Finding the right venue for a children’s birthday party can be downright stressful. But we’ve taken some of the guesswork out of the process by finding some ideal party venues based on age and your child’s personality.
The animal lover
Clark’s Elioak Farm
10500 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City; 410-730-4049; clarklandfarm.com
With pigs, sheep, donkeys, chickens, goats, horses, ducks, cows, rabbits and turkeys to gawk at, this is an animal and outdoor lover’s dream. Located on a 540-acre historic farm, party packages start at $10 per child up to 12 years old with $4 per adult. Pony rides for children younger than 6 are an additional $2 per child. The cow train ride is $2 per child and face painting is an additional $1 per child. A $40 deposit is required. Food from home is permitted; the farm also provides a list of pizza restaurants that deliver to the farm. The farm sells drinks, ice cream, and snacks. A farm-themed birthday cake or cupcakes can be ordered from Touche Touchet Bakery.
Emilia’s Acrobatics & Gymnastics Club
9385 Washington Blvd. N., Laurel; 410-381-7565; eagcgym.com
Channel your child’s inner Simone Biles by having their birthday party at Emilia’s Acrobatics & Gymnastics Club in Laurel. The cavernous 17,500-square-foot facility with 36-foot ceilings offers two birthday party packages for up to 10 children. The DIY party ($200) allows parents to plan with their own decorations, table settings, goodie bags, and food. The all-inclusive package ($245) includes table settings, decorations, goodie bags, two pizzas, and chips and drinks. Wait service is also included during the food portion of the party. A 50 percent deposit for the party package is due upon booking. The remaining balance is due the day of the party. The facility hosts birthday parties every weekend. Each party is broken down into 40 minutes of a selected activity, which can range from slime making to cupcake decorating, 40 minutes of open gym time, and 40 minutes of eating time.
Get on the truck, gamers! The truck is equipped with a theater that is stocked with enough consoles for 16 people to play the latest video games at the same time. Recommended for ages 7 and up, the truck is more than video games. The GameTruck can be used to transform a backyard, front yard, or park into a modern laser tag arena. (Their taggers are able to tag an opponent up to 300 feet away, according to Erik Maxwell, regional manager for the company.) Parties range in price from $359 to $379 for 90 minutes to $409 to $429 for two hours. Each party includes digital invites or downloads, print invitations and a certified GameCoach to run the event.
Goldfish Swim School
9315 Snowden River Parkway, Columbia; 410-421-7185; goldfishswimschool.com/columbia
Beat the heat with this swim school. The location is perfect for future Phelpsians ages 1 to 13, according to general manager Gillian Salazar. But book four to six months in advance as the space books up fast. One of the main reasons is because during birthday parties, guests have exclusive use of the entire facility. “No one is there except for the birthday party,” Salazar said. The space costs $550 for 24 children. The cost includes up to an hour and 20 minutes of supervised free swim and a half-hour of food and celebration. Cupcakes are provided by the venue.
Pinot's Palette-Ellicott City
11105 Resort Road, #105, Ellicott City; 443-420-8378; email@example.com
Perfect for your little creatives, Pinot's Palette-Ellicott City offers two-hour parties, which include enough time for food, cake cutting, and painting. Each participant — a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 44 —receives their own blank canvas to paint. Although these children's birthday parties are geared toward ages 6 to 13, parents are also welcome. In fact, a bar is available for all adults in attendance. The studio provides all materials to create the painting. No experience is necessary, according to owners Lisa Pape and Rod Vese. A trained professional artist leads all sessions, and a second professional artist provides individual help, according to Vese. The studio is available seven days a week with multiple sessions available each day. Parties cost $28 per child with discounts based on group size and day of the week, Vese said. And while hosts are allowed to bring in all food and drinks for their party, catering is also available.
The laser tag enthusiast
ShadowLand Laser Adventures
9179 Red Branch Road, Columbia; 410-740-9100; shadowlandadventures.com
Laser tag enthusiasts can enjoy up to two hours of organized competition at this Columbia facility. For $23 per person for nine to 14 players or $22 per person for more than 15 players, participants receive soda, plates, cups and utensils, preparation and cleanup for the event, a special gift for the birthday child, an e-mailed photo of the birthday child, and a free pass for the birthday child for a future visit. Parties are able to bring their own food or for an additional cost, the facility will provide it for you. Parties also receive a private party room and a staff member to assist with the party. All participants are given a personalized scorecard at the end of the party.