Birthday Party Ideas for Kids in Austin

My child had a blast when Courtney of Wild Things Zoofari brought animals over to our house for his last birthday.

Planning a birthday party for your child in the Austin area? Look no further! We’ve rounded up some of our favorite birthday party spots in town.

My child had a blast when Courtney of Wild Things Zoofari brought animals over to our house for his last birthday party.

Many thanks to PartyBright.com for sponsoring this post! Just recently launched, PartyBright is an Austin-based birthday party site, and a great resource for planning a kid’s birthday party in Austin. They are working with a number of the vendors on this list and allow you to browse through a variety of different party options, read reviews, and make bookings online. Its a great time-saver for busy moms! No phone tag or trading emails with vendors trying to confirm date and time availability.

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“Mom, I want to have my birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese!”

I totally get why Chuck E. Cheese is beloved by many children, but I just can’t make myself get on board. I’m not sure if it’s the noise, the overstimulation or the fact that we are city brimming with offbeat, fun things to do, but these words set me on a crusade to uncover the many alternatives to celebrate the passing of another year.

Although this is by no means a comprehensive list, here is a sample of some of the birthday parties we’ve been to, I’ve had recommended by friends (thanks, y’all) or which I have read about which sound fun. I didn’t include some of the most well-known and franchise-affiliated venues. If you have any birthday party places in Austin to add, please let us know in the comments, and we’ll add this to our list. I’m hoping to revisit this list in years to come when I’m looking for inspiration:

Advancing Robots – Working in teams of 2, guests add modifications to their ‘bot, then try out their design in the SUMO RING.Robots are programmed to find and “wrestle” the other robot. A team’s ‘bot wins if it pushes the other ‘bot out of the ring or over on its back. During the hour-long event, they’ll make multiple improvements on their design, making it an increasingly skillful SUMO ‘BOT. Hosts must provide a space for the activity to take place.

Alamo Drafthouse – You can bring your favorite video or choose from their themes. On a weekend morning, kids can eat pizza and milkshakes while they watch a movie while parents can eat off the brunch menu.

Archery Party – Taking inspiration from the movie Brave, book a group archery lesson (disclosure: I’m not really sure that Archery Country can do parties, but private lessons are available.)

The Art Garage – Several options are listed, including Paint Pottery, Precious Handprints, Butterfly Birthday, Bank on It! and Tie Dye T-shirt birthday parties, although you can customize your own party to suit the birthday child.

Austin Children’s Museum – Several birthday party packages are available. There is a different price for members and non-members. A private party room plus admission for 15 children plus accompanying adults, an email invitation, party books with a pass for the guest to return for free and a party t-shirt for the birthday child are all included in the basic package.

Austin Dog Alliance – Parties include dog-themed decorations, activities, plates/napkins and an agility demo with therapy dogs. Staff will help run the party. For an extra cost, you can add puppies and kittens.

Austin Nature & Science Center – Parties include a 45 minute presentation and the use of a party room with tables and chairs. Several themes available. Birthday party rooms must be cleaned and vacated at the end of the two hour period. Birthday party participants are welcome and encouraged to visit ANSC exhibits and grounds before/after their party.

Austin Rock Gym – Parties include two hours of climbing, all necessary gear, belay instruction and harnesses for parents and room to set up a table for cake and refreshments. Waivers are required for all climbers.

Austin Roller Rink – Several different packages are available and three decorated party rooms are available for an hour and forty-five minutes. The birthday child gets a t-shirt and the children get admission and skate rental. Depending on the package, food can be provided, or you can bring it in.

Austin Tinkering School – Several themes available. Parties serve up to 10 kids, but you can add on additional children at a per kid fee. Parties include a cupcake decorating experience…a rainbow of assorted frosting tubes for decoration will be provided. Cupcakes not included.

Austin Zoo – Two outdoor, covered spaces are available to rent. You can bring in your own food and decorations. You pay per guest, plus a nonrefundable deposit. You may also choose to pay for a train ride or animal feed for your guests.

Blazer Tag – Several party packages are available. The basic package comes with two games of laser tag, either a private room or reserved table in the lobby, invitations and a t-shirt for the birthday child and a pass for a free game of tag on his or her next visit.

Blue Baker – Guests can enjoy a tour and then you can enjoy some yummy treats afterwards.

BookPeople – Several themes available. Parties intended for children ages 1-6. Parties include planning session with BookPeople staffer; 1.5-hour private use of time on BookPeople’s 3rd floor event space; a 15-20 minute story time by a BookPeople party helper; a craft activity (led by BookPeople party helper; crafting supplies provided by BookPeople); goodie bags for all kids attending the birthday party which will include a $5.00 gift certificate, stickers and other trinkets and helium balloons, streamers, and a customizable birthday banner.

Cafe Monet – Several locations and themes to choose from. Minimum of 8 painters. Our Westgate location can seat up to 18 painters, and our Triangle location can have 24 painters! Children’s birthday parties are an hour and a half long and include a handpainted memory plate. All pottery parties will be able to be picked up 7 days later. You can bring your own snacks, cake, ice cream, or order a pizza to be delivered. Nonrefundable party room fee plus per child fee.

Capital Gymnastics – Three locations and three party times (all on Saturdays) to choose from for 60 minutes of gym time, 30 minutes of cake/gift time, a trained teacher, invitations, party shirt for the birthday child and a drink pouch, souvenir cup and sticker for each guest. Host is responsible for the cake and paper goods and outside food is allowed.

Dart Bowl - A minimum of 8 guests is required for a party. The basic package includes one hour of bowling, shoe rental, balloons, utensils, party assistance from staffer and free bowling pass and laser maze coupon for use on next visit. Bumper bowling is available for children and you can add on the laser maze for your guests.

Emler Swim School – Kids can splash and play in heated, indoor pools under the watch of certified lifeguards and then have use of a private party room. Two hour parties allow for up to 30 guests at no additional cost. Custom Evites included, but you must bring decorations, pool toys and refreshments.

The Expedition School – Parties for 8 children or more. Cost includes waterfront lifeguard, SUP guide, boards, canoes, kayaks, paddles, EZ Up Tents, picnic table and an iPod compatible stereo. You can bring your own cake, ice cooler w/ drinks, snacks and cupcakes/cake.

Foodie Kids – Several party packages available and a deposit is required. Parties include food, utensils, party favors for every guest which include a classic white cloth chef’s apron and an additional gift, an individual cake for the birthday child, a gift registry with discount and a 10% discount on an additional party favor gift.

Freedom Party Rentals – Mobile laser tag and inflatable movie screen available. For laser tag, several packages available, which include laser tag guns, barricades, referee pistol, face paint and table cloth for two hours. Parties can accommodate up to 90 players per hour in tournament-style play. The movie screen is two stories high and includes high definition picture and professional sound, as well as set up and clean up.

Game Plan Entertainment – You can rent out their small, private facility, which features classic arcade games, new and vintage video games, air hockey, skeeball, foosball, a DJ sound system and lots of other games all set to free play or you can rent games to be brought to you.

Gorgeous Millie – Parents of babies and toddlers can choose from more than 10 party themes, including Good Night Gorilla and Tents and Tunnels, and have full use of the facility for two hours. Two Gorgeous Millie staffers will set up, “wrangle kids” and clean up.

Heartsong Music – Two hour parties include use of the entire studio and a 45-minute music class in one room. The other room is used for free play and arts and crafts.

iFLY Austin – Parties include indoor skydiving flights, DVDs of your session, a training session, rental of all necessary equipment, personal assistance from a flight instructor during your flights and a personalized flight certificate for each flyer.

Jump! Gymnastics – Parties are an hour and half and can be customized to fit your needs. Standard activities include 45 minutes of gymnastics, 15 minutes of age-appropriate games and dancing and 30 minutes in private party room. Parties are ideal for children between the ages of 2 -10. Parties include invitations, decorations, music, tableware, cake, juice, goody bags, thank you notes, as well as setup and cleanup.

Jump Wild in Dripping Springs – Parties include a reserved party room, table ware, party host and access to the play area, inflatables and trampolines.
AdvertisementKiddie Acres – Group rate ticket buyers can reserve tables. Cake, juice boxes, bottled water and ice cream are the only foods allowed in park. Pizza, hot dogs, balloons, novelty ice cream, popcorn and goody-bag combos available upon request. There is a two hour limit on tables. Some decorations allowed.

Kiddie Express Train – The Kiddie Express Trains are trackless and are complete with a smokestack, bell and whistle, and a driver dressed as an engineer. The fire truck looks real with light, ladder and siren and a driver dressed as a fireman. Goody bag items are also available.

Kidz ‘n’ Play – Several party packages available. With a reservation, a party room is reserved for 2 hours. The birthday child gets in free with a pass for future admission. You can bring your own food and the venue will supply invitations, utensils, plates, a tablecloth, helium balloons and napkins.

Little Buckaroo Ranch – Several Western-themed party packages are available. All parties include personalized invitations, a party area with hot dogs, chips, punch and bottled water. You can bring in your own cake.

The Little Gyms of Austin- Your group will have the whole place to yourselves for 1 ½ hours with games, music and fun activities created especially for your birthday kid.  The trained instructors will lead all the fun and The Little Gym team will handle everything from setup to cleanup, which means you get to go home to a clean, quiet house when all the fun is done. The basic package includes up to 17 kids (25 max at additional cost), paper goods and utensils, lemonade, and a T-Shirt for the birthday child.  Party favors are also available.

Mad Science – Several party packages are available. The parties are about 45-90 minutes long and are geared to children aged 4-12 years old. You must provide the location. Parties usually start with a magic trick and then proceed with a series of interactive experiments and demonstrations. Goody bags are also available.

Millenium Youth Complex – Several packages available. Packages include bowling or skating plus arcade tokens, birthday place settings and flyer, choice of hot dog combo or pizza, soft drinks and ice cream.

Moxie Gymnastics and Cheer – Parties included supervised gym time and use of a party room. You supply cake, drinks and paper goods.

Outdoor movie – You could rent a screen or DIY if you can find a projector and host an outdoor movie night with popcorn, popsicles and even have your guests arrive in their PJs.

Park party – Choose from dozens of parks in Greater Austin. At some of the larger parks, you will need to pay to reserve tables. Kids can play and you can bring whatever you need.

Peter Pan Mini Golf – A large, shaded picnic area is available by reservation for parties. There are two large and three smaller picnic tables. Reservations are available in 1.5 hour increments including set-up and break-down. There is no charge to reserve the picnic area. For guests playing golf, standard rates apply.

Pinballz Arcade – All party packages require a nonrefundable deposit. Parties include the party room for 2 hours, tokens for the guests and birthday child, goody bag for the birthday child, pizza and drinks. No outside food or drink allowed in the arcade with any party packages with the exception of birthday cakes/cupcakes.

Playland Skate Center – Parties include admission for guests, skate rental, pitchers of drinks, reserved table(s) for 2 hours (to accommodate the number of children expected), announcement of your child’s birthday just prior to the birthday song, skating games including the Limbo, Hokey-Pokey and Races and cleanup. You can bring in pizza, cake, cupcakes, snacks and ice cream, decorations and paper products (plates, napkins, etc.).

Pop Star Parties - Parties are 2 hours and are based on one Star-To-Be plus 5 of his/her BFFs. The package includes 1 DVD copy of the Starlets’ very own pop star video, all the accessories needed to rock the stage, a glam makeover given by the Pop Stars, and a pop star training class that will help the starlets choose their song, perfect their voice and work on all their pop star moves. The Pop Stars will arrive with a stage and a sound system, a video camera and a wardrobe of accessories for the stars to use. The Pop stars will also perform some of your favorite songs.

Pump It Up – Parties include fun on inflatables, a private indoor arena(s) and party room, a gift for the guest of honor, supervision by our friendly trained staff and invitations and party supplies.

Races2U – Kids can guide small remote controlled cars on a replica of the F1 track, just outside of Austin. Parties are recommended for kids 6 and up, and even adults can get in on the fun. Participants who are not driving during a particular race can get involved as “pit crew”, putting cars back together and back on track, and of course, it wouldn’t be racing without spectators, either.

Rock Island – One friend’s son was invited to a party at Zilker’s Rock Island. The kids met there under the trees on blankets and had pizza, climbed on the rocks, ran around and played kickball. Since the weather is so nice in Austin, this would be such a fun way to spend a few hours!

Snow Rentals – A friend mentioned she had an idea to get a pile of snow for a winter-themed party. How cool would that be for our snow-deprived kids?

SoccerZone Lakeline – Several party packages are available. Two-hour party packages include picnic tables, drink Tower, plates, napkins, utensils, and one hour of field time for games of soccer, dodgeball, flag football, ultimate frisbee, or any other sport you can think of.

Spicewood Farms – Several party packages are available. Parties include an interactive lesson on horses, hands-on grooming, horse rides, games, horse tricks and feeding. Outside food is allowed.

Splash pad – Kids play in your favorite splash pad and you don’t have the stress of having a bunch of kids at a pool.

Stunt Ranch – Basic stunt parties include time on ziplines, low ropes course and picnic areas and you can get add-ons like a high-fall airbag, rock climbing wall, paintball, pyro demonstration and mountains of foam.

Takota’s Ponies – Ponies can come to you for riding (an extra is provided for petting). Geared towards ages 1-10.

Tiny Tails to You – Parties include petting zoo pens with animals, so you need to provide the venue. The birthday child gets first dibs on meeting the animals and kids get one on one time with the animals. Staffers share educational information about the animals.

Trapeze Austin – One or two hour classes and circus workshops available.

Wake up party – A mama friend shared the story of a favorite party she had growing up that she is now hosting for her daughter. The birthday child and parent/s go to each guest’s home and wake them up and bring them to their house for a “fancy” breakfast in their PJs.

Wild Things Zoofari – You provide the space, the Zoofari provides a set number of exotic animals for your guests to meet. Staff provides educational information to guests about each animal and each guest gets to interact with the animals.

Whew, that’s a lot of choices!

Looking to plan a birthday party on a budget? Check out our Birthday Party Discount Guide!

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.livemom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Nicole-Basham-Sara-Marzani-Photography-livemom.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 6-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau’s words, her mission is to “suck out all the marrow of life”, or in her son’s words, to cultivate in him a love of “advenchers”.[/author_info] [/author]

About Nicole Basham 793 Articles
A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 10-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau's words, her mission is to "suck out all the marrow of life", or in her son's words, to cultivate in him a love of "advenchers".

27 Comments on Birthday Party Ideas for Kids in Austin

  1. Celebrate your child’s birthday with music at Heartsong Music! We offer use of our studio that has 3 bright and beautiful classrooms that can be used for crafts, snacks, an ongoing jam session with a variety of instruments, and a 45 minute music class. We also have tables and chairs available as well.

  2. For Peo’s last birthday, she wanted a real science party, not the glossed-over science-ish stuff she’s seen at Mad Science parties or at the Children’s Museum. It turned out that was hard for under 8. There are star parties on weeknights for older kids, but I couldn’t have a bunch of 6-7 year olds out at 10 pm on a Wednesday.

    I posted on G+ about it, pinging a bunch of scientists I knew, and an old teacher saw the post and brokered a deal with a UT astronomer she knew where he’d come do a thing at Peo’s party with real, proper, hardcore science, and in exchange I did a cake for his kid’s party the next week.

    It was Peo’s best party yet. We booked space in a public park, and the astronomer brought crafts, stickers, and best of all, a scale of the solar system he’d made using a party streamer, with the sun at one end and Pluto at the other. But he also knew that Peo’s obsession is Eris, so after showing how far away Pluto was, he then ran halfway across the park to show just how vastly, vastly, vastly far away Eris is by comparison. Even the adults were surprised and learned something!

    So you can do all kinds of cool, memorable stuff in line with your kids’ interests if you put in some research time in advance. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be awesome.

  3. Thanks so much for this list! My daughter is going to have her first “big” birthday party, and I was looking for something other than a regular bouncy house.

  4. For the kid (or adult) who loves cars, check out Races2U slot car racing on the Northwest side of town near Cedar Park. There is a miniature replica of the Austin F1 track that kids can race small remote control cars on. Easy enough for children 6 and up, yet challenging enough to keep adults entertained. Great place for a birthday party, and unique to Austin.

  5. This is a great list with some awesome local companies. I thought I would share ours here as well since I didn’t see it on the list. My wife Sara and I own and operate Game Plan Entertainment, a private arcade and events venue that has proven to be really popular for kids birthday parties. The space includes classic arcade games, new and vintage video games, air hockey, skeeball, foosball, a DJ sound system, and lots of other fun games all set to free play. We are located just south of downtown near I35 and Ben White.

    Check our website out at http://www.GamePlanEnt.com for more information.

  6. Help needed for planning a one on one with 10 year old granddaughter in Austin area.
    We are out of town and like to plan a special time with her. Thanks for any helpful ideas. She likes glamour, bouncing, pretty normal 10 year old girl.

  7. We have hosted T’s birthday parties at Gorgeous Millie, and for kids 0-4, it’s perfect! Beautiful space, lots of room, toys, and books for kids to play with, and reasonably priced. They even staff it so you don’t have to do any clean-up.

  8. Anniem, that’s a great question. Depending on what time of year you are heading here, you could try catching a performance at the Bass Concert Hall or the Long Center (plays, like Wicked, come to Bass in the Spring). You might also take her to tea at the Four Seasons or the Steeping Room. A bat watching cruise (again, depending on the time of year) is fun. I hope this helps!

  9. Kristin and Stephanie, I have added Gorgeous Millie and Heartsong. Thank you for the heads up!

  10. hi im basically writing you because i want to have a prince themed birthday party for my son 1st birthday. he wont be 1 until may 11 2014 but im planning it now. please write me back

  11. This is a wondeful list! I consider myself a ‘kid party connoisseur’ (I love throwing big parties for my two kids!) but there are several on this list I hadn’t thought of before! Also wanted to add that we’ve done private parties in the past at Emler Swim and Austin Roller Rink..both were incredibly fun. Thanks for all the great new ideas!

  12. We are overlotus.com that provides online reservations for venues. We just launched our site and were looking for a list of venues for kids’ birthday. This is perfect! Thank you!

  13. How about an amazing art party? KidzArt Austin has a fabulous program and provides all supplies. We are in the process of partnering with a studio in NW Austin so will soon have a wonderful new venue! In the meantime, we can come to YOU! Please add us to your great list of birthday party partners!

  14. Whoa! I only have toddlers so have not thought this far ahead, but yeah, there is NO excuse for a run-of-the-mill party in this town. I’ll bookmark this for future use, thanks for all the great ideas!

  15. I just wanted to also add Capital Gymnastics to the list. They completely take care of everything, from set up, passing out cake, clean up, and you get to take whatever food you want. My daughter had a BLAST for her 6th birthday.

  16. When thinking about kids birthday party ideas or childrens birthday parties or really any party, fundraiser, or corporate event – I would recommend mobile laser tag. It gets people outdoors and is an incredible workout not to mention tons of fun. If you go to http://www.freedompartyrentals.com you can read about my husbands business. He opened it this year but is getting great reviews on google and yelp and people are having a blast. He just added an outdoor inflatable movie screen that is two stories high as well :) High definition projector and incredible sound. So for birthday party ideas in austin and surrounding areas, take a look at http://www.freedomparyrentals.com! I know I’m biased :) but don’t take my word for it, just look at the photos and reviews, you’ll see tons of people of all ages having a blast!

  17. What a fantastic list! Come check us out for all your cookie needs for your parties. We make our dough from scratch at the store, bake fresh all day long, and can decorate any design you desire. We are located in Cedar Park and have the most reasonable prices around! Our largest cookie cake is 16″ and is only $16 decorated! We decorate cookies 3″ all the way up to 16″. Also have 13 different flavors ready to go all day long. Come check us out. We are located on 1431 west of the old 183, next to Bush’s Chicken.

  18. One of the coolest things we’ve done for bday parties is Stunt Ranch in Dripping Springs just west of Austin. They have slack lines and other outdoor climbing/balancing equipment and a zipline…for the pyros out there they also blow stuff up (but not at our party!) Jump Wild is a fun indoor bouncy place with trampolines in Dripping and Moxie Gymnastics also hosts parties. Not affiliated with any of these, but like them all!

  19. I own Passion Flower, a kid’s mobile spa company based in Austin. We service Austin and surrounding cities. Passion Flower’s package is ALL INCLUSIVE and offers additional upgrades.

    Included in the $175 Package: (Based on 6 guests)
    – One Service (Manicures, Pedicures or Facials)
    – One Activity Station (Lip Gloss, Loom Band Bracelet, Sugar Scrub, or Flip Flop)
    – 6 Spa Gift Sets
    – 6 Bottles of water with a flavored drink package
    – 12 Flavored Mini Cupcakes (Birthday Cake, Red Velvet, Strawberry, Chocolate, or Vanilla.)
    – Choice of a movie to be viewed during services. Or play music.

    Passion Flower brings it all to you! No need to stress, just set a date, pick out your package and let Passion Flower do the rest!

    http://www.PassionFlowerAustin.com
    Find us on Facebook! Facebook.com/PassionFlowerAustin
    Find us on Yelp! Yelp.com/biz/Passion-Flower-Austin

  20. Want to throw the coolest party every :) Why not host a mobile laser tag event in your backyard, with an incredible sound system playing Star Wars and Superman Music. Freedom Party Rentals now offers professional music systems with every mobile laser tag package and customers are loving it. We also have a new overnight package featuring our new phoenix laser taggers at only $179 overnight + get 10% off when you use the promo code livemom. These taggers can be used by 5-6 years old children and up!

    Freedom Party Rentals specializes in mobile laser tag , outdoor movies, and more. We believe in getting outdoors, being healthy and active. Our systems works in almost all size backyards. Visit us at http://www.freeodmpartyrentals.com

  21. Quest ATX is the perfect destination for fun and unique summer parties. We offer private rental of our small cable system, so the party goers will have the whole thing to themselves to try wakebaording, kneeboarding, skiing, and every kids favorite body dragging. All equipment is provided. There is also a swim area, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, horseshoes and washers. We have a grill on site and allow outside food and beverages, so bring your kids favorite foods and drinks (and maybe some adult beverages for yourself)! We have plenty of picnic tables and umbrellas for shade. We accommodate parties of 7-25. Please visit http://www.questatx.com for more details.

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