Editor’s Note, May 16, 2014: At the time of publication (May 14, 2014), the Microsoft store was hosting birthday parties, but it appears this cool service is no longer available. If anyone has a hot tip about why Microsoft isn’t offering parties anymore or their future birthday plans, email our editor, Leah atLeah.singer@redtri.com.

If your budding techie is looking for a birthday party that will make all his friends beg to be invited, it doesn’t get much easier than having a party at the Microsoft Store. Yes, we said Microsoft! This shopping mall storefront is more than just a place to purchase equipment. With a few decorations, snacks and smiles, it can be your next go-to spot for your gamer’s birthday party. Read on to find out everything the store offers to make your little one’s special day a big hit.

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The Party Space
The Microsoft Store at Fashion Valley Mall holds numerous events and workshops for scout troops. So naturally, it’s an awesome spot for your kiddo’s birthday party. The store allows you to reserve their back private room for two-hour parties with up to 30 guests (that includes adults and kids). And the best part is Microsoft Store parties are free. We repeat: Free!

The room boasts a giant wall-sized projector, as well as several portable gaming consoles for playing a variety of Xbox 360 and Kinect games. The store has games they recommend for each age group. For example, a 7-year-old’s party may feature games like The Lego Movie, Just Dance, and Minecraft. You can also request specific games and if they have them available, gamers can play those too. There are also a number of demo games that kids are free to play.

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All the Details You Need to Plan
The staff at the Microsoft Store is super friendly and helpful. From the moment you walk in, everything is set up and ready for you. All you have to do is bring the food. Snacks like pizza and mini cupcakes are a great choice (in the Xbox colors, of course). Best of all, the store staff takes care of the cleanup – so much better than spending hours cleaning your home post-party!

The store also provides the goody bags full of fun treats including a yoyo, eraser, Microsoft coupon, and a few other small item for kids to play with. And the bag itself is a cute, reuseable one.

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Tips for a Great Time
From the many age appropriate games to choose from, gamers love to play the LEGO Movie videogame. So you may want to plan that one into the schedule.

For kiddos who want a dance party theme, the store offers Just Dance 3 on Kinect. Party-goers can show off their dance moves on the big screen.

Don’t spend too much money and go overboard with snacks and food. The kiddos prefer to eat quickly and return to gaming as quickly as possible!

Make sure you book a few weeks in advance because the space tends to fill up fast.

7007 Friars Rd. Suite 324
San Diego,  Ca
Online: microsoftstore.com

Have you experienced the Microsoft Store as a birthday party venue? Tell us about it in the comments!

– Written and photographed by Marissa Mullen