Time Out Chicago’s Best Birthday Party Ideas for Kids
Move over, pool parties. The greatest kids' birthday party ideas will leave the little ones talking for many years to come, long after the best cupcakes have been devoured. This year, rather than take the children to another indoor playground, take all your goodies from the party supply store and head some place more memorable. From a taste of Hollywood to exploring the farm, these are some of our favorite birthday-celebration spots.
Your kids are sure to feel like a movie star when their names appear on the marquee before a private birthday screening of their favorite films at Facets. Plus, the party comes with enough popcorn for 50 guests (that’s a lot of kernels!). Parties are two-and-a-half hours for up to 55 people and cost $400, or $360 for Facets members.
- Venue name: Facets Cinematheque
- Contact: Call Venue 773-281-4114
- Address: 1517 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
- Cross street: Between Greenview and Bosworth Aves
- Transport: El stop: Brown, Purple (rush hrs), Red to Fullerton. Bus: 9, 74.
- Price: $10, members $5
2. The Actors Gymnasium at Noyes Cultural Arts Center
You want your children to keep learning, right? Well, in Evanston, they can mark another year by picking up a most unusual skill—like the trapeze, tightwire or juggling, to name a few of the classes offered at the Actors Gymnasium. The party includes an hour of instruction and 30 minutes in the party space (bring your own snacks and gifts) for up to 15 participants.
- Venue name: The Actors Gymnasium at Noyes Cultural Arts Center
- Contact: VISIT WEBSITE or Call Venue 847-328-2795
- Address: 927 Noyes St, Evanston, IL 60201
- Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm
- Transport: El stop: Purple to Noyes. Bus: 201
- Price: prices vary by class or event
3. Brooklyn Boulders
The kids can climb to new heights with a birthday party for 5 to 20 young climbers at Brooklyn Boulders. Employees lead the budding explorers through varied terrain, and safety gear is included. Who could ever forget a birthday party where you and all of your friends scaled mini mountains? Parties are two hours and $45 per person.
- Venue name: Brooklyn Boulders
- Contact: VISIT WEBSITE or Call Venue 312-268-0002
- Address: 100 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60607
- Cross street: at Monroe St
- Opening hours: Daily 10am-midnight
- Transport: El: Blue to UIC-Halsted, Green and Pink to Morgan-Lake. Bus: 8, 20, 126.
Pizza, cupcakes and creativity? In nearby Schaumburg, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center is every kid’s dream. Here the little ones can get up close to life-size LEGO jungle animals, play at Pirate Adventure Island and pretend to walk the plank, and have their very own celebration in one of the party rooms. Packages range from $400 to $800 and include pizza, cupcakes and drinks.
- Venue name: LEGOLAND Discovery Center
- Contact: VISIT WEBSITE or Call venue 847-592-9700
- Address: Streets of Woodfield 601 N Martingale Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60173
- Opening hours: Mon–Fri noon–7pm; Sat, Sun 10am–7pm
- Price: $18 for adults and kids; $16 when purchased online
5. Lil’ Kickers
Every kid loves to kick a ball around, so it’s no surprise that this soccer program is a popular birthday option. At either the Bradley Place or ChiTown Futbol location, kids can get on the field for soccer play, games and more. Two-hour parties cost $300–$400 for up to 25 kids max (over 12 kids, add a coach for $50) and includes soccer play and use of the party room.
6. Sweet Buddha
Customize your kids' party with something sweet. This candy shop caters to your family's wants and needs, from hip-hop to princess parties to painting. Contact for various package prices. Parties usually run up to two hours.
- Venue name: Sweet Buddha
- Contact: VISIT WEBSITE or Call Venue 312-804-9900
- Address: 2324 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
- Transport: Bus: 22, 36
7. The Kids’ Table - Wicker Park
Say goodbye to the typical delivery pizza and ice cream. A party at this kids’ cooking school means the little ones can make their own birthday meal. Children ages 2 and up can plan a pizza party, tea party or even a breakfast bash at one of two locations in Wicker Park or Lakeview. Parties cost $475 for two hours for 10 kids (up to 20 kids for an additional fee).
- Venue name: The Kids’ Table - Wicker Park
- Contact: VISIT WEBSITE or Call Venue 773-235-2665
- Address: 2337 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
- Cross street: at Western Ave
- Opening hours: Hours vary by class times
- Transport: El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 49, 72.
8. Historic Wagner Farm
Experience a real farm (not a petting zoo) with a party at this Glenview Park District spot. The Lil Farmers package (for ages 3–6) offers crafts like making an animal hat, plus face time with sheep, draft horses and cows. Seasonally, you can also splurge on a horse-drawn wagon ride (prices vary). Cost is $270 for 90-minute parties for 10–25 kids, or choose the $305 package for older kids.
- Venue name: Historic Wagner Farm
- Contact: VISIT WEBSITE or Call Venue 847-657-1506
- Address: 1510 Wagner Rd, Glenview, IL 60025
- Opening hours: Mon–Sat 9am–5pm; Sun 9am–3pm
- Transport: Bus: 201, 422
- Price: Free
9. Children's Museum of Immigration at the Swedish American Museum
Party kids can board a replica steamer ship on a “trip” to America, “milk” the wooden cow and row a Viking ship. Celebrate with your own spread in a small adjacent classroom. Cost is $200 (members $150) for two hours of party time for up to 20 kids (30 guest maximum).
- Venue name: Swedish American Museum
- Contact: VISIT WEBSITE or Call Venue 773-728-8111
- Address: 5211 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
- Cross street: Between Foster and Farragut Aves
- Opening hours: General museum hours: Mon–Fri 10am–4pm; Sat, Sun 11am–4pm. Children's Museum hours: Mon–Thu 1–4pm; Fri 10am–4pm; Sat, Sun 11am–4pm.
- Transport: El: Red to Berwyn. Bus: 22, 50, 92.
- Price: $4; kids, students and seniors $3; family $10; members and second Tuesdays free