It’s almost your child’s birthday, but you still haven’t found a place to hold a party. Don’t worry! Charlottesville, Virginia has lots of great places for your little one to celebrate yet another year.
1. The Virginia Discovery Museum is a nonprofit children’s museum that has a room for parties for people with memberships. The museum, which is located on the Downtown Mall on East Main Street, offers two-hour affairs that include balloons, a group craft and time to explore the museum under the guidance of a museum staff member. Party themes include prince/princess, dinosaur, pirate, music and hocus pocus.
The museum charges $150 for parties with up to 10 children, with each additional child costing $8. The museum also sells invitations for 10 for $5 and party bags with small toys and a pass to the museum. If the kids still want to play after the party is over, they can take advantage of the free manual carousel outside of the museum.
If you want to hold your child’s party here, call the gallery manager six weeks in advance at (434) 977-1025 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Another great children’s birthday party venue on the Downtown Mall is the Charlottesville Ice Park. The ice park will give birthday guests a private room to enjoy and time on the ice. For $10.25 a person, guests will get an hour in the party room, a party host to do set up and cleanup, time to skate, balloons and a visit by IC Polar Bear. As a bonus, the package includes free skate rentals, a free T-shirt for the birthday boy and free skating for two adult chaperones.
My son attended a birthday party at this ice rink last year and really enjoyed it. However, it took a little longer for everyone to get out of the party room after the pizza was served,
To reserve the party room, call (434) 817-2400 or email Tiffany Thornton at email@example.com
3. The Little Gym at 907 Gardens Blvd. in Charlottesville hosts birthday parties for kids ages one to 12. The facility will let your child and his guests take over the entire gym, enjoying pre-planned activities and games with a qualified birthday leader and an assistant.
The gym offers drinks for the children in the party room after an hour of gym time, but parents are responsible for bringing food and silverware. Each kids gets a balloon, and the birthday girl gets her own The Little Gym T-shirt. Gym staff will take care of set-up and cleanup, too.
This isn’t a bad place for a birthday party, but the party is a little short for older guests. My son attended one of these parties, but it was a little strange because the guests weren’t all the same age. The Little Gym customizes its gym activities to the age level of the children, making it hard for the solitary older child to have much fun.
Reservations are required, and pricing varies depending on the size of your group. Call (434) 975-5437 to reserve your desired date.
4. ACAC, Charlottesville’s local gym chain, has a wide selection of party themes for children, including the “Old-Fashioned” theme complete with Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Birthday themes include a pool party, water park adventure, The Big Room (a giant indoor playplace), crafts, dance groove, princess and sports.
For a party of up to 10 children, ACAC provides a staff member to lead the party, set-up and clean-up, drinks, balloons, invitations, a personalized birthday cake and goody bags. If you want, you can pay extra for ice cream, pizza or face-painting.
You don’t have to be a member to throw a party at ACAC. For more information on pricing and where each party can be held, call (434) 978-PLAY.
5. My son loved his Tumblebus party when he turned five. Tumblebus is a national company that has tumbling equipment retrofitted into a school bus. For one hour, Tumblebus will come to your home or a pre-specified party location and let the kids play games, tumble around and compete in an obstacle course. At the end, they can enjoy an Olympic medal ceremony. These parties are recommended for kids between 2 and 7 years old.
We paid $175 for 15 children, with each additional child costing $5. It also included invitations and a T-shirt for the birthday boy. The kids loved the event, although some of them weren’t dressed properly. Tumblebus requires you to wear comfortable clothes and sneakers, but some kids wore flip-flops instead.
Make sure to make room for the Tumblebus to park, particularly if you decide to hold the party at home. The bus needs to be parked on a flat surface.
For more information or to make reservations, call (434) 326-5691.