I feel I am a rare subset of mom. I love having my house filled to the brim with people.
Nothing makes my heart happier than when kids and friends are running around screaming, moms are drinking beers, and energy is being burned. So, when it came to planning my kids’ birthday parties, I knew I wanted to do them at home.
But then reality set in.
My kids’ birthdays are in March and December. March weather can go either way and December weather will always be cold. I love people, but fitting 50+ people in my house (did I mention that family alone adds 20 people to each guest list??) just wasn’t an option. Lucky for me, Dallas has great affordable options for birthday party venues!
1. For my son’s third birthday party, we booked the entire gym at the local recreation center. For under $100 for 2 full hours of fun we got tables, chairs, basketballs, scooter, gymnastics mats, bowling, and musical instruments. Throw in our toddler sized bounce house, and we had kids leaving the party in tears because they didn’t want it to end! Total win!
2. I just got off the phone and booked my son’s second birthday party at the Lake Highlands Rec Center Fun Zone. This really fun indoor play place for ages 5 and under was built from a generous donation from the Lake Highlands Junior Women’s League and is only $150 for two full hours of fun! Think Chick-fil-A play place but five times as big and way cleaner. It also comes with tables and chairs. Side note: You can play here Monday–Thursday for $3 a kid and they cap it at 30 kids, so it’s never overcrowded!
3. If you are willing to stretch your budget a bit more, birthday parties at The Coop in Frisco are amazingly fun and easy. We have played up there several times and my kids always leave asking when they get to come back! Their party packages start at $360. 2022 update: As you know, The Coop is no longer in business. There are lots of other indoor play areas in Dallas though!
4. A party that never runs out of style, is a party at a good old local park. While some cities require or suggest a reservation to make sure you get tables, many times you can just show up and stake your claim. Our favorite park for birthday parties is Coffee Park at Northwest Highway and Hillcrest because they have tables close together and it is fenced off from the road.
5. Last but not least, Dallas is home to some fantastic amateur sports teams. My three-year-old was invited to a birthday party at a Dallas Sidekicks game and thought it was literally the coolest party ever. He got a one-on-one afternoon with his dad (which never happens), he got to eat food we would never have at home (hello nachos and cotton candy) and got sit on the bleachers with his little friends. He talked about this birthday party for weeks! And that’s not the only creative place you can have a party: Sally wrote about a party at a local car wash that was a hit!
So, there you have it. Five viable options for birthday party fun, that do not require a panic attack to get your house clean the day before. Happy partying!