Want to up the ante when it comes to your kid’s birthday party this year? How about having the shindig on a firetruck? Or in an escape room? Or with a flying trapeze? Read on for our picks on the coolest, most unusual, dare we say, baller birthday parties you can throw in Los Angeles.
Sheroes Entertainment: Mermaid Party
If a run-of-the-mill pool party isn't intriguing enough for your swimmers, make things a little more magical by adding a mermaid into the mix. Sheroes Entertainment's gorgeously authentic-looking mermaids are so good they're routinely used in film and television (but don't think your backyard pool isn't good enough for them; they love visiting aspiring Ariels). The "Mini Mers" party package includes one party-ready mermaid who will lead little swimmers in water games and other activities—plus a Red American Red Cross-certified lifeguard to keep things extra safe.
Good to Know: Don't have a pool? No problem!"Walking Mermaids" are also available for parties on land.
Cost: Starts at $445
Ages: 4 & up for pool parties; All ages for land parties
Kids who love to climb all things climbable will never want their time here to end. Sender City—the kid nook inside the massive Sender One climbing gym near LAX—makes it easy for kids to reach the ceiling safely. The room is outfitted with a colorful assortment of challenges, including stair-stepping "skyscrapers" (featured above), a timed rock wall that lets climbers compete with friends, and a firefighting-themed wall that challenges kids to put out fires (by hitting buttons) as they climb ladders to the top. And don't worry: Climbers are hooked into an auto-belay system while climbing, so the ropes quickly catch them and whisk them gently to the ground every time they jump or fall.
Birthday party packages include 30-minutes of activities and instruction; one hour of climbing time inside Sender City (plus all the gear needed to climb); one hour in the party space; free climbing for the birthday kid's parents (trust us, you'll want to join in on the fun!); plus a party attendant to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Good to Know: Climbers must weigh 35 pounds to use the auto-belay system.
Cost: Starts at $549
Ages: 5 & up
11220 Hindry Ave.
Trapeze School New York/Los Angeles
If you've got a budding daredevil, a party at the Trapeze School New York (in LA) is the perfect high-flying adventure. Birthday parties at the Santa Monica-based school include a 2-hour flying trapeze class with three instructors to help get all those little fliers airborne. For an additional fee, you can get a photographer (because #FlyingTrapeze) plus other add-ons such as aerial silks, static trapeze, tightrope and trampoline.
Good to Know: Parties don't include food or drinks, but there's no extra charge to bring your own.
Cost: For groups of ten or more, parties start at $700 on the weekends
Ages: 6 & up
Santa Monica Pier
Exit Game LA: Inland escape artists may want to try the popular Exit Game LA, which calls itself the most high-tech of LA's escape rooms. It's got tunnels to crawl through, laser fields to thwart, and conjuring spells to master. For kids under 10, staff there recommends "A.I" room (evil computers!), "Lab 51," (aliens!) or "School of Sorcery" (wizardry!) for the theme.
Cost: $32 per person. Escape rooms have a 10-person maximum, so multiple rooms should be booked for larger groups
Ages: Adult supervision for kids under 12 is required
111 N. Atlantic Blvd. #148
The MagIQ Room: Escape rooms are all the rage for big kids; why not get the younger escape artists in on the action? While most venues will let little kids give it a try, the MagIQ Room in Beverly Hills is the only spot that caters exclusively to the smaller set (it calls its rooms "Adventure Rooms" instead of "escape rooms"). Each 2-hour party includes a 1-hour adventure room experience, costumes to match the theme, party games, framed birthday pictures (sent via e-mail), snacks and drinks.
Cost: $80 per person. Escape rooms have a 10-person maximum; multiple rooms can be booked to accommodate larger parties
Ages: 6 & up (kids should able to read to play)
1446 S Robertson Blvd.
Underwood Family Farm
Take your city mouse to the country and help them live out their Old MacDonald dreams! Birthday parties at Underwood Farm's Moorpark location include a private wagon ride around the farm (for all your guests), a shaded picnic table area, a group photo—plus unlimited pony rides, electric train rides, moon-bounces, trike trails, and cow train rides. Party guests can also visit the petting corral and mingle as long as they'd like with the goats, sheep, and bunnies.
Good to Know: Parties are held Mar. through Dec.
Cost: $390 & up (for 2 1/2 hours and up to 15 children)
Ages: 2 & up
3370 Sunset Valley Rd.
Neon Retro Arcade
If you want to give your kid a taste of the oldies, throw a birthday bash at a place where Pac-Man and his pixelated pals still rule the room. Neon Retro boasts a myriad of gorgeously restored vintage games—from 1970s pinball machines to 80s faves like Frogger, Centipede, and Donkey Kong. And if your kids are itching to get back to the future, there are Wii U consoles with flat screen TVs in the back (just make sure they try the classics first!).
Birthday parties include arcade access for up to 10 guests (all games are set to free play), complimentary admission for up to five adults, 1 reserved Wii gaming station, table seating for 10, and a gift for the birthday kid.
Good to Know: The arcade is still open to the public during parties.
Cost: $250 for a 2-hour party
Ages: 5 & up
There are two locations:
28 S. Raymond Ave.
8943 Reseda Blvd.
Smokey's Fire Truck
What kid (or grown-up!) doesn't wish they could ride atop a fire truck? Smokey's Fire Trucks, based in Costa Mesa, turns that dream into a reality. Run by two active-duty LA firefighters, Smokey's delivers a real-live (1981 Crown) firetruck—fully equipped with lights, sirens, horns, hoses and authentic fire equipment—to your doorstep, then lets everyone hop on for a ride around the neighborhood. When they get tired of riding around to all those (fake) fires, the little firefighters can try out the working hoses. All kids get a plastic fire hat, and the birthday boy or girl gets a picture book delivered by the firefighters themselves.
Cost: Call for pricing. Also note: There may be an additional charge for driving distances 30 plus miles from Costa Mesa
Ages: All ages
Sheroes Entertainment: Unicorn Party
The only problem with having a live unicorn at your child's birthday party is that it'll be hard to top throwing a live unicorn party the next time you want to throw a bash. If you're up for the challenge (and the price tag), Sheroes Entertainment can have the stunning mythical creature delivered to your doorstep (or wherever you'd like it) ready to wow your friends, pose for photos and give magical rides to kids.
Birthday packages include a full-size unicorn (not a pony), plus two attendants to lead the unicorn during rides or assist in posing the unicorn for pics. Sheroes can also provide carriages for the unicorn to pull—including a white Cinderella pumpkin coach—if your little princesses would rather sit than ride.
Cost: Starts at $900
Ages: All ages but kids should be at least 3 for unicorn rides
Make your cake and eat it, too! At Duff's Cakemix (owned by Food Network's Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman), kids can learn how to make delicious edible art with the help of frosting and fondant. Every guest gets an unfrosted cake (or a set of six cupcakes) to decorate plus all the instruction they need to make a masterpiece.
Birthday packages include two hours of time in the bakery; one cake-decorating kit; access to tools, aprons, gloves, cookie cutters, stencils, and molds; a celebration cake to cut and serve; drinks; balloons; and bakery boxes. The guest of honor also gets a Duff's Cakemix apron to show off around the house.
Cost: Cupcake parties start at $395; Cake parties at $495
Ages: All ages welcome but we recommend kids ages 4 & up
There are two locations:
8302 Melrose Ave.
165 South De Lacey Ave.
—Melissa Heckscher & Andie Huber