Choosing a party venue for your child’s birthday can be challenging at times, especially in the extremely hot summer months of July and August when temperatures can get up into the 100’s in the San Fernando Valley. And while rain is, sadly, not much of an issue in SoCal, it’s certainly a risk to plan for an outdoor party in the months of November through February.
Some moms and dads have no qualms about a house party, but for a lot of folks, holding a party in your own house is less than ideal. When you’re talking about inviting the entire preschool class of 25 rambunctious 5-year-olds, that could be a disaster waiting to happen (especially if you’d like your clean, white linen sofa to stay that way).
So what do you do if you’d prefer not to risk your grandmother’s antiques, but you also don’t want to subject your party princess and her royal guests to the blistering sun at your local park?
Chill-out, seekers of stress-free fun and air conditioning, because we’ve curated an unique list to help you with your summer (or winter) party planning. Read on for…
10 Terrific (Indoor) Kid-Friendly Birthday
Party Venues in (and around) Los Angeles:
Most parents in Los Angeles have heard of this popular family restaurant/indoor playground, and there’s a good chance you’ve probably been there with your own kid, but did you know that they have three locations? For the Westsiders, there’s the Century City Westfield mall, and Canoga Park for you West San Fernando Valley families, plus the Glendale Galleria location for those closer to East L.A.
The Space: Each location is unique in appearance, but they’re all beautifully designed with “castle” towers, “rickety” bridges, climbing apparatuses, and slides galore! The Glendale location features a ball pit, too. The dining areas are separate, but completely visible from the play area, and vice versa. Plus, there’s a small stage for performances, and a DJ & activities leader for certain party packages.
Investment: Parties start at $350 for up to 15 guests ($23/person) with their “Count &Countess” option, which includes 3 jumbo pizzas, fountain drinks, paper goods and latex balloons, and go up to $25/person with their “King & Queen” package which includes a wide selection of deluxe entrees, sides, and a cupcake or ice cream dessert for each child.
Parking: Free at Canoga Park and Glendale locations; $1 for the first 3 hours at Century City.
2. The Coop
This “hot tot spot” along Ventura Blvd. in Studio City, as dubbed by US Weekly magazine for their notable celebrity clientele such as Modern Family’s Julie Bowen, is one of our personal favorites because it truly has something for everyone.
Should you get lucky with the weather, there’s an enchanting garden area with benches, tables, and a day bed! A perfect spot for grown-ups to enjoy a bit of conversation, a bite to eat, or a quick Instagram post (they have free wi-fi).
The Space: A light up dance floor, a climbing tunnel leading to a twisty slide that descends into a pit of bright yellow & orange balls, a cake/dessert room, and an outdoor patio for parents to relax on a lovely day, this venue is a delightful place to hold a birthday party in the SFV.
Investment: Party packages start at $595 for “The Coop Basic” which gets you 2 hours of completely private playtime for 15 kids and up to 35 adults, and a free “return pass” for your celebrant and his/her siblings. Want “The Whole Coop and Caboodle”? That’ll run you $2495, but you won’t have to lift a finger, and you’ll get everything you need for a deluxe kid party, including the 2 hours playtime, pizza, a taco cart, coffee, fresh fruit, cupcakes, balloons, paper goods, gift bags, fresh flowers, and more.
Parking: All of their party packages give you access to their large, free parking lot in the back of the building. Otherwise, remind guests that the meters lining Ventura Blvd. are their best bet (and free on Sundays).
If you’re looking for a lovely, quaint spot to throw a darling little fête, The French Confection Co. might be a good fit for you. This Burbank, CA patisserie is not a traditional party venue, but the vintage-inspired farm table and provincial blue & gold floral wall paper make this a divine space for a simple, yet adorable, princess tea party. They also happen to bake the most beautiful and flavorful custom birthday cakes.
The Space: When you step inside the store front at 3118 W. Burbank Blvd., you’ll find a white farm table that seats 8 guests, a pastry counter, a table for desserts and delectables, plus a little room for a little dancing should the mood strike. It’s perfect for a small group of girls big or small who want to be treated like royalty for a day.
Investment: You’ll have to check in with shop owner Mallory for exact & up-to-date prices for private events, but last time our team threw a party at The French Confection Co., the deal was $25 per guest, for a 2 hour party on a Sunday, which included an assortment of their made-from-scratch mini cupcakes, cookies, scones, and more, plus tea and coffee for all.
Parking: Plenty of free parking along Burbank Blvd. right outside the shop as well as side streets (just make sure to read the street signage).
For arts & crafts loving kiddos, Play is an amazing spot for a party. Located on 3rd Street, just West of La Brea, there’s a variety of traditional toys for tots to play with, such as a musical instruments and matchbox cars, and three different rooms for your guests’ enjoyment.
The Space: When you enter Play, you immediately enter their main playroom, which is filled with non-gender specific toys (gotta love that), musical instruments, ottomans for sitting, and a wee stage, perhaps for a guitar singalong (they also hold music classes during the week at Play). Towards the back and to the right, you’ll find a big art room, with a chalkboard wishing your child a ‘Happy Birthday’, an art teacher, and plenty of room for kids to paint. Choose the giant playhouse option, and your celebrant gets to take it home! Also in the back, you’ll find a large room with plenty of seating for lunch and cake.
Investment: Party packages at Play start at $575 for their “Messy Art Party”, recommended for ages 2-4 years. This selection provides you with a staff member to guide the 90 minutes of artistic fun, as well as smocks, paints, and brushes for all (plus that giant cardboard house for your birthday kid take home once it’s dried). Other packages are available, as well as add-ons like gift bags (starting around $8 each), and hosts are welcome to bring in their own food or catering.
Parking: The venue allows their host to park their car in the back of the building, but guests will have to fend for themselves at the meters on 3rd street (free on Sundays), and ltough-to-find side street (2-hours only) parking.
5. Au Fudge
The hottest new family-friendly restaurant in L.A. (more specifically West Hollywood), is Au Fudge. But don’t mistake family-friendly for loud and brightly colored; stylistically and philosophically, it is the antithesis of Giggles n’ Hugs. An undeniably gorgeous venue, Au Fudge is partially owned by Jessica Biel, so it’s no surprise the place is like heaven to the interior-design aficionado. If you want to feel like you’ve been swept away to Europe, transported to a land where moms can dine on Cobb salads, cocktails, and gluten-free baked goods, while wee ones make art with an ‘Au Pair’ or jam to French music (yes, they have French music lessons for kids on their calendar), then this is the spot for you.
The Space: Add one part French bistro, one part turn-of-the-century country mart, and one part ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’-esque secret playroom, and you get Au Fudge. There is an outdoor patio with umbrellas and chandeliers, a large, full bar, and of course the coveted play area (they call it the “Creative Space”) upstairs stocked with gender-neutral books, toys, and plenty of seating. Speaking of the play area, this is where you would hold your little tyke’s celebration. The bookshelf is magical (it lights up around the archways), and the minimalist decor is prime for those who just want a cute, but carefree spot in which to throw their tot’s birthday party.
Investment: The Creative Space at Au Fudge is available for private events, however, no price range is listed on their official website. You will want to call the venue directly (424-204-9228) or email email@example.com to inquire.
Parking: The reviews on Yelp make it clear that parking is definitely a challenge around Au Fudge, however, valet is available (although a bit pricey — $10).
This adorable indoor playground has not one, but two locations to serve Angelenos: one in Eagle Rock, and the other in Bel Air. Both locations have multiple day play pass options, and also included in admission is coffee for grown-ups and free wi-fi. Plus, they have a number of pre-packaged party theme options, such as ‘Very Fairy Picnic’, and ‘Frozen’ (of course), so that all you have to do is show-up and enjoy.
The Space: Twisty slides, a jungle gym, and a quirky “treehouse” shaped like a goose, as well as plenty of push toys and table toys, and an inflatable bounce house, too. The party area provides tables and benches and there’s a cute little counter reminiscent of a lemonade stand which makes for the perfect beverage area. The Bel Air location has an outdoor patio you can enjoy if the weather is nice. As children’s entertainers, we have been invited to perform for several parties at Peekaboo Playland, but honestly, you don’t need outside entertainment here; if your kiddo must have a visit from her favorite character, we recommend booking a short n’ sweet appearance (no more than an hour), for mixing, mingling, playing together, and of course photos to commemorate the day.
Investment: Party packages start at $595 for their “Hootenanny” option at the Bel Air location (or, $495 at the Eagle Rock location). At this level, you get the standard 2 hours of playtime for 15 kids and 35 adults, part coordinators, plus the return play pass for the birthday child. The “Ultimate Theme Party” is $995 at the Bel Air location ($795 at Eagle Rock) which is your one-stop-shop for everything you need: pizzas, helium balloons, themed paper goods & table decor, juice & coffee, gift bags and more.
Parking: Street parking only at the Eagle Rock location, which can sometimes be challenging (metered on the main drag, or free along residential side streets if you don’t mind a little walk). The Bel Air location, on the other hand, has a parking lot.
Located in the heart of hollywood, close to Franklin Village and The Hollywood Studios, Lombardi House is a fully restored Victorian style home built originally in 1904. Because clients who rent the space can also stay in the house on an extended stay, it’s often booked for weddings, but don’t let that steer you away from considering it for your kiddo’s next party: it has the perfect mix of stylish indoor and outdoor space that is ripe for decorating.
The Space: The outdoor garden is perfect for styling your event exactly as you wish. It’s a posh-party lover’s dream, and excellent for large groups (suitable for up to 25o guests)! Maybe you’d like to plan a vintage carnival themed party and set-up game booths, old fashioned cotton candy, popcorn, and hotdog carts, and set-up a stage for good ol’ fashioned magic show. There’s also an indoor area: an original barn/stable which was refurbished with 35′ vaulted ceilings! You could create a craft area inside, maybe a dress-up “room” for a princess party, or simply make it a “big kids” retreat with comfy lounge areas. Because Lombardi House is essentially a blank space, this does mean you’ll need to rent all of your furnishing needs, such as tables, chairs, and umbrellas; should you decide to throw your party at Lombari, be sure to hire an event planner to help you with all of your rental & styling needs.
Investment: You’ll have to inquire directly with Lombardi House on the price to rent the space for your party, but rumor has it the investment will run you at least $10,000. And you will need insurance, yet another reason to utilize an event planner (but make sure they are insured). Catering isn’t included either and must be chosen from their list of pre-approved caterers (such as Wolfgang Puck and 24Carrots).
Parking: It’s Hollywood, of course, so valet is a must if you’d like to give your guests a hassle-free parking experience. Once again, a party planner is ideal; someone who knows the venue and will help you check off all of the necessary boxes for a successful event.
With a party at Duff’s Cakemix, you don’t just eat the cake: you make it! Well, you decorate it. This bakery studio, located on the corner of Melrose & Sweetzer, gives your birthday kid and guests everything they need to decorate and take home their own batch of cupcakes or full sized cake.
The Space: Colorful, yet industrial, there isn’t too much room to set-up your own decor here, but there are plenty of long tables and chairs perfect for lots of kids and lots of mess making (I mean, cake decorating). But for the mom or dad who just wants something easy and simple, this place takes the cake (pun obviously intended). You will have to bring in your own food if you’d like to feed your guests lunch (but outside cakes are not allowed).
Investment: If affordability is key, choose the cupcakes “tier 1” package, which will allow you to invite up to 6 guests for just $385. There are many more packages (or “tiers” as they call them) at Duff’s Cakemix, all the way up to $2195 which will accommodate up to 30 guests, each with their own 6′ fondant cake to decorate and take home. Keep in mind, however, for kids 6 years & younger, they recommend cupcake parties, and 1 adult helping for every 3 kids is required so make sure you ask enough moms or dads to stay and assist.
Parking: There is limited parking in the back of the building, and otherwise metered street parking; be sure to encourage your guests to allow time for parking as your event is 2 hours total.
There’s nothing that beats the heat of a Los Angeles summer like sitting in an air conditioned movie theater, and at the iPic Theater, you can chill-out in true comfort with cozy blankets, reclining chairs, and in-theater food and beverage service for your guests. Some iPic theaters, like the one in Westwood, are even hosting video game parties.
The Space: There are two Los Angeles area iPic theaters — one in Pasadena, and another in Westwood — and both feature in-theater full dining service. While the Westwood theaters offer only some fully reclining chairs, the Pasadena location is filled with ’em. And with one push of a button, your personal food + beverage server will appear. Dine on burgers, specialty beverages, snack on complimentary popcorn, desserts, and more, then get cozy for your feature presentation. Our team was fortunate enough to join in the festivities at an 11th birthday at the iPic in Pasadena, where we provided glitter tattoos and caricature art in the lobby area as guests arrived and mingled with appetizers before the film. It was the perfect fit for a posh, yet relaxed summer birthday party.
Investment: A single ticket at iPic Pasadena will cost you $24; for a group of 10 kids (including your birthday child), that’s less than $300. Popcorn is included with each ticket, but course, if you want to add lunch for each guest, menu items cost between $10-$20 each. The theater also has private event packages for more inclusive options; contact the theater directly for details.
Parking: The Pasadena location validates parking at the garage across the street for 3 hours. We hear parking at the Westwood location can be tricky, but they do offer valet and, supposedly if you’re an iPic member, you can get $3 self parking in the garage (of course, if you’re buying tickets for your guests, they may not quality for the discounted parking).
10. High Tea Cottage
If a proper tea party is on your child’s wish-list for their next birthday party, check out High Tea Cottage in Woodland Hills. Guests will partake in fancy finger sandwiches, English scones, sweet morsels, and tea (of course).
The Space: Be advised, this is a small restaurant and it is packed with tables, so there’s no room for romping about; children must be at least 4 years old to enjoy this formal sit-down tea service. The decor, however, is quaint, with tea cups and tea pots on display throughout.
Investment: Children’s tea parties at High Tea Cottage require reservation for at least 12 guests with a maximum of up to 24 children. The cottage does allow drop-offs, but you could also invite adults, too, for a festive mommy/daddy-and-me party experience. A ticket price of $35 per child will get you tea sandwiches, scones, fresh fruit, non-caffeinated tea, chocolate milk or lemonade and birthday cake. The party service runs 90 minutes, but you can have the space for up to 2 hours for hosting guests (and an extra half-hour at the beginning for guest-of-honor arrival/set-up).
Parking: Just street parking, and some residential street parking nearby, so you’ll want to let your guests know to give themselves a little extra time to find a spot for their “carriage”.
***BONUS PARTY VENUE IDEA***
Still haven’t found a venue that you love? Or a venue that’s available for your event date? Check out Peerspace.com, where you’ll find dozens of unique party-friendly locations, all of which you can reserve and rent at the click of a button.
^ Here’s an actual space you can rent via Peerspace.com, located in the heart of Hollywood off Melrose Ave., and it’s just ripe for a colorful, super creative party. You could set-up craft stations galore, and maybe book a magician, puppet show, or even a superhero character experience to enhance the celebration.
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