Parents blessed with fair-weather babes have only to look as far as the local park to plan their child’s perfect party. They string balloons between the trees, order pizza and let the kids go wild. For the rest of us, those who welcomed our kids into the world as gales, blizzards or downpours raged outside, the thought of an outdoor event is less appealing. When there’s a serious threat of frostbite, wet socks, runny noses or having to find a last-minute back-up locale, you plan accordingly. Follow our advice, book your child’s next birthday at one of these special spots, and you’ll feel as smug about your party as those parents handing out Solo cups under the verdant trees.
Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre
Thrill kids with an off-season, weekend pool party at the bright, modern Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre in Regent Park. Here, under a lifeguard’s watchful eye, kids can swim, play on a Tarzan rope and take turns using the waterslide and diving board, then enjoy cake in a room set up just for them. A welcome break from the everyday, it’s sure to be a birthday to remember.
Sometimes a rowdy place is the best choice for a group of sugar-buzzed, energized, joyful kids looking to have fun. And at Planet Bowl little ones can let loose as they battle each other for bowling bragging rights. Perfect for groups of 4 to 28 kids, parties include an hour of bowling, shoe rental and lunch for an hour in the party room with pizza, popcorn and soda.
Whether you’re celebrating a tiny diva or a budding chemist, a party at Lush is a surprising way to appeal to a wide range of tastes. Choose between two-party packages that let kids sample skincare products, try out face masks, make bath bombs, shop Lush’s famous products and more. Aiming to have the most blissful party yet? There’s nothing like a little pampering, and a goodie bag filled with spa-worthy treats, to help you get there.
There’s something about the sight of glue, colourful bits of paper, stickers and googly eyes that makes some kids positively giddy. Round those kids up at Michael’s for a crafting birthday party like none other. With options for themed parties, from emoji to unicorn or monster, kids will be entertained and will thrill at the goodies they’ll take home to show off. As for you? With the mess taken care of, you won’t be left wondering who invented glitter glue and how to make them pay for what they’ve done.
Ontario Science Centre
Just because it’s a party, doesn’t mean it can’t be educational! For kids who love a fun challenge, a birthday party at the Ontario Science Centre is a perfect fit. Each party package is tailored toward your child’s age group, for kids 4-12 years old, and all include hands-on experiments, demos, a pizza lunch and admission to the Ontario Science Centre for you and your guests once the party’s over.
Playground Paradise (Flemingdon Community Centre)
Few children can resist the allure of an indoor playground so booking one for a party is a no-brainer. Especially when it’s a city of Toronto site that is affordable and offers space for up to 25 kids under the age of 12. Available Saturday and Sunday afternoons, party fees at Playground Paradise include one hour of playground time plus use of a party room through the duration of the event.
Toronto Humane Society
It may not have all the bells and whistles of other event spaces but the Toronto Humane Society is the best spot to host a party if you have a critter-loving kid in your life. Parties include the use of a party room for up to 10 children plus pizza and cake. A tour of the shelter, where guests meet resident dogs, cats, turtles and more, is the hands-down highlight. Unless, that is, your munchkin falls in love and you head home with a new family member. Find the registration form and more info here.
Idle hands are a dangerous thing, especially at a birthday party when there’s a crowd to contend with. Instead, keep kids motivated with an Ultimate Spy Party at Undercover Kids, where every partygoer plays an integral part in the team’s spy adventure. Designed for children 6 to 9 years old, each totally-immersive mission asks the group to use gadgets and clues to chase down the villain. For any budding secret agent, it can’t be beat.