I wrote in 2015 about kids birthday parties in Philadelphia and it remains one of my more popular posts, so I thought it was time to update my list. Please take a look at the prior list though for ideas as these are in addition, but not to replace, the aforementioned venues. Most of these are places where I have attended parties, but I am including others that may be of interest to you as well.
Academy of Natural Sciences: Parties here can be tailored to your child’s age (3 and up) and interest, but often include things such as a dinosaur fossil dig, butterfly garden, and petting reptiles. Parties are a balance between hands-on educational activities and time in a private party room for food and cake. Cost: Starts at $335 for members, otherwise $375 for non-members, for the basic package. Additional fees if more than 20 guests. Food and gift bags available at additional cost.
SkyZone: So while this isn’t technically in Philadelphia (it’s actually Moorestown, NJ), it seems to be a popular destination party for Philadelphia kids. Parties here will certainly tire out your guests as they travel around the various zones of this large indoor trampoline park. Packages include all food (pizza) and drinks in a private party room. As a pediatrician, trampolines make me nervous, but my kids always have fun here. Cost: Starts at $220.
Aspiring Champions: Also not in Philadelphia, but nearby in King of Prussia. Parties include 1.5 hours of coached wiffleball, dodgeball, basketball, soccer, touch football, or kickball, plus food and paper products. Works best for ages 6 and up. Cost: Starts at $350 for 15 kids.
Chuck E. Cheese: the South Philadelphia location of this pizza arcade chain offers parties where the kids can run around with a pre-loaded token card playing all their favorite games and earning tickets that are traded in for trinkets at the end. Then while eating pizza they get to dance with Chuck E. Cheese. Again, the pediatrician side of me needed to bring a lot of hand sanitizer to this one, but my son had a blast. Cost: Starts at $15.99/child.
HFS Parkour Center: What kid doesn’t want to have a ninja party, where they can swing from ropes and jump off walls? There is plenty of room for parents to hang out and watch while the kids play. Paper goods are included, but you bring your own food. Cost: Starts at $290 for the first 10 kids, $24/kid after that.
Snapology: A one-hour themed party where the kids build Lego creations with the help of a professional. You must supply the party venue and food. Cost: $250 for 12 kids, $8 for each additional kid.
Play Arts: Parties here include ninety minutes in the hippest play space in town with a Pinterest-worthy party room decked out in sustainable paper goods. Add-on options include $150 for an art activity. Bonus: Play Arts aims to make the party stress-free for parents. Accommodates 15 children and 30 adults. Cost: Starts at $350.
Mister John Music: If you aren’t part of the Mister John fan club yet, you will be after one of his parties. Mister John will plan an interactive music experience based on the age and musical preferences of your child. You need to provide the venue and food. Cost: $175 for 30 minutes, $225 for 50 minutes.
South Bowl: Children under 12 can bowl for one hour and then feast on a lunch buffet before cake and ice cream. The uber cool party room also has arcade games and billiards for parents and children looking to take a break from bowling. Cost: Starts at $26.95pp for 15 kids, $33.95pp for more than 15 kids.
PEP Bowl: Less modern than South Bowl, but an intimate, retro bowling experience that also supports a good cause. You provide food and decorations. Cost: $45 per lane per hour.
iFly: Adventurous kids age 3 and up can try indoor skydiving in King of Prussia. Parties include priceless video clips of your little one flying. Cost: $609.95 for 24 flights shared by 12 people.
Kids at Play: This indoor sensory playground in East Falls includes a zip line, ball pits, and archery. Parties occur while the gym is open to the public as well, but there is a private party room for food and cake, which is provided by you. A great option for all kids, but especially those with special needs. Parties on Sundays only. Free t-shirt for birthday kid. Cost: Starts at $250, with 10% off for members.
Philadelphia Rock Gym: Rock climbing guided by PRG experts, pizza, and private party room Cost: Starts at $22/climber with 10 climber minimum.
Camden Children’s Garden: Take the ferry from Penn’s Landing to a whimsical garden with a butterfly greenhouse, train, carousel, and splash area for children aged 3-11 from April through November. Cost: Starts at $70 +$1.50 for each ride token.
Goldfish Swim School: 2 hours of private access to a pool with lifeguards, private party room with food, and tropical decorations for up to 24 kids aged 4 months to 12 years. Seem fairly low stress, except for having to get in a bathing suit in front of a crowd. Cost: $450
Independence Seaport Museum: Your little pirates will go on a scavenger hunt, do an art project, and tour a submarine. For $150 a “real” pirate will make an appearance and for $5 per person you can row in the Penn’s Landing basin. A private party room with paper products is provided for up to 50 guests aged 4-12. Cost: Starts at $300 for 20 guests, $25 off for members.
ZoomDance: 80-90 minutes of creative play and dance centered around a book that you choose. Best for ages 4-8 and able to accommodate mixed age groups well. You provide food and paper goods. Cost: If in Headlong Studios in South Philly, $330 for up to 12 kids, $395 for up to 25 kids. They will also come to you if you have an appropriate space for $180 for up to 12 kids, $245 for up to 25 kids. Bonus: if you are planning an adult party, ZoomDance will provide “worry-free distraction time” by entertaining a group of 4-25 kids for 45-120 minutes!
I hope this is helpful in planning your next birthday party. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but represents some of the options in the Philadelphia area. Wherever you end up, I hope you have fun!
[I have no affiliation with any of these businesses. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.]