By Christine Mouser
Are you sick of throwing your kid the typical birthday party in your backyard or at a swimming pool? Take a look at this guide of some great places to throw your child’s birthday party, and they’re all outdoors and perfect for summer weather!
Animal Lover: Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
One Wild Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Going to the zoo is one of the best childhood memories. Make that outing even more memorable by throwing your child’s birthday party at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
Pricing: base party package for zoo members ($250); non zoo members ($300); minimum of 15 guests
Recommended ages: 2-12
Includes: zoo admission, lunch, sheet cake and ice cream, beverages, favor bag and party hat for each child, special gift for birthday child, reserved area in Kids Kingdom Worlds of Discovery Building (2 hours), staff members (2)
Special Events Coordinator Carly Somma says this is the perfect option because the event is all inclusive.
“There is no hassle for parents because there are two staff members who run the party. With our package, it can be a day-long celebration, spent at the zoo with family and friends.”
Also, there are plenty of party add-ons, like a face painter, an animal show (three to four animals), a piñata, a zoo-themed craft and more.
Nature Lover: Phipps Conservatory
700 Frank Curto Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 622-6915, x6688
If your child is a king of queen of nature, then the Phipps Conservatory is the perfect spot for his or her next birthday party. Phipps has various birthday themes and many are outside, weather permitting. However, if you’re looking to get bring to stay indoors due to inclement weather, they have plenty of beautiful indoor gardens. Also, if you want to tour the facility to see if Phipps Conservatory works for you, schedule an event appointment.
Pricing: $350; no minimum of guests but maximum of 15 children and 10 adults
Includes: two-hour party; Botany Hall, tour of the Butterfly Forest, Pot-a-Plant (kids get a pot, dirt and bulb and learn from staff), table covers, paper products, party host
Extras: Lunch ($6/child); cake (or bring your own); tour the conservatory the day of the event for 50% off admission
Thrill-Seekers: Fun Fore All
8 Progress Avenue
Cranberry Township, PA 16066
Every kid has a birthday party that he or she always remembers. And every parent throws one birthday party that may be on the pricey side but worth every penny. If you’re looking for a combination of the two, Fun Fore All’s Ultimate Birthday Blowout is a great choice.
Includes: one hour unlimited use of go karts, kiddie rides, mini-golf, batting cages and the rock wall; 75 prize tickets for each guest, $10 fun card for each guest, access to the Ballocity Kids Play Area, tableware, host, treat bags, pizza or hot dog, ice cream and unlimited soda. The birthday child even gets a t-shirt as well as a spin on the birthday wheel.
At $20 per guest, the pricing may be a little steep, but you definitely get your money’s worth. While all of these amenities are fun additions, the best part of the package is the one-hour access to all of the attractions. The mini golf course features two, 18-hole courses complete with waterfalls. The ride selection is also great—the Jumpin’ Star, Mini-mouse, Happy Swing and the Mini Tea Cups. Test out one of nine batting cages or trek the 26-foot rock wall.
If it’s a little out of your price range, you can combine your child’s birthday party with his or her friend, if possible. The price will be cut in half, and it will be double the fun.
Country Kids: Local Farms
Go back to the basics and have an outdoor farm party at one of the great local farms in Pittsburgh.
Triple B Farms
823 Berry Lane
Monongahela, PA 15063
Pricing: $150 for minimum party; $7.50 per child after 8 children
Recommended ages: 2-9
Includes: pavilion, drinks, farm animal sheet cake, ice cream, paper products, and treat bags; children can visit the farm animals, use playground, play two farm games and listen to farm stories by the chaperon (two-hour party)
Extras: add the hayride as an activity ($2/person)
170 Simmons Road
McMurray, PA 15317
Pricing: $8/child; up to 20 children
Includes: picnic table, 100 ft. slide, play area, challenge trail, t-shirt for birthday child, potato sacks for races; choose one of the following activities: Farmer in the Dell Party (pot plant and decorate); Peter/Polly Piper Party (handpick your favorite crops from the field)
Extras: tractor drawn hayride ($6/person)
2573 Brandt School Road
Wexford, PA 15090
Pony Party Pricing: $250-$390; up to 20 children
Basic: party room for two hours, pony rides for first hour, games, refreshments
Cake & Ice Cream Party: all the above, plus cake, ice cream, drinks, paper products
Lunch Party: all the above plus food and snacks
Extras: Hay ride ($90); bounce house ($100); visit website to learn more about bounce party packages
Explorer: Just Ducky Tours
125 W. Station Square Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Pricing: $15/child; $21/adult (2011 prices)
Grab a small group of family and friends and help celebrate your child’s birthday by showing him or her the best of Pittsburgh, via Just Ducky Tours. This tour is one of the most unique in the country. So how does it work? You and your guests will be loaded onto a DUKW (an amphibious truck built by GM during WWII to aid transportation of goods and soldiers) starting in Station Square. From there, you’ll head to the business district downtown and learn about incredible buildings and landmarks (like the US Steel Tower and PPG Place) as well as the Cultural District. The DUKW even goes in and out of the water!
During the tour, you’ll learn stuff about Pittsburgh you never knew existed. Even if you’re a native Pittsburgher, this tour is perfect for anyone and will give you and your guests a greater appreciation for the city. When you’re done with the tour, head on over to the Hard Rock Café for a birthday meal. Show your ticket, and you’ll get a great discount.
Sports Fan: Pittsburgh Pirates
115 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Celebrate your birthday at PNC Park with the Pirates! The birthday party package is only $30 per person and includes use of a pregame hospitality space, a game ticket, food and beverage, a birthday cake, a message on the color LED boards and a special visit from a Pirates mascot! The group minimum is fifteen (15) individuals. For further information contact the Pirates Group Sales Department.
Christine Mouser is currently living in the Pittsburgh area, where she is an editorial intern for Pittsburgh Magazine. She has written for HappyValley.com, Town&Gown magazine and Penn State’s Valley magazine.