Hit up one of these GTA birthday party venues instead of hosting at home
GIGGLES INDOOR PLAYLAND
Besides the usual balloons and pizza, Giggles Indoor Playland has a very exciting claim to fame: Along with their private playground, it’s the only event company that offers a kids’ dance party in Toronto! Housed in more than 3,500 square feet of fun, Giggles has an LED light show and laser smoke machine so kids can groove. The Top 40 playlist is easy on Mom and Dad, too. $400 per 20 kids and 40 adults.
70 Milner Ave., 647-748-7529; gigglesplayland.com
Last year, Playtime Bowl hosted—get ready for this—12,000 kids at more than 1,000 parties! Lanes are brightly coloured with blaring tunes, and packages for kids big and small include two hours of bowling, with food (pizza, burgers, chicken strips, etc.) and decorations (party hats, glow necklaces and balloons). Upgrade to platters and T-shirts, too. They even have a printable invite on their website to make things as simple as possible. $15 to $26 per child, 10 kids minimum. 33 Samor Rd., 416-787-4533; playtimebowl.com
JUST FOR FUN
Family-owned and -operated, Just for Fun is 13,000 square feet of everything a little birthday boy or girl could want: a massive climber with 16-foot slides, individual trampolines, tunnels and a rope bridge. Little ones can stick to the toddler zone, while bigger kids go wild for foosball tables, basketball nets, laser tag, air hockey and minigolf (on a nine-hole glow-in-the-dark course, no less). Basic packages include a party host, private room, pizza, birthday cake and beverages, but Just for Fun is happy to customize, too. Plus no stress and no cleanup! Starts at $400 per party of 20 kids and 20 adults.
689 Warden Ave., 416-750-1337; justforfunpartycentre.ca
GLAMA GAL TWEEN SPA
The first tween spa in Ontario, the award-winning Glama Gal Spa is specifically for young girls six to 13 years old, providing spa services like manis, pedis, chocolate facials and DIY bath products for beauty junkies in the making. Even better than the all-natural, organic products? Estheticians focus on being beautiful on the inside, elevating self-esteem and a feel-good “Sisterhood Oath” that fosters confidence and positivity. Party packages include cupcakes, robes, slippers and a glam tiara keepsake. There’s also a mobile version that will come right to your front door. $300 per party of six.
Six locations (Vaughan, Ajax, Oakville, Newmarket, Toronto and Unionville). glamagalparty.com
ONE-OF-A-KIND CHILDREN’S PARTIES
If you want to customize a party just the way you want it, One-of-a-Kind is the answer for you. Kids two to 12 are entertained by educators (shhh, don’t tell) through creative activities like music and arts and crafts. This travelling company—meaning they show up, set up, clean up—works in any home or venue in the GTA and surrounding areas. Suggestions include the Royal Princess Ball; Little Picasso Party; or Shake, Rattle and Roll, but, really, if you can dream it up, they can make it happen! Prices vary. 647-261-9510, oneofakindchildrensparties.com
BOOM RECORDING STUDIO
Guests of Boom’s My Pop Star parties score a legit recording studio session: two hours, including group rehearsal, sound check and recording. The product of the party— a take-home CD of their group’s album, with its own label. (Get ready for it to be played on repeat.) $350 per eight people (additional fee for extra guests, up to 14). 161 Deerhide Cres., 647-478-7556, mypopstarparty.com
WHIMZ LIVE ANIMAL PROGRAMS
Bet you want a live snake in your house, right Mom? Well, it’s not your birthday, so for little lovers of all things creepy-crawly, Whimz will bring the zoo to you. All they need is 15 minutes to set up, and enough space for your guests to sit in a circle. Then Whimz will wow kids with exotic frogs, lizards, turtles, hedgehogs, chinchillas and more. It’s very safe to look and touch (and we bet your party guests will learn a few things, too). And don’t worry, all the animals go home afterward. $200 to $265 (depending on your location) per hour
of animal time. 416-656-7894, whimzonline.com
If your little one dreams in themes, Kidville has the perfect venue and the party package for you. The one-stop birthday shop has 16 prepackaged bashes tailored to different ages and interests, or if your child is a true individual you can customize your soiree to reflect his or her passions. With titles like Superhero Birthday Bash and Pretty in Pink Ballerina Party, there’s something for everyone. $595 per 10 kids; $1,095 per 20. 3420 Yonge St., 416-483-7070, kidville.ca
If your kid insists on inviting every child he knows, Kidnetix has got it covered: two playgrounds in one room that can accommodate up to 200 people. Playgrounds boast climbers, arcade games, a bouncy castle, ride-on toys, bubble blasting and more, suitable for children of all ages. Parents aren’t out of luck, either; they can enjoy the iPad stations or, even better, take turns popping across the street for some shopping at Yorkdale Mall. Prices start at $149. 100 Bridgeland Ave., 416-904-2556, kidnetix.ca