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Mendo Lake Family Life

20 Places to Hold Kids’ Birthday Parties

By Katy M. Clark

Your child’s next birthday is fast approaching, and you’re wondering where to hold the party. Perhaps the thought of having it at home makes you break out in a cold sweat. Maybe it is simply not an option.

As the mother of two kids, now a teen and tween, I’ve spent over a decade attending or hosting birthday parties at more than two-dozen spots. There truly is a place for everyone and every budget. So check out this list of 20 locations for your child’s next birthday party and get ready to celebrate!

1. Take your group to a local sporting event, such as a minor league baseball game. Check out the Sonoma Stompers or see the kids playing in the Lake County Baseball Club.

2. Visit a zoo or petting zoo like the San Francisco Zoo or the B. Bryan Preserve, a private Point Arena reserve for African animals. Also check out Classroom Safari’s programs. 

3. Go to a swimming pool, water park, or splash pad.

4. Find a local park where you can rent a pavilion to serve as home base while the kids run around.

5. Think about special events in your town. Piggyback your party on an outdoor summer concert or a viewing of a holiday parade (think Memorial Day or Fourth of July). See the Calendar of Events for ideas. 

6. Go to the movies and out for pizza or ice cream.

7. Take a walk or hike at a nature center or botanical garden, where you can learn about the outdoors and celebrate with a picnic. 

8. Pick fruit at an orchard in the summer, or pick pumpkins at a pumpkin patch in the fall. 

9. Go to a kids’ museum. The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa hosts picnic table birthday parties.

10. Visit a laser tag venue.

11. Go to the bowling alley and bring a cake or sweet treat.

12. Scale the highest heights at an indoor rock-climbing center.

13. Celebrate at a mini golf venue.

14. Try a martial arts studio, where kids can play games and learn age-appropriate skills.

15. Go roller-skating at a roller rink.

16. Jump over to a trampoline park.

17. What about a visit to the Mendocino County or Sonoma County humane societies? Don’t forget to check for allergies first!

18. Gymnastics clubs and gyms let you rent their spaces so kids can run, jump, and play to their hearts’ content. 

19. Try an ice skating party at Snoopy’s Home Ice in Santa Rosa. (In my experience, this party idea is suited for older kids who can already skate or have fun trying.)

20. Let kids be creative at an arts, dance, or music studio. 

Finally, perhaps you are able to have a party at home, but are just too worried that your house isn’t big enough or exciting enough. In my experience, some of the best (and cheapest) birthday parties I have ever hosted were in our home. The home parties pleased kids and parents alike! During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can host a great party outside. 

Katy M. Clark is a writer who celebrates her imperfections as a mom at