suggestions, directly from Plano Moms!
We have more ideas for you too here
Ideas for each Age Group
At this age, you are most likely to be celebrating for you as you will be for them, especially on that 1st birthday.
At-home parties are great and local Parks or Neighborhood Clubhouses are a great option too.
If you want to do something away from home, there are some great venues that are perfect for that age:
Play Street Museum, Little Gym, Gymboree and the Coop in Frisco. Most offer 1.5 hour private party options.
You might want to have a fun theme, as a backdrop for Photos or to delight your little one – and you can tie in your decor (tablecloths, plates, cups and balloons/decorations) with your Birthday Cake or Cookies. Consider Target Bakery Cakes as a great option!
Extras: you can rent a Bounce House too! (Try Korey Mack’s Inflatable Party Rental’s or Hoot & Danny’s)
3-5 (Pre School)
You can focus here on your Kid’s Interests. At this age, you can usually host a party at an entertainment venue. Time of year is also important!
In the Winter, these are great options:
- Play Street Museum
- American Ninja Warrior/Obstacle Warrior Kids (Indoor Obstacle courses/play equipment)
- Gymnasiums (like Infinite Bounds, Metroplex)
- Indoor Jump Play locations (Safari Run, JumpStreet, Jump Mania, Kid Mania, CooCoo’s, Jungle Joes)
- Bowling (Pinstack, Plano Super Bowl, Strikz)
- Chuck-e-Cheese or Dave n Busters
In the Summer, there are more outdoor options:
- Pool Parties
- Rent a pavilion at the Park
- Host a party at a Plano Rec Pool (Jack Carter Pool, Tom Muehlenbeck)
- Adventure Landing (go karts/arcades/mini golf)
- Crayola Experience (to skip the heat!)
- Swimming parties – at your home or at a Pool (like Aqua Tots/Emler or your HOA pool)
NEED MORE THAN THIS?
CHECK OUT OUR E-BOOK “GUIDE TO BIRTHDAY PARTIES” for tons of tips, ideas and suggestions around the area
You can either do fun smaller parties (at school age consider if you want to invite whole classes, or just select friends) or some kids prefer to do parties with girls only, or boys only – while some still love to mix it up.
This usually changes as they get older!
Most parents prefer to find a venue to host a party, and some also like to do days out and take some kids out in a small group.
Start with the kids’ interests or a theme and you can plan out from there.
Other ideas at this age are:
- Gaming Trucks outside your home
- Crafts on Wheelz – a mobile art studio (think like an Art Truck) that comes to your home or park and does arts & crafts projects with the kids.
- Pool Parties (hiring a lifeguard if you’d like)
- Aqua Shop Indoor Surfing
- Thunderbird Roller Rink
- Indoor or Outdoor Swimming Parties: AquaTots, Emler (indoor) and City of Plano Recreation Centers
- Painting Parties: Color me Mine, Paint n Party and Carefree Colors
At this age, many kids are very clear about what type of party they want, so follow their lead and see how it falls within your budget. The great news is that many don’t have the same type of larger scale birthday party as younger kids usually have.
Here are some ideas for them:
- Urban Air
- Nerdvana Frisco
- NVM USA
- NTX Gaming
- Dave & Buster’s
- Aqua Shop Plano
Number of Kids attending
Depending on your budget, many venues which offer Birthday Party options have per-person pricing. By reducing the number of guests, you might be able to offer your child a super fun party at a venue like Dave n’ Busters, Aqua Shop Plano or Pinstack, which usually has higher price pricing but Pump It Up Coupons may be applicable.
You could also play a day out for this number, with enough trusted chaperones and spots in cars for transportation.
If you choose an entertainment venue for this number, check carefully the number of guests they include in their packages. The costs can escalate dramatically and you have to consider if it falls within your budget.
At this level, a more open format might work best – a gaming truck, pool party, park pavilion are all ideas for this.
Birthday parties can get very expensive, fast. So, set a number and then work within it.
$150 and below – This is going to be your DIY option.
- Bake Cookies yourself and decorate them (this could be a fun way to get your Birthday boy or girl involved) – you could do the same with the cake!
- Cater it yourself
- Plan fun party games or activities for the kids – a Bring-your-own Nerf Gun party is one choice.
- Going home gifts can be fun gifts from the Dollar Store or bulk items from Amazon
- Rent a Pavilion at one of our outdoor Plano Parks or Recreation Centers (Outdoor Swim Parties are available during the Summer season) and host a Party at the Park! Plan Sack Races, hula hoop contests, massive bubbles, 3 legged race, egg on a spoon race… and other similar ideas. Playgrounds are usually available too. Food can be simple – Pizzas and bring a Cooler with water and juice boxes. Cupcakes are usually a minimum mess option. Kites are a good option for guests to fly and send the kites home
- California Pizza Kitchen offers small, fun parties for kids to make their own pizzas and they get to eat them too (usually at a cost of $10 per guest!)
$150 – $300 – Some venues can offer you party options within this budget – this seems to be the average cost. But do not forget the cost of the cake, the catering and any take home gifts you offer. Find out whether the venue offers catering and tablecloths, plates, cups and other items you might need within the price.
$300+ – The sky is really the limit here – by spending more, you can really bring your Party to the venue and have them take care of all the work for you..
Which leads us nicely to our next scenario:
DIY or have it done for you?
If planning and executing a party is something you love doing, then you likely are able to spend some time to research and much of the effort will come from you in a DIY fashion.
- Many have been mentioned, but party games are easy to find and copy on Pinterest, Amazon and in most craft stores you can find the items you need – for anything really, Pinatas, Arts, Crafts and more.
- The Cake – you can make your own, obviously, but if you not blessed with baking skills a very cost effective option is usually Market Street or somewhere similar who do very good value, tasty and big cakes to feed your party guests (and their parents!)
- Catering – you can either buy platters or put them together yourself at a low cost, or make finger sandwiches and have chips available.
If you are time-poor & need easy, convenient options, here are our suggestions:
- Pay more and go with an all inclusive birthday party option at many of the venues we’ve listed
- Use other extras:
- Get somebody to help you organize it: La Fete Events and Decor or Simply Pretend Dress up Party Rentals, can help plan your party and co-ordinate it together;
- Use a Face Painter. We hear great things about Faces be me and Stacey – Fairy Face Painter
- You can employ a Photographer to capture the memories of the day or look up Filled with Joy, a local Mompreneur who does custom make invitations and party decor
- Have a Sno Cone truck or rent/buy a machine.
- Have a Character come to your home – like a Princess or a Disney Character!
- Cake – choose your theme and find a suitable Cake Maker or Bakery, other recommendations include Market Street, Amazeballz or Sweet Chic and Unique Cakes
- Many places offer Birthday Party Packages at their location which provide some entertainment and catering too. Look outside the norm to find some interesting options!
You might already know that your kid(s) love sports, or chess, or lego or jumping around!
Here are our suggestions based on Interests!
- Obstacle Courses (Lil Ninjas or Obstacle Warrior Kids)
- Martial Arts (Warrior Martial Arts, Impact America Martial Arts, Premier Martial Arts)
- Laser Tag (WhirlyBall Plano or NTX Gaming)
- Powerkids Sports and Fitness (customized sports’ themed parties)
- Gymnastics – Golden Grip Gym, Infinite Bounds, Woga, Metroplex, ASI Gymnastics
- Multi Options – Adventure Landing Dallas, Amazing Jakes)
- iFly Dallas
- Extra Innings
- Thunderbird Skating Rink
Trampoline Park & Indoor Play
- Urban Air
- Pump it Up Dallas
- Jump Mania
- Kid Mania
- Altitude Richardson
- Coo Coo’s
- Bounce U
- Gaming Truck (NTX Gaming, xTreme Gaming)
- Pinstack, Dave N Busters, Nickelmania, Chuck e Cheese, Amazing Jakes, Strikz
Imaginary Play & Culture
- Play Street Museum, Heritage Farmstead Museum, Heard Museum
- Bricks & Minifigs
- For Younger kids: Safari Run, Kids Castle, My Gym, Little Gym
- The Coop Frisco
- Little Harts Pony Parties, Lucas
- Storybrook Ranch, McKinney
Cooking or Food related
- Taste Buds Kitchen
- Young Chefs Academy
- Kookin Kidz
- California Pizza Kitchen
- Henry’s Ice Cream
- Crafts on Wheelz
- Paint n Party
- Paint my Pottery TX
- Carefree Colors
- Crayola Experience Plano
- Painting with a Twist
- North Texas Performing Arts
Science or STE(A)M
- Aqua Tots
- Main Event Entertainment
- Celebration Station
- Plano Super Bowl
Fashion & Beauty
- Royally Yours Princess Parties
- Sweet and Sassy
- Sugar and Spice (McKinney)
- Enchanted Parties DFW
Don’t forget the Extras, to really make a Birthday memorable!
Book some Personalized Yard signs – from Card My Yard West Plano or Sign Gypsies.
You can also buy Helium Balloons too.
How about having your own copy of the Birthday Party Guide for reference whenever you need it?
What do you like?
Share your comments here and let us know if we missed any options – we try and keep our ears to the ground but sometimes miss the new options that pop up, so be sure to tell us here