Your guide to the most unique places, activities, and ideas around Cincinnati to make a kid’s birthday one to remember.
If you’re a parent, you probably remember what kid’s birthday parties used to look like when you were growing up. Eight or nine friends at your house, streamers in the kitchen, Mom made a chocolate cake, maybe a pinata in the backyard, and we all played football or hide and seek or pin the tail on the donkey for a couple of hours.
Sound familiar? Congratulations, you’re a dinosaur.
Kid’s birthday parties in 2019 are all-inclusive signature events. They provide fantastic physical activities, safe, clean environments, different packages for different budgets, and perhaps best of all, the opportunity for moms and dads to relax just a little bit, knowing they don’t have to clean up the mess after everyone has gone home.
Business is booming in the Cincinnati metro area for companies specializing in kid’s birthday parties. Some even limit their customer base to strictly birthday parties on specific days so that your child and their friends don’t have to wait in long lines to do certain activities.
If you’ve got a boy or girl with a birthday on the horizon, here’s a look at some of the top Cincinnati locations that will have the kids raving and the parents relaxing.
1) Have a Nerf battle at Dart Arena
Dart Arena is bursting at the seams with action, thanks to its 3,500sf indoor Nerf Arena where kids can play any number of games using the full range of Nerf blasters. Games include King of the Mountain, Capture the Flag, or just turn them loose and watch them get the most exercise they’ve had in months as they dash, hide, climb, and play.
Dart Arena offers two private party packages, one for 10 players and one for 15, although both are upgradable to more players. All blasters are included in the package, and the deal includes a 45-minute rental of a private room after the Nerf war concludes. Dart Arena doesn’t provide any food or beverages, but outside food of your choice can be brought in.
2) Rock climb at Mosaic Climbing
With Cincinnati located only about 480 feet above sea level and Campbell Hill a good two hours’ drive north, you’re not going to get a better rock climbing experience close to home than Mosaic Climbing, now open in Loveland. There’s absolutely no experience required and every participant wears a safety harness to ensure their safety.
You might have to do a little hunting around Mosaic Climbing’s website to find out the specifics for hosting a birthday party (hint, it’s under Groups), but the business offers friendly packages starting at up to a maximum of 7 children and going as high as 20. Every package includes Mosaic T-shirts, a private party room, birthday decor, and staff hosts to make sure everyone learns the ropes (pun intended) and has a blast. Please note that food, drinks, and cake are not included.
3) Escape a room at The Escape Game
Escape Rooms seem like they’re all the rage these past few years, with notable pop culture appearances on TV shows like “The Bachelorette”. Built entirely from scratch in a warehouse setting, there are four rooms at the Cincinnati location : Prison Break, The Heist, Gold Rush, and Special Ops: Mysterious Market. The object is to escape the locked room by following a series of clues and getting out before time runs out! As you might expect this sort of experience works best with older kids.
The Escape Game welcomes anyone as young as 13 to participate, although kids 14 or younger must have someone over 18 accompany them. Younger kids are welcome to come with their parents or siblings, but must be with an adult at all times. If you want it to be just your kid’s party, book the entire room of 8 or you’ll be mixed with other players.
4) Play Archery Dodgeball at Archery Arena
Combining dodgeball and archery for kids might seem like the most sure-fire recipe for a lawsuit ever, but only until you realize the arrows have been rendered harmless with their giant foam tips! And the good news is that you don’t have to be Robin Hood to have a good time.
Absolutely no experience with bows and arrows is necessary; the arena staff is on hand to provide quick, simple instructions on how to aim, draw, and shoot. Once that’s done, your kids can have a blast splitting into teams and using the inflatable barriers for cover while trying to eliminate members of the other team. Protective headgear is provided to keep all players safe, and parents and younger siblings can watch from behind a protective wall.
Kids ages 7 and up can participate in the Archery Arena’s birthday packages which includes an hour of game play followed by 45 minutes in a private party room. Food, drinks, and cake are not included, although you’re free to bring your own
5) Play on a giant indoor playground at Jump & Jacks
Its name is a cute play on words and this West Chester playspace does not disappoint. Geared towards younger kids, this funhouse is divided into Jump’s inflatable area where kids can bounce to their heart’s content, and Jack’s playground – a seemingly endless series of levels, slides, interactive equipment, and lots of laughs.
Jump & Jacks has seven different options for birthday parties based on day of the week, time of day, and size of your party. Packages include plates, cups, napkins, utensils, and party decorations, and there’s an in-house snack bar featuring Tony’s Pizzeria that you can pre-buy from so the food is ready when the kids are ready. Medium-sized parties are for up to 14 kids and large parties are for up to 22.
Adults are always free, meaning if you’ve always wanted to jump up and down on a giant inflatable monkey’s head, this is your lucky day.
6) Jump on trampolines at Adrenaline Entertainment Center
If the hype video on Adrenaline Entertainment Center’s website doesn’t get your kids pumped up for a party, nothing will. It’s a trampoline park, but so much more with a host of activities including basketball, dodgeball, foam pits, and rock walls.
Birthday parties range from 10-20 kids and are as all-inclusive as anything you’ll find for Cincinnati kids birthday parties. Two to four one-topping pizzas are included based on the size of the party, along with safety socks, water bottles, a reserved party table complete with your own party host from the Adrenaline staff, full setup and cleanup by the staff, and a free T-shirt for the birthday boy or girl.
If your kids have never been to a trampoline park, there is a bit of a learning curve and a few spills should be expected!
Learn more>> (warning: music plays automatically)
7) Skydive indoors at iFLY
For every kid (small or big) who has ever dreamed of leaving the ground for a glorious flight through the air, iFLY is just the place. This indoor skydiving facility uses a wind tunnel to lift guests off their feet and give them one of the most remarkable experiences they’ll ever have.
Located in Liberty Township, iFLY has birthday options for any size party and can customize the themes and feel for kids or teenagers. Kids as young as three can blast off in the iFLY wind tunnel next to an instructor who guides them through the experience to ensure safety is always the top priority. iFly offers the total kids birthday party experience with either music or a DJ rocking tunes, party favors and decorations, catered food and beverages, along with a custom-made cake, and a party room to take it all in after your kids have touched down for a landing.
8) Bounce on inflatables at Pump It Up
There’s a little something for just about every age at Pump It Up, located in West Chester. There are inflatable playgrounds galore, plenty of places to run, jump, and bounce, private party rooms to take a break, and catered party food and drinks so parents don’t have to miss half the event racing out for pizza or a platter of chicken nuggets. Even better, the birthday boy or girl gets treated like royalty, literally, with their own blow-up throne to sit on for the cutting of the cake and the big song at the end.
Pump It Up offers a few cool add-ons if you want to make it extra memorable including the Bubble Bash, Glow Party, Laser Tag, and Party Photos. That last option is a particularly cool one; Pump It Up staff members walk your party clicking great pictures of your kids, giving parents the rare chance to live in the moment rather than worry about capturing it all on a smartphone.
9) Try it all at The WEB
The WEB has so many activities you might need to schedule two parties back to back just to experience them all. Start with Cincinnati’s only electric inside go-kart track, add the biggest, multi-level laser tag arena in the area, then activate your inner Tiger Woods for a nine-hole, glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course experience. Incredibly, that’s not even the half of the attractions here! There’s also a miniature six-lane bowling alley, an augmented climbing wall, virtual reality video games, and the escape room adventure: Space Station Alpha, where you’ve got 30 minutes to figure out the puzzles and get the heck back to earth.
There are four different birthday packages ranging from 10 up to 60 kids (good luck with that) which include game cards, tickets, souvenir cups, pizza, soda, a party host, and your choice of two attractions. Be aware that this is a facility for kids and adults, and alcohol is served on the premises.
10) Go Kart at Full Throttle
Full Throttle birthday parties are for kids 7 and up who love the finer things in life like go-kart racing and axe throwing. Its Indoor Kart racing is an eight-minute thrill ride that lets you learn the ropes and then crank up the accelerator to see how fast you can complete the circuit. Adjustable seats and pedals make this safe and fun for any sized racer.
For kids 14 and older, there’s a chance to take on the axe-throwing craze, getting your Paul Bunyan on in a 20-foot long cage with a wooden target. It’s like darts…on steroids.
Birthday parties include either two or three races around the track with a host of add-ons include cake, pizza, drinks, party room rentals, T-shirts, and even medals for the top three times on the track.
Party Planning Made Easy
Remember, birthday parties are about having fun and making memories. Luckily, there’s no lack of fun birthday party ideas for kids in Cincinnati. The hard part will be deciding on the venue. Choosing from one of the places above means you can leave the planning up to them. Focus on what really matters, watching your child enter a new year filled with laughter and friends.