Whether your tiny tot remembers it or not, a first birthday is a pretty special milestone, well worth celebrating in style. But first time parents might not be in-the-know on the ins and outs of party planning for little people. We’ve rounded up LA’s best places for a first birthday party to help you plan your big (baby) bash.

1st-birthday-books-and-cookiesphoto: Books and Cookies

Books and Cookies
Throw your little bookworm a first birthday with story time fun at Books and Cookies. Each party is themed (think fairy tales or garden) and includes age appropriate activities, toys and crafts. Guests will be treated to a 20-minute story time and sing-along with instruments and parachute games. Little literary guests will go home with a party favor that actually won’t end up in the trash: a personalized book to match the theme.

Details: Parties can be booked on Saturdays ‪from noon-2 p.m. or ‪3-5 p.m. and on Sundays ‪from 10 a.m. noon or ‪2-4 p.m. Package rates start at $650 with extra fees for add-ons, like face painting and costumed characters. Parties can also be booked at a location of your choice, like home or park.

2309 Main St.
‪Santa Monica
‪310-452-1301
Online: booksandcookiesla.com

1st-birthday-outside-the-boxphoto: Outside The Box

Outside The Box
Host a sensory-filled experience with a birthday at Outside The Box. From painting to exploring with lights and music, OTB offers a variety of different ways to celebrate that are centered around their brain-developing, multi-sensory classes. Though you’re welcome to bring your own decorations, you won’t even need them because this spot is already filled with loads of whimsical decor, from dreamy murals to a giant rainbow disco ball.

Details: Party rates start at $450 for the facility rental ($350 if you’re already a member) and you can add OTB entertainment, a paint party, use of the light sensory room, gift bags, and even clean-up (so you don’t have to!) for additional fees. Parties can accommodate 30 kids and up to 150 guests total. You can also hire OTB entertainers to come to your space.

20841 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills
818-348-7529
Online: otbee.com

1st-birthday-a-magic-forestphoto: Talia M. via Yelp

A Magic Forest
Make your tot’s first birthday a little more magical with a bash at A Magic Forest. With giant play structures and blasting music, some indoor playgrounds might be a little overwhelming for your newly minted one year old and tiny pals, but this spot offers a cozy, quiet atmosphere that’s a little more welcoming for little ones and still a ton of fun. All the activities and play areas are Waldorf-inspired and they offer party entertainers, like a Fairy hosted Tea Party or Kiddie Kazoo Music for additional fees. You can bring in your own food, or they offer Fresh Brothers pizza and organic cupcakes for a fee.

Details: Party packages for a two-hour event for 10 kids start at $375 and go up from there. Add-ons include a professional photographer, face painting, and a drum circle. Packages include a keepsake felt birthday crown and a return play pass for your birthday babe.

12512 W. Washington Blvd.
‪Culver City
‪310-397-9400
Online: amagicforestculvercity.com

Chugga-chugga twoo twoo!

Travel Town
Choo-choo-choose this awesome LA gem for your first birthday party if your tot is a budding train lover. It’s basically a big park filled with antique trains and a miniature locomotive that gives visitors a ride on the looping track that surrounds the space. There are plenty of baby-friendly shaded spots in the grass where you can safely let crawlers roam and the trains make a spectacular backdrop for the first birthday photo-ops. You can also have a Thomas or Chuggington-themed play-mat set up with dozens of toy trains for party guests to play with.

Details: This awesome spot is popular for parties so be sure to call a few months in advance to make a reservation. You can book a whole train car for $150 with a $50 deposit or opt for a picnic bench in the grass outside for $100.

5200 Zoo Dr.
‪Griffith Park
‪323-662-5874
Online: traveltown.org

1st-birthday-peekaboo-playlandphoto: Peekaboo Playland

Peekaboo Playland
If you want a photo-fabulous themed party to rock your Instagram or baby book, then the Ultimate Signature Theme parties at Peekaboo Playland are perfect. Every detail, from place settings to party favors, is immaculately matched with the theme, like a Fairy Tea Party, or Crazy Carnival. Besides the pic-perfect decor, this play place is made for pint-sized partiers, with toys and activities geared for even the non-walkers in attendance.

Details: There are a variety of party packages available starting at $595 and up. All parties include 2 hours of play for up to 15 kids, with fun games and activities hosted by two party attendants, plus a free return pass for the birthday tot.

Two locations in Eagle Rock and Bel-Air
Online: peekabooplayland.com

Party In The Park
Make use of LA’s fabulous weather and take your party outdoors to a park. There are so many parks across the city perfect for hosting a birthday party, but some are a little better for a first birthday party than others. Douglas Park in Santa Monica, for example, is a great spot for a birthday bash for little ones, it features tons of shady grass areas and picnic tables, a playground tailored to young tots and, not one, but two duck-filled ponds, (the perfect backdrop for that first birthday family photo).

Details: No reservations or fees are required to use the park for a party, though we recommend arriving early if you hope to snag a picnic table. You can also reserve the park Clubhouse if you want an indoor space. It holds up to 40 people and has a restroom, but no kitchen, for $37 per hour.

2439 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica
310-458-8300
Online: smgov.net/Departments/CCS

1st-birthday-best-bubble-partiesphoto: Best Bubble Parties

Your Own Backyard
When it comes to throwing an unforgettable first birthday party you needn’t look any further than your own backyard. Instead of using a venue, bring the party to the comfort of your own home where it’s easy for your tiny party animal to take a mid-celebration nap if need be. Choose from baby-friendly entertainers, like Best Bubble Parties, a bubble filled extravaganza that allows for bubble play after the show, or party rentals, like Pump and Splash, that offers some water-play fun with unique pumps, to keep your guests, young and old, entertained.

Not sure what to feed the birthday babe?  We found the cutest smash cakes or healthy cake recipes for their first experience with sweet stuff.

Where have you celebrated this magical milestone for your tiny tot? Share any awesome spots we missed in the comments!

—Shahrzad Warkentin