5 Great Indoor Places to Have a Kid’s Birthday Party in Boston
If you want to have a wonderful party for your child, but you’re overwhelmed by the choices and lack of information available, I have a gift for you: Recommendations for five great indoor birthday party places in the Boston area, and everything you need to know about them.
The five places featured – Boston Fire Museum, My Gym Boston, Jump On In, Dance Place of Arlington, and Lanes & Games – are different in many ways, but they all have some things in common: They have been recommended by local parents, are indoors, minimize the amount of work you have to do, and offer parties that are active and fun for kids. So read on, pick a place, and have a party your child will be talking about for a long time to come.
Boston Fire Museum
The Boston Fire Museum is a gem of a place for a child’s birthday party. It is located in a beautiful firehouse, built in 1891. The staff takes good care of you from the moment you walk in the door.
Check out the photos and glowing reviews of birthday parties at the Boston Fire Museum on the museum’s Facebook page.
What’s included: Use of the entire second floor, with one large room for games and running around and a smaller room with a table that seats 16 kids. Your party guests can visit the exhibits on the first floor, sit on the 1926 fire engine, ring the bell and wind the siren. All the kids get their very own fire helmet as a gift. The museum also supplies a host/hostess to help with the party.
When: Parties can be held between 11 am and 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
How long: Two hours.
Food: You bring your own food and supplies. You can also have pizza delivered from one of the neighborhood pizza joints on West Broadway.
Number of guests: Maximum 25 children.
Cost: $150-$175 donation
Parking: When you arrive, see your host or hostess in the museum before you park your car. They will give you a permit allowing you to park on Farnsworth Street, beside the museum. Your guests can park at a parking meter, a parking lot beside the museum or in the parking garage located behind the museum.
Location: 344 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210. One block from the Boston Children’s Museum. MBTA: South Station
Contact: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Good to know: There will be other visitors in the museum, but not on the second floor.
If you need more than two hours of party time, just ask when you are scheduling the party (though most people have found two hours to be more than adequate).
My Gym Boston
My nine-year-old daughter had her third birthday celebration at My Gym, and she still talks about it. She says it was her best birthday party ever, and I don’t disagree. Kids love My Gym parties because they are fun – the perfect balance of structure and free play, physical activity and relaxation. Parents love My Gym parties because they have to do so little to yield so much fun.
What’s included: My Gym has three different party packages available, ranging from the basic "Silver" to "Platinum", which includes food and all the bells and whistles.
When: Fridays at 5:30 pm (weekday afternoons available in July & August); Saturdays at 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm; Sundays at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:45 pm.
How long: 1.5 hours.
Food: You bring your own, unless you go with the Platinum birthday party package.
Number of guests: 20 children included in all three packages. Additional children may be added for a fee of $10 per child for the Silver and Gold packages, $15 for the Platinum package. No more than 30 children can be on the gym floor.
Location: 1065 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. MBTA: Green Line, B Train to Babcock Street. Locations also in Newton and Medfield.
Parking: My Gym Boston is located below Star Market. Free parking is available in the Star Market lot located behind the grocery store.
Contact: Phone: 617-789-3669, e-mail: email@example.com.
Good to know: There is a $125 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit payable at time of reservation; balance is due at conclusion of party.
Add-on options include a bouncy house, pizza for the adults, an extra ½ hour of party time for the last party of the day, and a donation option for those who want to make their celebration a philanthropic opportunity.
Jump On In Boston
Parents say a Jump On In party is the least amount of work for the greatest amount of fun. The best thing about this place? The kids are TIRED after all that jumping, sliding and climbing. If you want the scoop on Jump On In of Boston, read our review.
What’s included: If you choose the Big Jump Party package, you get 2 hours total (45 minutes in first gym followed by 30 minutes in second gym, and 45 minutes in the private party room), a sound system, and paper goods.
When: You can book your party online for weekends or weekday afternoons, a minimum of five days in advance. For parties happening weekday mornings or early afternoons, contact Jump On In.
Food: You may bring your own cake, soft drinks or snacks to enjoy in the party room, but no food or beverages are allowed in the gymnasium areas. They have an exclusive arrangement with their local pizza shop, so they do not allow people to bring in pizza. You order directly from them.
Cost: $240 - $330. For party packages and pricing, see the Boston location's party packages page.
Location: 100 Holton Street, Boston, MA 02135. Locations also in Woburn, Haverill and Lowell.
Parking: Free lot parking on-site.
Contact: 617-789-5867 or Boston@jumponinfun.com
Good to know: Socks are required, and having the guests' parents sign waivers before the party will help to make things go smoothly the day of.
Dance Place, Arlington
Whether your child loves dance, dressing up or rolling around on a mat, Dance Place has a birthday party celebration already planned out for you. All you do is invite the kids and bring the food – they do the rest. You get private use of both studios and the teachers lead the activities. Everyone goes home happy, with a craft they made at the party in hand.
Use of the studios, party entertainment, set-up and clean-up.
You may choose from one of three party themes; Tumbling Party, Dance Party, and Dress Up Party.
When: Sundays, 11 am-1 pm or 2 pm-4 pm.
How long: 2 hours
Food: You bring your own food, which you may store in their fridge. You can order pizza from the restaurant across the street, My Brother’s Place.
Number of guests: Up to 14, including the birthday child.
Location: East Arlington. 182 Broadway, Arlington, MA 02474. MBTA: Bus # 77 to Arlington Heights via Mass. Ave.
Parking: Street parking.
Contact: 781-643-8456 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good to know:
Once you set your party date and choose a theme, they will give you inserts for your invitations that include a description of what the kids will be doing and directions to Dance Place.
Lanes & Games, Cambridge
Is there a better combination than pizza and bowling? I don’t think so, especially if it’s candlepin bowling, which is perfect for kids. Everything is on a smaller scale, the ball is lighter (and has no holes!) and if you ask for bumpers, everyone scores a whole lot more. There's also an arcade, which was a big hit at a recent party my son attended. At Lanes & Games, you build your party to suit, and you don’t pay for more than you use.
What’s included: Everything is a la carte. You reserve lanes on the first or second floor, and dining space is reserved for your party as well. A party for younger children should be reserved on the 1st floor candlepin lanes. There is table space directly behind the lanes. On the second floor, tenpin and candlepin are both available. Dining space is reserved in the lounge. You pay an hourly rental rate for each lane, and for each pair of shoes.
When: Saturdays & Sundays, 11:00 am, 1:15 pm, and 3:30 pm Labor Day to Memorial Day (1:15 pm and 3:30 pm only during the summer months).
How long: Two hours. They recommend that you allot one hour for bowling and one hour for other party activities. You are responsible for telling them when you want the lanes to go on or off.
Food: You can order pizza or other menu items, like hot dogs or chicken fingers. For allergy info and accommodations, see their dining page. You are welcome to bring in water, juice or milk as a soda alternative. You supply the cake and paper goods.
Cost: $25.00 per hour per lane before 5 pm, $27.00 per hour per lane after 5 pm. Maximum 5 children per lane. Bowling shoes are mandatory, and rentals cost $2.50 per pair.
Location: 195 Concord Turnpike, Rte 2E, Cambridge, MA 02140. MBTA: Ten-minute walk from Red Line Alewife Station. Driving and MBTA directions are here.
Parking: Parking lot on-site
Contact: 617-876-5533 or email@example.com.
Good to know:
They now accept credit cards and debit cards as payment, as well as cash or check! There is an ATM on the premises.
They require a $25.00 non-refundable deposit that will be applied to the total cost of your party. If you need to reschedule, the deposit will be applied to the new time slot. If you schedule the party by phone, they will send you a self- addressed, stamped envelope and a confirmation for you to mail them a personal in-state check for the deposit. To schedule a party in person, you need to bring cash or a personal in-state check with an in-state ID.