Remember in the “olden days” when we all had our birthday parties at home? Games, cupcakes and balloons and you had a party. Today, many parents choose to host their child’s party outside the home because the thought of entertaining all of those kids doesn’t sound particularly fun. But hosting a party at your house doesn’t have to be a ton of work for you. There are tons of Bay Area businesses that will bring the party to you—all you have to do is open your door and let the fun in!

Kona Ice

Bring a taste of the tropics to your next birthday party by inviting the Kona Ice truck. The truck drives up playing festive music to summon the kids. Party-goers line up for a scoop of shaved ice and then they step up to the self-serve flavor bar to choose from grape, lime, watermelon, and strawberry flavored syrups to add to their ice. Cool and refreshing fun for a summer day (or pretty much any day in the Bay Area).

Cost: parties start at $149
Location: trucks are available throughout the Bay Area. Search online by zip code for the closest truck.
Online: kona-ice.com

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photo: Kate Loweth

Game Action

Little gamers step right up as the Game Action truck is pulling into your driveway! This mobile gaming unit provides an indoor environment where up to 16 kids can sit and play Minecraft, Mario Kart and all the top games on 50 inch HDTVs. Outside two additional HDTVs are available for games like Just Dance. The truck is air conditioned and all games will be age-appropriate for the guests. All you have to do is provide the location for the truck and your party is ready to go.

Cost: $295-$335 for two hours, $99 for each additional hour
Location: serves East Bay, South Bay and Peninsula
Online: thegameaction.com

The Happy Birds

Never seen a parrot riding a bike? Well you are in for a real treat if you invite The Happy Birds to your next soiree. These amazing avians can talk, sing, ride a scooter and even cry like a baby. Your guests will be impressed with their human-like antics and will especially enjoy the audience participation elements of the show. After the fun is done, pose for pictures with a friendly macaw or cockatoo.

Cost: $335-385
Location: serves the South Bay and Peninsula with additional fees for travel outside of that area
Online: happybirds.com

The Gymnastics Bus

Looking for a birthday option for your little one who just likes to run, jump and climb? Bring the Gymnastics Bus to your house (or a local park) and get ready for some physical fun. The bus provides 90 minutes of fun for up to 20 kids ages 3-6. Swing across the monkey bars, balance on the balance beam and jump into the foam pit. There's even a kiddie zip line.

Cost: Parties start at $185 for the first 10 participants
Location: Marin County
Online: thegymnasticsbus.com

ZooMobile Birthdays from the Oakland Zoo

Bring the Zoo to you! Make your child's next birthday a memorable one with a Birthday Party ZooMobile. Perfect for a small family gathering in your home. The birthday child (ages four and older) and their friends will meet four small animals, most of which can be touched. The birthday child will receive a Zoo gift to mark the occasion. Program for up to 30 people lasts 50 minutes.

Cost: $300 for members, $320/non-members
Online: oaklandzoo.org

The Cinderella Company

Invite your favorite storybook character over for an afternoon of fun with The Cinderella Company. Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid and Princess Elsa all come to life when these character arrive to celebrate your little one's birthday. Parties include stories, singing, magic and more. They even have pirates, superheroes and Star Wars characters that can join in the fun.

Cost: $199 and up
Location: performers are available all over the Bay Area
Online: thecinderellacompany.com

photo: Kate Loweth

For Goodness Snakes

Cozy up with some amazing critters at this one-of-a-kind birthday party for little reptile lovers. For Goodness Snakes brings all of the animals to you. Learn fascinating facts about these cold-blooded creatures and have hands-on experience holding them in this 90 minute program that's perfect for kids of all ages. You may even get to meet Big Mamma—the 40 pound boa constrictor.

Cost: parties start at $300
Location: will travel all over the Bay Area. Price varies based on distance from Campbell.
Online: for-goodness-snakes.com

Mad Science

If making things explode sounds like a perfect birthday party, then have Mad Science come to your next shin dig. Party kids will learn about electricity and magnetism, find out why glow sticks glow and more in these fun science experiments that you don't have to clean up. Everyone gets to make a fun favor to take home like slime or bouncy balls.

Cost: $195 and up
Location: serves the Bay Area, travel fee may apply
Online: thebayarea.madscience.org

photo: Bri Crabtree

Bri Crabtree's Silly Circus and Fairy Parties

Join Bri Crabtree on a silly circus adventure.  Bri is an award-winning variety entertainer and will have the audience captivated with her fusion of circus, vaudeville and silliness. The show features juggling, magic, illusion and physical comedy. Or, choose to have Bri turn your whole crew into fairies. All party packages include the 30 minute show and classic activities such as face painting and balloon animals. 

Online: britree.com

Cooking Round the World

Bring the culinary adventures to your next birthday party with Cooking Round the World. Choose from Italy, France, Belgium, Israel or Mexico for your theme. Kids will make food from the chosen country like meatballs and waffles from Belgium and play a game from that country. Parties last 2 hours and include all paper goods, ingredients and a culinary professional to run the show.

Cost: $400 and up
Location: East Bay
Online: cookingroundtheworld.com

—Kate Loweth

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