Planning for your child’s birthday party can definitely take up a lot of time. To help out our fellow Orlando residents, the Unlock Orlando Children’s Birthday Squad composed of Orlando natives and Orlando residents put together this very simply list of unique and fun places to host kids birthday parties. These are tried and true Orlando area favorites. You still have to keep in mind who your audience is along with their age range, but there should be something on this list for kids of all ages.
Lukas Nursery’s Butterfly Encounter
1909 Slavia Road
Oviedo, Florida 32765
Lukas Nursery is one of the largest native butterfly conservatories in the state of Florida. In addition to hosting school groups and individual tours, you can host a birthday party too. For $10 per child (with one parent), you get a tour, hopefully touch some butterflies and even get a free plant for each child. The staff has great ideas for the party. You can serve cake and lunch, have a treasure hunt for plastic bugs or butterflies, do art projects – basically, be as creative as you want to be. It can get hot in the summer time, so it’s best to hold a party here from October to May.
And, on the way out, parents can get gifts at the gift shop or pick up some plants and garden supplies from the nursery (they have a huge selection).
Pinnochio’s Marionette Theater
Altamonte Mall (Altamonte Springs)
Located on the first floor (across from the children’s indoor
This party offers the opportunity for children to experience live
theater (in less than an hour)! For up to 50 guests, you can host
your child’s party here. The price is listed as $5 per person and
there is a clean up fee of $15. They have special party rooms
(come with a refrigerator)– depending on the size, the room
rental costs either $60 or $70 per hour. You’ll need to check
the shows that the theater is offering for the season.
Orlando Repertory Theatre (The Rep)
1001 East Princeton Street
Orlando, FL 32803
With a variety of shows and price ranges for tickets and birthday packages, the Orlando Rep could be a great party for children that love theater and live shows. The Rep is a professional theater in partnership with UCF. They also offer summer theater programs for children. Children should be at least 3 (and probably older in many cases) to really enjoy this experience.
Regal Cinemas (movie theaters in a variety of locations)
If your child wants to be a movie star (or just loves the movies), host a party at the movie theater. What’s not to like about popcorn, raisinettes and cake? This option could be great during the sweltering hot Florida summer too. There are numerous theatres located in Winter Park, Apopka, Oviedo, Waterford Lakes, Wekiva and Seminole Towne Center. Make sure the movie is age appropriate!
Picture Show at Altamonte
130 East Altamonte Drive
Altamonte Spring, FL 32701
Another great (and super affordable option), especially during hot weather in Florida (well, that’s at least ½ the year). Tickets are $1.75 for children and adults. They also have a party room. The theater is clean, convenient and the price cannot be beat. The kids should be able to sit through a movie without incident.
Central Florida Zoo
3755 NW Hwy 17-92 Sanford, FL
407-323-4450, ext. 125
For the animal lover, a party at the zoo is perfect. Admission to the Zoo and the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground for a minimum of 10 people and maximum of 30. (The total number of guests includes both member and non-member adults and children.) Children under 3 are free. The party includes use of the party area, passes for the train or carousel, party host, piñata (includes candy), party hats, animal themed plates and cups, etc. Parties are held on Saturday and Sunday. You need to bring your own cake. Admission to the Zoo and Splash Ground for a party is for a minimum of 10 people and maximum of 30. It is requested that parties are planned at least two weeks in advance. Parties start at $225 and there are “add-ons” such as face painters, etc. for an additional cost. Discounts on the party prices are given to zoo members. More information on www.unlockorlando.com
AMF Altamonte Lanes (Bowling)
280 Douglas Ave.
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
Even the smaller kids can enjoy bowling with a little metal ramp that is provided (and using a 6 pound instead of an 8 pound ball). After a round of bowling, serve pizza and cake. You could even do a bowling-themed cake. This option is particularly good for summer parties since it can get so hot during the Florida summer months.
Orlando Science Center
777 E. Princeton Street
Orlando, Florida 32803
Super Science Parties are hosted on Saturdays and Sundays. They have a variety of activities to select such as Bubble Blast, Weird Science and Party Animals. Invitations, cake, serving utensils, ice cream and lemonade are included in the price. Party extras like pizza, sandwiches, etc. are available. Best part – after the birthday party – the kids and their parents can stay the whole day at the science center. Caveat – the price for each kid only includes one parent. Science Center members receive a 10% discount! For more information check out www.unlockorlando.com
Maitland Community Park
1400 Mayo Ave, Maitland, FL 32751
Rent a pavilion and let the kids have fun at one of the two playground areas (there is a toddler area and a bigger kid area). Host a treasure hunt, provide a children’s performer, have a BBQ (or just have pizza delivered). Keep it simple and just let them play on the playground. The pavilions are very spacious and the park has great facilities.
Orlando Museum of Art
2416 North Mills Ave
Host a 90 minute education and themed party. Themes include Art Dog, Pirate’s Treasure Hunt, Dig & Discover, Art Detectives, African Adventures, and Eco Art. Included is an instructor, materials for an art project whether it be a picture frame or pirate map and chest. Birthday cake and lemonade is included as are utensils and a downloadable party invitation. Make plans to celebrate your child’s special day with the gift of art! Each guest will leave with his or her own work of art. Party attendees must be age 4 or older and the number of kids is capped at 15. Parties can be held in the afternoon on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
8701 Maitland Summit Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32810
Kid’s Birthdays at RDV
Kid’s Stuff Gym is a special kids zone where parties can be hosted. The parties last for two hours and can be held from 2-4 p.m. or 5:30 -7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. There is an inflatable obstacle course, rock climbing wall and areas for “free play”. Parties can be tailored to the age of the attending kids.
JCC (Maitland and South Orlando Campuses)
851 N. Maitland Ave.
Maitland, FL 32751
11184 S. Apopka Vineland Rd.
Orlando, FL 32836
Parties run for two hours and can be held on Saturday afternoons or Sundays from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. You can plan the party or they will help select activities. The party includes room rental, paper goods, etc. They can also bring in entertainment. Party themes range from sports themes to princesses. They will work with your budget too.
3581 Lake Emma Road
Lake Mary, FL 32746
My Gym Birthday Parties
Two hours of non-stop activity. Two My Gym hosts will organize games and activities tailored to the age of the kids. During the party, you have exclusive use of the facility. My Gym offers all kinds of add-ons and party extras (including party favors), which are detailed on their website.
Goofy’s Candy Company (Downtown Disney Marketplace)
Walt Disney World Kid’s Birthdays
Two birthday party options are offered here – Goofy’s Scien-Terrific Birthday Bash and Perfectly Princess Party. Each offers treats to decorate, special gifts for the birthday child and party guests, balloons, etc. It doesn’t come cheap, but it will be fabulous and over the top – it’s Disney of course. Invitations and thank you notes are included in the price as well as two party hosts dedicated to your party.
Special notes – parties are limited to children aged 3 and over AND the party is 1 ½ hours long.
Disney also offers a more extravagant party at the Polynesian Resort (Neverland Club Birthday Party).
If your children love animals, take a group out to the local Audubon Society in Maitland where they can see live Birds of Prey up close and personal. You could organize a tour and a party with some food and cake on some of their picnic tables. Click on Audubon Society for more information.
Dunkin Donuts Party
The Dunkin’Donuts/Baskin Robbins gives a great party. Kids have the ability to decorate half a dozen of their own donuts, balloons, pizza, cake. Best of all, they get to keep their donuts. After all is said and done, the whole thing is pretty cheap on the cost side of things! It’s like $130 for 15 kids. You might do it for your 6 year old and they’ll probably still talk about it when they are 12!
If you’re looking for a birthday spot in the Winter Garden area on the West side of Orlando, check out Cranium House. Cranium House is probably best for children who are closer to preschool age. These places are great because they take on a lot of the planning; you just have to find them first. Here is their website: www.craniumclubhouse.com
Lil 500 Go-Karts
Lil 500 Go-Karts off of 17-92 is another inexpensive yet fun option when putting together a birthday party. Any go-kart track could do the trick, but this one is set up without a lot of extras so the kids can’t get carried away. Bring a cake and some pizza and you’ll have a party and both boys and girls will enjoy driving the cars around lap after lap. Admission estimated at $4 and up per ride and it is located at: 150 Atlantic Dr., Maitland, FL 32751 407-831-2045
Your Backyard is also a great option. As residents of the Greater Orlando area the weather is very liveable year round!
Get a cake and rent a bounce house and you are ready to go. There are plenty of websites that rent bounce houses. One site to try is: http://order.jumpforfun.com/gallery.shtm?gclid%25253DCMznsZjvvqwCFRBR7AodUBhTpA
Or, have a treasure hunt and order pizza.
For the art lover, have a Picasso party. Get inexpensive canvases and washable paints and have each kids paint a creation. Then, take pictures to email later. And, set up the art for an art show.
Our Top 10 Tips for Kids Parties in the Orlando area.
1. Make sure the party venue is age appropriate.
2. Remember that kids’ attention span can be short. Plan accordingly.
3. A party does not have to be expensive or lavish to be fun.
4. Provide sufficient drinks and food for the parents and the kids.
5. Don’t like to cook or are a busy working parent or stay at home parent – order pizza or sandwiches and pick up cut-up fruit from the grocery store. Get a
cooler and fill it with lots of ice and mini-water bottles.
6. Get creative –
a. Frost Cookies so the kids can personalize them
b. Have a treasure hunt (great for parks or outdoor venues)
c. Hand out favors that are theme related (at a bowling party, they handed out plastic water bottles shaped like bowling pins)
d. Have a theme – Dora, Princess, Pirate, Sports, etc.
7. Keep the size of the party manageable.
8. Ask a friend, grandparent, aunt or uncle to help set up the party and “maintain control”
9. Get a picture with the birthday child. Take a picture of the birthday child with his or her parents when you are at other people’s birthday parties and then, send
it to them.
10. RELAX – it can be stressful dealing with so many children (and some of their parents). If you are relaxed, the party will go much smoother! Trust us.