The tween years can be difficult for a number of reasons. You’re in between life stages, not quite a child but not yet a teenager. And planning a birthday party can be, well, interesting! You’ve outgrown the bouncy house phase but you’re not quite at the pizza and a movie alone phase. Not to worry! The DMV is filled with entertaining and exciting options for that in between party point!

Photo: Escape Room Live

Escape Room Live
The “Escape” experiences are all the rage worldwide and the DMV is definitely not being left behind! Escape Room Live has three DMV locations (Georgetown, Glover Park and Alexandria) and they are all the rage. Players work in teams to solve puzzles and brainteasers in order to “escape” the room in which they’re trapped — before time runs out. Room themes include favorites like “Titanic,” “Ghostbusters,” and “Sherlock Holmes.” They offer a variety of party packages and it’s a great team-building activity which is key in the tween years!

Georgetown, Glover Park, and Alexandria, Va
Online: escaperoomlive.com

Ultrazone Laser Tag
Who doesn’t love laser tag?! At Ultrazone, your tween can step into a high-tech laser tag venture where individuality is limited only by their imagination! Their goal will be to avoid lasers, and strategize with friends as they vie for high scores and stardom! Ultrazone offers state of the art laser tag games, arcade games and birthday parties that are out of this world! Party packages include party room, host, pizza, soft drinks, arcade tokens and goodie bags. So, strap on a vest and step into the labyrinth where you will become completely immersed in another world!

3447 Carlin Springs Rd. (Bailey’s Crossroads, Va)
Onlineultrazonebaileys.com

Photo: Terrapin Adventures

Terrapin Adventures
Terrapin Adventures is all about building relationships through fun! They’re thang is aerial adventures with only wood, rope, and cable. Yep, just wood, rope and cable! They combine team building and thrills within the context of caring for and understanding our environment. Tweens can explore, learn about, and enjoy nature as it was meant to beThey have specialty trained Aerial Adventure Guides/Facilitators that provide your party with a safe, thrilling, and memorable experience. Different party theme/adventures are available and you can choose from Easy, Thrilling and Challenging difficulty levels.

8600 Foundry St. (Savage, Md
Online: terrapinadventures.com

Buzz Bakery in Ballston/Arlington
Buzz will be all the buzz with tweens who love to decorate cupcakes…and eat them! The lovely, welcoming bakery near Ballston Mall offers Birthday Party packages. You can host a very small party in the back of the bakery or a bigger one on their outside patio. Buzz offers cute cupcake and cookie decorating kits perfect if you want to go somewhere other than your house to decorate some sweets. You can even order savory snacks to nibble on.

818 N. Quincy St. (Arlington, Va)
Online: buzzbakeshop.com

Photo: Guiomar Ochoa

Zazzy Peacock Studios
Meet Jill Newman and you’ll understand why she chose the name Zazzy Peacock for her new studio located in the Artists & Makers 2 space in Rockville. She’s a colorful, creative soul who is full of energy and loves working with equally minded youngsters. You must be eight and up to host a party at ZPS and Jill will work with you on the materials you’d like to work with as well as what you’ll be creating. Tweens are encouraged to create a custom project! You bring food and cake but can leave decorations behind as Jill has zazzed ZPS in such fun, bright colors, you won’t need to lift a finger. She even handmade a festive birthday banner!

12280 Wilkins Ave. (Rockville, Md)
Online: zazzypeacockstudios.com

Encore Stage & Studio
Is your tween a drama queen?! A birthday party at Encore Stage & Studio is spot-on for your actor or theatre buff. Their birthday package includes a party room rental before the theatre performance, and an exclusive backstage tour. Plus, your tweens birthday will be announced to the entire audience before the start of the show! The party room is available 90 minutes before show-time and you’re responsible for providing food and decorations. Party package cost is only $75 plus $8/seat for the show. Now, that’s a bargain! f

4000 Lorcom Ln. (Arlington, Va)
Online: encorestageva.org

Do you have any other cool tween birthday party ideas? Share them in the comments below. 

—Guiomar Ochoa